With the Cheltenham Festival fast approaching, this year there is something a little special. When the action takes place in March 2024, we get to witness the 100th anniversary of what is perhaps the most popular race of the 4 days: The Gold Cup.
Come March 15th, it’ll be The Gold Cup that brings the 4 days to an end, and you can be sure that there will be more people than ever looking to get in on the action. In fact, there’s no doubt that Cheltenham betting will be bigger than ever this year.
A Brief History of The Gold Cup
The Gold Cup is so important in the world of horse racing as it was one of the very first steeplechases that took place without a handicap. Previously, pretty much all steeplechases would see handicaps applied with weights being used to even out the chances of each horse.
Now, 100 years later and The Gold Cup has become the jewel in the crown of The Cheltenham Festival and is one of the UK’s most popular races.
The Iconic Cup Itself
The cup was first presented to Red Splash back in 1924. As you’d expect from its name, the cup is made up of both 9 and 18-carat gold. There’s no doubting the value of this cup and, for many years it was actually stored away in a bank vault. It wasn’t until 2018 that the cup was returned to Cheltenham and now the winners can, once again, get their hands on a piece of history.
As the 100th -anniversary approaches, the cup will also be touring so that as many people as possible are given the opportunity to appreciate this stunning cup. The tour will see the cup being taken to hospitals, schools, care homes and clubs.
The 100th year of The Gold Cup is also good news for charities. There has been a drive to celebrate this milestone by raising much-needed funds. Before the race has taken place, donations have already been presented to the likes of the Cheltenham Tigers Wheelchair Rugby Club.
Back in June of 2023, fundraisers also took part in a challenge to boost the books of The Jockey Club’s own charity. This saw a team climbing the highest peaks across the UK, with the final challenge taking place in Scotland.
Beyond The Gold Cup
Yes, The Gold Cup brings a close to the Cheltenham Festival, and for many, it is seen as the most important race of them all, but we can’t forget that there is so much more going on at this event. Over the course of 4 days, spectators attend in their thousands and get to witness some of the world’s very best jockeys and horses. This is a spectacle that is like no other.
There is no doubt that the 2024 Festival will be as popular as ever, and the 100th anniversary of The Gold Cup is sure to bring a wave of attention to this prestigious sporting event.