You could easily believe that a horse racing equivalent of King Midas had bestowed itself on the members of the BHA as the latest in a long line of ‘Gold Cups ‘ takes centre stage at the home of jumps racing.
The Caspian Caviar Gold Cup (December Gold Cup to give it its more familiar name) currently sees 16 horses primed to slog it out over 2m5f on Cheltenham’s New Course.
Here are all the numbers you need to know to find the next winner of a trophy made of the precious metal.
19 – The number of renewals of this contest since a horse landed the honours on its first visit of Cheltenham.
17 – Of the last 20 winners 17 finished in the first three on their last start. Strong form looks paramount.
16 – The ability to cope in this company is also important, with 16 of the last 20 winners previously at least placing in a Graded chase, while the four omissions were having their first run at the level.
14 – No winner in the past 14 December Gold Cups had previously won more than two handicap chases.
8 – Despite making up just 43% of the total runners six and seven-year-olds have accounted for eight winners in the past 10 runnings.
3 – Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls have each won the race a trio of times (no one has won it more).
2 – Just twice in the past 10 renewals has the aforementioned Nicholls’ failed to have a horse either win or finish in the places.
1 – Only one winner in the last 17 years had run in more than four handicap chases.
As much as we would like to pull out a big price winner of the contest, one horse that is setting alarm bells ringing is Paddy Power Gold Cup winner Caid Du Berlais.
Paul Nicholls’ current 3/1 favourite meets every one of the above stats apart from the fact he is a five-year-old.
However, with just nine horses of that age taking their chance in the last 20 runnings, we can forgive him that as he seeks to become only the fourth horse to land Cheltenham’s big pre-Christmas handicap double.
But for those willing to bend the rules slightly, we may be able to put up a bit of each-way value.
Edgardo Sol (12/1) (previously with Nicholls as it happens) was eighth in the Paddy Power on ground that was against him.
He fits the age bracket, has plenty of experience of Cheltenham and was second in the Grade 2 Old Roan Chase on his seasonal reappearance.
With just seven handicap chase starts to his name (winning two), he could defy his current mark and on better ground might be a more tempting proposition for trend followers.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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