The 2020 Cheltenham Festival gets underway on Tuesday, with the best British and Irish-trained horses heading south in a bid to triumph on one of the biggest stages. The Cheltenham Gold Cup on the final day of the festival is the highlight, however, there’s plenty of other opportunities to hit the headlines. So, ahead of the highly anticipated four-day meet, we’ve decided to take a look back at some of the most memorable moments in Cheltenham Festival history.
Arkle pips Mill House in 1964
Many expected Mill House to continue his dominance in the 1964 Cheltenham Gold Cup, however, he met his match in Arkle. Arkle went on to win three Gold Cups, a King George and an Irish Grand National, but it was his memorable display in 1964 that has rightly gone down in history.
Kauto Star's regains Gold Cup
Kauto Star is the only horse in history to regained the Gold Cup after losing it, with that success coming in 2009. Denman won the race in 2008, but Kauto Star dominated his stablemate the year after to take back his crown.
Desert Orchid wins the Gold Cup
Desert Orchid was one of the most loved horses in the history of the sport, so when the grey won the 1989 Gold Cup, plenty were delighted. In tricky conditions, Desert Orchid was roared on by a packed crowd and pipped Yahoo up the hill.
Michael Dickinson's fab five
Trainer Michael Dickinson had the first five horses home in the 1983 Cheltenham Gold Cup, in one of the most incredible accomplishments in the festival’s history. Bregawn won the race, but it was remembered for Dickinson’s fab five.
Annie Power's dramatic fall
The first day of the 2015 Cheltenham Festival saw fan favourite Annie Power suffer a dramatic fall in the Mares’ Hurdle. The bookmakers were on course to lose out with Annie Power dominating, however, with Ruby Walsh on board, Annie Power fell at the last which shocked the entire crowd.
Norton’s Coin shock win
One of the biggest upsets in the history of the Cheltenham Festival came during the 1990 Gold Cup. Norton’s Coin was a 100/1 outsider with Desert Orchid the favourite to defend his crown, so when the nine-year-old outsider put in a then-record breaking performance, it rightly went down as one of the best moments the festival has ever seen.
Sprinter Sacre's remarkable return
Nicky Henderson’s Sprinter Sacre was suffering with an irregular heartbeat which almost ended his career prior to the 2016 festival. So when he won his second-ever Queen Mother Champion Chase, it was quite the moment and capped a remarkable return.
Big Buck’s fourth straight World Hurdle win
Big Buck is rightly regarded as one of the best, and back in 2012, he cemented his place in history. Paul Nicholls’ hurdler won his fourth straight World Hurdle win at the Festival, something which had never been done before.
Bryony Frost makes history aboard Frodon
Bryony Frost became the first female to claim a Grade One victory at Cheltenham at last year’s festival. She led Frodon over jumps to a win in the Ryanair Chase.
Best Mate makes it three in a row
Best Mate was one of the best and most popular horses in the history of the festival and came into the 2004 Gold Cup chasing a memorable three wins in a row. Trainer Henrietta Knight watched on as Best Mate became the first horse since Arkle in 1966 to win the event on three occasions.
Nicky Henderson's record breaking day
The 2012 Cheltenham Festival was a memorable one for Nicky Henderson. The iconic trainer broke the record for the most successful trainer in Cheltenham history while also having four winners in one day, another record!
Istabraq dominated the field in the 2000 Champions Hurdle, completing a third successive win. His display in the new millennium was extremely impressive. The 2001 festival was cancelled due to foot-and-mouth disease, which denied Istabraq the chance to become the first horse to win four Champion Hurdles.