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Cheltenham Gold Cup Trends: Minella Indo has a lot of Cheltenham pluses

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minella Indo

As we move into the final day of the Cheltenham Festival (Friday 18th March) we’ve another cracking seven races to look forward to, but on ‘day four’ it’s all about the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup.   

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the pinnacle event at the Festival and last year we saw the Henry De Bromhead yard win the Gold Cup for the first time with Minella Indo.

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This 9 year-old saw off a sustained challenge from A Plus Tard 12 months ago to also give jockey Jack Kennedy his first winner in the Cheltenham Gold Cup – and they are back for more in 2022.

Minella Indo, @ 9/2 Betfred however, hasn’t won a race since winning the Gold Cup in 2021, but it’s hard to fault his record at the Cheltenham track – 1-2-1 – with all those runs coming at the Festival too.

If successful in the 2022 Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup, Minella Indo will follow in the hoof prints of the likes of Al Boum Photo, Kauto Star and Best Mate as recent two-time winners of this ‘day four’ feature.

Like most races at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival, there are many key trends and stats to take into each contest.

So, does the current Cheltenham Gold Cup champion – Minella Indo – tick the main Cheltenham Gold Cup trends this year?

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Did You Know? ALL of the last 19 Cheltenham Gold Cup winners were aged 9 years-old, while 16 of the last 19 successful horses finished 1st or 2nd last time out and also came from the top three in the betting.


Key Cheltenham Gold Cup Trends

  • 19/19 – Aged 9 or younger
  • 18/19 – Had raced within the last 3 months
  • 17/19 – Had run over fences at Cheltenham before
  • 16/19 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
  • 16/19 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
  • 14/19 – Won last time out

Cheltenham Gold Cup Trends – Main Runners (based on the six main trends above)

A PLUS TARD ✅❌✅✅✅❌           A Plus Tard @ 10/3 Betfred

GALVIN ✅❌✅✅✅✅                    Galvin @ 10/3 Betfred

MINELLA INDO ✅✅✅✅✅❌        Minella Indo@ 5/1 Betfred

PROTEKTORAT ✅❌✅✅❌✅         Protektorat @ 15/2 Betfred

AL BOUM PHOTO ❌✅✅✅❌✅      Al Boum Photo @ 11/1 Betfred

TORNADO FLYER ✅❌✅✅❌✅      Tornado Flyer @ 12/1 Betfred

Note: Odds are subject to change

Minella Indo Ticks A Lot Of Our Main Cheltenham Gold Cup Trends

Okay, Minella Indo @ 9/2 Betfred hasn’t win a race since taking the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup, but he’d have had this Festival defence as his main target all season.

He’s run three times this term, but the signs last time in the Irish Gold Cup, when a 6 ½ length second to Conflated, suggest he’s running into form at the right time.

With 11 runs over fences now, he’s still only finished out of the first trio three times.

The only one of our main trends Minella Indo falls down on is not having won last time out, but he ticks the other five.

The other big plus is the return to Cheltenham – he loves it here – and will head here with a Festival record that reads 1-2-1, having also won the 2019 Albert Bartlett and was second in the 2020 RSA Chase.

Back MINELLA INDO@ 9/2 Betfred

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Past Champ Al Boum Photo Bids To Emulate Kauto Star

The Willie Mullins-trained Al Boum Photo @ 11/1 Betfred entered the Cheltenham Gold Cup hall of fame with wins in the race in 2019 and 2020, plus wasn’t disgraced in third in 2021.

He’s back for more in 2022 and will be looking to become the first horse since Kauto Star to regain the Gold Cup title.

This season he’s lightly-raced again with just the one run (win) at Tramore on New Year’s Day – a race that connections like to prep him in – he landed that by an easy 4 lengths.

The trends, give him a squeak with four of our six on his side, but he falls down on not having had a recent run and more importantly his age (10). The last horse aged 10 or older to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup was Cool Dawn in 1998!

Other Main Cheltenham Gold Cup Runners

A Plus Tard @ 10/3 Betfred Likely to be disputing for the Cheltenham Gold Cup favourites berth come the day and it’s easy to see why. This Henry De Bromhead runner was a gallant runner-up 12 months ago as a 7 year-old so with another year on his back will be  much stronger horse this time.

This 2019 Festival winner (Close Brothers Novice Handicap) returned this season with an easy win in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November and only went down a short head to Galvin in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.

We’ve not seen him on the track since with connection preferring to keep him fresh for this, while from 13 runs over fences (5 wins) he’s yet to finish out of the first three!

Our main trends see him tick 4 of the 6, with only not winning last time out and not having had a recent run the ones he falls down on.

