• Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup


    This century no horse has:


    A. Won this having been a beaten favourite last time out

    B. Won having run on officially heavy ground that season

    C. Won aged 10 years or over, including four favourites


    No winner in the last 30 yrs without a previous chase run that season.

    Only Native River of the last 11 has won a GC having run in it before

    Only one horse wearing headgear has won in 16 years

    Only 2 winners this century had raced over further than the GC trip

    11 of the last 13 were rated 166+ before their win

    16 of last 18 no more than 12 chase runs

    10 of last 11 not more than three chase runs that season

    17 of the last 18 were all previous G1 chase winners

    No King George/GC double since 2011

    No trainer has ever won Ch Hurdle, QM and GC in the same year


    Race Distance - 3 miles and abt two and a half furlongs. Will be aged between 7 and 9. Doesn't need to have run in the Newbury Hennessy, King George or Lexus Chases. Will have finished placed at a previous Festival or in a G1 this season or will be at least a course winner. Must have run at previous Festival unless a novice. No worse than placed last time. Has not ran on officially heavy ground this season. At least 31 days off before coming here. No more than three previous runs this season. Has won this season or won a G1 Chase at the 2018 Festival. Unlikely to have been beaten in a previous Gold Cup. Has had between 5 and 12 times runs over fences. Is a previous Grade 1 Chase winner or placed in this before. Not blinkered. Something 16/1 or bigger to be placed. Winner BHA rated 166+. Time to be about 6 mins 40. Not Pipe trained. Last prep run was over 3 miles. Hasn't raced over more than GC trip unless called Elegant Escape (i.e. won Welsh National) Don't be overly concerned if F, U, PU once this season. Second season chasers outperform their numbers. Not beaten favourite last time out. Not Might Bite

  • Evidence

    SINCE IT SEEMS RELEVANT - No Gold Cup winner in the past 30 winners without a previous chase run that season. Native River, Bobs Worth and Savannah all won after one race that season, all in chases. Bregawn '83 ran in a chase in the ten days before the Gold Cup. What A Myth '69 initially jogged around in a Hunters Chase that season before winning GC two runs and three weeks later.


    AGE - Long Run in 2011 as a 6yr old, Cool Dawn ’98 and Cool Ground ’93, both 10 yr olds are only winners since Desert Orchid '89 to have not been aged 7, 8 or 9 years. No horse older than 10 has won this since What A Myth ’69. In last 12yrs, of those 10 yrs or older to have run, On His Own, Denman (twice), Kauto Star, Mon Mome, Hedgehunter ’06 and See More Business '02 all placed. Only Outlander at 10yrs ran last year. None finished in the first three in the last three years or in the first four in 2015. First three home last year aged 8,9 and 8. In 2017 first three home were all seven yr olds. Unplaced 10 yr olds have included 2016 Cue Card 5/2 fell three out (its a faint memory now, but no, Paddy, no, don't go to pass there, 50s for the Betfair Million, aargh). Cue Card again fell 2017, Kauto 3/1 pu behind Synchronised, Kauto 8/11 and fell in 2010, See More Business 9/4 fav in '00, Looks Like Trouble 9/2 fav '02, Commanche Court 8/1 '03, Grey Abbey 15/2 '05, Beef or Salmon 4/1 fav in '06. Both Cool Dawn and Cool Ground mentioned above were 25/1 outsiders. 10 yrs and older possibles for 2019 include Thistlecrck (11 yrs), Rathvinden, Definitly Red, KIllultagh Vic and Might Bite. Tout et Permis is the only six yr old entered at present.

    Mac Vidi 1980 oldest ever placed horse at 15 yrs of age.


    Apart from Don Cossack (18), Kauto (20) no other winner in past 19 years had more than 14 chases before GC win (Native River 12, Sizing John 9, Coneygree, a novice with 3, Lord Windermere 9, Bobs Worth only 5, Long Run had 9). To praise P Nicholls, See More Business was placed at 40/1 as a 12 yr old (his 26th chase). The Giant Bolster placed again 2014 on his 20th Chase. Going back from 2013, the previous 14 before that had between 6 and 12 runs over fences before winning. The Fellow ’94, 28th run over fences but only eleven in GB (might have won more with a pilot other than Monsieur Kondrat). Even Best Mate’s third success was only his 13th chase (Frodon 22 chases, Definitly Red 17, Outlander 24).


