The Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup is a Grade 1 Steeplechase.
The Gold Cup is the is the most prestigious steeplechase in the whole calendar and is run for the best steeplechasers over three miles and two and a half furlongs and is the main event of the last day of the Cheltenham festival.
First Run in 1924 as a steeplechase this is the race that all top class chasers are aimed at all season.
The race is open to all horses of the age 5 years and over.
The first race was held on March 12th 1924 and was run over what is now the old course . In 1959 the race changed to the new course over which the race is still run today.
The great steeplechaser Arkle won the race three times in succession in 1964,1965 and 1966. The great Golden miller won the race won the race five times 1932,1933,1934,1935 and 1936. He also won the Cheltenham Gold Cup and The Grand National in the same year in1934.
In 2009 Kauto Star became the first horse to regain The Cheltenham Gold Cup after winning in 2007 not winning in 2008 and winning again in 2009
In 1986 Dawn Run became the only horse to have won The Gold Cup and also The Champion Hurdle which she won in 1984.
The premier chase of the season The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the top steeplechase of the whole season. Last year winner Sizing John has been ruled out of the race so we will be crowning a new champion today.
American is the latecomer to the party as he has been supplemented for the race. He is a good young horse with not many miles on the clock. He won three good races on the bounce last season but was disappointing when pulled up in the Ladbrokes trophy on his first run this season. He was much better at this course and distance in January when he came second to one of his rivals today Definity Red on soft ground and that must have convinced his connections to let him take his chance this year.
Anibale Fly is the first of the Irish contenders. He won well in the Paddy Power chase on Boxing day at Leopardstown on yielding ground but took a heavy fall in the Irish Gold cup when going well enough. That would not be an ideal last run.
Bachasson is unbeaten in two runs this term. Both on heavy ground but there must be stamina doubts as the horse usually contests shorter races and has not won at a distance greater than 2m6f.
Definity Red comes here is great form. He won over this course and distance in January and that followed a great run in a grade 2 at Aintree in heavy ground. Both were good distance wins. There is plenty to like about this horse’s chances.
Djakadam is a regular in this race. He is top class and always runs well. Still only 9 and perhaps now at his peak. 4th time lucky? It is difficult to fancy him now as I suspect he does not quite get this trip, but impossible to leave out of the reckoning.
Edwulf is a really good chaser. He blundered at one fence last year and was pulled up. He was very distressed and collapsed on the course. He looked close to death that day but has shown a remarkable recovery. It would be a really great story if this horse won the race especially as his trainer Joseph O’Brien was a top-class jockey who has taken really well to training. But it is not just a good story, this horse has the class to win this as he showed on his last run when he won the Irish Gold Cup.
Another if the strong Irish runners is Killultagh Vic. Unbeaten last season he has gone from strength to strength. He took a heavy fall in the Irish Gold cup in his last run and that is not ideal, but he was in contention. His top trainer Willie Mullins does not have many trophy’s missing in his cabinet but he is yet to win The Gold Cup but it is just a matter of time.
Might Bite is the long-time favourite for this race, but there are others now that may challenge that position. His does probably have the best form and the most class in this years race but it is well documented that the run in on this course gives the horse problems. After the last fence he runs right-handed and the distance of his win in last year’s RSA chase went from 15 lengths to a short head because of this. Despite this he is the likely winner.
Native River was 3rd in this race last year and was staying on. He has the right profile for this race in that he is a dour stayer and relentless galloping horse. He loves soft ground and has everything in his favour today. He loves to front run and may well be allowed to conduct the tempo of the race to suit him. Strong chances today.
Jockey Robbie Power was due to ride the horse he won on last year Sizing John but since that horse has been pulled out he rides another of the stables horses in Our Duke. The trainer Jessica Harrington had never had a runner in the race up until last year and won and her horse is coming in for a lot of support now and could go off fav for the race. He will like this ground much better than last years winner and has come here with a form boost as the horse he beat in grade 2 back in February, Presenting Percy was a good winner this week in the RSA chase.
Outlander from the in-form Gordon Elliott team. Pulled up in this last year but was second in the Irish Gold Cup just a head behind Edwulf. Possible stamina doubts over this extra few furlongs of this race?
Road to Respect is in the same ownership of Outlander and is perhaps a better prospect. Won a grade 1 in Ireland at Christmas and the form was franked when the horse he beat won the Ryanair Chase here yesterday.
Saphir Du Rheu is a good horse but will need significant improvement to win here today. Will act on ground but this trip at this level may not suit.
Tea for Two was unluky to fall early in the race last year but then went on to win at Aintree. He has not been in his usual form this season however stable won on the first day of the festival.