Galvin @ 10/3 Betfred Another that is sure to be popular on the day and could easily go off as the Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite. Galvin landed the Savills Chase at Leopardstown in gutsy fashion over Christmas and with staying his big asset then you feel the extra 2 furlongs and the Cheltenham hill will be right up his street.

He’s already a Festival winner too after taking the NH Challenge Cup here last season over 3m6f, which further backs up his proven stamina that Gold Cup horses these days need in abundance.

Of our six main trends he also only falls down on one – having not had a recent run. But that isn’t too much of a worry as this 8 year-old came to the Festival off a 144-day lay-off last season to win.

Protektorat @ 15/2 Betfred Is likely to be the main home-trained challenger in the Gold Cup. He’s surrounded by top Irish stayers in the betting, but at just 7 years-old this Dan Skelton-trained runner is starting to make a name for himself.

He carried a big weight to run a decent second in the Paddy Power Gold Cup here in November (2m4f) and backed that up with an easy 25 length win over the former Gold Cup winner – Native River at Aintree in December.

We’ve not seen him since, but is sure to have been well-tuned for this. At just 7 years-old there should be a lot more to come and he’s only had seven runs over fences and is yet to finish out of the first two (4 wins).

Our main trends see him fall down on just two – not having had a recent run and not being from the first four in the betting (but that could change!).

Tornado Flyer @ 12/1 Betfred A slightly surprising winner of the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day – or was he? 5 of the last 19 Gold Cup winners last ran in the KG, while 11 of the last 22 ran in the KG.

Yes, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but prior to that KG win he’d run well behind Allaho twice, including a fair third in the Ryanair Chase here last season.

He was also fifth in the Marsh Novices’ Chase in 2020 at the Festival behind Samcro and now deserves his chance in the ‘big one’.

This Willie Mullins runner also has four of our main trends in his favour, with just not having a recent run and not being in the top 3 in the betting against him.

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Cheltenham Gold Cup Trends – The Pluses

  • 18 of the last 22 winners ran in the Savills Chase or King George that season
  • 18 of the last 21 finished 1st or 2nd last time out
  • 18 of the last 22 winners were 2nd or 3rd season chasers
  • 11 of the last 16 winners had run 9 or less times over fences
  • 21 of the last 22 winners were Grade 1 winners
  • 17 of the last 21 had won or placed at the Festival before
  • 17 of the last 21 winners hailed from the top 3 in the betting
  • 20 of the last 22 winners had raced no more than 12 times over fences
  • 12 of the last 14 winners ran 3 or less times that season
  • 17 of the last 25 winners were bred in Ireland
  • 16 of the last 21 winners won last time out
  • 9 of the last 19 winners were favourites
  • 13 of the last 17 winners yet to win beyond 3m 1/2f
  • ALL of the last 22 winners were aged 9 or younger
  • 21 of the last 22 winners aged between 7-9 years-old
  • 20 of the last 22 winners were in their first three seasons over fences
  • Horses placed in a previous Supreme Novices’ Hurdle have a good record

Cheltenham Gold Cup Trends – The Negatives

  • Non-Grade One winners have a poor record
  • No winner older than 10 years-old since 1969 (0 from 73)
  • Just one winning 6 year-old since 1964
  • Horses rated 166 or less are only 6 from last 35
  • Avoid horses that had run on ‘heavy’ ground that season
  • Horses wearing headgear have a bad recent record
  • Willie Mullins has only won the race twice (2020, 2019), 2 from 33 (had 4 of the last 9 seconds and the 2019 & 2020 winner though)
  • Only 3 winners since 2000 returned 9/1 or bigger
  • Just 2 of the last 14 winners had raced more than 3 times that season
  • Horses that were beaten in their first Gold Cup don’t fare well
  • Only 2 winners since 2000 had previously been beaten in the race
  • No winner since 2000 ran in that season’s Cotswold Chase

Recent Cheltenham Festival Gold Cup Winners

2021 – MINELLA INDO (9/1)
2020 – AL BOUM PHOTO (10/3 fav)
2019 – AL BOUM PHOTO (12/1)
2018 – NATIVE RIVER (5/1)
2017 – SIZING JOHN (7/1)
2016 – DON COSSACK (9/4 fav)
2015 – CONEYGREE (7/1)
2014 – LORD WINDERMERE (20/1)
2013 – BOBS WORTH (11/4 fav)
2012 – SYNCHRONISED (8/1)
2011 – LONG RUN (7/2 fav)
2010 – IMPERIAL COMMANDER (7/1)
2009 – KAUTO STAR (7/4 fav)
2008 – DENMAN (9/4)
2007 – KAUTO STAR (5/4 fav)
2006 – WAR OF ATTRITION (15/2)
2005 – KICKING KING (4/1 fav)
2004 – BEST MATE (8/11 fav)
2003 – BEST MATE (13/8 fav)

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