The Chester Cup, run at Chester Racecourse over 2m2f, is the feature race of their three-day May Meeting (5th-7th) – Here at JUICESTORM we take a look back at recent winners and highlights some key betting trends and stats ahead of the 2021 renewal – this year the race will be run on Friday 7th May 2021.
Did you know ? Since 1975 we’ve only had 4 winning Chester Cup favourites win the race
Recent Chester Cup Winners
2020 – No Race
2019 – Making Miracles (16/1)
2018 – Magic Circle (8/1)
2017 – Montaly (16/1)
2016 – No Heretic (11/1)
2015 – Trip To Paris (10/1)
2014 – Suegioo (10/1)
2013 – Address Unknown (12/1)
2012 – Il De Re (10/1)
2011 – Overturn (11/2)
2010 – Mamlook (7/1 fav)
2009 – Daraahem (7/1)
2008 – Bulwark (33/1)
2007 – Greenwich Meantime (14/1)
2006 – Admiral (28/1)
2005 – Anak Pekan (16/1)
2004 – Anak Pekan (2/1 fav)
2003 – Hugs Dancer (9/1)
2002 – Fantasy Hill (8/1)
Chester Cup Betting Trends
17/18 – Aged 7 years-old or younger
15/18 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or less
13/18 – Officially rated between 93-99
13/18 – Aged 5, 6 or 7 years-olds
12/18 – Finished unplaced last time out
12/18 – Won from stall 7 or lower
12/18 – Carried 9-2 or less
12/18 – Had raced within the last 2 months
12/18 – Had won previously over at least 2m on the flat
11/18 – Returned 10/1 or shorter in the betting
10/18 – Favourites were unplaced
8/18 – Irish bred
4/18 – Ran at Newmarket last time out
4/18 – Won by owner Dr Marwan Koukash
3/18 – Had won at the track before
3/18 – Ran at Aintree over hurdles last time out
3/18 – Won their previous race
2/18 – Trained by Donald McCain
2/18 – Trained by Richard Fahey
2/18 – Trained by Ian Williams
2/18 – Won by the favourite
The average winning SP in the last 18 years is 12/1
Key Chester Cup Stats
The race has seen repeat winners three times since 1997
Since 1975 we’ve only seen 4 winning favourites
The Hills yard took the race in 1980, 1999, 2001 and 2009
Since 1975 all winners have been aged 8 or younger
Since 1975 there have only been three winners aged 8 years-old
Since 1981 only 7 winners have carried more than 9-2 to victory
4 of the last 10 winners came from NH yards
3 of the last 8 winners returned 10/1
Dr Marwan Koukash has owned 4 of the last 12 winners
What do the stats say?
Age – In 2016, we saw an 8 year-old land the race, but since 1986 all bar that winner were aged 7 or younger. In more recent years, 17 of the last 18 winners were aged 7 or younger too, while 13 of the last 18 successful horses were aged 5, 6 or 7. That said, you certainly can’t rule out the 4 year-olds, with the last winner in 2019 – Making Miracles – this age, while we’ve had two 4 year-olds go in since 2015. In short, it’s probably best to avoid the older horses (8+) in the race!
Recent Form – With a massive 12 of the last 18 winners having finished unplaced last time out, then don’t be too worried if your fancy heads here without some 1’s, 2’s or 3’s next to it’s name. But having winning form over at least 2m on the flat in the past is something to look for, while having a run within the last two months is another plus – 12 of the last 18 winners ticked this trend.
Weight – Being a handicap, then it’s always worth looking back at past weight stats. 12 of the last 18 winners carried 9st 2lbs or less, but with the last three winners and 5 of the last 7 winners carrying 9st or more, then this weight trend might be taking a slight turn in the other direction. Since 1981, only seven winners have carried more than 9st 2lb to victory. However, with 13 of the last 18 winners rated between 93-99, which is, of course, closely linked with the weight stat, could be another angle into the race.
Draw – Most of us know that Chester is one of the tightest flat tracks around, so even over this longer 2m2f trip then the draw can play a big part. It’s normally a race that’s well contested too – in 2019 there were 15 runners – so having a decent early pitch can often be the difference between winning and losing. This is backed up with 12 of the last 18 winners drawn from stalls 7 or lower, but the 2019 winner – Making Miracles – did defy this stat by winning from stall 16.
Favourites – It’s not been a great race for favourite backers – since 1975, we’ve only had four winning market leaders and only two in the last 18 runnings. The averaging winning SP in the last 18 years has been 12/1 and with 11 of the last 18 winners priced 10/1 or shorter, then outside the favourite you generally don’t have to look too far down the market to find the winner.
Trainers – I’ve already mentioned this is a race the NH yards often target – in the last 10 renewals we’ve seen four winners from jumping stables take the first prize, while in terms of other yards to note, the Richard Fahey and Ian Williams camps have both won the race twice each since 2007. It’s also a race that popular owner – Dr Marwan Koukash – loves to throw a few arrows at. His grey silks have been responsible for four of the last 12 winners and he’s sure to have some targeted at the race again this year.
JUICESTORM VERDICT: The first thing to note here is that ALL of winners of the Chester Cup since 1975 have been aged 8 or younger – therefore, one of the leading fancies – Not So Sleepy, who is a 9 year-old, has this age trend to overcome. We’ve also only seen four winning favourites since 1975 and Not So Sleepy does have a chance of going off as the market leader too. So, with 17 of the last 18 winners aged 7 or younger this is a negative for Not So Sleepy, Who Dares Wins, who was runner-up in 2019, Coeur De Lion and Blakeney Point. 12 of the last 18 winners came from stalls 7 or lower and also carried 9-2 or less in weight – with these two trends added to the age stat, then the Andrew Balding-trained NATE THE GREAT (e/w) – ticks a lot of boxes. This 5 year-old has been handed draw 7 and with 9-2 looks to have the perfect racing weight. He’ll he fitter than most after a good run at Musselburgh last month and will stay this 2m2f trip well. David Probert rides for the yard that also won this race in 2017. Dr Marwan Koukash loves to win this race so his Reshoun can’t be ruled out either from draw 5 and hails from the Ian Williams yard that won this in 2018 too. Mark Johnston is another yard that often do well here and they won this race when it was last run in 2019 – they run Rochester House, Trumpet Man, Lucky Deal and Themaxwecan – all four have to be respected. They’ve booked jockey Andrew Breslin to ride and claim a handy 5lbs too. Ryan Moore catches the eye riding another Ian Williams runner – Cardano (drawn 1) – but continues to creep up the handicap and is another 4lbs higher for his recent second to Themaxwecan at Musselburgh. Rare Groove and course winner Future Investment are others to consider if able to overcome wide draws, but the booking of Frankie Dettori to ride the Dermot Weld-trained FALCON EIGHT (e/w) is interesting. The pocket Italian’s only win in this race came in 1991, but he rewarded punters with a win in the 1000 Guineas last weekend and is the best man to have in the saddle if they are going to overcome the 10 draw. This 6 year-old has not been out since June last year, but he’s a proven Listed Class winner and has also run well in many Group races. 9-10 in weight doesn’t make life easy, but he’s got that burden for a reason – he’s the clear top-rated in the field and certainly brings a bit of class to this year’s race.
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