Home News cheltenham festival greatest gold cup winners from golden miller to kauto star

Cheltenham Festival: Greatest Gold Cup Winners from Golden Miller to Kauto Star



We sometimes use affiliate links in our content, when clicking on those we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you. By using this website you agree to our terms and conditions and privacy policy.
Gold Cup greats

The Cheltenham Festival is considered the pinnacle of jumps racing with the best National Hunt horses heading to Prestbury Park each March to contest in 28 races across four days.

There are many top races over the meeting, but it’s the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup, which is always run on the final day (Friday) that is the Festival highlight.

Over the years we’ve seen many top staying chasers etch their names in the Cheltenham Gold Cup history books – including five-time winner Golden Miller, plus Mill House, Arkle, Desert Orchid, Best Mate, Kauto Star, Denman and Al Boum Photo.

Best Bookmakers For Cheltenham Festival Free Bets

Looking for a flutter on the races? Claim the best online horse racing free bets from the best UK bookmakers.

  1. Betfred – Fantastic Cheltenham Festival sign up offer with generous bonuses
  2. bet365 – Excellent Cheltenham Festival odds and prices on all UK and Ireland races.
  3. BetUK – New bookie with great Cheltenham Festival horse racing offer
  4. BoyleSports – Best for daily horse racing enhances odds
  5. 888sport – Great Cheltenham Festival horse racing live stream for all UK and Ireland races

Golden Miller1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936

Owned by Dorothy Paget, this Gold Cup legend is the most successful horse in the race’s history with five wins on the bounce between 1932 and 1936.

He also landed the Grand National in 1934 to record a famous Gold Cup/National double.

When he eventually retired in 1939, Golden Miller finished with a race record of 29 wins from 52 races (56% winning strike-rate).

Golden Miller’s owner – Dorothy Paget – went onto win the Cheltenham Gold Cup twice more with Roman Hackle (1940) and Mont Tremblant (1952).

Did you know? Golden Miller was bred by Barry Geraghty’s grandfather – Laurence Geraghty

Arkle – 1964, 1965, 1966

Another household name to the older horse racing fans as Arkle become a firm favourite with punters after three Cheltenham Gold Cup wins between 1964 and 1966.

The last of those Gold Cups successes in 1966 saw him sent off at betting odds of just 1/10 – and in the process become the shortest-priced winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. A record he still holds today.

During his career, Arkle also landed other big races that included the Irish Grand National, King George VI Chase and Hennessy Gold Cup, but it was the Gold Cup – with three wins in – that he’s most famous for.

When he retired, Arkle ended with a race record of 27 wins from 35 starts (77% winning strike-rate)

Did you know? Two pints of Guinness were added to Arkle’s regular feed of oats each day

Desert Orchid – 1989

Okay, Dessie was more famed for his four King George VI Chase wins between 1986 and 1990, but he also added a Cheltenham Gold Cup to his CV in 1989.

The popular grey grabbed his Gold Cup win in heavy ground that day beating a horse called Yahoo in a sustained battle up the Cheltenham Hill to reward favourite backers at odds of 5/2.

Desert Orchid picked up just over £63k for winning the 1989 Cheltenham Gold Cup, while during his 23-race career he amassed £402k in total prize money.

With 13 wins from 23 races he ended with a (56%) winning strike rate and only finished out of the first three four times.

Did you know? After Dessie died in November 2006, his death made headlines all around the world, while his ashes were buried at Kempton Park – the scene of his four King George wins.

Norton’s Coin – 1990

Okay, probably not one of the Cheltenham Gold Cup greats, but Norton’s Coin went into the Cheltenham Festival ‘hall of fame’ after winning the 1990 renewal at odds of 100/1!

He also broke the hearts of Desert Orchid fans that day, who was back in third at the 10/11 favourite and current Gold Cup champion at the time.

That 100/1 win still stands as the biggest-priced Cheltenham Gold Cup win in the race’s history.

Did you know? After winning the 1990 Gold Cup, Norton’s Coin raced 18 more times – but only won once more

Best Mate – 2022, 2003, 2004

The slightly younger horse racing fans will remember the three Cheltenham Gold Cup wins between 2002 and 2004 of Best Mate.

Best Mate was trained by Henrietta Knight and ridden by Jim Culloty in all three of those Gold Cup successes.

During his career he also added a King George VI Chase (2002) to his name and won 11 of this 16 races over fences.

In fact, Best Mate was placed in a remarkable 15 of his 16 chase races and the only defeat out of the first two places came in the 2005 Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter (pulled up), which sadly resulted in him collapsing and dying of a suspected heart attack soon after.

Did you know? Best Mate never fell over hurdles or fences during his career

Kauto Star – 2007, 2009

KAUTO STAR – This Paul Nicholls super star is another of the more recent Cheltenham Gold Cup greats – winning the race in 2007 and 2009, plus he also finished second in the 2008 renewal behind is stablemate at the time Denman.

