The National Hunt Challenge Cup

This is a Grade 2 National Hunt Steeplechase race in the Cheltenham Festival. This is a race reserved for amateur riders. Only horses of the age of five years and above are allowed to take part in this race.

History and Nature

The race takes place at the Old Course in Cheltenham. The track used is normally left-handed. The race runs for about 6.4 kilometres. This is the longest race of the festival. It also consists of twenty-five fences which serve as great obstacles. It takes place annually in the Cheltenham Festival.

This is the race that has taken place more times than any other race in the Cheltenham Festival. The competition has now been run for 160 years. It was held at different venues during its early days unlike today when it is only held at Cheltenham.

Honouring Legends

The race has been commemorating its legends since 2008. They have been doing this by changing the title of the race to that of their legend. They celebrated Peter O’Sullevan 90th birthday with this honour in 2008. They honoured John Oaksey’s memory in 2013. Terry Biddlecombe was the man they honoured after they acquired listed status in 2014. Toby Balding, who was a trainer, was commemorated in 2015.

The race had been a Grade 3 race until it was recently upgraded. It was upgraded to Grade 2 in 2017. The race is still rising and may soon be a Grade 1 race.

The race has had some skilled jockeys who have made records. Jamie Codd holds the record for the most wins since 1946. He made it three wins in the 2020 race. He has wins from 2015, 2019 and 2020 races. The race also has some of the best trainers in horse racing with Jonjo O’Neil making a record of six wins since 1946. He has wins from the 1995, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2016 races.