Britain’s Richest National Hunt Races
10. The Grand National
The Grand National is probably the single most important racing event on the national hunt racing calendar. Despite its relatively humble grade 3 handicap status, and less than stellar fields, the race offers the highest prize money in national hunt racing. At present the race offers a £900,000 purse, and is projected to become the first national hunt race to offer over £1 million in prize money.
9. The Cheltenham Gold Cup
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is a showcase for the skills of the finest grade 1 stayers in the United Kingdom. The highlight of the annual Cheltenham Festival is one of the most important racing events of the year, and attracts an enormous television audience. At present the Cheltenham Gold Cup offers a prize fund of £475,000.
8. The Champion Hurdle
The Champion Hurdle is the UK’s most important hurdles race. The grade 1 event is the climax of the hurdling season, and offers one of the biggest purses at the annual Cheltenham Festival, with £370,000 shared between the horses that finish in the money in this race.
7. The Queen Mother Champion Chase
The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the most prestigious 2 mile grade 1 steeplechase in national hunt racing. One of the feature races of the Cheltenham Festival, the Queen Mother Champion Chase pays out one of the festival’s biggest purses, currently valued at £320,000.
6. The World Hurdle
The World Hurdle is the most highly rated race for staying hurdlers in the United Kingdom. One of the four feature races run at the Cheltenham Festival, the World Hurdle also pays one of the biggest purses at national hunt racing’s most famous meeting, with £260,000 on offer for the race.
5. King George VI Chase
The King George VI Chase is the most important race run during the first half of the national hunt season. Run on Boxing Day, the grade 1 chase showcases some of the finest jumps racing talent in the United Kingdom. A generous post-Christmas purse of £220,000 is put up for the race.
4. The Scottish Grand National
The Scottish Grand National is the last of the season’s nationals often features racehorses that competed in the Welsh National, Irish Grand National and Grand National. The race is the second longest in national hunt racing, and provides a stern test of both jumping ability and endurance. The grade 3 handicap awards £197,000 in prize money.
3. The Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup
The Hennessey Gold Cup follows hot on the heels of the Paddy Power Gold Cup, and is regarded as the biggest grade 3 handicap prize in the sport other than those on offer for the Nationals. The Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup also pays out the biggest prize fund of any national hunt handicap race besides the Grand National, with £175,000 on offer as a prize fund.
2. The Bet365 Gold Cup
The Bet365 Gold Cup is the last major British national hunt race of the season, and is the most important fixture run at Sandown Racecourse every year. The race offers the last glimpse of the sport’s finest handicappers of the season, and pays out prize money of £165,000.
1. The Paddy Power Gold Cup
The Paddy Power Gold Cup tends to feature an intriguing mix of handicap specialists and grade 1 talent, making it one of the most popular handicap races of the year. The race awards one of the biggest purses of any grade 3 handicap, valued at £150,000.