Who wins the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2017?
The Gold Cup is the biggest challenge a horse can face in their careers. They go hell for leather for three miles and two furlongs and there really is no hiding place.
We look at the key race trends to find the answer:
- Every horse (62 of them) this century running again in the Gold Cup after being beaten in the previous renewal has been beat.
It pushes horses to their maximum and rarely are they ever the same again as seen by the above stat.
Once you’ve been beaten in one Gold Cup, it’s very hard to come back and go up against younger, fresher horses that haven’t faced the test before.
Djakadam, Don Poli, Smad Place, Road To Riches, Irish Caviller and Lord Windermere.
- Horses aged 10+ have failed to win the Gold Cup this century
Some may argue 11-year-old Cue Card should fall into the previous category considering he fell in last year’s renewal but with it being three-out I’ve not ruled him out on that count. However, the age factor is hugely against Colin Tizzard’s chaser. Age catches up with us all – and even though Cue Card has looked fresh and well this season, the heat of a Gold Cup may just catch him out.
Cue Card would be the oldest winner of the race since 1969.
- 12 of the last 16 winners had either won or have been placed at the Cheltenham Festival
Festival form. Festival form. Festival form.
It’s one of the key elements in any punting strategy at the Cheltenham Festival. The Gold Cup is no exception as horses that have performed well at Cheltenham before have a clear edge on those that have floundered or haven’t experienced the hullabaloo of Festival day.
Outlander, Zabana, Tea For Two, Sub Lieutenant, Champagne West
- Every winner this century has been a Grade One winner over fences
This may sound like a given but having the class to win a race of this stature is an absolute must.
More of That
The process of elimination has left us with three horses:
Native River (3/1), Sizing John (9/1) and Bristol De Mai (33/1) all of whom come out very strong from a trend analysis.
Of course, trusting stats to be the basis of a punting plan isn’t entirely bombproof and using other factors, it’s very easy to rule out Bristol De Mai as he’s a horse that brings his best at Haydock and really doesn’t have the form in the book to compete with the market leaders.
Of the other two, I’d side with Native River over Sizing John only on the basis that stamina is guaranteed with him.