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Hennessy Gold Cup

The Hennessy Gold Cup is the feature event of the Winter Festival at Newbury Racecourse. This meeting, which takes place in the last week of November (or, rarely, in the first week of December), hosts a range of excellent hurdle and steeple chase event - however, the Hennessy Gold Cup is the stand-out by far.

This Grade 3 steeple chase features a total of twenty-two hurdles over three miles and 2 ½ furlongs. It is open to horses over the age of four, who compete for a purse of £200,000. As it attracts predominantly high profile horses, the Hennessy Gold Cup has become an unofficial trial race for contenders planning to move on to race in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Seven winners of the Hennessy Gold Cup have gone on to win the feature event at Cheltenham.

Since Mandarin's double win only two horses have managed to touch this prodigious equine athlete. The unforgettable Arkle scored consecutive wins in the Hennessy Gold Cup in 1964 and 1965; Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Denman took first place at Newbury in 2007 and 2009.

When the Hennessy Gold Cup was established in 1957 it was held at Cheltenham Racecourse. Interestingly the winner of the inaugural Hennessy Gold Cup - Mandarin - was owned by a member of the Hennessy family, who were sponsoring the event from the beginning. In fact, the relationship between Hennessy and the Gold Cup represents the longest continuous sponsorship in British racing history. Mandarin repeated his winning performance in 1961, the year after the event had been moved to Newbury.

Recent Winners Of The Hennessy Gold Cup:

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer



Ruby Walsh

Paul Nicholls


Madison Du Berlais


Tom Scudamore

David Pipe




Sam Thomas

Paul Nicholls


State Of Play


Paul Moloney

Evan Williams