December Gold Cup

The December Gold Cup at Cheltenham, recently known as the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup (2014-2020), is one of the most prestigious two-and-a-half-mile handicap chases of the season.

There have only been two dual winners; Poquelin (2009, 2010) and Frodon (2016 and 2018), both trained by Paul Nicholls.

Notable past winners include Flyingbolt (1965), Pendil (1973) and Pegwell Bay (1988).

Find out more December Gold Cup:

December Gold Cup

Race overview – Caspian Gold Cup

Horses must be four years old or older to compete in the Grade 3 National Hunt steeplechase, the December Gold Cup.

There are seventeen fences during the race, which is run on the New Course at Cheltenham over a distance of around 2 miles and 4 and a half furlongs (2 miles 4 furlongs and 127 yards, or 4,139 metres). It takes place in December every year.

December Gold Cup 2023 Odds

The December Gold Cup odds are listed below:

December Gold Cup Handicap Chase - BOG
  • Date: Saturday 10th of December 2022
  • Time: 13:50
  • Details: 12 Runners Cheltenham.
Il Ridoto
Stolen Silver
War Lord
Simply The Betts
Sole Pretender
Frero Banbou
Coconut Splash
Fern Hill
Storm Control
Kauto Riko

December Gold Cup 2023 Tips

The December Gold Cup tips are below:

  • 2 points to win for TBC at odds of TBC
  • 1 point each way for TBC at odds of TBC

Many December Gold Cup horses will race in more races throughout the years. Stay updated on the horses and place ante-post bets if you want to wager on them.

December Gold Cup Previous Winners

Year Winner Age Weight Jockey Trainer
1963Limeking610–12Toss TaaffeDanny Morgan
1964Flying Wild810-06Tommy CarberryDan Moore
1965Flyingbolt612-06Pat TaaffeTom Dreaper
1966The Laird510-09Jeff KingBob Turnell
1967no race 1967 [a]
1968Tassilo1010-01Aly BranfordFulke Walwyn
1969Titus Oates711–13Ron BarryGordon W. Richards
1970Simian811-08David MooreAuriol Sinclair
1971Leap Frog712-01Val O'BrienTom Dreaper
1972Arctic Bow710–12Andrew TurnellBob Turnell
1973Pendil812-07Richard PitmanFred Winter
1974Garnishee1010-06David MouldHarry Thomson Jones
1975Easby Abbey811-10Ron BarryPeter Easterby
1976no race 1976 [b]
1977Even Melody811-02Colin HawkinsNeville Crump
1978The Snipe810-00Anthony WebberJohn Webber
1979Father Delaney710–10Alan BrownPeter Easterby
1980Bueche Giorod910-00Bryan SmartJenny Pitman
1981no race 1981 [c]
1982Observe610–11John FrancomeFred Winter
1983Fifty Dollars More811-10Richard LinleyFred Winter
1984Beau Ranger609-10John HurstJohn Thorne
1985Combs Ditch911-09Colin BrownDavid Elsworth
1986Oregon Trail610-07Ronnie BegganSimon Christian
1987Bishops Yarn810-07Richard GuestToby Balding
1988Pegwell Bay710–13Brendan PowellTim Forster
1989Clever Folly910-04Neale DoughtyGordon W. Richards
1990no race 1990 [c]
1991Kings Fountain811–10Anthony ToryKim Bailey
1992Another Coral911-04Richard DunwoodyDavid Nicholson
1993Fragrant Dawn910-02Declan MurphyMartin Pipe
1994Dublin Flyer810-02Brendan PowellTim Forster
1995no race 1995 [d]
1996Addington Boy811–10Tony DobbinGordon W. Richards
1997Senor El Betrutti811-03Graham BradleySusan Nock
1998Northern Starlight710-01Tony McCoyMartin Pipe
1999Legal Right610–13Richard JohnsonJonjo O'Neill
2000Go Roger Go811-00Norman WilliamsonEdward O'Grady
2001no race 2001 [d]
2002Fondmort610-05Mick FitzgeraldNicky Henderson
2003Iris Royal [e]710–13Mick FitzgeraldNicky Henderson
2004Monkerhostin710-02Richard JohnsonPhilip Hobbs
2005Sir Oj810-00Paul CarberryNoel Meade
2006Exotic Dancer611-04Tony DobbinJonjo O'Neill
2007Tamarinbleu711-08Denis O'ReganDavid Pipe
2008no race 2008 [f]
2009Poquelin611-08Ruby WalshPaul Nicholls
2010Poquelin711-07Ian PophamPaul Nicholls
2011Quantitativeeasing610-07Barry GeraghtyNicky Henderson
2012Unioniste410-00Harry DerhamPaul Nicholls
2013Double Ross710-08Sam Twiston-DaviesNigel Twiston-Davies
2014Niceonefrankie811-05Aidan ColemanVenetia Williams
2015Village Vic810-00Richard JohnsonPhilip Hobbs
2016Frodon410-10Sam Twiston-DaviesPaul Nicholls
2017Guitar Pete710-02Ryan DayNicky Richards
2018Frodon611-12Bryony FrostPaul Nicholls
2019Warthog710-03David NoonanDavid Pipe
2020Chatham Street Lad810-10Darragh O'KeeffeMichael Winters
2021Coole Cody1010-12Adam WedgeEvan Williams
2022no race 2022 [d]