    BETTING - 8 of the last 16 favourites have won but only one of the last five. (First run in this format in 1924, 30 favourites have won this from 90 runnings - pointless but wonderful information). Before Best Mate’s second win in 2003, 7 of previous 11 favourites had been 5/2 and under and all of those were beaten. Before Best Mate’s two successes as winning favourite, the last 11 favourites who started 7/4 and under were all beaten.


    ANOTHER OUTSIDER DUE? - Apart Lord Windermere at 20s, and Sizing John (2017 4th fav at 7/1) all the last winners back to See More Business (16s 1999) were all from first three in the market. Longest priced of those winners - Sychronised 8/1 co third favourite from 14s. He was probably only third favourite because of Pricewise that morning. In last years race it was two of the front three the whole way after Our Duke @ 9/2 was pulled up. In 2016 the first four in the market were the only ones ever involved, if Don Poli only distantly. Speaking as a bookies clerk, those figures are a bit skewiff. Might be due another one 10s or above.


    BIG PRICED PLACERS - Having said that Annibale Fly 33s ensures that there is every chance that a 'fat' one will get placed. Minella Rocco 18s in 2017. Before the 2014's placepot busting 1-2-3 of Lord Windermere/On His Own/The Giant Bolster, the last 20 Gold Cup have had those starting 16/1 or bigger producing 21 top three finishes in total. That makes it now three wins, nine runners up and nine thirds in last 20. The Giant Bolster 50/1 runner up 2012, Mon Mome 50/1 third 2010.


    STAYERS - Lots of extremely talented but non staying horses have been found out over 3 miles 2 furlongs. Examples include Djakadam, Wayward Lad, Celtic Shot, Bradbury Star, Merry Gale, Dublin Flyer, One Man, Strong Promise and Florida Pearl. (I will fight anyone who says Cue Card). However only 16 of last 27 had previously won over a distance in excess of 3m. (Native River a Welsh National, Sizing John won an Irish Gold Cup, Don Cossack over 3m 1f at Punchestown, Lord Windermere and Bobs Worth both won RSAs, Coneygree only had won over 3m). Before Kauto regained GC in '09, Denman '08 was first of 5 to have previously run in a race in excess of 3miles. And they say Frodon won't stay? That Cotswold Chase was over 3m, one and a half furlongs?


    Only The Synch and Native River this century had previously run over further than the GC trip. Both Welsh National winners


    Against all of that, 13 horses this century had never run in excess of 3 miles before and started in single figure prices. 7 won, including Sizing John and Coneygree. (Matt Tombs CFBG, knows his stuff). Killultagh Vic 8/1 PU last year only qualifier.


    Talking about stayers, Minella Rocco and Native River 1st and 2nd in the 2016 now G2 and prestigious National Hunt 4 miler filled the places here in 2017 behind Sizing John. Rathvinden.


    Coneygree first novice successful since Captain Christy ’74. Dawn Run won on only her 4th chase, Dorans Pride finished 3rd as a novice in 1997. (None ran in the 10 before Coneygree and he had no idea how experienced those trailing behind were). Last four novices were 2000 Gloria Victis 13/2 fell 2 out when still in contention, 2003 Beef Or Salmon 5/1 fell, 2004 Therealbandit 15/2 fell, 2006 Iris's Gift 16s PU. Can't see any novices this year unless Samcro doubles up (joking).


    IRISH TRAINED In last 19, 5 winners and 16 placed from 64 runners (9 from 15 runners last year, best in third. 4 from 13 in 2017, winner and fourth, 6 from 10 in 2016 gave a 1-2-3-4, 7 from 16 in 2015, Djakakam and Road To Riches plced, 1-2 in 2014, Sir Des Champs on his own, 2nd in 2013, China Rock on his own 2012, 8th). Big squad this year again? Presenting Percy, Kemboy, Belshill, Road To Respect, Outlander, Invitation Only, Al Boum Photo, Killultagh Vic... W Mullins has had 6 runners up, Djakadam twice, On His Own, Sir Des Champs, Hedgehunter and Florida Pearl. Djakadam also fourth and fifth in the last two years.

