Recent Cheltenham Gold Cup Winners

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Don Cossack

With the Cheltenham Gold Cup just a few weeks away, let’s take a look at recent winners. This is a race over 3m 2f. There are 22 fences and the Gold Cup takes place in March, during the world-famous Cheltenham Festival.

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Cheltenham Gold Cup Winner 2016

Don Cossack won the race for Gordon Elliott and the horse has since been retired, after he picked-up a serious tendon injury when preparing for the Punchestown Festival. He was awarded a rating of 177 and his previous victories included the Future Champ INH Flat Race, the Drinmore Novice Chase, the Daily Star Chase, the Powers Irish Whiskey Chase, the Punchestown Chase, the Kinloch Brae Chase, the Melling Chase, the Punchestown Gold Cup and the Champion Chase. Following Don Cossack’s retirement, Gordon Elliott said “It’s a real sickener for Gigginstown, myself, Bryan Cooper and the whole yard… He’s a horse of a lifetime and he owes us nothing. I said all season that if he had any sort of setback at all we would retire him straight away… A peaceful retirement awaits him out in Gigginstown.”.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Winner 2015

Sired by Karinga Bay and out of a dam named Plaid Maid, Coneygree is trained by Mark Bradstock and owned by the Max Partnership. As a novice, he won the Hyde Novices’ Hurdle, the Bristol Novices’ Hurdle, the Berkshire Novices’ Chase and the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase. He beat Houblon des Obeaux by 7 lengths in the Denman Chase and this convinced connections that they could aim higher than the RSA Chase, at Cheltenham. Sure enough, Coneygree finished a length and a half ahead of Djakadam and became the first novice winner, since Captain Christy in 1974.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Winner 2014

Lord Windermere was bought for €30,000 by the County Kildare-based Kennycourt Stud and was auctioned three times more, as a 3-year-old, before a bidder could be found. Jim Culloty eventually got hold of him and the horse initially failed to impress, as a novice hurdler. He did eventually win a Listed encounter at Punchestown, but it wasn’t until Lord Windermere was switched to chasing in 2012/2013 that he really began to make an impact. Major wins were still proving elusive though and victory in the RSA Chase only came after the fall of Boston Bob. He was a 20/1 outsider for the Gold Cup, but came from last to first and beat On His Own by a short-head. “Halfway round I was going to sack the jockey! He’s not moved a muscle and he’s come from nowhere. It’s a dream – I’ll wake up in a minute”, said Culloty after the race.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Winner 2013

The 2013 Gold Cup was won by Bobs Worth. This gelding began racing in 2009/2010. His first eye-catching victory was in the G2 Classic Novices Hurdle, at Cheltenham. He followed that up by winning the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle, by two and a half lengths. In 2011 he bested Cue Card to win the Berkshire Novices Chase. 2012 saw him achieve victory in the RSA Chase, with First Lieutenant comprehensively beaten. First-place in the Hennessey Gold Cup led to him being installed as favorite for the 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup, which he went on to win in style.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Winner 2012

Synchronised, JP McManus’s bay gelding, won in 2012. Sired by the brilliant Sadlers Wells, his first notable victory came in the 2010 Midlands Grand National, with AP McCoy on board. McCoy also rode him to victory in the Welsh National. Victory at Leopardstown, in the Lexus Chase was a major step-up, but Long Run and Kauto Star remained favorites for the 2012 Gold Cup. During the race, Kauto Star was pulled up with an injury and Long Run failed to mount a challenge. Synchronised beat the unfancied horse, The Giant Bolster, into second place. Sadly, Synchronised had to be euthanised after a bad fall in the 2012 Grand National, at Aintree. AP McCoy, who was on-board, said afterwards “Synchronised is a horse that I won’t ever forget… it is one of those terrible things that you wish will never happen.”.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Winner 2011

In 2011, Long Run was the victor. It was the crowning achievement for the Nicky Henderson trained gelding. Other big wins included the Prix Cambaceres, the Prix Maurice Gillois, the Feltham Novices Chase, the Kingmaker Novices Chase, the King George VI Chase (twice) and the Denman Chase. The Gold Cup win saw Long Run see off challenges from Denman and Kauto Star, after Imperial Commander was pulled up. Long Run’s career earnings had reached well over one and a quarter million pounds, by the end of 2013.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Winner 2010

Imperial Commander had already notched up victories in the Paddy Power Gold Cup and The Ryanair Chase, before his win in the 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup. That year also saw him win the Betfair Chase. Owned by Our Friends in the North, he was trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Winner 2009

Kauto Star, the French-bred 2009 winner, began the race as favorite. His victory was emphatic and he crushed Denman by thirteen lengths, after pulling clear three fences from home. Other major wins include the Tingle Creek Chase, the Old Roan Chase, the Betfair Chase, the King George VI Chase, the Aon Chase, the Ascot Chase and the Champion Chase. Following his death, in 2015, even the Jockey Club felt compelled to put out a statement which read “Deeply saddened to hear the news about Kauto Star, so many amazing memories of a true champion and incredible athlete”. He really was a true modern great of National Hunt racing.

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