What Does A Gold Cup Winner Look Like? – Tips For Picking A Winner

If you’re trying to decide who’s going to win this year’s most prestigious chase in the racing world – the Cheltenham Gold Cup – then maybe it’s worth looking back to see what the great race has to tell us?

Looking through history sheds a lot of light on the likely winner this year as there are certain patterns that begin to emerge.

For Cheltenham 2022 there are a lot of offers available from a number of good sources. But before deciding which offers to take advantage of let’s have a look at a few Gold Cup historical stats.

Average Odds For A Gold Cup Winner

Since the contest was first run on 12 March 1924, there have been 93 Cheltenham Gold Cups. And of those 93 winners, 27% (25 out of the 93) have been favourites.

But in the modern era (since 2000) the average odds of the winner are around 6/1. So it seems likely that the winner won’t be a real outsider, but then Lord Windermere did manage to win in 2014 at odds of 20/1 (pulling up the average a lot in the process).

The shortest-priced winner in the modern era (again since 2000) was the 2004 winner Best Mate with odds of 8/11 – as he landed his third Gold Cup in a row. He was the only horse to do since the legendary Arkle.

Ideal Age For A Gold Cup Winner

Meanwhile, the average age of a Gold Cup winning horse is 8.4 years old and the most common age for the winner is 9 years old.

However in the last ten renewals that age is dropped a little with more winners falling into the 8 or 7 years old bracket. And that includes the last five Gold Cup winners.

So the winner is likely to be aged between 7 and 9 – with these ages accounting for 44 of the last 51 runnings of the race since 1970 (there was no Gold Cup in 2001 due to the Foot & Mouth disease outbreak).

The only horses outside this age range to win since 1970 were:

  • 2011 Long Run aged 6
  • 1998 Cool Dawn aged 10
  • 1992 Cool Ground aged 10
  • 1989 Desert Orchid aged 10
  • 1988 Charter Party aged 10
  • 1982 Silver Buck aged 10
  • 1973 The Dikler aged 10

No horse aged 11 or over has won the Gold Cup since 1969. That was What A Myth and he was 12-years-old.

The Importance Of Training

Training also seems to play a huge part in deciding who’ll win. From the last 15 Cheltenham Gold Cups, nine of the winners have been British trained and six in Ireland.

But recently that statistic is being turned upside down with the dominance of the Irish at the Cheltenham Festival.

In fact, five of the last six Gold Cup winners have come from Irish trainers. That includes last year’s winner Minella Indo (2021) from Henry De Bromhead.

Gold Cup Winner Stats

When you’re deciding who will emerge victorious for this year’s Gold Cup, bear in mind that history tells us a lot.

The winner is statistically likely to be fairly short-priced (at less than 10-1). It is most likely to be aged 7 or 8, and will probably be trained in Ireland.

This year’s favourite A Plus Tard is trained in Ireland and is 8-years-old. And with odds of 10/3, he ticks a lot of the statistic boxes.

Likewise for the next three in the Gold Cup betting markets which are Galvin (7/2) from Gordon Elliott, Minella Indo (9/2) from Henry De Bromhead and Allaho (8/1) from Willie Mullins.


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