    GALWAY PLATE - Don't recognise any Gold Cup winners in Galway Plate winner's roster. Clarcam won in 2018. Only GC entry I can see was Snow Falcon who came from a long way back to finish fourth at Galway. Balko Des Flos won in 2017 and then went on to stroll past Un De Sceaux in last years Ryanair.


    M/D.Pipe. 3 placed horses in career total of 30 losers. No entries last nine years. Its over.

    P Nicholls - Kauto/Denman/See More Business Clan Des Obeaux, Frodon, Give Me A Copper for the Ultima, says trainer. Saphir Du Rheu PU last year. Jonjo ONeill has had 10 runners in this, Synchronised winning Minella Rocco 2nd, Exotic Dancer 2nd, 5th and 3rd in consecutive years, Holywell 4th 2015 and unlucky that the rains came overnight that year. Minella Rocco.


    CLASS - King George Winners - Since Arkle, Desert Orchid, Best Mate ‘03, Kicking King, Kauto Star (twice) and Long Run 2011 have done the King George/Gold Cup double in the same season. Best Mate was second in King George ‘01. (and didn’t run in King George ‘03 before winning GC in '04). Bobs Worth didn't run between Hennessey and Gold Cup. Silviniaco Conti never seemed to act on the track. Cue Card may have gone close. Might Bite a very honourable second last year. Clan Des Obeaux.


    Placed in this season's King George. 11 of the last 21 Gold Cup winners competed in that years King George. However record of placed horses in that season's King George is patchy at best. '94 The Fellow and '97 Mr Mulligan both won after solid performances in the Kempton race. Since '97, 12 of those finishing 2nd or 3rd at Kempton have taken their chance in March. Best Mate won, Exotic Dancer finished 2nd at Cheltenham, both Kauto 2011 and Long Run 2012 3rd. Captain Chris 6th in 2013 GC, Albertas Run unpl '09 won Ryanair '10. See More Business and Looks Like Trouble both won Gold Cups after being pulled up at Kempton in December. 2016 KG, plenty of debate as to where Don Cossack might have finished after falling two out. 2017 Cue Card well beat by Thistlecrack at Kempton, then fell at the same bloody fence in the GC but beaten at the time. Double Shuffle NR and Tea For Two Unpl last year. Thistlecrack and Native River.


    NEWBURY - Three from last 13 came from the Hennessey. Denman and Bobs Worth won it as favourites, Lord Windermere finished 8th. 2017 Native River was 3rd in GC. Apart from The Tank and Bobs Worth, Jodami and Bregawn are the only four to do the GC double in the past 46 years. Last year Total Recall fell three out here when still in with a shout. Sizing Tennessee inj


    WELSH NATIONAL - Master Oats '95 last one to do the double in one season. Welsh National was run at Newbury due to weather problems at Chepstow. (Thanku Paul Jones for correction). Burrough Hill Lad 1983 the one before that. He was a huge horse. Synchronised won at Chepstow in 2010 before taking the Gold Cup in 2012. Native River did the 2016 - 2018 double. Elegant Escape.


    Previous quality track form. 16 of the last 21 Gold Cup winners had finished placed at a previous Festival. Native River in a 4 miler and a GC, Sizing John 2nd in an Arkle, 3rd in a Supreme. Don Cossack 3rd in a Ryanair, B Cooper was called a lot of names, even by G Elliott. Not Coneygree, Synchronised, Kauto (obviously the first time), Imperial Call, See More Business. 26 from last 30 either course winners or placed at a previous festival (exceptions include Synchronised, Imperial Call, and Kauto). Synchronised came here from a facile Lexus win, Imperial Call won an Irish Hennessey. War of Attrition came from being 2nd to Beef or Salmon in a Hennessey at Leopardstown and had won a G2 in November. Coneygree and Kauto both came from winning the G2 (now called) Denman Chase. Kauto had won the King George that season). Coneygree twice won course G2 Novice Hurdles. Coneygree only winner in the last 21 not to have run in a previous Festival. Lots of contenders in 2018 with quality course form. Native River, Might Bite, Definitely Red, Frodon, Road To Respect, Presenting Percy, Killutagh Vic, Rathvinden, Belshill. Those without the placed Festival Form or course win include Clan Des Obeaux, Kemboy, Invitation Only, Al Boum Photo.


