King of Stats: Cossack can be the Don in Punchestown Gold Cup

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The Punchestown Festival rolls on and on day two arguably the highlight of the week takes centre stage with the Gold Cup.

Defending champion Boston Bob is back for another crack at the contest, but with two other Willie Mullins runners in there, he could have some strong competition from his stablemates.

Analysing the form can be tricky, that’s why we’ve delved into the trends and picked out a few stats to lead the way, and given you the nod on the charges that tick those boxes.

Age

  • The relative youngsters have the upper hand in the contest winning eight of the last 10 contests.

o   Djakadam, Don Cossack, Road To Riches

Class

  • Of the last 13 victors, 10 had previously tasted success at Grade 1 level.

o   Boston Bob, Cue Card, Don Cossack, Flemenstar, Road To Riches

Recent form

  • While it is not necessary to have won last time out, 24 of the last 26 winners had got their head in front in the previous year.

o   Boston Bob, Djakadam, Don Cossack, On His Own, Road To Riches

Experience (just not too much)

  • The last 10 winners had all run between six and 15 times over fences.

o   Ballynagour, Boston Bob, Djakadam, Don Cossack, Flemenstar, Road To Riches

Fitness

  • A prep run looks key for success, with nine winners in the last decade having run in the previous 40 days.

o   Ballynagour, Cue Card, Don Cossack, Flemenstar, On His Own

Familiarity with Punchestown

  • Since the race was run at Fairyhouse in 2001, nine of the 13 winners had previously won at the course.

o   Boston Bob, Don Cossack, Flemenstar, Road To Riches

Background

  • French bred horses have done extremely well, winning five of the last 12 renewals from just 22 per cent of the runners.

o   Djakadam

Conclusion

The Gigginstown pair of Road to Riches and DON COSSACK head the pile when it comes to the trends, with the latter getting the nod.

Gordon Elliot’s horse only falls down on the fact that he was bred in Germany, rather than France, but ticks all boxes bar that.

A decisive winner at Aintree last time out, when he had Cue Card 26l back in second bodes well for this step back up in trip.

Two wins from three chase starts at Punchestown shows that this eight-year-old knows what it takes to win here and can add another big prize in the form of the Gold Cup.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.