– Gold Cup at Cheltenham – ‘The Olympics’ of the European horse racing calendar  

– Gold Cup trophy contains 10 troy ounces of gold – worth £9,000

– £620 million bets on horses, 230,000 pints of Guinness will be drunk, 9.2 tonnes of potato eaten 

– Since the 5th century BC, gold has been the ultimate prize to award champions and gold has been constantly and universally awarded as top prize 

– Gold, like the summit of human achievement, is very rare and hence precious

– Gold is a great prize and a good bet but works best as store of value and better to take a ‘punt’ on gold than gamble on the horses

Cheltenham Gold Cup – Wikipedia

The Cheltenham Gold Cup race takes place this Friday, March 16 at 3.30pm. The Gold Cup is the finale of the Cheltenham Festival, the Olympics of horse jump racing, which runs from yesterday to this Friday.

This week 65,000 people have been gathering in Cheltenham for the 28 races which will be raced over the four day gathering with over £4,600,000 of prize money will be handed out this week at Cheltenham Festival.

The Gold Cup is the most prestigious of the most prestigious of all National Hunt events and it is sometimes referred to as the Blue Riband of horse jump-racing. The race takes place over 3 miles 2½ furlongs (5,331 m) and includes 22 fences to be jumped.

The prize for winning the Gold Cup is £600,000. and the beautiful Gold Cup trophy made with 10 ounes of gold.

The prize for those who turn up to watch the world famous event? The chance to experience the excitement and fun of race day and likely lose a few bob – with a massive £600 million staked on the outcome of the races. As we know the bookie nearly always win.

10 ounces of gold and over half-a-billion British pounds of cash surrounding one event. What does this say about the state of our economy today and how we award our sporting heroes?

Wikimedia

The Greatest Show on Turf

It is nearly 200 years since the most exciting race in the UK calendar was first run in 1819.  230,000 people are expected to attend this year, with 10,000 of them expected to make the special trip from Ireland in order to celebrate their jockey riders, amazing horses and indeed St. Patrick’s Day week –  Saturday being March 17th.

And what comes hand in had with horse racing? The big spending, gambling and lots of drinking.

Over 230,000 pints of Guinness will be drunk, 9 tonnes of potato eaten and 3 tonnes of smoked salmon enjoyed. Cash machines will be working hard to keep up with everyone’s spending as they churn out £2.2 million of notes and assist punters to place over £1 million of bets per race.

And what are they all there for? They’re there for the run up to or the main event itself that is the Cheltenham Gold Cup, a near 200 year old race that is the darling of the racing calendar.

What makes it so exciting is that it is the only major race that is not run on the flat. Whilst the predecessor to the Gold Cup race was first run flat in the 19th century it wasn’t until 1924 that there was the  “introduction of a level weights extended three mile steeplechase, called The Cheltenham Gold Cup”.

The Gold Cup is a chance to see the best in horse racing. It is so prestigious that it is rarely cancelled, and is considered to be the most important of steeplechase races. For race-goers the event is a chance to win big, ever hoping that the bookies get it as wrong and misplace their odds.

For the riders, trainers and owners the race is not only about the honour that comes with winning but also about getting their hands on the prize money and the prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup trophy.

I’ve got a golden ticket cup

On Friday, 30 horses and jockeys will run the race of their lives in the hope of bringing home 10 ounces of gold, neatly melted into the form of a small trophy.

As with the Olympic medals and the Oscars, a new gold cup is made each year for the owners. But a gold cup hasn’t always been the reward for this infamous race.

The owner of the first winner, Spectre, received 100 guineas. At the time, the coins would h