Cheltenham Festival: Gold Cup Past Winners
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Cheltenham Festival: Gold Cup Past Winners

| 17.01.2019

There have been plenty of famous winners of the Cheltenham Gold Cup down the years. Arkle, Kauto Star and Denman have all trotted away with the famous pot in National Hunt’s most iconic race. But who’s come out on top over the last half-decade?

We’ve rounded up the five most recent Cheltenham Gold Cup winners, starting with Native River’s incredible win in 2018.

Gold Cup 2018 – Native River (5/1)

The 2018 Gold Cup was one for the ages, as Native River and Might Bite slugged it out on the soft ground right until the death. Colin Tizzard’s charge made all before coming under sustained pressure from the favourite as the pair turned for home.

Both horses duelled right until the last fence, with the tough-as-teak Native River digging deep up the Cheltenham hill to outstay his gallant opponent by 4½l.

The 5/1 shot provided both Tizzard and jockey Richard Johnson with their first Gold Cup wins and helped avenge a third-place finish in the race the year prior.

Gold Cup 2017 – Sizing John (7/1)

Most of Sizing John’s elite racing life had been spent staring at Douvan’s backside. But in March 2017, Jessica Harrington’s charge finally got his day in the sun.

The seven-year-old Midnight Legend gelding was sent off at 7/1 and travelled well throughout on the inside under the guidance of Robbie Power. After finding some space on the turn for home, Sizing John then flicked on the afterburners to assume the lead with two to jump.

He held off game challenges from Minella Rocco, Native River and 3/1 favourite Djakadam to complete the second leg of a Gold Cup treble, alongside wins in the Irish Gold Cup and the Coral Punchestown Gold Cup.

Gold Cup 2016 – Don Cossack (9/4)

Only eight horses have justified favouritism in the Cheltenham Gold Cup since 2000. Don Cossack remains the most recent back in 2016. Gordon Elliott’s charge tracked the frontrunners before drawing alongside the leading quartet of Djakadam, Don Poli, Cue Card and O’Faolains Boy with four to jump.

The nine-year-old clipped the fence but kept on improving to hit the front following a fall from Cue Card three out. From there he never looked back. The German-bred raider took out a two-length lead on Djakadam and kept on to win by just over four lengths under the guidance of Bryan Cooper.

An injury ultimately meant his Gold Cup win doubled up as his final race in a career which also provided victories in the Punchestown Gold Cup and Melling Chase, amongst others.

Gold Cup 2015 – Coneygree (7/1)

Coneygree made history in the 2015 Gold Cup by becoming the first novice chaser to win the renewal since Captain Christy in 1974. The bookies rated him a 7/1 chance prior to the race, with the Paul Nicholls-trained Silviniaco Conti the hot favourite at 3/1.

Conti, though, could only come home in seventh, as Coneygree made all to win the race by just over a length from the fast-improving Djakdam. A drift to the right on the run in didn’t faze the eight-year-old, whose victory pocketed connections £313,225 and a place in the Cheltenham history books.

Gold Cup 2014 – Lord Windermere (20/1)

One of the most controversial Gold Cups of recent times went the way of 20/1 outsider Lord Windermere. Jim Culloty’s charge was given a patient ride throughout before making ground on the leaders towards the turn for home.

Eight runners all still had chances with two to jump, at which point Lord Windermere found a gap and switched to the right. The eight-year-old got up alongside Silviniaco Conti and Bob’s Worth before outstaying the pair and holding off a late challenge from On His Own to win by a short-head.

A steward’s enquiry later found the winner had impeded the runner-up, but not enough to get the result overturned. The victory was Culloty’s as Lord Windermere became the longest-priced winner of the Gold Cup since Cool Dawn at 25/1 in 1998.

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Nick Murphy