The final declaration stage for the Paddy Power Gold Cup has now passed, meaning 22 horses will line up at Cheltenham for one of the most prestigious handicaps of the National Hunt season.
We have already covered the majority of the market leaders in our ante-post preview, but in this statistical take, it is one horse that failed to get a mention in our initial look that has the most in common with previous Paddy Power winners.
The five statistics that helped form this basis were:
– 12 of the last 13 winners had previously triumphed over a distance of 2m4f or further over fences
– 11 of the last 12 winners were aged between five and seven
– Nine of the last 10 winners had an official rating between 139 and 149
– Nine of the last 13 winners had finished in the first four in their previous start
– All of the last 13 winners had run at Cheltenham before
Here are how the 22 runners fared in comparison to these statistics:
The only runner to tick all of the boxes is the youngest and only five-year-old in the field Art Mauresque, who has been well backed into 12/1 to be among the Paddy Power favourites.
He has no experience in big-field contests, but interestingly his official rating has only gone up 3lb since April, despite three victories in the middling period, which leads to the belief that he has been leniently treated.
Paul Nicholls’ horse’s only defeat came behind highly-regarded pair Irish Cavalier and Henryville at Newton Abbot when fading late on. Nicholls has won two of the last three runnings of the Paddy Power Gold Cup too, with Al Ferof and Caid Du Berlais.
Interestingly, Art Mauresque was only receiving 2lb from the winner that day at Newton Abbot and went down by only three lengths. This time at Cheltenham, the weight difference will be 9lb, suggesting he is the better handicapped of the pair.
Also in his favour are the expected good ground and the fact he is a reliable jumper, despite being so young and relatively inexperienced.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £50 in free bets.