Being French-bred makes Divers the one to beat at Cheltenham

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French-bred horses have an amazing record in the Spinal Research Gold Cup in recent seasons and this is one of many reasons why Divers seems a horse to side with in the Cheltenham odds at 7/1.

Despite making up only a small percentage of the total runners in the last decade, horses bred in France have triumphed in seven of the last eight runnings of the Spinal Research Gold Cup, including the likes of Exotic Dancer and Poquelin.

This is the leading trend that Divers adheres to, while also the fact that he is a seven-year-old appears to be in his favour.

Horses aged seven or eight have dominated the race of late and only one horse aged nine or older has even finished among the each-way places since 1999.

There should be no concerns about the current form of Divers either, as he run on well from off the pace in the closing stages of the Paddy Power Gold Cup to finish third on his latest start.

Eight of the last ten winners of the Spinal Research Gold Cup had finished in the first three on their previous start before arriving at Cheltenham.

Meanwhile, Divers will be far better off at the weights with Great Endeavour, who not only won the Paddy Power Gold Cup, but has had another somewhat gruelling test since in the Hennessy Gold Cup.

Among the smaller statistics that seem to work in favour of Divers are the fact that he is a second-season chaser, has had between 6-14 chase starts during his career and has accrued no more than two previous chase victories in handicap company.

If the rain stays away from Cheltenham then this will additionally boost Divers’ chances, given that he finished third in the Paddy Power Gold Cup on a less than ideal softer surface.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.