History was made on final day of the Cheltenham Festival today (19 March) when Henry De Bromhead became the first ever trainer to send out the winners of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle and the Champion Chase at the same meeting.
It was Minella Indo who brought the Irish trainer his ever first victory in the Gold Cup under Jack Kennedy for owner Barry Maloney, overturning A Plus Tard, who is also trained by Henry, and 2019 and 2020 Gold Cup Victor Al Boum Photo, who finished second and third respectively.
“I can’t believe it. This is what I’ve dreamt of since I was a child,” said an emotional Jack Kennedy, who has been plagued by a plethora of injuries during his career. “I’m so grateful to Henry and Barry for giving me this opportunity — I’ll owe them forever. This is what I live for and I just can’t believe this has actually happened to me.
“I hit the front very soon on Minella Indo but I didn’t want to disappoint him and take him back. We landed over the last and he pricked his ears and was pulling himself up but not through tiredness — then he heard Rachael [Blackmore] coming and went again.”
“It’s unbelievable and I’m delighted for everyone — he’s an incredible horse and he comes alive here,” said Henry of Minella Indo. “In my head it’s still Monday evening and I’m about to wake up in my hotel room and nothing has even started yet — it’s brilliant and both Jack and Rachael are amazing.”
Who were the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup runners?
The following horses lined up in the Gold Cup this afternoon.
Minella Indo |Jockey: J W Kennedy | Place bet: 8/1
Henry de Bromhead, Ireland
Mr Barry Maloney
Santini | Jockey: Aidan Coleman | Place bet: 11/1
Mr & Mrs R. Kelvin-Hughes
Native River | Jockey: Richard Johnson | Place bet: 14/1
Royale Pagaille | Jockey: Charlie Deutsch | Place bet: 16/1
Mrs S. Ricci
Kemboy | Jockey: D E Mullins | Place bet: 18/1
W. P. Mullins, Ireland
Kemboy/Brett Graham/Ken Sharp Syndicate
Lostintranslation | Jockey: Robbie Power | Place bet: 28/1
Taylor & O’Dwyer
Black Op | Jockey: Tom Scudamore | Place bet: 200/1
Mr R. S. Brookhouse
Marcus Armytage on why Al Boum Photo isn’t a people’s horse…
“On Friday we have Al Boum Photo going for a third Wellchild Gold Cup and bidding to join Cottage Rake, Arkle and Best Mate, the only horses since the War to win it three times. If he succeeds, it will be an incredible feat from a horse who has singularly failed to capture the public imagination,” says Marcus.
“There are, it seems, several reasons for that: his name – it’s clever taking something from the dam and sire but, equally, it’s awful; we don’t see him often (once so far this season, twice last year); we know little about his owners Joe and Marie Donnelly except that with Shishkin and Melon they are increasingly big players as owners; and there is a chance that Al Boum Photo is not even the best horse in his stable, and he is not the world’s best jumper. He is also not a horse who stands out in a field of horses in a way that, say, his stable companion Monkfish does.
“However there is only one way to judge a racehorse. Forget its looks – Langer Dan is not especially big – or name, or the manner in which it wins – narrowly. Al Boum Photo is more than capable and has a winning attitude. If he wins a third Gold Cup we should give him the credit he deserves, and maybe then the public will start to love him.”
What is the prize money for winning?
The total prize pot for the 2021 WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase £625,000 and the winner takes home £263,766 making it the most valuable jumps race in Britain and Ireland after the Grand National.
2020: Al Boum Photo – read the race report
2019: Al Boum Photo – read the race report
2018: Native River – read the race report
2017: Sizing John – read the race report
2016: Don Cossack – read the race report
2015: Coneygree – read the race report
2014: Lord Windermere – read the race report
2013: Bobs Worth – read the race report
2012: Synchronised – read the race report
2011: Long Run – read the race report
Winning-most trainer, horse, jockey and owner
The all-time leading Cheltenham Gold Cup trainer is Tom Dreaper, who won it a total of five times, thanks to Prince Regent (1946), Arkle (1964-66) and Fort Leney (1968). The all-time most successful horse in the Cheltenham Gold Cup is Golden Miller, who won it a total of five times across five consecutive years – 1932 to 1936. The top all-time Cheltenham Gold Cup jockey is Pat Taaffe, who won a total of four times – three times on Arkle (1964-66) and one on Fort Leney (1968). And the leading Cheltenham Gold Cup owner, Dorothy Paget won it seven times – five times with Golden Miller (1932-36), as well as with Roman Hackle (1940) and Mont Tremblant (1952).
Most successful previous winners
Golden Miller: won five consecutive Gold Cups from 1932 to 1936 and in 1934 became the only horse ever to win the Aintree Grand National and the Gold Cup in the same season.
Cottage Rake: won three consecutive Gold Cups from 1948-1950.
Arkle: won three consecutive Gold Cups in 1963-1965.
L’Escargot: won the Gold Cup twice in 1970 and 1971.
Best Mate: won the Gold Cup three times in 2002-2004, the first three-timer since Arkle.
About the Gold Cup trophy
A new Gold Cup is cast every year for the winner of this race each year. The trophy is worth approximately £10,000 and made of 10 ounces of gold. In 2010, a Gold Cup won in 1988 was stolen by thieves from racehorse owner Raymond Mould. Mr Mould won the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Charter Party, ridden by Richard Dunwoody and trained by David Nicholson.
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The history of the Cheltenham Gold Cup
The first horse race known as the Cheltenham Gold Cup was a flat race run over three miles during a three-day meeting in 1819 and won by a horse called Spectre. The race was run on a course on Cleeve Hill, which overlooks the current Cheltenham racecourse site. The races on Cleeve Hill became popular over the next decade and then interest diminished as steeplechasing became popular.
On 12 March 1924 the Gold Cup was first run as a chase race at Prestbury Park. The winner was a horse called Splash and he took home prize money of £685.
It was not until some years later that the Cheltenham Festival and the Gold Cup became the prestigious events that they are today.
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