It is always great to look back at trends when you are eyeing up your betting in a big race. Friday brings around the endurance test that is the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the highlight of the Cheltenham Festival and the jewel in the crown of British chasing. While everyone will have their individual opinions on who is going to go out and land the title, we are going to take a neutral look at some of the trends that have shown up in the recent history (the last eighteen renewals) of the Cheltenham Gold Cup to try and help you narrow the field in your betting.
So we are looking at data collected from every Cheltenham Gold Cup since 1997 and are focusing the results on what it means when put up against the front runners for this year’s renewal, Don Cossack, Djakadam, Cue Card and Don Poli.
Age of Gold Cup Winners
Basically the rule of thumb here is that you can count out any runner who has hit double figures. Only 5% of Gold Cup winners have been 10 years old and no-one older than that has ever gotten their hands on the title since 1997. The most successful age category that has won the big race has been eight and nine year olds, each going with a 33% win percentage in the time period we are looking at. Eight year olds just have the edge overall because they have edged things in place finishes over nine year olds.
Cue Card – 10 years old
Don Cossack – 9 years old
Don Poli – 7 years old
Djakadam – 7 years old
Winning Odds of Gold Cup Winners
Another interesting aspect to look at here for Cheltenham Gold Cup 2016 betting. Not there is one this year, but you would be avoiding any odds-on favourites. There has been just the one odds-on winner in the last eighteen editions of the race, so skip that completely. The biggest value has always been found in the range between 13/2 and 8/1 in the Cheltenham Gold Cup market. That bracket of prices has returned 27% of winners in the last eighteen renewals. Following behind that, each with a 16% success rate have been between 13/8 and 9/4, Between 5/2 and 4/1, and Between 14/1 and 20/1.
So if you stick in the middle of all that in the 13/2 and 8/1 range you are likely to be in the right ball park. Interestingly this year of course, all four of the front runners are no bigger than 4/1 so the likelihood is that you are going to be picking a winner from the 5/2 and 4/1 bracket. However, if you do want to go with the biggest 13/2 and 8/1 bracket you’ll have a hard time, because no-one is at that range unless things change drastically closer to the SP.
Don Cossack 3/1, Djakadam 7/2, Cue Card 4/1, Don Poli 9/2, Smad Place 10/1, Road To Riches, Carlingford Lough 25/1, bar 66/1
Previous Run Record
You generally will feel more confident about your chances of landing a Cheltenham Gold Cup winner if you are backing a horse which is in some kind of form. There is a decent trend running in Cheltenham Gold Cup results over the last eighteen renewals where the winner has doubled up with a win in their race prior to the Gold Cup.
Actually 61% of winners in the last 18 renewals of the Cheltenham Gold were winners in their immediate race prior to it. Horses which finished second and third in their race prior to taking their place in a Gold Cup line up pretty much have failed to make any kind of mark on the outcome of the Gold Cup. Only 11% of horses who were second in their race before the Gold Cup went on to actually win the Gold Cup.
Of the big four in the running for the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2016, three of them won on their last run, which again, shows that it is expected to be pretty tight on Friday.
Don Cossack – win
Cue Card – win
Don Poli – win
Djakadam – faller
Runs This Season
Of course, it is a little hard to base form from just the one race (looking at the category above). Instead it is worth looking at the bigger picture of overall from this season. There has been no winner in the last eighteen Gold Cups who made the race their seasonal maiden. You are looking at the five-race mark for the season to find the optimal range of winners of a Gold Cup. That seems to the golden mark to suggest that a horse is in prime peak for Prestbury Park.
Don Cossack – Four runs
Cue Card – Three runs
Don Poli – Two runs
Djakadam – Two runs
As you can see none of the main contenders this year have hit the five race mark this season, with Don Poli and Djakadam racking up just the two runs. The stats pertaining than to these, suggests that Don Cossack with his four runs should be a lock for a place finish as four and five prior races this season looks optimal for a place finish at the Gold Cup. The lack of runs from the others actually looks to be evening out the field, with runners with two and three prior runs in the season before the Gold Cup have both produced 7% of winners.
When it comes to key races before the Gold Cup, fourteen of the last fifteen winners of the Gold Cup (Coneygree screwing the records up last year) have ran in either the King George of the Lexus Chase during the season.
Don Cossack – King George (faller)
Cue Card – King George (winner)
Don Poli – Lexus Chase (winner)
Djakadam – Neither
The Cheltenham Negative Trend
This is a great stat, but not perhaps if you were thinking of throwing some money at either Djakadam or Road To Riches who finished second and third respectively in last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup. In the last 33 years of the Cheltenham Gold Cup only one winner had placed in the previous year’s Gold Cup. That is one winner since the 1983 running of the race.
Form Tip Guide
The edge looks to be with Don Poli. He has won five of his six previous runs over the fences and took that good win in the Lexus Chase this season. He won last year’s RSA Chase at last year’s Cheltenham Festival and the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle the year before that, when he showed his pace. That makes him two from two up the hill at the Cheltenham Festival and the aggregate winning distance from his five chase wins is sixteen lengths. This is a real workhorse and should have the stamina and the pace to outlast and find just that little more up the hill.
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