The Bet365 Gold Cup (formerly the Whitbread Gold Cup), which takes place at Sandown on Saturday 26th April, is a grade 3 handicap chase run over 3 miles 5½ furlongs and it signals the end of the British national hunt season. It is always a hugely competitive race and history tells us that it takes a special horse to carry a big weight to victory in this.
Below we take a look at the trends for the past 10 years:
horses aged 6 to 8: 5-13-69
horses aged 9+: 5-15-104
Younger horses have a better record proportional to the number of runners, with those aged 6 to 8 winning half of the last 10 renewals from less than 40% of the total runners.
Of the 5 winners aged 9+, 3 had previously won a graded chase, 1 had won the Grade B Troytown Chase & was 2nd in the Irish Grand National on previous start and the other had won the Grimthorpe Chase on previous run.
French Bred: 5-18-57
Irish bred: 4-8-87
British bred: 1-2-25
French bred horses have won 5 of last 10 and filled 23 of 38 places since 2004 and they represented only 33% of the total runners.
Progeny of Dom Alco: 21 (1-1-2)
Progeny of Flemensfirth: 41 (1-1-2)
horses carrying 11-0 or more: 3-8-58
horses carrying 10-6 to 10-13: 4-12-51
horses carrying 10-0 to 10-5: 3-4-42
horses carrying 9-13 or less: 0-4-22
7 of 10 winners carried 10-7 or more from approximately 57.2% of total runners.
horses carrying 10-7 or more: 7-17-99
horses carrying 10-6 or less: 3-11-74
Top Weight: PF030P4P10 (1-2-10)
The 2 top weights to be placed were ridden by 7lb claimers, while Tidal Bay, in 2012 has been the only horse to carry top weight to victory since 2004, he was a multiple grade 1 winner previously.
The only other 2 horses to carry 11-6+ to victory in past 30 years were Life Of A Lord (winner of the Galway Plate & Kerry National earlier that season) in 1996 and the great Desert Orchid in 1988.
horses rated 146 or higher: 3-4-30
horses rated 132 to 145: 7-20-110
horses rated 131 or lower: 0-4-30
7 of the last 8 winners were officially rated 135 higher, they have also filled 24 of 30 places since 2006.
horses racing from out of the handicap: 2-4-31
10 of 10 winners finished in first 6 on last completed chase start
7 of 10 winners had their last chase start in a graded contest (3 exceptions ran in class 2 chase worth 30K+)
10 of 10 winners had run in the past 60 days.
10 of 10 winners had run at least 3 times that season
10 of 10 winners had won over 2M 4F+
9 of 10 winners had won over 3M+
8 of 10 winners ran in 11+ chases
9 of 10 winners had run in 9 or fewer handicap chases (exception finished 4th in previous year's race)
9 of 10 winners had won no more than 2 handicap chases
7 of 10 winners had run in a novice chase that season or previous season
9 of 10 winners won a race worth 20K+
6 of 10 winners had won a listed or graded race (3 of 4 exceptions had won a chase worth 32K+)
Highest placed finisher from previous season's 4M NH Novice Chase: U11 (2-0-3)
Highest placed finisher from last year to return: 5F93P3PP0 (0-2-9)
Grimthorpe Chase winner (Night In Milan): 1 (1-0-1)
Sandown Masters H'cap Chase winner (Relax): 448 (0-2-3)
Kim Muir H'cap Chase winner (Spring Heeled): 2 (0-1-1)
williamhill.com Mobile Cheltenham Money Back 2nd H’cap Chase winner (Chartreux): 026 (0-1-3)
Murphy Group Handicap Chase winner (Alvarado): 0P39 (0-1-4)
Haydock Grand National Trial winner (Rigadine De Beauchene): P (0-0-1)
Welsh National winner (Mountainous): 0 (0-0-1)
Ascot Silver Cup H'cap Chase winner (Houblon Des Obeaux): 0 (0-0-1)
2 of 10 winners ran in previous season's 4M NH Novice Chase, finishing 11
2 of 10 winners ran in the Charlie Hall finishing 34
2 of 10 winners ran in the Scottish National last time out, finishing 1U
5 of 10 winners ran at the Cheltenham Festival (1 JLT H'cap Chase, 1 4M NH Novice Chase, 1 Cross-Country, 1 Ryanair & 1 Arkle)
4 of 10 winners contested a National last time out
Philip Hobbs (2-5-14) trained the winner in 2006 and 2008 and has seen 7 of his 14 runners make the frame.
Paul Nicholls (1-7-23) saddled Ad Hoc to win this in 2001 & 2003 and also Tidal Bay to win it in 2012.
Henry Daly (1-1-5) saddled the winner in 2013 and the runner-up in 2009.
Nicky Henderson (0-2-5) has gained 2 places from 5 runners, all 5 finished in first 7.
Nigel Twiston-Davies (0-2-11) has saddled a couple of placed finishers while Willie Mullins (0-1-2) has seen his 2 runners finish 5th and 3rd.
Irish trained runners (2-4-16) have won 2 of last 10 runnings from 9.2% of total runners.
7 of 10 winners were priced between 6/1 and 16/1
No strong trends on trends on the prices, though there have been a few upsets recently with winners at 20/1 and 25/1 in past 6 years.
Favourites (0-5-12) have failed to win this in past 10 year, level stakes loss of 10.00.
Based on the trends from the past 10 years you are looking for a horse:
- French bred
- Aged 6 to 8 (or aged 9+ that has won a graded chase)
- Carrying 10-7 to 11-5
- Officially rated 135 or higher
- Ran in the past 50 days
- Finished in first 6 on last completed chase start
- Had last run at Cheltenham Festival, in a grand national or over hurdles
- Ran in a race at 2014 Cheltenham Festival
- Previously run 11 or more times over fences
- Run 9 or fewer handicap chases (or placed in this race last year)
- Won no more than 2 handicap chases in their career
- Run at least 3 times this season (winning no more than 1 chase)
- Won over 3M+
- Won a class 2 or higher chase worth 20K+
- Trained by Philip Hobbs, Paul Nicholls, Henry Daly or in Ireland
- Avoid the favourite.