Known as the Blue Riband on NH horse racing the Magners 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 2018 we saw the Colin Tizzard-trained Native River win the Cheltenham Gold Cup – Did you know we’ve actually seen 8 winning favourites in the last 17 runnings – not a bad 47% strike-rate for a race as competitive as this.
In 2019, the Willie Mullins-trained Al Boum Photo give the leading Irish trainer his first winner in the race and if running again in 2020 will be looking to become the first horse since Best Mate to win back-to-back Cheltenham Gold Cups.
Here at JUICESTORM we look back at recent winners and gives you all the key Cheltenham Gold Cup trends to take into the 2020 renewal – this year run on Friday 13th March.
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Recent Cheltenham Gold Cup Winners
2019 – AL BOUM PHOTO (12/1)
2018 – NATIVE RIVER (5/1)
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
17/17 – Aged 9 or younger
16/17 – Had raced within the last 3 months
14/17 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
15/17 – Had run over fences at Cheltenham before
15/17 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
14/17 – Had won over at least 3m (chase) before
14/17 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or more
13/17 – Won last time out
11/17 – Placed favourites
10/17 – Irish bred
10/17 – Had won 5 or more times over fences in the UK or Ire before
10/17 – Rated 170 or higher
8/17 – Winning favourites
8/17 – Had last raced in the previous year
7/17 – Had won over fences at Cheltenham before
6/17 – Irish-trained winners
5/17 – Last race was in the King George VI Chase (Kempton)
4/17 – Won the Denman Chase (Newbury) last time out
3/17 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
2/17 – Ran in the Lexus Chase last time out
2/17 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
The average winning SP in the last 17 renewals is 11/2
Other Cheltenham Gold Cup Stats
Only one horse (Kauto Star 2009) has ever regained the race
25 of the last 26 winners have been aged 9 or younger
9 of the last 18 winners came here fresh – did not race that same calendar year
16 of the last 19 winners were rated 166 or higher
19 of the last 21 winners had won a race already that current season
13 of the last 19 winners had finished second or better at the Cheltenham Festival before
11 of the last 20 winners had run in that season’s King George VI Chase (Kempton)
All of the previous 20 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 – 22 Year Trends
16/22 – British-trained winners
6/22 – Irish-trained winners (3 of last 5 though)
Willie Mullins (Ire) has trained just one 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)
Another decent renewal with plenty of cases to be made. Firstly, last year’s winner – Al Boum Photo will be looking to become the first back-to-back Gold Cup winner since Best Mate (2003/04) and he’s sure to have plenty of supporters for his defence bid. He won by 2 ½ lengths last year and being still only 8 years-old could still have more to come. He’s been kept fresh this season so far with only one run and that came with a win at Tramore in January. He’s a big player – of course, but I’d still be a tad worried about his jumping – don’t forget he fell in the RSA here in 2018. Delta Work is another key runner for the Irish – but he was only third in the RSA last season so the extra 2 furlongs would be a concern after fading up the hill last year. Yes, he’s a stronger horse this year and has done well to win his last two Grade Ones at Leopardstown. However, a lot does depend on the ground with him. His form on soft or slower reads 33243134, while on quicker than soft – so good-to-soft or quicker it’s 212111111. Therefore, the ground would need to dry out a bit for his chance to increase in my book. Lostintranslation was second in the JLT last year and was a good winner of the Betfair Chase in November, but has since flopped in the King George (pulled-up) so has a bit to prove for me. The King George winner – Clan Des Obeaux – has to be a contender too. He dotted-up by 21 lengths that day, but is he just a horse that’s better at Kempton? He was 5th in this race last year as the KG winner – beaten 11 lengths and so far has run at Cheltenham five times now and not won once – that wold be a worry. I think BRISTOL DE MAI (e/w) is a nice option for those at bigger prices. He was third in the race last season and has now finished in the top three in 20 of his 25 chase starts. Kemboy and Presenting Percy are other leading Irish hopes, but both have a few critics to answer at the moment – they are more place contender than winners for me. So, that leaves me with SANTINI. This course winner is not everyone’s favourite horse as he can be a bit quirky but this season he seems to have knuckled down more and was impressive last time out (first run after a wind op) when winning the Cotswold Chase here in January – beating Bristol De Mai by just over 3 lengths. Yes, that race isn’t the best of trial races, but he was also a close second in the RSA Chase here last season so has tasted the Festival and was also third in the 2018 Albert Barlett. His overall Cheltenham track form reads 1-3-2-1, which is not too shabby. The longer trip looks a plus too after the way he stayed on last time out.
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