As the name suggests, the Bet365 Jump Finale is a single-day fixture that marks the end of the National Hunt season in Britain. The Bet365 Jump Finale is staged annually, in late April, at Sandown Park Racecourse in the town of Esher, in Surrey, in the South East of England. Inaugurated in 1957, as Whitbread Day, the fixture was commonly known by that title even after Whitbread Brewers withdrew their sponsorship in 2001, despite subsequently being sponsored by At The Races, Betfred and, most recently, Bet365. Until 2013, the Bet365 Jump Finale was a mixed-code meeting, featuring Flat and National Hunt racing on the same card but, since then, has exclusively featured National Hunt racing.
Bet365 Gold Cup, formerly the Whitbread Gold Cup, remains the highlight of the day. A Grade 3 handicap steeplechase, run over 3 miles 4 furlongs and 166 yards, open to horses aged five years and upwards and worth £150,000 in prize money, the Bet365 Gold Cup has traditionally been a difficult race in which to carry weight. Since the turn of the twenty-first century, just four horses – Puntal in 2004, Lacdoudal in 2006, Tidal Bay in 2012 and Hadrian’s Approach in 2014 – have carried 11 stone or more to victory in the race.
The supporting card for the Bet365 Jump Finale also includes the Bet365 Celebration Chase, run over 1 mile 7 furlongs and 119 yards, open to horses aged 5 years and upwards and elevated to Grade 1 status in 2014. Since then, its roll of honour has included Sire De Grugy (2014), Sprinter Sacre (2016) and Altior (2018), all of whom had won the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival the previous month. Of course, the final day of the National Hunt season is the day on which National Hunt Jockeys’ Championship and the National Hunt Trainers’ Championship are decided, so part of the celebrations at the Bet365 Jump Finale is the presentation of prizes to the respective winners.