Famous December Gold Cup Winners

The race was run as the Massey Ferguson Gold Cup from 1963 to 1980.

Flyingbolt defied the top weight of 12st 6lbs to win this race in 1965. He is still officially rated second only to his stable companion Arkle, both trained by Tom Dreaper in Ireland.

Flyingbolt was a brilliant hurdler as well as a leading chaser, winning the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Irish Champion Hurdle. He also finished third in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. He won 18 races including the Arkle Trophy, the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Irish Grand National.

Fred Winter trained Pendil to win this race with 12st 7lbs on his back in 1973. He won the King George VI Chase at Kempton in 1972 and 1973 and was second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. His weight-defying victory in this race was arguably the best performance of his career.

Although nothing of the class of Pendil or Flyingbolt has won in more recent years, it has remained a very competitive event.

Popular winners in the 1980’s include Observe (1982), Fifty Dollars More (1983), Beau Ranger (1984), Combs Ditch (1985) and Pegwell Bay (1988).

Poquelin (2009 and 2010) became the first horse to win the race twice. His achievement was matched by Frodon in 2016 and 2018. His second victory was notable for carrying 11st 12lbs with Bryony Frost in the saddle. He went on to win the King George VI Chase at Kempton in 2020.

Key December Gold Cup Trials

November’s Gold Cup Chase (previously known as the BetVictor Gold Cup) over the same course and distance has been the key form guide for this race in recent years. Seven of the last twelve winners ran in that race. It is worth noting that none of them had won and only three had been placed so it is a race worth re-running for hard luck stories.

Three of the last twelve winners returned to Prestbury Park for their next race in the Cheltenham Trophy Handicap Chase. Double Ross (2013) and Village Vic (2015) won both races. Targets for the winner vary at the Cheltenham Festival in March. Frodon won the Ryanair Chase while Coole Cody won the Festival Plate.

December Gold Cup Betting Trends

The last twelve favourites have all been beaten in this race.

The average winning SP during the same period is over 10-1 so that indicates just how tricky a handicap this is. Only two horses carried more than 11 stone to victory during that period; Niceonefrankie (2014) carried 11st 5lbs and Frodon (2018) carried 11st 12lbs.

French imports Unioniste (2012) and Frodon (2016) both won as four-year-olds but the most successful age range has been from six to eight.

Coole Cody (2021) won it as a ten-year-old, the oldest winner since Garnishee won at the same age in 1974.

December Gold Cup – Top Trainers and Jockeys

Paul Nicholls is the most successful trainer in the history of the race with five winners; Poquelin (2009, 2010), Unioniste (2012), Frodon (2016, 2018). Irish raiders are not that common in this event, Chatham Street Lad (2020) and Sir Oj (2005) being the only victories for the Emerald Isle since 2000.

The leading jockey is Richard Johnson who has three victories; Legal Right (1999), Monkerhostin (2004) and Village Vic (2015).

The last seventeen renewals have all been won by different jockeys.

Betting on the December Gold Cup

The December Gold Cup is one of the trickiest handicap chases of the season for punters to solve.

The clues are often hidden in the big handicap chase at the November meeting but the winner takes some finding. A thrilling spectacle and often a large field for each-way betting purposes.

Popular Questions

What are important facts about December Gold Cup?

Here are some important facts about December Gold Cup:

  • The December Gold Cup is run at Cheltenham Racecourse, Great Britain
  • The December Gold Cup is for horses aged 4 and over
  • The December Gold Cup is a National Hunt Steeplechase in Great Britain
  • The December Gold Cup distance is 2 miles and 4½ furlongs

Summary of the December Gold Cup

Thank you for reading our December Gold Cup guide.

It is a highly competitive handicap and has been won by many top-class stayers over the year, with many going on to have success at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Related December Articles


As the Founder of British Racecourses, I have a life-long passion for horse racing and have loved the sport as long as I can remember. I am also a keen racehorse owner and have worked in the gambling industry for several years. I set up British Racecourses with the desire to share my passion for racing with other like-minded people.