The 2020 Cheltenham Festival is now a thing of the past and the final day of the meeting – also known as Gold Cup Day – didn’t disappoint. Irish trainer Willie Mullins pulled off an almighty come back to pip Gordon Elliott – who looked certain to regain the Top Trainer allocate – of the award.
With UK and Irish racing put on hold, due to the global Coronavirus pandemic, don’t worry if you’re looking for horse racing betting as you can still try your hand on other meetings across Europe and America. And, with that in mind, let’s have a look back at the races on Gold Cup Day.
Triumph Hurdle (Grade One)
The Triumph Hurdle started the final day of in dramatic fashion. 5/2 favourite Goshen was storming towards the finish, 10 lengths clear of his nearest competitor. However, a dodgy jump at the last hurdle, from the Gary Moore-trained horse, resulted in him getting his legs tangled and ending up unseating jockey Jamie Moore – the son of the trainer. This meant that outsider Burning Victory – ridden by Paul Townend – was able to surge to victory and start Mullins’ comeback.
‘It’s not a victory I’m going to celebrate hugely — we got the rub of the green,” the Irish trainer said.
- Burning Victory 12/1
- Aspire Tower 5/1
- Allmankind 7/2
County Handicap Hurdle (Grade Three)
Mullins was at it again in the second race of the day. Outright favourite Saint Roi – ridden by Barry Geraghty – was neck-and-neck with several others at the last hurdle. However, he had more quality than the rest of the pack, and stormed up the hill to land the Irish jockey his fifth victory – beating stablemate Aramon – ridden by Townend – by over four lengths. Mullins’ Buildmeupbuttercup also placed in fourth. The win also meant that owner JP McManus had won every handicap hurdle over the four days up to that point.
- Saint Roi 11/2F
- Aramon 8/1
- Embittered 14/1
- Buildmeupbuttercup 16/1
Novices’ Hurdle (Grade One)
Mullins made it a hat-trick of victories with a third successive win in the Grade One Novices’ Hurdle. After a mistake mid-way through the race, Townend guided Monkfish back to the front-end of the field. The Mullins-trained horse jumped the final hurdle neck-and-neck with Latest Exhibition, Fury Road and Thyme Hill.
It was impossible to call a winner as the four horses raced towards the finish, but it was Monkfish – who was wedged between Latest Exhibition and Fury Road – who got ahead by a neck, just before the finish, to scoop the victory.
- Monkfish 5/1
- Latest Exhibition 9/2
- Fury Road 5/1
Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade One)
Al Boum Photo became the first horse since Best Mate in 2003 to win the Gold Cup back-to-back, whilst the victory also made it four wins in as many races for Irishman Mullins. The favourite took the last hurdle alongside Lostintranslation, although as the Colin Tizzard-trained horse fell off the pace, it was Santini who was closing the gap. A couple more yards of track would have been enough for the Nicky Henderson horse, but instead, Al Boum Photo held on by a neck – also giving Townend his third win of the day, and fifth in total.
- Al Boum Photo 10/3F
- Santini 5/1
- Lostintranslation 10/1
St. James’s Place Foxhunter Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase
It Came To Pass – who was a 66/1 outsider – caused the biggest upset of the Festival in the penultimate race – winning the Foxhunter Challenge Cup by an almighty 10 lengths ahead of 11/4 favourite Billaway – who was aiming to make it a jaw-dropping five from five for Mullins. Second favourite Shantou Flyer was a further five lengths behind in third.
“I’m over the moon. We won this race 29 years ago, with my brother William riding. Sadly my father isn’t with us anymore, but I’m sure he was looking down on us today,” Eugene O’Sullivan – who trains the winner – said.
- It Came To Pass 66/1
- Billaway 11/4F
- Shantou Flyer 3/1
Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Grade Three)
Chosen Mate showed why he was the market favourite in this race, pulling away at the last hurdle to beat stablemate Éclair De Beaufeu by almost two lengths. The victory meant that Gordon Elliott pulled level with Mullins on seven victories. However, the latter was awarded the Top Trainer title on the grounds of more placed finishes. It was also a good run from 10/1 outsider Us And Them to finish third – just over five lengths behind the leaders.
- Chosen Mate 7/2F
- Éclair De Beaufeu 13/2
- Us And Them 10/1
- Greaneteen 5/1