The most successful horse in Cheltenham Gold Cup history, Golden Miller, won the race for an unprecedented five consecutive years. From 1932 to 1936 Golden Miller raced home to victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, however this isn’t the only record that the legendary horse holds.
Total Recall and Anibale Fly are the current favourites in Grand National betting odds for Saturday, priced at 11/1 and will join the likes of Golden Miller, Red Rum and last year’s winner One For Arthur in having won the race should either live up to the tag of favourite.
Both horses raced in the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup, however while Anibale Fly managed to finish in an impressive third place, Total Recall fell. Their results mean that both horses will be unable to become the second horse to win the Gold Cup and the Grand National in the same year, which Golden Miller achieved in 1934.
This year’s Gold Cup winner, Native River, has not been entered into the Grand National, meaning that for at least one more year, Golden Miller’s double will remain unique in jump racing history.
Golden Miller competed in steeplechase races from 1931 to 1939 in which he won 29 of his 52 races. Back in 1932, the Gold Cup was considered to be a new race, having first been held in 1924 and, in order for the race to truly take off, it needed a horse to do something so spectacular that not only would that horse become a household name, but it would also increase the prestige of the Gold Cup race… enter Golden Miller.
In the 1932 race, while Golden Miller was considered to be one of the more promising horses to run, at 13/2, he wasn’t expected to win the race. He not only won the race, but he managed to pull clear of the chasing pack, which was impressive given that it included a former Grand National winner.
By the time the 1933 Gold Cup came around, Golden Miller had gone from a promising horse to becoming the favourite, having been undefeated in the build-up and duly lived up to the tag of favourite by winning hissecond consecutive Gold Cup. He ran in the Grand National that year, however he fell at Canal Turn, denying him the chance to win both in the same year, but that would not be his final opportunity at making history.
In winning the 1934 Gold Cup, Golden Miller became the first of only four horses to ever win three consecutive Gold Cups. Only Cottage Rake in 1948, ‘49 and ’50, Arkle in 1964, ’65 and ’66 and Best Mate in 2002, ’03 and ’04 have achieved the same feat. Going into the 1934 Grand National, despite winning three Gold Cups in a row, Golden Miller was the second favourite behind Really True.
Following his historic year in 1934, he went on to improve on his own Cheltenham Gold Cup record in 1935, winning his fourth consecutive Gold Cup, an achievement that has not been matched since. While he was unable to win another Grand National, he was able to win a fifth consecutive Gold Cup in 1936 and this is unlikely to be beaten anytime soon.
In Grand National 2018 tips, there are several horses who have raced in past Grand Nationals, with The Last Samuri who finished insecond place behind Rule The World in 2016’s race, being priced at 16/1 for this year’s race. Blaklion and Gas Line Boy also have experience of running in the Grand National, as they finished in fourth andfifth places respectively in last year’s race.
By winning two of the most prestigious races in UK horse racing, Golden Miller wrote himself into the history books and he has been honoured in a number of ways.Fred Varney bought a ticket in the Irish sweepstakes, where he drew Golden Miller and when a bookmaker offered to buy a half share in the ticket for £3,000, Varney couldn’t say no.
Golden Miller won the race and would have won Varney £30,000 had he not sold the half share for £3,000. Instead Varney took home £15,000 and with that, and the £3,000 from the bookmaker, and set up a coach company with his son-in-law, naming it Golden Miller Coaches. The company was bought out and renamed ‘Tellings Golden Miller’ in 1984 and is still in operation (in London) to this day.
Golden Miller is also honoured at two of the most famous racecourses in the UK, with there being a statue of the horse near the parade ring at Cheltenham racecourse, while at Aintree, home of the Grand National, a suite on the first floor of the Earl of Derby Grandstand was named the Golden Miller Suite and can be used for exhibitions, conferences, dinner or receptions.
Red Rum might be the name everyone mentions when asked to name a race horse, but with his own impressive record, Golden Miller should definitely be up there as a horse to be remembered.