The highlight race of the Festival is the £500,000 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (G1) for 5-year-olds and up. A field of 13 travelled the 3 5/16 miles over 22 fences. 9-1 Midnight Chase went to the lead soon after the start and was stalked by 5-1 Kauto Star for the first 12 jumps. After the 12th, Kauto Star took over the lead and held it to the 3rd last, chased by 7-2 favorite Long Run who moved up from further back early. Long Run took over the lead at the 2nd last jump and drew away to win by 7 lengths over late-running 8-1 Denman in a stakes record 6:29.50, shaving 0.20 seconds off the previous mark set in 2000. It was another 4 lengths back to Kauto Star third.
Winning jockey Sam Waley-Cohen, the first amateur rider to win the Gold Cup in over 3 decades, said, "He's a lot better than I thought he was. Going to the top of that hill I knew I wanted to travel, when they came past I knew I wanted to be with them so I thought I'd just wait. But then I said 'you gotta go now, you gotta go' and he did. That's a special feeling, that's a very special horse. This is beyond wildest dreams. I didn't think we were going to get there. He picked up and he picked up and I think he still has a bit in his pocket. He got there, saw the crowd and thought he'd have a look. What a horse he is."
Winning owner Robert Waley-Cohen, father of the jockey, said, " To have a runner in the Gold Cup is an honour, ridden by your son is a dream and to win it is beyond anything. I thought he was going to win it between the second last and the last. If he got a good jump at the last I knew they were never going to catch us. He's a gorgeous young horse."
Trainer Nicky Henderson, celebrating his first Gold Cup, added, "It's taken a few years but it's great. It was a great race because all the horses have run great races, there is no disputing it. Probably Kauto Star was at his best today. It was great. This is a special young horse."