What is it?
It is jumps racing's ultimate test of speed and stamina and the flagship event of the Cheltenham Festival: the Gold Cup.
When is it?
The Gold Cup is the prize race on the final day of the Festival which is Friday March 13 this year. There have been proposals about extending the Festival to a fifth day, but we are sticking to the usual format for the time being.
What TV channel is it on?
All the main races will be shown live on ITV1 and if you want to watch every single race then Racing TV is the channel you need. You will also be able to follow the action on Telegraph Sport's live blog.
What time is it?
The runners and riders will go to post for a 3.30pm start time.
Why is the Gold Cup so prestigious?
The Gold Cup is a steeplechase run over fences and the undulations of Prestbury Park racecourse. The distance of the race is three miles two-and-a-half furlongs, one mile less in trip than April's Grand National at Aintree.
While the Grand National might be the nation's most popular race, the Gold Cup produces a higher quality of winner because of the turn of foot required to prevail over the shorter distance. It does however, require more stamina than the shorter Queen Mother Champion Chase. That makes it the greatest test in jump racing, combined with the sapping finish up the Cheltenham hill to the winning post. Al Boum Photo won last year's race for Willie Mullins.
— CheltenhamRacecourse (@CheltenhamRaces) March 15, 2019
What are the other races on Friday?
1.30pm, JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1), 2m 179y, £125,000
2.10pm, Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3), 2m 179y, £100,000
2.50pm, Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1), 2m 7f 213y, £125,000
4.10pm, St James's Place Foxhunter Chase, 3m 2f 70y, £45,000
4.50pm, Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Grade 3), 2m 62y, £110,000
5.30pm, Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle (0-145), 2m 4f 56y, £70,000
What is the latest news?
Native River ruled out - Nick Robson, PA
Native River has been ruled out of the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup with a suspensory tendon injury.
Winner of the race in 2018, he would have been heading back to the Festival next month aiming to become the first horse since Kauto Star in 2009 to regain the blue riband event.
The 10-year-old had appeared right back to his best this season, winning at Aintree and only recently in the Denman Chase at Newbury.
He was also prominent in the betting for the Randox Health Grand National, although his participation in that race had still to be confirmed.
Trainer Colin Tizzard's son and assistant Joe said: "Unfortunately we've had to scratch Native River from the Gold Cup this morning - he's picked up a suspensory tendon injury, which means his season is over."
What are the odds?
Al Boum Photo 7/2
Last year's winner is aiming to become the first horse since Best Mate to win consecutive Gold Cups.
Well fancied at previous festivals, the Nicky Henderson-trained chaser emerged the victor against Bristol De Mai in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham in January. Henderson has suggested soft ground is not ideal, so backers will hope the weather dries up.
Delta Work 5/1
The best of the Irish contingent for Gordon Elliott and winner of the Irish Gold Cup in February.
Finished second to Defi Du Seuil in the JLT Novices Chase at last year's festival and relished the step up trip when beating Topofthegame over three miles at Aintree. A glorious jumper but pulled up in the King George on Boxing Day.
Clan Des Obeaux 7/1
King George winner but Cheltenham is not the happiest hunting ground with no Festival wins for the eight-year-old. Finished fifth in last year's Gold Cup.
Well fancied for last year's race when he unseated his rider, but went on to beat Al Bhoum Photo and Clan Des Obeaux at Aintree and Punchestown later in the season. Two seconds behind Delta Work in Ireland this campaign.
Presenting Percy 10/1
Viewed as a strong contender for the Gold Cup, the early favourite in fact, after winning the RSA Novices' Chase in 2018, Presenting Percy never traveled in last year's race and returned lame.
Are tickets still available?
Yes, a range of different tickets are available to purchase for all four days and you can find the details on the Jockey Club's website.
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