We've got a piece from Mark Foley today on the Gold Cup but before we get into that I want to tell you about a special offer for Mark's Cheltenham service.
Mark will be running his trends eye over all the Cheltenham races and giving his analysis along with details of the selections he will be backing.
As a bonus to his Cheltenham service Mark is giving full access to his Trainer Trends service up to the end of April all for just £14.99.
Why I won’t be backing Long Run in the Gold Cup:
(figures since 1997 unless otherwise specified).
A quick question. How many multiple winners of the Gold Cup have there been in the past 40 years?
The answer is two.
Best Mate won at a time when staying Chasers were at rock bottom and Kauto Star is the best staying Chaser since the great Arkle in the sixties.
No other Championship race at Cheltenham comes close to being as difficult to win on more than one occasion.
Multiple winners of this race are a rarity, it is hard to continually run over 3 miles over fences, which takes its toll as runners reach the limits of their endurance, meaning injuries are inevitable in the long run.
The extra 2 furlongs, the frantic pace and the stiff finish take a lot out a horse. Paul Nicholls mentioned in his Autobiography that Denman was lifeless for three weeks after his win.
Since 1990, all but 2 of the Gold Cup winners were 7-9 year olds.
Only one of the forty one 10yos won and only 4 made the frame. (11yo and older were 0 from 30 and only 4 placed)
French bred Long Run was a freak at 6yo, the first 6yo winner since 1962.
Long Run and Kauto Star were French Breds; they have a much better record as youngsters. 6 and 7 yo French bred runners were 2 from 13 and 4 were placed; 8yo French Breds were 1 from 35 and only 4 made the frame.
Even Kauto Star failed to dominate here once age caught up with him.
Kauto Star at 8yo and older in Gold Cup: Kauto Star was the French exception as he retained his title as a 9yo, but had a 1 from 5 record in the Gold cup once he reached the age of eight.
Still a wonderful record but the dividing line at the top is remarkably fine.
He may still have been able to do it as an older horse at Kempton but not Cheltenham. Remember we are talking about a freak of a horse, the best staying chaser since Arkle.
It’s not just Kauto Star:
Date Horse Odds Position
2012 Kauto Star (FR) 3/1 PU/14
2011 Kauto Star (FR) 5/1 3rd/13
2010 Kauto Star (FR) 8/11 F/11
2009 Exotic Dancer (FR) 8/1 3rd/16
2009 Kauto Star (FR) 7/4 1st/16
2009 Neptune Collonges (FR) 15/2 4th/16
2008 Exotic Dancer (FR) 17/2 5th/12
2008 Kauto Star (FR) 10/11 2nd/12
2006 Monkerhostin (FR) 13/2 6th/22
2003 Hussard Collonges (FR) 8/1 PU/15
The winners aged 8 or older tend to be Irish Bred runners; 5 from 34 with 9year olds.
Silviniaco Conti (7yo) and Sir De Champs (7yo) are both French Bred, whereas Bobs Worth (8yo) is Irish bred and as Cheltenham specialists look like far better bets to me than Long Run.
All the best Mark.
Southwell 2.40 Hot Sugar – each way bet- 8/1 Will Hill