The Cheltenham Festival is renowned for creating historic scenes that will be etched in the minds of racing fans for years to come. With the four-day showcase just around the corner (15-18 March), H&H takes a trip down memory lane to look at the triumphs that have pulled at the heartstrings over the past 20 years…
The Irish-bred gelding provided 20-time Champion jockey AP McCoy with his first Gold Cup victory in 1997 when trained by Noel Chance. It would take 15 years before AP bagged his next triumph in the prestigious race — aboard Synchronised in 2012.
At just five, the French-bred gelding became the youngest horse to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2008. Again trained by Paul Nicholls, he returned a year later to claim back-to-back triumphs in the race.
Another former stable star from the Paul Nicholls yard to grace Cheltenham with his talent — the eye-catching gelding made history by winning four consecutive World Hurdles in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
The heroic gelding claimed dual victory in the Champion Hurdle for top Irish trainer Willie Mullins. He dominated the race in 2011 and then again in 2013 — both times ridden by Ruby Walsh.
The good-looking French-bred gelding is always a crowd favourite at the Gloucestershire track and rewarded his supporters when coming home in front by an impressive 19 lengths during the 2013 Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Last but by no means least, the homebred gelding became the first novice chaser to claim a Gold Cup for more than 40 years. Nico de Boinville — riding in his first Gold Cup — steered the gelding to victory in 2015 and provided the Bradstock family with their greatest triumph to date.