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3.20 Gold Cup

The sport's leading chasers will again line up for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, the most prestigious contest on the racing calendar, with Bobs Worth seeking to become the seventh back-to-back winner of the blue riband event at this year's Festival.

The first Gold Cup was actually a three-mile Flat race, run in 1819 and won by Spectre. The rich history of the event since those meager beginnings would have been hard to predict when it was first run as a chase in 1924, for prize money of just £700.

Since then the race has provided us with some of the most unforgettable sporting, let alone racing, stories and achievements.

From Golden Miller’s record five consecutive wins from 1932-36, to Best Mate’s emotional hat-trick in 2002, 2003 and 2004 that was so skilfully masterminded by racing’s odd couple, Henrietta Knight and Terry Biddlecome.

From the legendary performances of Arkle, whose three victories between 1964 and 66 included a success over Mill House in one of the sports greatest ever duels and a later success at 1/10 favourite, to the great Irish mare, Dawn Run, the only horse to have won both the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup.

From the heroics of the sport’s most loved performer, Desert Orchid, whose success in the mud and rain of 1989 was voted by Racing Post readers as the greatest ever race, to what was rated in a similar pole as the greatest training feat of all time, Michael Dickinson’s first five home in 1983.

The race continues to serve up thrilling stories, and the combination of speed, stamina and jumping that is required means that it is the ultimate test of the thoroughbred over an extended 3m 2f trip.

Cheltenham Festival Friday - 14th March 2014

1.30 JCB Triumph Hurdle

2.05 Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle

2.40 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

3.20 Cheltenham Gold Cup

4.00 CGA Foxhunter Chase

4.40 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

5.15 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase

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