Haldon Gold Cup

James Dooley avatar

Written By:


The Haldon Gold Cup is a Grade 2 race at Exeter over an extended two miles and one furlong in late October or early November.

The Haldon Gold Cup features possible contenders for the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Notable past winners include Travado (1993, 1994, 1995), Best Mate (2001), Edredon Bleu (2002, 2003), Cue Card (2012) and Greaneteen (2020, 2022).

Find out more about the Haldon Cup:

Haldon Gold Cup

Race Overview

Horses must be four years old or older to compete in the Grade 2 National Hunt steeplechase known as the Haldon Gold Cup in Great Britain.

There are twelve obstacles to leap during the race, which is raced at Exeter over a distance of around 2 miles and 1 and a half furlongs (2 miles, 1 furlong, and 109 yards, or 3,520 metres).

Every year, the race is planned for late October or early November.

Haldon Gold Cup Previous Winners

2013Somersby9Dominic ElsworthMick Channon
2014God’s Own6Paddy BrennanTom George
2015Vibrato Valtat6Sam Twiston-DaviesPaul Nicholls
2016Sir Valentino7Adrian HeskinTom George
2017Politologue6Sam Twiston-DaviesPaul Nicholls
2018God’s Own10Paddy BrennanTom George
2019Janika6Daryl JacobNicky Henderson
2020Greaneteen6Harry CobdenPaul Nicholls
2021Eldorado Allen7Brendan PowellColin Tizzard
2022Greaneteen8Harry CobdenPaul Nicholls
2023Elixir De Nutz9Freddie GingellJoe Tizzard

Haldon Gold Cup Previous Result

Take a look at this result from Exeter Racecourse:

Famous Haldon Gold Cup Winners

Early Haldon Gold Cup winners include Barnbrook Again (1988), Panto Prince (1989), Sabin Du Loir (1990, 1991) and Waterloo Boy (1992). Nicky Henderson’s Travado won the race for three successive seasons from 1993 to 1995, the only three-time winner in the history of the event. The standard has been maintained since the race became a limited handicap in 1996.

Queen Mother Champion Chase winners Viking Flagship (1997) and Flagship Uberalles (1999) were both successful here. Other top class winners include Edredon Bleu (2002, 2003), Azertyuiop (2004) and Cue Card (2012). Edredon Bleu’s biggest victory came in the King George VI Chase in 2003 when winning at 25-1.

Edredon Bleu was a stable companion of three times Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Best Mate. The latter started favourite for the Haldon Gold Cup in 2001 which he won impressively by 20 lengths. He completed his famous Gold Cup hat-trick in 2002, 2003 and 2004. He returned to Exeter for this race in 2005 but tragically died of a heart attack after being pulled up.

Paul Nicholls has a fine record in this race and his victories include Politologue (2017). The popular grey won several top races including the Tingle Creek Chase (2017, 2020) and the Melling Chase (2018). His biggest career success came in the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2020. Nicholls won it again in 2020 and 2022 with Greaneteen. He carried 11st 12lbs to victory in 2022, conceding 20lbs to stable companion and runner-up Dolos.

Key Haldon Gold Cup Trials

This is almost always the first race of the new season for the leading contenders. Sir Valentino was a notable exception in 2016 who was race-fit from three races in the summer, including a victory at Market Rasen. Eleven of the last twelve winners were making their seasonal debut.

A high percentage of previous winners had already been successful in at least one grade 1 or grade 2 chase. Most of them had run in Grade 1 events at the Cheltenham Festival, notably the Champion Chase or the Ryanair Chase.

Six-year-olds have the best recent record in this race, winning six of the last twelve renewals. Martin Pipe’s Sabin Du Loir is the oldest winner in the history of the race, claiming the second of his Haldon Gold Cup wins at the age of twelve in 1991. Both he and Edredon Bleu (2003) were successful here at the age of eleven.

Favourites have a good recent record in this race with six wins in twelve seasons. Cue Card (2012) was a strong Haldon Gold Cup favourite in 2012 and won at 5-6. Planet Of Sound (2009), Vibrato Valtat (2015) and Politologue (2017) were also winning favourites. Janika (2019) and Greaneteen (2020) were the most recent market leaders to oblige.

Sir Valentino (2016) was the longest priced winner in recent times at 10-1. He was the first double figure priced horse to win the race since Monkerhostin defeated Kauto Star at the same price in 2005.

All but one of the last twelve winners was rated 151 or higher. The exception was Sir Valentino (147). The highest rated winner during that time was Janika (162) in 2019.

Seven of the last twelve winners ran in the Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown next time. Only Politologue (2017) managed to win both races. The Cheltenham Festival target for Haldon Gold Cup winners is either the Queen Mother Champion Chase (two miles) or the Ryanair Chase (two and a half miles). Barnbrook Again won the Haldon Gold Cup and the Champion Chase in the same season (1988-89). Cue Card won here before going on to win the Ryanair Chase (2012-2013).

Haldon Gold Cup – Top Trainers and Jockeys

Paul Nicholls is the trainer to follow in the Haldon Gold Cup. Greaneteen provided him with a record eighth victory when scoring for a second time in 2022. He first won the race in 1998 with Lake Kariba and followed up the following year with Flagship Uberalles. Azertyuiop (2004), Tchico Polos (2010), Vibrato Valtat (2015) and Politologue (2017) were his other Haldon Gold Cup winners.

Henrietta Knight was successful four times; Best Mate (2001), Edredon Bleu (2002, 2003) and Impek (2006). Tom George won with God’s Own (2012, 2018) and Sir Valentino (2016).

The honour of leading jockey in the race is currently shared by Peter Scudamore and Richard Johnson with four apiece. Scudamore won on Artifice (1983), Admiral’s Cup (1986) and Sabin Du Loir (1990, 1991). Johnson’s victories came aboard Viking Flagship (1997), Monkerhostin (2005), Ashley Brook (2008) and Planet Of Sound (2009).

Popular Questions

What are important facts about the Haldon Gold Cup?

Here are some important facts about Haldon Gold Cup:

  • The Haldon Gold Cup is run at Exeter Racecourse, Great Britain
  • The Haldon Gold Cup is for horses aged 4 and older
  • The Haldon Gold Cup is a National Hunt Steeplechase in Great Britain
  • The Haldon Gold Cup distance is 2 miles and 1½ furlongs

Summary of the Haldon Gold Cup

Thank you for reading our Haldon Gold Cup guide.