Bet365 Gold Cup

Run over three miles and five furlongs, the bet365 Gold Cup is a Grade three National Hunt race incorporating twenty-four fences and is for horses aged five years or older. The race is a handicap and takes place at Sandown Racecourse every year in April. The first race took place in 1957 and was initially named the Whitbread Cup, with its sponsors being Whitbread Brewers. Bet365 has been sponsoring the race since 2008.
The winner of the first-ever bet365 Gold Cup (Whitbread Cup) in 1957 was a horse called Much Obliged, ridden by Johnny East and trained by Neville Crump. Under the sponsorship of bet365, the first winner came from the yard of Phillip Hobbs. Monkerhostin was ridden by Richard Johnson. in 2008.
The race takes place on the final day of the National Hunt season, and the meeting has a dual card, with both National Hunt races and flat races taking place.

Most Successful Horse

Four horses share two victories each in the race, the first in 1968 and 1969 when Larbawn won. The first victory was under the jockeyship of Macer Gifford, while the jockey in the saddle for the second success was older brother Josh, both under trainer Michael Marsh.
Diamond Edge in 1979 and 1981 was next up. A significant jump at the last fence saw Diamond Edge leap in front of Master Smudge and stayed there up until the line, winning by two lengths. The jockey in 1979, Bill Smith was on Diamond Edge again two years later when he won again, this time getting his head in front ten yards from the line to win by one length on the Fulke Walwyn trained horse.
Running on well after hanging badly left in the home straight, Topsham Bay, ridden by Hywel Davies and trained by David Barons, managed to stay in front, winning by two and a half lengths from Artic Call. One year later and Topsham Bay returned, this time with Richard Dunwoody in the saddle. This time the horse finished a short head behind Givus A Buck. After a stewards inquiry, it was found that Topsham Bay had been bumped in the closing stages, and the placings were reversed.
The Paul Nichols trained horse Ad Hoc won the first of his two races in 2001 and two years later in 2003, both times under the guidance of Irish jockey Ruby Walsh. Winning with ease in 2001 at 14/1, Ad Hoc had second-placed Whatsupboys fifteen lengths behind in second crossing the line. Another victory by a wide margin in 2003 with Ad Hoc jumping the last six lengths clear, the horse pulled further clear in the home straight, winning by eight lengths from second place Stormez.

Leading Jockeys

With three wins to his name, Irish jockey Ron Barry heads the list of top jockeys in the bet365 Gold Cup. Ron recorded his first win in 1971 on Titus Oates, trained by Gordon Richards, winning by two lengths from Young Ash Leaf. Two years later, Ron Barry doubled his successes in the race with another winner, this time on the Fulke Walwyn trained horse, Charlie Potheen, with the race being switched to Newcastle from its usual home of Sandown.
One year on and Ron Barry took to the saddle on another Fulke Walwyn trained horse, the Dickler. The victory was surrounded by controversy, with Proud Tarquin, ridden by John Lawrence, veering slightly towards the Dikler, as both horses were head to head going towards the winning post, with Proud Tarquin crossing the line in front. After what seemed an age, the stewards, fairly or unfairly, awarded the race to the Dikler.

Leading Trainer

Fulk Walwyns seven bet365 Gold Cup wins put him at the top of the tree in the leading trainer stakes. His wins on Charlie Potheen in 1973, the Dikler in 1974, and Diamond Edge in 1979 and 1981 have already been mentioned. Those victories came later, with Fulke Walwyn gaining earlier success in 1958 with Taxidermist, ridden by John Lawerence. Nine years later saw David Nicholson onboard Mill House, recording Mr. Walwyn’s second victory in the race. The trainer had his final winner in the Sandown race in 1984 with Special Cargo, ridden by Kevin Mooney, seeing off Letoch by a neck, in what is considered to be one of the greatest ever steeplechase finishes.

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