Both Gold Cup wins saw him being sent off as favourite (5/4 and 7/4), while when he won his 2009 race he became the first ever horse to regain the Gold Cup – a record that still stands today.

During his racing career he won a massive £3.7m in total prize money and bonuses, winning 19 of his 35 races (54%).

Did you know? When Kauto Star retired in 2012 he was sent to train as part of the GB dressage team.

Denman – 2008

This beast of a horse was the main rival to Kauto Star with many racing fans in one camp or the others – likened to the modern day ‘Messi or Ronaldo’ debates in football.

In 2008, Denman got his rewards for some epic battles when winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup – a performance to this day many believe was one of the greatest Gold Cup wins of all time.

He had his stablemate – Kauto Star – beaten 7 lengths back in second that day and it was one of those wins that you feel no horse (past or present) would have beaten him in. His jockey at the time, Sam Thomas backed that up saying “the best I am ever likely to ride – on his day no horse would beat him”

Kauto Star got his revenge on Denman in the 2009 Gold Cup with the places reversed. While from his remaining 10 career races since winning the Gold Cup, Denman won just once (2009 Hennessy) more.

During his career, he won 10 of his 19 chase starts and won just over £1.1k in total prize money.

Did you know? Denman’s nickname was ‘The Tank’

Al Boum Photo – 2019, 2020

The most recent two-time winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup after wins in 2019 and 2020.

This Willie Mullins-trained horse will also be back for more in 2022 as he looks to join Kauto Star as the only horses to regain the Gold Cup after losing out to Minella Indo.

You’d probably say that Al Boum Photo isn’t quite in the league of the other horses in this feature, but it’s hard to ignore a two-time winner of the Gold Cup and he deserves the credit – you never know he might even add another win in his race to his name!

Did you know? When Al Boum Photo fell in the 2018 RSA Chase, his jockey Ruby Walsh broke a leg and had to miss the remainder of the Festival.

Recent Cheltenham Gold Cup Winners

  • 2021 – MINELLA INDO (9/1)
  • 2020 – AL BOUM PHOTO (10/3 fav)
  • 2019 – AL BOUM PHOTO (12/1)
  • 2018 – NATIVE RIVER (5/1)
  • 2017 – SIZING JOHN (7/1)
  • 2016 – DON COSSACK (9/4 fav)
  • 2015 – CONEYGREE (7/1)
  • 2014 – LORD WINDERMERE (20/1)
  • 2013 – BOBS WORTH (11/4 fav)
  • 2012 – SYNCHRONISED (8/1)
  • 2011 – LONG RUN (7/2 fav)
  • 2010 – IMPERIAL COMMANDER (7/1)
  • 2009 – KAUTO STAR (7/4 fav)
  • 2008 – DENMAN (9/4)
  • 2007 – KAUTO STAR (5/4 fav)
  • 2006 – WAR OF ATTRITION (15/2)
  • 2005 – KICKING KING (4/1 fav)
  • 2004 – BEST MATE (8/11 fav)
  • 2003 – BEST MATE (13/8 fav)

Cheltenham Gold Cup Betting Trends

  • 19/19 – Aged 9 or younger
  • 18/19 – Had raced within the last 3 months
  • 17/19 – Had run over fences at Cheltenham before
  • 16/19 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
  • 16/19 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
  • 16/19 – Had won over at least 3m (chase) before
  • 14/19 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or more
  • 14/19 – Won last time out
  • 13/19 – Placed favourites
  • 12/19 – Had won 5 or more times over fences in the UK or Ire before
  • 11/19 – Rated 170 or higher
  • 11/19 – Irish bred
  • 9/19 – Winning favourites
  • 8/19 – Had last raced in the previous calendar year
  • 8/19 – Had won over fences at Cheltenham before
  • 8/19 – Irish-trained winners (5 of the last 6)
  • 5/19 – Last race was in the King George VI Chase (Kempton)
  • 4/19 – Won the Denman Chase (Newbury) last time out
  • 3/19 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
  • 2/19 – Ran in the Savills Chase last time out
  • 2/19 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
  • 2/19 – Trained by Willie Mullins (2 of the last 3)
  • The average winning SP in the last 18 renewals is 11/2

Other Cheltenham Gold Cup Stats

  • Only one horse (Kauto Star 2009) has ever regained the race
  • 27 of the last 28 winners have been aged 9 or younger
  • 9 of the last 20 winners came here fresh – did not race that same calendar year
  • 17 of the last 21 winners were rated 166 or higher
  • 21 of the last 23 winners had won a race already that current season
  • 15 of the last 21 winners had finished second or better at the Cheltenham Festival before
  • 11 of the last 22 winners had run in that season’s King George VI Chase (Kempton)
  • 21 of the last 22 winners had won a Grade One Chase contest before
  • The last winner aged older than 10 was in 1969 (What a Myth, 12)
More Filter Close Filter
Sort By
897 Codes claimed

Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus

Claim Bonus
Min deposit £/€/$10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £/€/$10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager the bonus amount 40 times within 14 days • Casino Bonus expires after 60 days • Withdrawal restrictions, payment methods, country & Full T&C’s apply.

Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets

Claim Bonus
T&C’s Apply. New customers on mobile only. 7 days to claim and stake £10 minimum bet at odds of 1.5 or greater to qualify. Free, void, cashed out or partially cashed out bets do not qualify. Max 3x £10 free bets credited on bet settlement. Free bets must be used on 4 or more selections with selection odds of 1.3 or greater. Free bets are non-withdrawable and stake not returned with winnings. 7 day expiry. 18+ BeGambleAware.org.

Bet £10 Get £10 Free Bet

Claim Bonus
This offer is for new customers only and is available once per household. Max. FreeBet amount: £10 Minimum Deposit and wagering on sport to activate the Free Bet is: £10 Void/cancelled or cashed out bets do not count towards wagering to activate the free bet. Offer valid only to customers making a first deposit of £10 or more.

Bet £10 Get £10 Free Bet

Claim Bonus
New customer offer only. A qualifying bet is a real money sports bet of at least £10 win or £0 each way at minimum fractional odds of evens (2.0 in decimal odds). We'll credit your account with 1 x 10 free bet upon settlement of qualifying bet. Promotion runs from 25/02/2022 until 31/06/2022. If this promotion is withdrawn it will not impact any qualifying bet you have placed during promotional period

Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets

Claim Bonus
New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org

50% Up To £50 Welcome Bonus

Claim Bonus
18+ begambleaware.org; New bettors get 50% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount; Bonus expires after 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for acca; Some bet types excluded; See full terms; See full terms; Terms apply; 18+

Bet £15 Get a £10 Free Bet

Claim Bonus
18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit,: £10, max £10 free bet valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets not eligible. Neteller,Skrill and Paypal not eligible. T&Cs apply

Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets

Claim Bonus
New UK, IE & Malta users only. Min. £10/€10 first deposit only using Debit Card or Trustly. Free bets expire in 90 days. T&Cs apply.

Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets

Claim Bonus
18+, UK only. Deposit and place a minimum £10 cash bet at single or accumulated odds of 1/1 or greater and you can qualify for up to £30 in free bets. Applies to first cash bet only. Free bets credited as 1 x £5 bet to use on Virtual Sports, the remaining Free bets shall be credited as 3 x £5 bets and a £10 Casino Bonus the next day. Cashed Out, Void or Draw No Bet wagers do not qualify for this promotion. Free Bets are credited upon qualifying first bet settlement. 7-day free bet expiry applies to all Free Bet awards. Available once per new customer. This offer cannot be combined with any other welcome or site promotion. Full T&C's apply.

Get a Free Bet Up to £25 + 10 Free Spins

Claim Bonus
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £25 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free Spins on Asgard Warriors. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 20 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org

Bet £10 Get £10 Free Bet

Claim Bonus
Valid until further notice. New players after 31.03.2021. Valid on first Sports bet. Min. dep. £10. Min. £10 wag. on first bet with min. total odds of 1/1 to qualify. Bet must be settled. Bonus Wag. req.1x on min. 2-fold combi bets (min. 1/4 odds each selection) with min. final odds of 1/1. Virtual bets and cashed out bets do not qualify. One-time offer. Bonuses credited following working day..

Bet £10 Get A £10 Free Bet

Claim Bonus
New players only. Free bet is a one-time stake of £10, minimum odds of 1.5, stake is not returned. 10x wagering the winnings. Wagering occurs from real balance first. Wagering requirement is calculated on bonus bets only, wagering starts from real funds. Max conversion £20. Valid for 7 days from issue. Excluded Skrill deposits. Full T&Cs apply.

Bet £10 Get £10 Free Bets

Claim Bonus
Valid until further notice | New players after 31.03.2021 | Valid on first Sports bet | Min. dep. £10 req. | Min. £10 wag. on the first bet with min. total odds of 1/1 to qualify | Bet must be settled | Bonus Wag. req.1x on min. 2-fold Acca bets (min. 1/4 odds each selection) with min. final odds of 1/ 1| Virtual and cashed out bets do not qualify | One-time offer | Bonuses credited following working day | T&Cs apply | 18+ | BeGambleAware.org

Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets

Claim Bonus
Simply open an account, deposit, place a £10+ Fixed Odds individual bet on any sports market at odds of 2.00 (1/1) or greater and once the bet settles, you’ll be issued the first £10 Free Bet, with the second £10 Free Bet issued 24 hours later.

Interested in the Cheltenham Festival? Follow our guides:

Interested in the Gold Cup? Follow our guides:

Interested in the Grand National? Follow our guides: