The Kim Muir Challenge Cup was first run at Cheltenham Festival in 1946, when it was named the Kim Muir Amateur Riders’ Steeplechase and honoured cavalry officer Kim Muir, the late brother of Mrs Evan Williams who introduced the race.
In 1991 the name of the race was adapted to include Fulke Walwyn, a legendary jockey who passed away in that year and whose career record included 40 wins at the Festival and 211 at Cheltenham in total.
The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup finishes the day’s festivities on St. Patrick’s Thursday. Horses are eligible to enter from the age of five and are required to jump 19 fences over a distance of 5,130 metres on the left-handed New Course at Cheltenham.
The race is run as a handicap with a total purse standing in 2016 at £65,000 and a winning prize of £35,976. As a race designed purely for amateur jockeys, the results of this event can be highly difficult to predict.
Since 2002 it has been won three times by the favourite. On two occasions, the winning horses have been priced at 33/1, and once (Maximise in 2004) at 40/1.
Just two horses have won twice in the Kim Muir: 1967 and 1968 winner Chu-The and 1985 and 1986 winner Glyde Court. Jockey Jamie Codd has recorded three wins here, in 2009, 2011 and 2015 on Character Building, Junior and The Package. The Package also holds the record for being one of the oldest winners of the race at the age of 12.
Race trends and statistics
- Since 2002 only three races have been won by the favourite
- Of the last 11 winners, eight finished unplaced in their run previous to the Kim Muir
- 11 winners since 2002 have been aged eight or over
- Paul Nicholls has trained 16 runners for this race but 15 have finished unplaced
- Of the last 10 horses to win, six had already run a race earlier in the season at Cheltenham
Closing the third day of the Cheltenham Festival, the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup may be the last but it is by no means the least. This race gives horses and riders the chance to show us what they are made of, finishing the day off with a real bang.