For four days in mid-March, the Cotswolds is the eye of the sporting world as the best jumps horses from across Britain and Ireland (and sometimes France) come together to fight it out for the most sought-after prizes in racing.
We've got a guide to all four Championship races at Cheltenham - find out all you need to know about the highlight of not just the week, but the entire National Hunt season, the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
When is the Gold Cup?
The Gold Cup is the feature race on day four of the Cheltenham Festival, which takes place at Prestbury Park in the picturesque Gloucestershire countryside each year in mid-March. The 2022 Gold Cup is set for 15:05 on Friday 18th March.
Where can I watch the Gold Cup?
If you're not lucky enough to be trackside in the Cotswolds, the Gold Cup is shown live on terrestrial television in Britain via ITV Racing, part of their coverage of all four days of the Cheltenham Festival. You can also catch it on our Sports Live Streaming platform.
What is the Gold Cup?
The Gold Cup is a Grade 1 race, and is the most prestigious National Hunt event in the sport.
From Arkle and Best Mate to Kauto Star and Denman, the list of winners features some of the biggest names in racing.
It is open to horses aged five years or older and is run on the New Course at Cheltenham over a distance of 3m2f. There are 22 fences to be jumped in the race.
Which horse has won the most Gold Cups?
Golden Miller won the Gold Cup an incredible five times between 1932 and 1936. Cottage Rake (1948-1950), Arkle (1964-1966) and Best Mate (2002-2004) all managed three consecutive wins, while Kauto Star became the first horse to regain the Gold Cup in 2009, two years after his first success.
Which trainer has won the most Gold Cups?
Arkle's trainer, Tom Dreaper, managed five Gold Cup wins. Three with Arkle, and one more with Prince regent (1946) and Fort Leney (1968).
In more recent times, Paul Nicholls recorded a fourth success with Kauto Star in 2009, a year after stablemate Denman won. He also trained Kauto Star to his 2007 win, and See More Business in 1999.
Which jockey has won the most Gold Cups?
Pat Taaffe rode Arkle to his three Gold Cup wins, and had a fourth with Fort Leney.
Aubrey Brabazon, Dick Rees, Jim Culloty and Tommy Carberry all won three each.
Which owner has won the most Gold Cups?
Dorothy Paget owned Golden Miller so won five here, and added two more in 1940 with Roman Hackle and 1952 with Mont Tremblant.
Who are the five most recent winners?
|Ann and Alan Potts||7/1|
|2018||Native River||Richard Johnson||Colin Tizzard||Brocade Racing||5/1|
|2019||Al Boum Photo||Paul Townend||Willie Mullins||Mrs J Donnelly||12/1|
|2020||Al Boum Photo||Paul Townend||Willie Mullins||Mrs J Donnelly||100/30f|
|2021||Minello Indo||Jack Kennedy||Henry De Bromhead||Barry Maloney||9/1|
Who are the contenders for the Gold Cup in 2022?
Last year's winner Minello Indo is 7/1 for repeat success, but his form since has left a lot to be desired. The nine-year-old finished five-lengths behind Frodon at Down Royal in october, and was pulled up at Kempton on Boxing Day in the King George.
Galvin is second favourite at 4/1. The eight-year-old won four straight novice chases last season, including two at Cheltenham. Since then, he's won a 3m chase at Punchestown, was beaten by Frodon a couple of weeks later at Down Royal, then won an incredible Savills Chase at Leopardstown in December, finishing with a wet sail to pip A Plus Tard and Kemboy on the line.
Despite the loss, A Plus Tard remains 3/1 favourite for the Gold Cup. Losing by little more than a length in last year's showpiece was followed up by a 22-length win in the Betfair Chase.
2019 and 2020 winner Al Boum Photo is 8/1. After coming third in the 2021 Gold Cup, the Mullins charge was second at the Punchestown Gold Cup before winning the Grade 3 Savills New Year's Day Chase, though many will feel his best days are behind him and Kauto Star (2007 & 2009) remains the only horse to win a Gold Cup, lose one and then regain it.