With just 3 weeks to go to this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup I thought I’d use the “Big Race Trends” facility, provided by the excellent HorseRaseBase, to analyse past runnings of the race, since the turn of the century.
We can see that since 2000 the Cheltenham Gold Cup has been run 17 times with 236 horses having taken part.
I’ll start by looking at how horses have performed based upon their starting price.
Apart from Lord Windermere winning at 20/1 in 2014 the next biggest winner was Synchronised in 2012.
Looking at how the odds are reﬂected in the betting market, we see Lord Windermere was 7th in the betting, but all other winners this century have come from the top 4 in the betting.
- Just 1 winner from 177 runners outside the top 4 in the betting market or odds greater than 8/1
Next let’s take a look at the class of the horses running in the race, by looking at the highest class of race the horse has ever won at.
All winners this century have previously already won a Grade 1 race over fences.
- Horses that have not previously won a Grade 1 race are 0 wins from 107
Next up we’ll look at the age of the horses. All previous winners of the Gold Cup this century have Been aged between 6 to 9
- Horse aged 10 and above are 0 from 67
Days since last run
Looking at the number of days since the horse’s previous race, we see all previous winners last ran between 31 to 120 days before the Gold Cup.
- Horses who hadn’t previously raced between 31 to 120 days before the Gold Cup are 0 from 61
Finally we look at the effect of horses wearing headgear in the race. All previous winners have not worn headgear of any description (including blinkers, visor or cheek pieces).
- Horses wearing any form of headgear are 0 from 42
So to summarize, based on the previous runnings of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the winner is likely to be:
- Top 4 in the betting market with an SP of 8/1 or less
- Previously won at Grade 1 level
- Aged 6 to 9
- Last ran between 31 to 120 days
- Not wearing headgear
Of the current top 4 in the betting Only Our Duke fails to qualify, by virtue that he ran at Gowran Park last Saturday (only be 27 days prior to the Gold Cup). Currently that leaves just 3: Might Bite 3/1, Native River 11/2 and Sizing John 6/1, although there’s still 3 weeks to go, so come the start of the race, they may not still be at the top of the betting.
Sizing John came 7th on it’s last run and no horse that has won the race has finished lower than 6th on it’s last run before the Gold Cup.
Subscription to HorseRaceBase includes a great feature, where they’ll send an email with details of any horses that qualify based upon the filters specified. I’ll therefore be checking again to see which horses qualify based upon the above rules and will post them to the blog on the morning of Gold Cup day.