With Cheltenham just a few weeks away, horse racing enthusiasts will be getting ready for the excitement and thrill that this world-famous event brings. Over the years, it’s provided fans with some of the best memories and historic moments ever witnessed in the sport especially if you’re a betting man, at timeform.com they thrive on all of the weird and wonderful things that happen in horse racing – here are ten of the best.
1. Dawn Run wins two cups
Dawn Run remains the only mare in the history of the festival to achieve the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup double in 1986. She was ridden to success for the Gold Cup by Jonjo O’Neill with an exhilarating finish.
2. Istabraq wins three Champion Hurdles
In 2000, Aidan O’Brien’s Istabraq won the premier hurdle competition three times consecutively, making him only the fifth horse ever to do so.
3. Kauto Star makes the history books
Kauto Star made history when he became the only horse in history to win four consecutive King George VI Chase meets, a total of five wins for this particular horse. The achievement cemented the horse as one of the greatest horses of modern times, particularly in 2009 when he delivered a faultless performance against rival Denman.
4. Arkle earns a 1966 triumph
Fans will concur that Arkle is regarded as the best steeplechaser in history, which was confirmed when he won the Gold Cup in 1966 for the third year running by 30 lengths. It was this achievement that made Arkle a household name.
5. Four straight World Hurdles for Big Bucks
In 2012, Big Bucks won his fourth straight World Hurdle at the festival – an achievement that had never been done – and is still considered to be one of the greatest staying hurdlers ever to grace the track.
6. Norton’s Coin destroys the odds
The 1990 Cheltenham Gold Cup was one for the books when Norton’s Coin caused the biggest upset when he came out on top of 100/1 odds. Trained by Sirrel Griffiths, there was little confidence in the nine-year-old at the time, but not only did he win, but he also won in a record time of six minutes and 30 seconds!
7. Henderson’s double record day
Nicky Henderson broke two records in a single day when he became the most successful trainer in Cheltenham’s history, with 44 winners, and also saw four of his horses win in the same day. It remains the most successful day for any trainer and is one of the festivals most memorable moments.
8. Dessie’s 1989 Gold Cup win
In 1989, Desert Orchid, also referred to affectionately as Dessie, won the Gold Cup to a roaring crowd with an amazing finish, despite the heavens opening on the day of the race making for taxing conditions.
9. Dickinson’s five-horse win
Trainer Michael Dickinson enjoyed a particularly impressive moment back in 1983 when he was responsible for the first five horses to pass the line in the Gold Cup.
10. L’Escargot’s win in 1970
L’Escargot won back to back Gold Cups in 1970 and 1971, but it was the 1970 race that really made him a well-known name. At a 33/1 outsider, he wound up winning by 1 ½ lengths.