Known as the Blue Riband on NH horse racing the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup is the featured race on the final day (Friday) of the Cheltenham Festival that is staged each year in March.
Run over 3m 2 1/2f and with 22 fences to jump the race always attracts the best staying chasers from the UK, Ireland and France, while has been won in the past by household names such as Golden Miller, Arkle, Desert Orchid, Best Mate, Denman and Kauto Star, while in 2017 we saw the Jessie Harrington-trained Sizing John win the Cheltenham Gold Cup – Did you know we’ve actually seen 8 winning favourites in the last 15 runnings?
Here at JUICESTORM we look back at recent winners and gives you all the key Cheltenham Gold Cup trends to take into the 2018 renewal – this year run on Friday 16th March.
Recent Cheltenham Gold Cup Winners
2017 – SIZING JOHN (7/1)
2016 – DON COSSACK (9/4 fav)
2015 – CONEYGREE (7/1)
2014 – LORD WINDEMERE (20/1)
2013 – BOBS WORTH (11/4 fav)
2012 – SYNCHRONISED (8/1)
2011 – LONG RUN (7/2 fav)
2010 – IMPERIAL COMMANDER (7/1)
2009 – KAUTO STAR (7/4 fav)
2008 – DENMAN (9/4)
2007 – KAUTO STAR (5/4 fav)
2006 – WAR OF ATTRITION (15/2)
2005 – KICKING KING (4/1 fav)
2004 – BEST MATE (8/11 fav)
2003 – BEST MATE (13/8 fav)
Cheltenham Gold Cup Betting Trends
16/16 – Aged 9 or younger
15/16 – Had raced within the last 3 months
14/16 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
14/16 – Had run over fences at Cheltenham before
14/16 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
14/16 – Had won over at least 3m (chase) before
13/16 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or more
12/16 – Won last time out
11/16 – Placed favourites
10/16 – Irish bred
10/16 – Had won 5 or more times over fences in the UK or Ire before
10/16 – Rated 170 or higher
8/16 – Winning favourites
8/16 – Had last raced in the previous year
7/16 – Had won over fences at Cheltenham before
5/16 – Last race was in the King George VI Chase (Kempton)
5/16 – Irish-trained winners
3/16 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
4/16 – Won the Denman Chase (Newbury) last time out
2/16 – Ran in the Lexus Chase last time out
2/16 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
The average winning SP in the last 16 renewals is 5/1
Other Cheltenham Gold Cup Stats
Only one horse (Kauto Star 2009) has ever regained the race
24 of the last 25 winners have been aged 9 or younger
9 of the last 17 winners came here fresh – did not race that same calendar year
16 of the last 18 winners were rated 166 or higher
18 of the last 20 winners had won a race already that current season
13 of the last 18 winners had finished second or better at the Cheltenham Festival before
11 of the last 19 winners had run in that season’s King George VI Chase (Kempton)
All of the previous 19 winners had won a Grade One Chase contest before
The last winner aged older than 10 was in 1969 (What a Myth, 12)
Cheltenham Gold Cup – 21 Year Trends
16/21 – British-trained winners
5/21 – Irish-trained winners (3 of last 5 though)
Willie Mullins (Ire) never trained the winner
Nicky Henderson (UK) has trained 2 of the last 8 winners
Paul Nicholls (UK) has trained 3 of the last 12 winners (4 in total)
JUICESTORM VERDICT: Last year’s hero, Native River will be looking to become the first horse since Best Mate to retain his Cheltenham Gold Cup crown and being the joint top-rated in the field he’s got every chance of following up. However, he’s not won since that epic battle with Might Bite 12 months ago so it remains to be seen if that race has left a mark. He was third in the King George, but beaten 13 lengths, but saying that any rain this week will be a plus for him. He’s yet to finish out of the top three from 15 runs over fences so he looks sure to be in the mix again. Presenting Percy landed the RSA Chase last season here – he’s a lightly-raced sort and has actually only run once since that Festival win last year. That also came over hurdles so he’s not jumped a fence in public for a year. Any rain is a big bonus but it’s interesting that horses rated 166 or less (he’s 165) are only 4 from 24. The King George winner CLAN DES OBEAUX, therefore gets the nod. This Paul Nicholls runner has improved bundles this season and showed that Christmas win was no fluke when landing Denman Chase (run at Ascot this year) last month. He’s the joint top-rated in the field but at just 7 years-old could even have more to come. He’s run well at the track in the past too and won’t mind it if the ground gets softer – he ticks a lot of boxes. Of the rest, Kemboy will be looking to give trainer Willie Mullins his first success in this race and after landing the Savills Chase at Leopardstown back in December – beating Monalee – then he’s another big improver this season. He was fourth in the JLT Novices’ here last season too and acts on all ground. His inexperience might be against him but he could also have a lot more to come and could be dangerous. For me, Might Bite has fallen out of love with the game and despite being a talented horse there is a chance last year’s battle has sent him over the edge – even though Native River proven this stat wrong, it’s still worth noting that horses that were beaten in their first Gold Cup are just 1 from 67. Of those at bigger prices I expect the Tizzard other runners – Elegant Escape and Thistlecrack – to both run well. The pair fit a fair few of the main trends and don’t forget Thistlecrack wasn’t beaten far behind Clan Des Obeaux in the King George this season. Road To Respect and Bellshill are two other leading hopes for Ireland and both certainly have the form to have a say too.
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