As the 2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup approaches, we take a look at some of the facts and figures behind the most valuable non-handicap chase in Britain. The total prize money for the 2019 running is £625,000, with £351,687 to the winner and prize money down to the eighth home.
Magners is the new sponsor for 2019, succeeding Timico (2016-2018). Betfred (2012-2015) inherited the sponsorship after taking over the Tote which backed the race from 1980. Piper Champagne was the first sponsor, between 1975 and 1979.
The initial Cheltenham Gold Cup was a three-mile Flat race in 1819, won by Mr Bodenham's Spectre. The chase, as we now know it, was introduced in 1924, when Red Splash was successful. The winning prize money then was £700.
The 1924 Gold Cup trophy, acquired by Cheltenham Racecourse in 2018 after being kept in a bank vault for years, will be presented to the winning connections of the 2019 Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup. The 2019 winning owner will receive a replica of the original Cheltenham Gold Cup to keep, with the 1924 Cheltenham Gold Cup, the new perpetual trophy, remaining on display at Cheltenham Racecourse.
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From the number of millions of pounds bet each year and whopping prize money up for grabs, to the year it all began and the number of fences jumped during Cheltenham Gold Cup... here are your 30 need-to-know numbers as we count down to The Festival presented by Magners.
Affordability improving at the fastest rate in eight years
• 100,000,000 The Gloucestershire economic impact of The Festival each year, in millions of pounds sterling.
• 4,590,000 The record amount of prize money on offer at The Festival 2018; the most of any Jumps festival in the world with over £1,000,000 each day.
• 2,300,000 The amount of money taken from the cash machines at The Festival 2016.
• 625,000 The prize money available for the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup.
• 134,600 People using Cheltenham Spa train station over the four days of racing.
• 80,000 The number of movements between Cheltenham Racecourse and town on the shuttle bus service.
• 75,000 The maximum capacity at Cheltenham on Cheltenham Gold Cup Day.
• 65,000 Average attendance over the four-day period of The Festival.
• 45,000 The number of bread rolls eaten at The Festival in 2015.
• 45,000 Afternoon teas served to customers at The Festival 2015.
• 36,500 Vehicles parked over the four days.
• 21,120 The distance,in feet,run during the National Hunt Chase,The Festival’s longest race.
• 8,000+ Gallons of tea and coffee served.
• 5,936 The number of staff employed over The Festival.
• 2001 The only year, besides the periods during the two World Wars, that The Festival has been cancelled – and it was due to foot-and-mouth disease.
• 1934 The year Golden Miller became the first horse to win both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Grand National in a single season.
• 350 The number of chefs on site.
• 100 Helicopter movements per day.
• 30 The number of extra flights put on by Ryanair on the Dublin to Birmingham route during The Festival period, with around 20,000 customers using Ryanair.
• 28 The number of National Hunt races run at The Festival.
• 22 The number of fences jumped during the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
• 9 Tons of potatoes consumed during The Festival.
• 7 The most wins by a jockey,Ruby Walsh,in a single year.
• 6 The most consecutive victories by a horse in any Cheltenham Festival race; Quevega in the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle between 2009 and 2014.
• 5 Tons of smoked and fresh salmon consumed at The Festival.
• 5 The number of feature races run during The Festival, including the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, Unibet Champion Hurdle, the Ryanair Chase and SunBets Stayers’ Hurdle.
• 2 The shortest distance raced at The Festival,in miles.