    Imperial Call '96 and Jodami '93 last two Gold Cup winners without any previous course experience. Both came directly from winning the Irish Hennessey. Belshill from Road to Respect.


    All bar Native River of the last 18 were previous Grade 1 Chase winners (including Coneygree with a Feltham). Lots of them here. Not Definitly Red.

    HEAVY GROUND - No winner this century has won this having run on heavy ground this season (Matt Tombs - How To Bet and Win at the Festival). Can't believe that Don Cossack's jog in the Kinloch Brae at Thurles 2016 was in soft ground? Looked like a swamp to me. In 2018 this stat correctly took out Our Duke, the 9/2 second fav. In all Grade 1 chases at the Festival going back to 2005 of the last 50 to have run on heavy ground within the last 30 days, 6 placed, no winners. In fairness, most of those were big prices.


    Red Mills chase at Gowran mid February has been going since 1990. Don't see any winners of that having been placed at the Festival. Mind you Presenting Percy 2nd last year was a very impressive RSA winner. Monalee bt a staying on Anibale Fly

    Kauto Star only horse to have won the Betfair Million. Still will be.


    THISTLECRACK - No Winner of the World Hurdle/Stayers has gone on to win GC since 1972. Brown Lad was the Stayers winner '75 closest being 1976 and '78 as GC runner up both times. Brown Lad was some horse. Didn't make his debut until he was an eight yr old and went on to be the only horse to win three Irish Grand Nationals, the last one in 1978 at the age of 12. I stood at the last fence when he jogged round Down Royal one day in late 1977. Seemed a lovely, huge placid animal in parade ring.


    Apart from Lord Windermere and Imperial Commander, all back to See More Business '99 at least all won that season. Both the exceptions were G1 Festival winners the previous year. Commander had been beaten a nose at Haydock in Betfair Chase in his GC season.


    27 out of last 31 finished at least 3rd last time (exceptions are Lord Windermere 6th in Irish Hennessey, Imperial Commander unpl King George, Cool Dawn PU with an injury problem and Mr Mulligan, fell at last when second in King George). Problems here for Might Bite, Balko Des Flos amongst others.


    Irish Breds have won the 14 from last 21 (Sizing by Midnight Legend ENG bred, Don Cossack by Sholokhov GER bred. Coneygree by Karinga Bay and Imperial Commander by Flemensfirth both English Bred. Kauto and Long Run, both French Bred).


    Now called the Cotswold Cup was Argento Cheltenham Trials day. Is a G2. First became a recognised Gold Cup Trial in ’95 when Master Oats did the double. Since then only winners to have competed in both are Looks Like Trouble (Gold Cup Winner), See More Business ’99 was third in January before winning the Gold Cup that year. 2016 Djakadam fell in January and then 2nd here. Smad Place won in January, 6th here. 2016 Thistlecrack outstayed by warrior Many Clouds. In the last 10 yrs only Neptune Collonges and The Giant Bolster have come from this race to be placed in GC. Frodon from Elegant Escape 


    Synchronised first to do the Lexus double since ‘96. (Kemboy). Road To Respect 4th here last year. Don Poli, Road To Riches both won at Leopardstown before finishing 3rd here.


    Native River, Sizing John, Coneygree and Bobs Worth first since Cool Dawn 1998 not to have run in that season's King George or Savilles/Lexus Chase. Neither had Djakadam first time placed. Becoming less and less of a trend. (None of Definitly Red, Presenting Percy, Belshill, Frodon have run in either this season).


    Kauto Star, Desert Orchid 1989 the last winner of this to compete in a graded non novice race over 2 miles. Kauto ran in a QM and won a Tingle Creek. Not sure of the significance but thank you Nick Mordin wherever you may be.


    Alverton '79 only horse to win an Arkle and a Gold Cup. Not applicable this year.


