The Racing Horse offer more key trends and this time we look at the Bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Sandown. Forget backing the favourite, this race has been a graveyard race for favourite backers in recent years with Beau (2000) being the last winner! You will need the trends to sort the contenders from the pretenders and we have them here.
...Henllan Harri carries 9lb more than when successful last year. Theatre Guide, Benbens, Rock The Kasbah, Sugar Baron and The Young Master also make a return visit. The latter won this in 2016 and was well backed in last week’s Scottish Grand National but got rid of Sam Waley-Cohen at the first fence. He’s on a very lenient mark nowadays and Conor Shoemark takes over the reins. Blaklion was also a first-fence casualty last time (Sam Twiston-Davies 3-52 over fences at Sandown), in the Aintree National, but will have to shoulder a big weight again. Regal Encore was withdrawn at Aintree on account of the going but beat Minella Daddy at Ascot in February, though is worse off at the weights. Missed Approach is a thorough stayer and won the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir at Cheltenham last month, though has been raised 8lb. Bigbadjohn departed at the third in the Topham at Aintree and never seems to run two races alike. Rathlin Rose was taken off his feet in the Topham and beaten when falling four out but he has a terrific record here and ran well over an even longer trip in the Welsh National in December. He is racing from out of the handicap in this but that has been no barrier to success in the past. Step Back is the unknown quantity and Mark Bradstock is not one to tilt at windmills so the novice demands respect carrying the minimum weight.
2018 Bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m5f110y ITV
15/15: Had raced in the last 56 days (100%)
14/15: Carried 11st 5lbs or less in weight (93%)
12/15: Carried 11st 0lbs or less (80%)
12/15: Had won over 3m or further before (80%)
11/15: Aged 9yo or younger (73%)
10/15: Returned 14/1 or shorter in the betting (67%)
..9/15: Officially rated 140 or higher (60%)
..9/15: Had raced in the last 25 days (60%)
..8/15: Finished 4th or worse last time out (53%)
..8/15: Came from the top 7 in the betting market (53%)
..3/15: Trained by Paul Nicholls (20%)
..2/15: Ran in the Aintree Grand National last time out (13%)
..2/15: Ran in the Scottish Grand National last time out (13%)
..2/15: Won by an Irish-trained horse (13%)
..2/15: Trained by Philip Hobbs (13%)
..2/15. Won last time out (13%)
..0/15. Winning favourites (0%)
The average winning SP in the last 15 years is 15/1
Other useful information
The last winning favourite was Beau in 2000
Just one 6yo winner since 1959 (2%)
22 of the last 27 (81%) winners carried less than 11st
8yos have won 5 of the last 14 runnings (36%)
11 of the last 15 (73%) winners were aged 7, 8 or 9yo
Trainer Paul Nicholls has won the race 4 times
The Racing Horse Verdict
If the trends mean anything and we believe they do, we are looking for a horse aged 9yo or younger, who carries less than 11st and has raced in the last 56 days. Because of the fences will want an experienced pilot and a trainer in some sort of form. We have four against the field and think the winner is amongst them.
1st: The Young Master 11/1 2nd: Step Back 10/1 3rd: Sugar Baron 14/1 4th: Minella Daddy 11/1
Plenty to consider as usual but it could be worth chancing the very lightly-raced novice STEP BACK, who already looks an assured jumper and is sure to go on improving after his impressive win at Fakenham earlier this month. Nigel Twiston-Davies holds a strong hand with Bigbadjohn and Blaklion, while Missed Approach seemed to show the benefit of a wind operation when a game winner of the Kim Muir.
Latest Betting: 7 Blaklion, 8 Step Back, Missed Approach, 10 The Young Master, 11 Minella Daddy, 12 Rock The Kasbah, Bigbadjohn, Sugar Baron, 16 Caroles Destrier, Rathlin Rose, 18 Regal Encore, Present Man, 28 Dawson City, 33 Theatre Guide, Houblon Des Obeaux, Royal Vacation, Band Of Blood, Relentless Dreamer, 40 Domesday Book, 50 Benbens.
Today's Pacafi: click here
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