Total Recall is unbeaten this season but is another who needs to show significant improvement to take part in the finish here.
|1||American (FR)||6/111-P2 • GELDING||8||11st 10lbs||Harry Fry||Noel Fehily||157|
|2||Anibale Fly (FR) T||42-501F • GELDING||8||11st 10lbs||A. J. Martin||Barry Geraghty||159|
|3||Bachasson (FR)||U/F21-11 • GELDING||7||11st 10lbs||W. P. Mullins||David Mullins||159|
|4||Definitly Red (IRE)||U1P-311 • CD • GELDING||9||11st 10lbs||Brian Ellison||Danny Cook||167|
|5||Djakadam (FR)||342-2P3 • GELDING||9||11st 10lbs||W. P. Mullins||Mr P. W. Mullins||162|
|N/R||Double Shuffle (IRE) H||12P-222 • GELDING||8||11st 10lbs||Tom George||A. P. Heskin||166|
|7||Edwulf (GB) T||1F1P-P1 • GELDING||9||11st 10lbs||Joseph Patrick O'Brien||Mr Derek O'Connor||165|
|8||Killultagh Vic (IRE)||1/111/-1F • C • GELDING||9||11st 10lbs||W. P. Mullins||R. Walsh||165|
|9||Might Bite (IRE)||F111-11 • C • GELDING||9||11st 10lbs||Nicky Henderson||Nico de Boinville||169|
|N/R||Minella Rocco (IRE) T p WS||U2-4P4F • C • GELDING||8||11st 10lbs||Jonjo O'Neill||Mark Walsh||162|
|11||Native River (IRE) p||21113-1 • D • GELDING||8||11st 10lbs||Colin Tizzard||Richard Johnson||166|
|12||Our Duke (IRE)||121-041 • GELDING||8||11st 10lbs||Mrs J. Harrington||Robbie Power||166|
|13||Outlander (IRE) p||P-61332 • GELDING||10||11st 10lbs||Gordon Elliott||Jack Kennedy||164|
|14||Road To Respect (IRE) H||211-121 • C • GELDING||7||11st 10lbs||Noel Meade||Sean Flanagan||168|
|15||Saphir du Rheu (FR) T||F215F-3 • C • GELDING||9||11st 10lbs||Paul Nicholls||Sam Twiston-Davies||158|
|N/R||Shantou Flyer (IRE) V T||PP2222 • C • GELDING||8||11st 10lbs||Richard Hobson||James Bowen||152|
|17||Tea For Two (GB)||U1-043P • GELDING||9||11st 10lbs||Nick Williams||Lizzie Kelly||164|
|18||Total Recall (IRE)||105-111 • D • GELDING||9||11st 10lbs||W. P. Mullins||P. Townend||156|
|1||Native River (IRE) p||21113-1 • D • GELDING||8||11st 10lbs||Colin Tizzard||Richard Johnson|
|2||Might Bite (IRE)||F111-11 • C • GELDING||9||11st 10lbs||Nicky Henderson||Nico de Boinville|
|3||Anibale Fly (FR) T||42-501F • GELDING||8||11st 10lbs||A. J. Martin||Barry Geraghty|
|4||Road To Respect (IRE) H||211-121 • C • GELDING||7||11st 10lbs||Noel Meade||Sean Flanagan|
|5||Djakadam (FR)||342-2P3 • GELDING||9||11st 10lbs||W. P. Mullins||Mr P. W. Mullins|
|6||Definitly Red (IRE)||U1P-311 • CD • GELDING||9||11st 10lbs||Brian Ellison||Danny Cook|
|7||Tea For Two (GB)||U1-043P • GELDING||9||11st 10lbs||Nick Williams||Lizzie Kelly|
|8||Edwulf (GB) T||1F1P-P1 • GELDING||9||11st 10lbs||Joseph Patrick O'Brien||Mr Derek O'Connor|
|9||American (FR)||6/111-P2 • GELDING||8||11st 10lbs||Harry Fry||Noel Fehily|
|f||Bachasson (FR)||U/F21-11 • GELDING||7||11st 10lbs||W. P. Mullins||David Mullins|
|f||Total Recall (IRE)||105-111 • D • GELDING||9||11st 10lbs||W. P. Mullins||P. Townend|
|PU||Killultagh Vic (IRE)||1/111/-1F • C • GELDING||9||11st 10lbs||W. P. Mullins||R. Walsh|
|PU||Our Duke (IRE)||121-041 • GELDING||8||11st 10lbs||Mrs J. Harrington||Robbie Power|
|PU||Outlander (IRE) p||P-61332 • GELDING||10||11st 10lbs||Gordon Elliott||Jack Kennedy|
|PU||Saphir du Rheu (FR) T||F215F-3 • C • GELDING||9||11st 10lbs||Paul Nicholls||Sam Twiston-Davies|
|NR||Double Shuffle (IRE) H||12P-222 • GELDING||8||11st 10lbs||Tom George||A. P. Heskin|
|NR||Minella Rocco (IRE) T p WS||U2-4P4F • C • GELDING||8||11st 10lbs||Jonjo O'Neill||Mark Walsh|
|NR||Shantou Flyer (IRE) V T||PP2222 • C • GELDING||8||11st 10lbs||Richard Hobson||James Bowen|
Race 4 - 3:30pm
THE TIMICO CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP STEEPLE CHASE (CLASS 1) (Grade 1)
TOTAL RECALL (IRE) wore earplugs throughout the race.
David Mullins, the rider of TOTAL RECALL (IRE), had remounted having fallen at the third last fence and ridden back without his horse being examined by a Veterinary Surgeon. The rider and the Veterinary Officer were interviewed. Mullins’s explanation that he had been given clearance by a person he believed to be a Veterinary Surgeon was accepted.
Richard Johnson, the rider of the winner, NATIVE RIVER (IRE), was suspended for 7 days and fined £6,550 for using his whip above the permitted level from approaching the second last fence.
Following the race, Robbie Power reported that OUR DUKE (IRE), which was pulled up, was never travelling. OUR DUKE (IRE) was routine tested. The Veterinary Officer reported that EDWULF, unplaced, suffered from mild heat exhaustion post-race.