Paddy Power Gold Cup Preview

Today we see the Paddy Power Gold Cup taking place at Cheltenham and although the ground was declared Good To Soft in the overnight declarations, this morning is very much Soft. Without further ado, I’m going to jump straight into analysing this race.

I’m going to start by removing any runner with very high odds. Generally I don’t like betting on runners with odds above 29/1, this isn’t because they aren’t profitable but rather because they don’t win often enough. However by removing all runners with odds above 33/1 we remove 6 runners out of the 20 runner field.

If we look at runners under todays specific conditions then three stand out. Micheal Flips, Walkon and Aerial. Of these Michael Flips and Aerial performed  in higher classes to achieve their performance than Aerial. Although with high odds, the Disengager also performed well under these conditions at Newton Abbot not very long ago.

I’m now going to look at runners that I don’t think have a strong chance of contending. Divers performance has been very average and recently has shown a steady decline so I will remove this runner as a contender. Triolo D’Alene has only performed on good going and the ground is definitely not good today, I don’t like to bet on a horse to do something we have never seen it do before and so I will be removing this runner as a contender.

Forpadydeplasterer will perform well on Good To Soft but if the going starts to get heavier than we can expect this runners performance to decline rapidly. One to keep an eye on with respect to the ground.

This leaves us with 11 runners that have a strong potential of contending in this race, and there is no doubt that it will be a battle to the finish line. Of these runners Al Ferof has put in excellent figures but not won since December last year at Sandown, he has every chance of contending today but there is some doubt as to whether there is going to be any value in his odds.

Nadiya De La Vega is an interesting runner. Came first in Cheltenham over the exact same conditions as today on the 20th October and this cannot be ignored, the class level was slightly lower but the figures achieved indicate that there will be no problem performing at a level that is required in todays race. This runner must be considered a very strong contender.

Micheal Flips put in some good performances earlier in the year and then declined, however recent performances indicate that todays run could be back at previous levels and if so then he is going to be one to watch out for.

We have already discussed that Forpadydeplasterer prefers good ground, even though there is strong ability to perform over slightly softer, the need to narrow down the field and the preference for slightly firmer ground is going to mean that I remove this runner from contention in the race.

Calgary Bay’s last performance proved that 4m4f was far to far for this runner. There is the possibility of returning to perform today but there are other runners with better performances and so I am going to remove him from contention.

Aerial cannot be ignored, the last race at Cheltenham over these conditions was excellent even though the finish position was second. Along with that there has been steady improvement.  The same goes for Hunt Ball who has been showing steady improvement and could be a strong runner in todays competition.

In a race as competitive as todays any indication that a top performance may not be given must be used as a criteria to remove the horse from contention and Walkon has been showing decline, there has been a good rest period but I would want to see another race from this horse before placing my money on it.

It is going to be very difficult to select the strongest runners in this race. My preference is for Nadiya De La Vega and Aerial in this race who have both put in excellent performances and I think could make it all. Hunt Ball could also put in a strong race. I suggest that you bet on this race with Paddy Power who are offering 5 places in the race and I’m going to be betting on these three runners each-way.

Let me know who you’re going to be betting on by selecting your horse in the poll and leaving a comment below.

I’m going to be doing a complete preview of every single race during the Betfair Chase Festival next week. Last time I did a festival preview I made over 57.21 units profit in the three days. If you would like to join me for the Betfair Chase then please head here now.

[poll id=”21″]

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.


  1. Grands Crus will be hard to beat but at 5/2 is way too short, I like Triolo D’Alene at 12/1. There is not too much to go on but with Geraghty choosing this ride over the others you do have to wonder why. Very very competitive race this year but others with chances in my opinion are Hunt Ball, Al Ferof, Quantitativeeasing, Calgary Bay and Forpadydeplasterer

    1. I agree, 5/2 is way to short. I think Hunt Ball’s odds are likely to drop in the next couple of hours as well. As you say it is the most competitive it has been for some time.

      1. My words to my subscribers this morning “So without a huge amount of certainty in an extremely competitive race I will be tipping Triolo Dalene.” everyone wants a tip for the gold cup lol. I count about 5 horses that have a good chance and 4 with outsider chances. Can’t even dutch this one.

        1. Far too many potentials in this race to make it easy. Although I’m happy to dutch in a lot of situations as long as the ROI is 10% or higher because I know that is all I need to make long-term profits on my dutches.

