5 things you didn’t know about the Stewart Family Gold Cup (Cheltenham)

December 13th, 2013

The “Stewart Family Thank You” Gold Cup is a Grade 3 National Hunt chase which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run on the New Course at Cheltenham over a distance of about 2 miles and 5 furlongs.

Let’s see if we can unearth a winner to pay for all those mince pies we’re going to eat at Proform Towers over the Christmas period!

We’re still smarting at the first fence fall of Vesper Bell in the Becher at Aintree last week, but such is the game of National Hunt Jump Racing. The clue for success is in the name.

So we now turn our attention to this race. With the Cheltenham festival seemly months away, the International Meeting turns up the heat just a notch to the big one in March.  

1. Vive La France

In a previous blog post we highlighted the fact that as a population Irish horses are the largest and with that fact, Irish bred horses ‘tend’ to win more races. Well, our French cousins across the English Channel are having none of that in this race. French bred horses account for 8 wins in the last 16 years. A 73% de meilleures performances que prévu statistiquement

Qualifiers: Salut Flo, Silver Roque, Ma Filleule  

2. Different from the Norm

Statistically the median age of the winner in Handicap Chases is 8 years old. However historically in this race, horses aged 6 and 7 have won 10 times collectively in recent years, with 6yo’s performing 58% better than expected, 7yo’s 40 % better than expected.

Qualifiers: Attaglance, Easter Meteor, Silver Roque, Double Ross, Grandioso, Johns Spirit, Tap Night, Colour Squadron  

3. The Cleeve Hill Experience

Given its idiosyncratic nature, some punters consider Cheltenham a specialist course. Well in this race the stats back up that notion with 8 winners in this race from a population of 73 runners whose last run was at Cheltenham. Statistically 28% better than the norm.

Qualifiers: Gauvain, Attaglance, Salut Flo, Johns Spirit, Tap Night, Colour Squadron, Sew On Target  

4. 3rd Ranked

Typically, most horse racing systems use the horse’s rank in the betting forecast as part of the selection criteria For this race if you’ve would have backed the 3rd ranked horse over the years, you would have found the winner on 5 occasions from a population of 17 runners and netted yourself a cool 100% profit based on starting price.

Qualifiers: Grandioso (Ladbrokes and William Hills) (But check the markets)  

5. Chase Me, Chase Me

Using the tools in Proform Professional we are able to slice and dice our data in more ways than Jamie Oliver preparing vegetables.

Using a devilishly ingenious feature we can query our database based on number of runs.

For example, number of runs in a horse’s career in the last x days, months or years using all race categories such as handicaps, maidens etc For this race, horses with greater than or equal to 6 but less than or equal to 9 National Hunt Chase runs in their career, have won 10 times from a population of 59 runners.

This is a “Duncan Norvelle” 92% better than expected performance!

Qualifiers: Attaglance, Cantlow, Tap Night  

Conclusion: Based on all the factors above our shortlisted runners are: Salut Flo, Silver Roque, Attaglance and Tap Night.

We’re going to eliminate Tap Night from consideration on the basis of class (found recent race, The Paddy Power Gold Cup far too competitive).

Salut Flo returns from a 639 course absence so a monumental training performance is required from the Pipe stable. Silver Roque will need to prove his ability stepped up in grade which leaves Attaglance as the remaining contender.

Let’s see if Attaglance can go one better than his recent 4th in the Paddy Power Gold Cup and pay for all those mince pies!