Cheltenham Gold Cup 2017: How To Pick The Winner

There are a variety of different approaches we can take when it comes to assessing how likely a horse is to win a race. Unfortunately, none of these approaches constitute an exact science here. There are simply too many factors, and too many unknowns. All we can do is make estimates based on the information that’s available to us. The trick, of course, is to make those estimates as accurate as possible. This means taking a wide range of different factors into account.

  1. The Going The condition of the course, as reported first thing every morning by the Clerk of the Course is very important as not every horse will handle all types of ground.  Today’s going for the Gold Cup has been described as ‘good’. Horses who have done well in the winter when the mud flies may not do well today. Of the main protagonists Sizing John was the most recent winner on ‘Good’ ground and that was back in November 2015
  2. The Track Runners with previous festival often outrun their odds and recent form. It is worth noting that 11 of the 15 winners had all won or finished second at the Festival before. Djakadam has finished 2nd twice in the race, Minella Rocco had Native River behind when winning the National Hunt Chase here last year, More Of That won the World Hurdle here in 2014  whilst Sizing John was second in last years Arkle.
  3. The Form Of The Stable betting horses from “hot stables” remains a decent way of narrowing down the field and if you are taking this approach then you would be looking at horses trained by Mullins ( Djakadam) Elliot (Outlander) and Jonjo O’Neil ( Minella Rocco & More Of That)
  4. Official Ratings  The ratings are a way of scoring a horse’s performance and deciding on the likelihood of a good performance in the next race. if we take official ratings as the only measure then the top rated horse will win, in practice it dos not work like this as i would probable be on yacht in the Caribbean rather then writing this! The highest rated horse in this years race is Cue Card. 13 of the last 15 winners were rated at 166 or higher so the winner should come from Cue Card, Native River, Djakadam, Champagne West and Bristol De Mai.
  5. The Age of The Horse. 20 of the last 22 winners were aged between seven and nine.  Of the horses rated 166 or higher then it would narrow the race down to Djakadam, Native River and Champagne West.

Verdict, Djakadam runner up for the last 2 years ticks most of the above boxes and is sure to 100% ready for this race. We also like Native River  who hasn’t stopped winning since fitted with cheekpieces, completing a rare Hennessy/Welsh National double before winning Grade 2 Denman which is a Gold Cup trial in very good fashion last month. The stats are against Cue Card although was looking the likely winner of this last year before falling 3 out.


Winner Djakadam to go one better at 11/4. Native River e/w bet at 4/1


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