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Sports Then and Now



The Cheltenham Gold Cup Treble Winning Champions 4

Posted on January 21, 2011 by Rod Crowley

Best Mate touches down en eoute to a Gold Cup win

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the feature race of the National Hunt horse racing season in the UK and Ireland. Globally, racing where horse jump fences and run over distances in excess of 2 miles receives little attention compared to flat racing. The Gold Cup in fact is run over a distance of 3 miles 2 furlongs and 22 fences are required to be jumped and as such, attracts the best thoroughbreds with the stamina and ability to see out the challenge.

The race is a great sporting spectacle and during its 88 year history has developed a rich heritage, becoming one of the highlights of the British and Irish sporting calendar. In the USA, TVG and HRTV give coverage of both the Gold Cup and four day long Cheltenham Festival which runs 15th – 18th March in 2011.

There has only been four horses in history that have won the Cheltenham Gold Cup three times and one of those, Golden Miller, actually won it five times and also became the first horse and one of only two ever to have also won a Grand National.

Golden Miller won the Gold Cup for five consecutive years between 1932 and 1936 and also won the 1934 Grand National. He was owned by the highly eccentric Dorothy Paget a self declared man hater and one of the most difficult owners any trainer served. Her very rich family was steeped in thoroughbred racehorse ownership and she owned her own stables in Ireland as well as a stud breeding farm. She in fact owned two other Gold Cup winners, Roman Hackle who won in 1940 and Mont  Tremblant who took the honors in 1952. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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