Andy Newton’s BetVictor Gold Cup betting guide and trends
Trends for the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham
So, that’s pretty much it for another turf Flat season. This month we get going properly with the jumpers with the three-day Cheltenham Open Meeting (November 16-18) many people’s idea of the curtain-raiser for the hedge-hoppers.
As always, we have three days of top National Hunt action at Prestbury Park to look forward to with the BetVictor Gold Cup the meetings flagship contest – this year that race will be run on Saturday November 17.
In general, over the three days, it’s been a fixture that top National Hunt stables like the Pipes, Nigel TwistonDavies, Paul Nicholls and Jonjo O’Neill have done very well at, and since 1996 those four powerful stables have landed the BetVictor Gold Cup a staggering 16 times between them!
This key ‘stables stat’ was yet again bolstered 12 months ago when the Nigel Twiston-Davies camp fired in their fourth win in the race, and their third success since 2008, when Splash Of Ginge rewarded backers at a tasty 25/1. So, what are the other main trends to have on your side? To start with, having previous experience, plus winning form at Cheltenham, is a big plus. All of the last 16 winners had tasted the tricky Prestbury Park fences in the past, while 12 of those 16 (75%) had won in the past over the bigger obstacles at the track.
Next up is to note horses that have won previously over at least 2m4f (fences) and, also hail from a UKbased yard – 15 of the last 16 winners get a ‘thumbs-up’ on both these stats. It also might pay to note that we’ve had only one Irish-trained winner of the race in the last 27 renewals (Tranquil Sea, 2009) so even though the Irish don’t tend to send too many over for the race it’s still worth knowing.
The age of past winners over the last two decades has a few standout stats too. Yes, the last two winners have been aged 9 years-old so we certainly can’t rule out these, but in generally it’s actually been a cracking contest for 6 or 7 year-olds with 11 of the last 16 winners fitting that age bracket. Plus, with 50% of the last 16 winners aged 7 this is clearly the main age to focus on.
Sticking with the age for just a bit longer, as it’s also worth looking at the other end of the age spectrum as you might want to put a line through and older horses in the race - the last double-figure aged winner was in 1975!
Coming into the race in decent form is certainly another thing to look for as 10 of the last 16 winners won this off the back of a top four finish in their most recent race, while horses that are making their seasonal reappearances go okay too - 8 of the last 16 winners took this after a lay-off.
The slightly lesser exposed runners have done best in recent years. 69% of the last 16 winners had only won 2 or 3 times previously over fences suggesting that the younger unexposed chasers are the ones to have on your side.
Being a handicap then the weightcarried is another trend that has played a big part. Ten of the last 16 winners carried 10st-13lbs or less, but – a small note of caution - there are signs this weight stat is turning the other way as 4 of the last 6 winners have actually won with 10st-13lbs or more.
The last thing to note is the betting. The weight of money for certain horses can often be a good guide as, despite the competitive nature of this contest, we’ve had three of the last 16 favourites win which at a 19% strikerate isn’t too shabby for a race that normally has 15-20 runners in. The market leaders have also been placed in 7 of the last 16 (44%) runnings, while it’s worth noting that a massive 12 of the last 16 winners (75%) returned 12/1 or shorter in the betting – all these stats indicate it’s a race the punters tend to get right more often than not.
So, taking all these trends into account, then once we know the final runners, then this should be easy – right? Okay, it doesn’t always pan out as the stats suggest, but I’d still rather be looking for horses that tick the winning formulas that past winners have shown. Therefore, taking those factors
on board you could do a lot worse than concentrate on anything the Pipe, Nicholls, O’Neill and Twiston-Davies stables have entered. While if any of their runners are also aged 6 or 7 years-old, plus also have past track experience and are 12/1 or less in the betting then these runners are certainly worth taking a second glance at.
RECENT BETVICTOR GOLD CUP WINNERS
2017 – Spalsh Of Ginge (25/1) 2016 - Taquin Du Seuill (8/1) 2015 – Annacotty (12/1) 2014 – Caid Du Berlais (10/1) 2013 – Johns Spirit (7/1) 2012 – Al Ferof (8/1) 2011 – Great Endeavour (8/1) 2010 – Little Josh (20/1) 2009 – Tranquil Sea (11/2 fav) 2008 – Imperial Commander (13/2) 2007 – L’Antartique (13/2) 2006 – Exotic Dancer (16/1) 2005 – Our Vic (9/2 fav) 2004 – Celestial Gold (12/1) 2003 – Fondmort (3/1 fav) 2002 – Cyfor Malta (16/1)
BETVICTOR GOLD CUP BETTING TRENDS
116/16 – Had run at Cheltenham before 15/16 – Had won over at least 2m4f over fences before 15/16 – Won by a UK-based trainer 12/16 – Returned 12/1 or shorter in the betting 12/16 – Had won at Cheltenham before 11/16 – Aged 6 or 7 years-old 11/16 – Had won just 2 or 3 times over fences before 11/16 – Trained by Pipe (3), Jonjo O’Neill (3), Nicholls (2) or Twiston-Davies (3) 10/16 – Carried 10-13 or less (But 4 of the last 6 carried 10-13 or more) 10/16 – Finished in the top 4 last time out 8/16 – Won by a horse in the first 3 in the betting 8/16 – Aged 7 years-old 8/16 – Won this on their seasonal reappearance 7/16 – Placed favourites 5/16 – Won their last race 4/16 – Trained by the Pipe stable 4/16 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out 3/16 – Winning favourites 3/16 – Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies 3/16 – Trained by Jonjo O’Neill 3/16 – Ran at Carlisle last time out 2/16 – Ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies 1/16 – Irish-trained winners The last winner aged in double-figures was in 1975 Paul Nicholls has saddled 9 placed horses (two winners, Al Ferof & Caid Du Berlais) from his last 34 runners The average winning SP in the last 16 years is 10.5/1