Cheltenham Gold Cup
The most popular race on the National Hunt calendar takes place on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival. The best of the best in the jumping world face 22 fences that cover 3m2 ½ f. In order to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the horses have to possess great stamina and the ability to jump the hurdles fluently. Some of the most popular racehorses include Arkle, Golden Miller, Best Mate, Desert Orchid and Kauto Star were all winners of this race, which provides an exciting climax to the Cheltenham Festival.
This is one of the most recognized jump horse races in the UK and anywhere in the world. Everyone, irrespective of their interest in jump racing, tunes in for this race. From kids placing their first bet to seniors, it is a tradition to bet on the National, as people have done for the past 60 years. The 4m4f race with its challenging fences is a unique spectacle that you won’t see any other place. Since it is a handicap, the class of race might not be the highest, but when it comes to spills and thrills, nothing beats the Grand National. This event takes place every year in April.
The World Hurdle
On the Cheltenham Festival’s penultimate day, this race is the highlight. For staying hurdlers, the World Hurdle is the most prestigious race of the year. The stamina of the racehorses is examined with is three-mile trek around Cheltenham. Over the years, some amazing horses have won this race, including one of the best staying hurdlers of all-time, Big Buck, who won it four years in a row from 2009-12.
Queen Mother Champion Chase
This two-mile race takes place on the Festival’s second day and this time the chasers are at the fore and it is the championship event to wrap up the season. In 1980, the event received its title as we know it today and it was to pay respect to the Queen Mother and for her love of racing. Some of the famous champions include Master Minded, Sprinter Sacre and Moscow Flyer.
BetVictor Gold Cup
There are events at Cheltenham outside of the Festival and early in the jump season in November is one of the most thrilling handicaps, the BetVictor Gold Cup (formerly known as the Paddy Power Gold Cup). In Cheltenham in November, this race is the feature event. It takes place over 2m4 ½ f and in the handicap company you will find some first-rate grade one horses who are also in pursuit of the huge prize money.
Hennessy Gold Cup
Outside the English and Scottish Grand Nationals, the Hennessy Gold Cup has one of the highest chase handicaps with a prize fund of about £175,000. The race takes place annually in late November/early December and only the best performers are victorious here. Before ultimately winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup, horses like Bobs Worth, Denman and Arkle won here – need we say more?!
This race takes place in November at Haydock and is the National Hunt season’s first Grade One Event. This is a fairly new event on the horseracing calendar that was started in 2005. With 18 stiff fences over three miles, there are some helpful pointers to be discovered in this race prior to the Cheltenham Gold Cup, which takes place at a later time in the jumping calendar.
Among the most anticipated handicap chases on the racing calendar, this race takes place at Sandown after the Grand National in April. The 3m5 1/2f race has 24 fences that the racers will have to navigate. This race is a combination of mixed jumps and flat racing. Whitbread were the initial sponsors back in 1957. It was actually one of the first races in the UK to get a commercial sponsor – keep this in mind trivia enthusiasts!