    Sizing John, Don Cossack and Lord Windermere first Irish Trained winners since Captain Christy in '74 not to have run well in that season's John Durkan. Don Cossack went Down Royal route instead. Min beat Shattered Love


    The winner of the Charlie Hall chase has not won that season's Gold Cup since at least 1988. Even Silviniaco Conti couldn't overcome that bogey. Looks Like Trouble 2000 was third at Wetherby and then did the Cotswold/Gold Cup double. Definitly Red beat Black Corton


    PREVIOUS RUNS - 21 from last 23 no more than 4 previous runs that season (Native River, one run in the Denman, 'couldn't overcome the bounce factor' said Timeform. Long Run 2 in 2011, Synchronised 3, Bobs Worth only 1, Lord Windermere and Coneygree both 3). Native River, Bobs Worth first since Garrison Savannah '91 to have just one run that season. Joins Garrison as well being the last two winners not to have run since before Boxing Day. Apart from The Fellow and Kauto (first time) all other winners at least 31 days off before this (15th February).


    Since '87 all bar Nortons Coin and Don Cossack had their prep run over 3 miles. (Sending Don Cossack to the Kinloch Brae = G Elliot obviously concerned about another Cheltenham Stat about winning off the back of a fall).


    Apart from Native River (10th Feb) Sizing John (27th Dec), last 29 all had their seasonal debuts before Christmas. 9 of the past 17 not run since December 31st.


    9 of the last 22 achieved a F, B, P or U in their form figures that season. Only Don Cossack F in KG from the last eight. Lord Windermere's season form figures were 876. Don Cossack F in King George. Black Corton P, Bristol De Mai F


    RSA - GOLD CUP DOUBLE - Completed by Lord Windermere, Bobs Worth, Denman '07, Looks Like Trouble ‘00 and Garrison Savannah ‘91. That is, five from the last 15 to try. Might Bite second, Blaklion didn't come. Of the seven to come 10/1 and under in this, three winners, a second and three thirds. Mr. Mulligan second in the former when short priced favourite and Florida Pearl was placed twice in this race after winning the former. To back that up, 14 from the last 27 were either a novice or a second season chaser from a smaller percentage of numbers. Not Native River but second and third were. 1-2-3 in 2017, 3rd 2016, 1-2-3 in 2015, 1st in 2014 from 3 runners. First and second in 2013 from 3 qualifiers. Presenting Percy, Kemboy, Monalee, Shattered Love.


    Native River joined Kauto Star 2007 first winners since Bregawn ’83 to improve on a placed effort to win the next season's Gold Cup. Might Bite, Anibale Fly. And the first two since Kerstin in ‘58 to improve from runner up to winner 12 months later. Big stats. Might Bite


    Matt Tombs' ONE CHANCE SALOON - Native River stabbed this stat in 2018. Since The Fellow, all bar Native River, See More Business and Kauto of the last 85 to get beat in a Gold Cup and come back again have been beaten again. Apart from Native River in 2018, four others turned up to get beaten again. This years suspects will probably include Minella Rocco, Bristol De Mai, Anabale Fly, Might Bite, Killultagh Vic, Road To Repect, Outlander. And poor old See More Business wasn't actually beaten. He was carried out after half a circuit by AP trying to pull up Cyborgo. (Shssh, no one remembers that). It is probably easier to say that only Native River of the last 11 winners hadraced in the race before. Similar sort of stat to the Queen Mother (ignoring Sprinter Scare and Special Tiara) and worth considering.


    Kauto Star first horse to ever regain the Gold Cup. Long Run gallantly finished third when trying. Before Kauto, See More Business was the only GC winner to try and regain it since Jodami. He tried twice, best 3rd once at 40s as a 12 yr old. Between '89 and '95, 5 tried, all no hopers apart from Jodami '95 7/2 unpl and injured after coming from an Irish Hennessey win. Desert Orchid 4/1 3rd to Garrison Savannah in '91 after 4/6 winner of 4 runner limited handicap Agfa Diamond Chase. Conclusion - being the first to regain the GC may not be the wonder stat it has been painted however even being able to attempt it illustrates the fragility of racehorses and the skills of PN Nicholls. Coneygree


