Taking place at Sandown this Grade 3 National Hunt steeplechase is held in late April each year. The distance of the Bet365 Gold Cup is 3 miles 5 furlongs and there are twenty four fences to be cleared. The meeting in which this race occurs features both flat and national hunt racing action.
This handicap race was first held in 1959 and so relatively speaking it’s one of the more recent ‘ones to watch’ in comparsion to races steeped in centuries rather than decades of history like the Aintree Grand National. The race was originally called the Whitbread Cup and has had other sponsors over the years such as ‘At The Races’ and Betfred. It has the distinction of being the last big race of the National Hunt season, and the seeing the horses jump the famous Railway Fences is a real ‘you’ve got to be there’ moment.
Suited to horses aged five and above, the race was clearly a favourite of trainer Fulke Walwyn, winning 7 times between 1958 and 1984 with horses such as Mill House, Diamond Edge (twice) and Special Cargo. Diamond Edge shares the joint record of most successful horse with two wins, an honour shared with Larbawn, Topsham Bay and Ad Hoc.
Prize money for the race was £150,000 in 2018 with almost £85,000 going to the winner (£31,800 for second, and £15,915 for third). The winner in that year was the 8 year old horse Step Back ridden by Jamie Moore and trained by Mark Bradstock. It was a 7-1 shot. The 2017 winner was outsider Henllan Harri, at much more generous odds of 40-1!