Cheltenham Showcase Meeting Hospitality

Last 5 winners of December Gold Cup

The Cheltenham International Meeting gets underway on Friday, with the eagerly anticipated December Gold Cup taking place on Day Two. 

The iconic and historic Cheltenham Racecourse plays host to a number of prestigious horse racing events across the calendar year, and the last one to take place in 2023 will be the renewal of the Cheltenham International Meeting, also known as the Christmas Meeting. There are two days of enthralling racing, with this year’s Christmas Meeting taking place from Friday 15th to Saturday 16th December 2023.

There are a plethora of races that capture the imagination of those in attendance – one such race is the Virgin Bet December Gold Cup on the second and final day of the meeting. The December Gold Cup gets underway at 13:50 on Saturday afternoon.

In terms of history, the December Gold Cup has it in abundance. Its history goes back to the inaugural running of this race back in 1963. Originally known as the Massey Ferguson Gold Cup for sponsorship reasons, the first-ever December Gold Cup was won by Limeking, who was ridden by Toss Taaffe and trained by Danny Morgan.

This race was known as the Massey Ferguson Gold Cup until its name was changed in 1980. After that, the name of the December Gold Cup changed on several occasions, and in 2005, it was named the Robin Cook Memorial Gold Cup after racing fan and ex-Foreign Secretary Robin Cook passed away.

After being known as the Vote A P Gold Cup to encourage votes at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award for Tony McCoy in 2010, its name was changed in 2011 and again in 2012. Then, from 2014 to 2020, the December Gold Cup was known as the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup.

This name stuck until 2021 when the name was changed once again, this time to the Racing Post Gold Cup. As of 2023, the December Gold Cup is now known as The Virgin Bet December Gold Cup.

The most recent winner of the December Gold Cup was Coole Cody, ridden by Adam Wedge and trained by Evan Williams in 2021. This race did not occur in 2022 due to adverse weather conditions.

The most successful jockey to have ever taken part in the December Gold Cup in its long history is Richard Johnson, who has three wins in this race to his name. He won with Legal Right in 1999, Monkerhostin in 2004 and Village Vic in 2015.

As for the trainer who has had the most success in this race, that would be Paul Nicholls, who currently leads the way with no less than five victories over the years. Nicholls’ wins have come with Poquelin in 2009 and 2012, Unioniste in 2012 and Frodon in 2016 and 2018.

Finally, the horses with the most wins in this Gold Cup are Poquelin and Frodon. Poquelin’s wins came in 2009 and 2010. As for Frodon, wins came in the 2016 and 2018 renewals of the December Gold Cup.

Now, let’s look back at the five most recent winners of the prestigious December Gold Cup at Cheltenham Racecourse, starting with 2017.

2017: Guitar Pete

We start with the 2017 Gold Cup, and the winner on this occasion was Guitar Pete, who was ridden to victory by jockey Ryan Day. This was Day’s and trainer Nicky Richards’ first-ever win in this race. The other two spots in the top three were Harry Cobden’s Clan Des Obeaux and Adam Wedge’s King’s Odyssey.

The rest of the field consisted of Ballyalton (Tom O’Brien), Romain De Senam (Noel Fehily), Foxtail Hill (Jamie Bargary), Splash Of Ginge (Tom Bellamy), Le Prezien (Barry Geraghty), Deauville Dancer (Aidan Coleman) and Starchitect (Tom Scudamore).

2018: Frodon

The 2018 edition of the December Gold Cup saw Frodon match Poquelin’s record for the number of wins in this race with two. This was Bryony Frost’s first win. As for trainer Paul Nicholls, this was his fifth win, which sees him leading the way in terms of wins in the December Gold Cup. Charlie Deutsch’s Cepage and Ryan Day’s Guitar Pete came in second and third place, respectively.

The rest of the 2018 field was as follows: Baron Alco (Jamie Moore), Rather Be (Jeremiah McGrath), Mr Medic (James Best), Foxtail Hill (Sam Twiston-Davies), Catamaran Du Seuil (Charlie Hammond), Casablanca Mix (Nico de Boinville), War Sound (Richard Johnson), Romain De Senam (Sean Bowen) and Cobra De Mai (Harry Skelton).

2019: Warthog

David Noonan sealed his first-ever win in the December Gold Cup when he rode Warthog to victory at Cheltenham in 2019. This was trainer David Pipe’s second win in this race, with his first coming twelve years previously when Tamarinbleu won the December Gold Cup in 2007.

Bridget Andrews’ Spiritofthegames came in second place, whilst James Bowen’s Robin Des Foret rounded off the top three in third place.

The rest of the 2019 December Gold Cup field was: Cepage (Charlie Deutsch), Imperial Presence (Richard Johnson), Not That Fuisse (Harry Skelton), Good Man Pat (Tom Cannon), Brelan D’As (Barry Geraghty), Clondaw Castle (Jonathan Burke), Secret Investor (Harry Cobden), Knocknanuss (Jamie Moore), Keeper Hill (Adrian Heskin) and Generous Day (James Davies).

2020: Chatham Street Lad

The 2020 Gold Cup in December 2020 was won by Darragh O’Keefe, who rode Chatham Street Lad to victory in that year’s renewal of the race. Ryan Mania’s Midnight Shadow and Jamie Moore’s Benatar had to settle for second and third place on the day.

This was O’Keefe and trainer Michael Winters’ first-ever win in this race at Cheltenham Racecourse.

The other 14 horses in the field that year were: Good Boy Bobby (Daryl Jacob), Annie Mc (Jonjo O’Neill Jr), Coole Cody (Adam Wedge), Master Tommytucker (Harry Cobden), Militarian (James Bowen), Al Dancer (Sam Twiston-Davies), Southfield Stone (Bryony Frost), Romain De Senam (Harry Skelton), Champagne Mystery (Nico de Boinville), Drumconnor Lad (Conor Brassil), Huntsman Son (Kielan Woods), Cepage (Charlie Deutsch), Windsor Avenue (Brian Hughes) and Saint Sonnet (Aidan Coleman).

2021: Coole Cody

As we mentioned earlier, the most recent winner of the December Gold Cup was Coole Cody, who won it in 2021. No Gold Cup race took place in 2022. Tom O’Brien’s Zanza came in second place, while Ryan Mania’s Midnight Shadow had to settle for third place.

For jockey Adam Wedge and trainer Evan Williams, this was their first-ever win in Cheltenham’s December Gold Cup.

The rest of the 2021 field were as follows: Fusil Raffles (Daryl Jacob), Deyrann De Carjac (Brendan Powell), Lalor (Harry Cobden), Topofthecotswolds (Sam Twiston-Davies), Siruh Du Lac (Tom Scudamore), Beakstown (Harry Skelton), Cepage (Charlie Deutsch), Francky Du Berlais (Sean Bowen), Dostal Phil (Aidan Coleman) and Farinet (Rachael Blackmore).

Anticipation and excitement are building ahead of the 2023 December Gold Cup at Cheltenham Racecourse later this week.

There is no better way to enjoy the 2023 Cheltenham International Meeting at Cheltenham than with an Eventmasters Corporate Hospitality Package. Book now to avoid disappointment.

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