  2. very informative michael………. excellent read as always going through the runners
    can only see 1 outcome grand crus……believe huntball will struggle this season gone through the grades quicker than a mensa student.. a bridge to far……..good luck to all and most important all the runners come back safe!!

    1. Thank you Steve. Interesting that you think Huntball will struggle, he has been progressing quickly. And we absolutely hope all runners come back safe.

  3. I always look for horses with CD after their name
    as my starting point. Also both these have had a
    recent pipe opener.

    With 5 places on offer and reasonable odds, both
    look solid EW bets.

  4. TRIOLO DALENE-well fancied at festival .BARRY GERAGHY down to 10.1.pipeopener at market rasen. saver on HUNT BALL+R/F.

    1. Good luck with Triolo Dalene Henry, I hope he comes in for you. An interesting bet with the R/F, what odds did you get?

  5. I despair at this utter garbage. Dutching 3 selections each-way merely offers you 5 extra chances to do your money, whilst destroying any value in the odds on offer.

    1. I have to completely disagree Rachel. Festival betting is always very competitive and we need to focus on short term gains if we are going to succeed in it, which is totally against the normal method of betting. In a race that is this competitive any one of a number of horses could win and we are wanting the highest chance of bringing back a return on the race whilst still maintaining value in our festival betting. The each-way offered by Paddy Power is 1/4 odds for 5 runners which is actually excellent value and with the odds on the runners I have selected you are getting very good place odds. Compare this to the place odds on Betfair and you will see how much better the each-way is.

      1. Similarly if you back place-only, this sort of dutching appears to minimise losses and, although profit may be reduced, it still can yield a good return.

        1. so Dutch three but not all of them each way.
          The one that you most fancy is the one that you go 20/80 on and do not bother with the other two other than as straight win bets.
          let us say you want to Bet £50.00 on the race and you have 3 contenders one of them is your preferred winner. £x to Win and £x to place on Huntball for example.
          or £2.00 and £8.00 for Bet fairer’s.

          So if your most preferred should come 2nd/3rd/4th, rather than win, you get your money back and hopefully one of the others gives you the profit.
          Or you did not pick the winner in your three contenders and you are a loser. But hopefully Damage loss has saved the day and maybe a big profit for win and place with two out of the three.

      2. I have no comprehension of this “festival betting” to which you refer. However, I am fully conversant with the concepts of “each-way” and “place only” betting, along with the differences between the two.Of your selections, Aerial is 33/1, so can be discarded. Nadiya De La Vega doesn’t look good enough and Hunt Ball is a stone higher than his last win. I’ll take Michael Flips @ 20/1againstall 3

  6. Walkon for me right ratings range right weight top trainer and jockey.Last year stable out of
    form but in good form now I expect a big run.

    1. Walkon I think has potential but I’m not happy with his recent performances. I know the last couple have been at much longer distances however. I hope he puts in a big run for you today.

  7. The jolly has issues on the stats…

    Grands Crus heads the ante-post betting – trading as short as 2s but no better than 9/4. He’s highly-regarded and heavily documented. He won the G1 Feltham Novices’ Chase last Christmas and many pundits expect him to outclass his opponents tomorrow and to dot up at a canter.

    Only tomorrow’s top weight, Poquelin, has posted a better RPR – having had 5 times more chances to set the standard – and Grands Crus will no doubt figure in top chasing events later this season. But if you’re thinking of taking the 9/4 about him then at least consider the following before putting your money down:

    This is a handicap and weight can stop a train. In 2010 Long Run – who won the Gold Cup later the same season – was beaten into 3rd in this race carrying just 11-01 after being sent off at 2s. Grands Crus must carry 11-06 tomorrow.

    He’s untested outside of novice company. This will be the biggest field he’s ever confronted over fences and how he handles the pressure has yet to be seen. And he’s stepping back in trip after posting his best RPRs over 24f.

    His yard is not exactly pulling up trees right now. The Pipe yard has a great record in this race. Last year David Pipe won for the first time with Great Endeavour. But Pipe went into that race operating at a 14-day strike rate of 20%. Over the last fortnight his 23 runners have produced just a single winner. It was good winner – in the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton – but the yard’s overall form has to be a concern.

    How do the market alternatives square up?