    RATINGS - 16 from last 18 rated 166+ before win (War Of Attrition 157). Native River 166, Sizing John 167, Don Cossack 175, underrated Synchronised was 166. Lord Windermere was only 152. Coneygree 166. Five of the fifteen runners last year were rated 166+ including 1st and 2nd home. In 2017 it was 6 from 13 including 1st and third. After the 2019 Irish Gold Cup, Irish Ratings Belshill and Road To Respect both 169, Kemboy 167, Presenting Percy 169. In England Definitly Red 164, Frodon 169, Clan Des Obeaux 173


    TIMES - 2018 in soft ground Native River slugged it round in 7 mins 3 secs. In 2017 Sizing John, 2016 6.36 (fastest of the day against standard), Don Cossack in 6 mins 35secs, two seconds faster than standard. 2015 Coneygree 6mins 43 secs on soft ground. Comparing 2014 6mins 44secs on good ground would suggest that Coneygree went some lick up front. (Watch it again and see how fast they went over the first two fences). 2013 (Bobs Worth) on rain sodden ground 7 mins 6 secs. 2012 (Synchronised) below standard 6.36. In Long Run's 2011 they went round in a track record in just under 6 mins 30 secs, 7 secs under standard, In 2010 (Imperial Commander) the ground was also given as good - time was 6 mins 49. Only Looks like Trouble 6.30 (Good to Firm) and War of Attrition 6.31 faster. The roll then reads Mr Mulligan 6.35, Cool Dawn and Best Mate (2) 6.39, Kauto, See More Business 6.41, Kicking King and Best Mate (3) 6.42 and Best Mate (1) 6.50.


    Sectional Spotlight - Simon Rowlands ATR http://cheltenham.attheraces.com/sectional-spotlight/sectional-spotlight-gold-cup


    2019 Irish Gold Cup, Belshill did 6 mins 7 secs, the same time as Kemboy at Xmas on allegedly slightly quicker ground, 2017 Savilles/Lexus time 6 mins 8 secs on yielding ground. 2018 Irish Gold Cup 6.25 on soft. Cotswold Chase 2019 Frodon 6 mins 36 on G to S. 18 seconds faster than Definitly Red in 2018 admittedly on heavy ground. King George Kempton Clan Des Obeaux did 6 minutes dead in Good to Soft, 2017 Might Bite 6 mins 7 secs, soft ground but some 14 seconds slower than Thistlecrack's KG win in 2016 and even slower than Might Bite's own performance in the Feltham in 2016.


    BLINKERS - Native River wins in blinkers he always wore, Road To Respect 4th in his usual hood. First headgear winner in 16 yrs from 41 triers. Minella Rocco 2nd 2017 cheekpieces, Holywell 4th was best of six in 2015. The Giant Bolster wore a visor in 3rd 2014, Long Run 3rd in 2013 in blinkers.


    BEATEN FAVOURITE LAST TIME - This century 25 beaten favourites last time have tried their luck. No winners. No qualifiers last year. In 2017 Djakadam (once again) and Bristol De Mai. Might Bite, Elegant Escape, Road To Respect.





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Wealth Warning.  Any decisions made (or not) or the basis of any information in this site are the sole responsibility of the reader.  There is no obligation on me to follow my own advice.  I take no responsibility for (but am keen to hear of) any factual errors.  (Bgault01@gmail.com, @gaultstats). Previous years ‘stats on stats’ would suggest we may identify a decent priced winner from manageable groups every three or four races.  I tend to improve as a tipster as the week goes on, possibly too worried on the Tuesday.  It is believed that Savello (2014 Grand Annual) took from Golden Chieftain (2013 3m hcap chase) the record for breaking the most stats in a race.  Stands now at 8.  Cole Harden equalised with 8 in the 2015 World Hurdle.  Remember, after you have cursed/laughed at me and given up totally on trends, they will come back to bite.  Always happens.  Usually on Gold Cup Day. Oh yes, and if you're called Rory Delargy, you can't win the quiz too often.

Beware GO SEA - Groundless Optimism Syndrome Encouraged by Alcohol.  A Cotswold condition very common at this time of year.