Advice

The Cheltenham Gold Cup Race Analysis

It seems like a long time ago that I posted an article The Gold Cup Trends but it was only a week ago and now the great race is upon us.

The opinion is split on the rivalry between Kauto Star and Denman, whatever happens it is going to be the most exciting race of the season. Is it going to be able to profit? I hope so but predicting these races is very difficult with such a lot of high quality competition. I am going to try and find a few ways of betting this race and hopefully we can find some good each-way or place value.

Using the information we found out last week we know that based on trainers who have performed well in the past, Nicholls has got both Kauto Star and Denman as well as Tricky Trickster and My Will. This takes up four out of the eleven runners! Knight has Calgary Bay running for her.

Based on the jockey trends that we highlighted we have McCoy and Walsh competing against each other on Denman and Kauto Star. Walsh has the better strike rate of 22.2% in these races but McCoy has been by far the more profitable betting prospect in the past. Geraghty on Tricky Trickster has also had an excellent strike rate of 14.29% in these races.

We also discovered last week that over 87% of winners in previous Gold Cup races had not had a race in within 29 days of the cup. The only runner to have raced within 29 days is Mon Momme and that was 27 days ago which was likely to be warm up race for the cup and so cannot really be included. There are a number of runners who have not run for well over 300 days. There has been 1 winner to have won from not having raced in such a long time and this was War Of Attrition in 2006. War Of Attrition was 3rd in the betting which complies with our previous trend of 76% of winners coming from the top 3 in the betting. This would mean that we may only need to be wary of Mr Pointment, Cerium and Cooldine if they are in the top 3 of betting which is unlikely, although Cooldine is 4th in betting currently.

Some other well known facts about this race are that no race has ever been won by a horse older than 10 which is another negative point for Mr Pointment.

It is worth noting that both Denman and Kauto Star have been raced previously against My Will and beaten him, as well as in last year’s Gold Cup. In all the races were My Will has competed against either of these horses he has been chasing the leaders and then faded two or three from the last hinting that Nicholls may be using him as a pace horse and putting him out of any serious contention.

This has given us strong reasons to wipe out My Will and Mr Pointment from our possible contenders with a possible reason to include Cerium and Cooldine in that (although keeping an eye on Cooldine in the betting is going to be necessary). Strong contenders so far include Kauto Star, Denman, Tricky Trickster and Calgary Bay.

With these horses removed we are left with Mon Momme, Imperial Commander and Carruthers to determine whether they deserve a place in our contenders list for further analysis. To do this I am going to look for any obvious reasons to throw them out, and unfortunately there are none. We only have three obvious non-contenders then in My Will, Mr Pointment and Cerium. Our contenders are below.

Kauto Star

Denman

Cooldine

Imperial Commander

Tricky Trickster

Carruthers

Calgary Bay

Mon Momme

Eight possible contenders in an eleven horse race is a huge amount which is what makes these races hard betting prospects. I am now going to look at each horse individually.

Kauto Star

The obvious selection to win the race, and the odds-on favourite, having won the Gold Cup numerous times. He is in excellent form and loves the distance, going and course. With Walsh riding him in a race he has an excellent strike record in, as well as coming from a stable in good form for this race it is hard to find anything to go against him.

Denman

Kauto Star’s main rival in the race is being ridden by McCoy who will, without a doubt, want to win. He has not had the class of performance that Kauto Star has shown yet but again is comfortable with all the conditions of the race. Although his recent form hasn’t been as good as Kauto Star’s once again it is very hard to find anything to go against him with.

Cooldine

We already know that Cooldine has not raced for 373 days but on further investigation this is just based on UK data and he has run more recently in Ireland. While worse recent form than the two leaders in the field Cooldine still has good form. If we look at his class based on earnings then we can see that he is not as far behind as might be expected. Having good collateral speed against Carruthers in a race this time last year is also a good sign. The jockey and trainer are not rated so highly as the other runners in the race and could be the only serious negative against Cooldine since he likes the conditions of the race.

Imperial Commander

Imperial Commander is a course specialist and likes Cheltenham which could help to put him into contention. If we take the two market leaders away then he has shown good form in comparison to the rest of the field. He has been beaten three times by Kauto Star and likely will be again but he favours a slightly softer going. There is definitely reason to consider him as a contender on the same level as Cooldine.

Tricky Trickster

Although his form is comparable to most of the other runners, he has not yet proven to have the class to win this race. He has a strong preference for the going and distance which will hold him in good stead. With good jockey and trainer stats if we see a rise in performance he could be contending for a place with Imperial Commander and Cooldine.

Carruthers

Way lower on earnings class level in comparison to the other runners and with a lower course preference don’t start with positives for Carruthers. In races like these (with such good runners) it is more important to find what could go against a runner and these are definitely two negatives. Other than this his preferences indicate he will like the conditions. It is unlikely though that he will be able to compete on the same level as some of the other contenders in this race with these negatives going against him.

Calgary Bay

There are no indications to show that Calgary Bay is going to have what is needed to contend in this race. With the lowest condition preferences in the race and the trainer hinting that he isn’t going to be able to take a serious part in the race we can leave Calgary Bay out of our final contenders list.

Mon Momme

Surprising everyone last year at the Grand National, Mon Momme has some of the worst form in the field. While preferences for the conditions are good he is unlikely to be able to take a serious part in this race and may well be using it as a stepping stone for the Grand National this year. Although it could well be a mistake I am going to remove him from the contenders list.

After looking in more detail at the runners we have established that we have five strong contenders including the two market favourites. These are Kauto Star, Denman, Imperial Commander, Cooldine and Tricky Trickster.

Current odds on Kauto Star are 1.75 and I would not personally want to be placing my money on him at this level even though he stands a very strong chance of winning. The obvious bet against would be Denman at odds of 6 and offering much more value. Even the place odds of 1.9 on Denman seem to be quite generous and may well be worth taking.

With Imperial Commander and Cooldine both having good odds these could be considered with a possible slight favouring on Imperial Commander, due to the slightly weaker trainer and jockey stats on Cooldine. Another possibility would be to bet Denman in the ‘Without Favourite Market’ where he is currently trading at odds of 2.5 which seems to be offering quite good value.

Whatever you choose it is bound to be an exhilarating race. I hope that this overview of the race has helped you to make your decision.

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.

4 Comments

  1. I think that they were most likely using this race as a warm up for the Grand National this year.

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