    Al Ferof and Hunt Ball will be popular alternatives to the Pipe horse. And it’s easy to understand why…

    Al Ferof runs out of the Nicholls yard and has Ruby Walsh on his back. He was a highly regarded G1 winner as a novice and is expected to take his place at the top table this term. Hunt Ball was last season’s revelation – improving 52lbs between January and April and crowning one hell of a form curve with an 8 length win in the novice handicap chase at the Festival over tomorrow’s course and distance.

    Al Ferof is a best-price 15/2 and Hunt Ball is shorter at 11/2. Those prices make more appeal than the 9/4 about Grands Crus – especially each-way – but neither horse is without questions to answer on the Winning Profile stats….

    Both have plenty of weight to carry. Hunt Ball is stepping back in trip after improving his ‘top’ on the RPR scale at Aintree over 3 miles last time out. And though he’s only had one go at fences over 20f Al Ferof hasn’t yet proved himself at the trip by winning over it or improving on the RPR ‘top’ he earned over 16f.

    The weight is the big issue for me. It’s not insurmountable. And nor are the other issues – far from it. Both horses are serious contenders. But neither appeal to me as betting propositions. I’m a value-hunter and in this kind of big-field betting heat I prefer a dark horse at a big price.

    A dark horse at a fancy price…

    The bookies are offering place terms of 1/4 1-2-3-4 for this race right now – but I’ll be looking for an enhanced deal tomorrow morning. That 5th place payout can make a big difference. Especially when you’re on at prices – and there are some strong candidates on the Winning Profile stats that make some appeal at double-figure quotes…

    Walkon ticks plenty of boxes, he goes well fresh and the handicapper has given him a real chance dropping him to 143 – but at 8s he’s a bit too short to tempt me. Micheal Flips also conforms to a lot of the key stats – but he ran well below his best on his seasonal reappearance and that worries me.

    Nadiya De La Vega is much more my idea of a bet. She meets a lot of the key criterion and won in taking fashion on her reappearance. The ground shouldn’t be an issue and the Henderson yard has been operating at a strike rate in excess of 35% over the last fortnight. She’s as big as 16s – and that’s a nice each-way price.

    Returning on advantageous terms…

    I’ll also consider backing Divers. He meets the right statistical yardsticks. He also finished 3rd in this race last year and is able to run off almost the same weight.

    To put that into perspective last year’s 4th Aerial also goes again – but whilst the Nicholls horse carried just 9-11 last time he must carry 11-04 tomorrow. To my eyes Divers looks set for a big run.

    Admittedly his form has been patchy since last year and he was poor on his seasonal reappearance. But he always needs his first run and he ran a stinker first time up last season before going well here. I’d be prepared to take it as read he’ll improve for the blow.

    The booking of Timmy Murphy is very interesting. He rides this trip on this track very effectively and he comes here in confident mood having won the £30k handicap at Wincanton last weekend.

    The only issue is the ground. Divers won’t want it too soft. The ground drying up would be a real boost to his chances of improving on last season’s effort.

  8. Best improver and much stronger this year word from the owner and trainer seems like a fair eachway bet to me. or maybe a dutch with Grand Cru.

  9. Not a race to back any horse with confidence.Divers,Forpaddythe plasterer,Poquelin and Aerial at o/s prices have great chances.My own thoghts centre arond Hunt Ball,if it handles the going.Good luck to all.

  10. I cannot see the point in saying AL frerof is a good contender and then discard him because his odds are not attractive. If the horse is going to win the race then there is no value elsewhere unless of course you want to back a loser. I dont subscribe to this philosophy that one should seek value and not winners. It seems to me a ridiculous idea. I backed the winner not because I’m clever but because I was advised to but I also backed several other horses in the race.

    1. Well done with Al Ferof Robert. Regarding your question about value, the reason we need value is because we don’t know for sure if a horse is going to win a race or not. We need the probability of it winning the race to be higher than the odds are suggesting (in the long-run) to make profits. There is not enough space to go into it in a comment box but a quick example is betting favourites. They win on average around 34% of the time, so plenty of winners, but the average odds are 2.48. These odds indicate the horses should win 40% of the time which is why you will lose around 6% betting favourites. This is what people mean when they say they don’t think it is offering value.

  11. thought it was a decent race, ground permitting, had a few quid on al ferof and hunt ball both ew so very happy today.

Back to top button