The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the most valuable non-handicap chase in Britain and the total prize money for the 2017 running will be £575,000.
Run over 3.3 miles and 22 fences, it’s a gruelling test for only the best – this is the race that everyone wants to win… but what are the chances of this year’s contenders?
Last Year’s Winner?
In the Gold Cup’s history only seven horses have won more than once, the most recent of them is Kauto Star, who took the spoils in 2007 and 2009 and is the only horse to regain the Gold Cup.
Golden Miller holds the record for the most Gold Cup victories, with five consecutive wins from 1932–36.
Had a tendon injury not forced the 2016 Gold Cup winner, Don Cossack, into early retirement, the 10-year-old gelding would have been fancied to retain his hard-earned crown at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival. However that possibility is now ruled out.
Golden Miller’s owner, Dorothy Paget, is the most successful owner in the race with an amazing seven victories, with Roman Hackle (1940) and Mont Tremblant (1952) adding to Golden Miller’s five wins. However she is no longer with us so that possibility is ruled out.
The most successful trainer is Tom Dreaper, who won five Gold Cups with three separate horses, namely Prince Regent (1946), Arkle (1964, 1965 and 1966) and Fort Leney (1968).
Paul Nicholls is the most successful current handler with four wins from three separate horses – See More Business (1999), Kauto Star (2007 & 2009) and Denman (2008). He has no runner in the Gold Cup this year so that possibility is ruled out.
Age of horse?
The breakdown of winners by age is as follows:
- 5yo – 3 victories
- 6yo – 5 victories
- 7yo – 16 victories
- 8yo – 20 victories
- 9yo – 25 victories
- 10yo – 11 victories
- 11yo – 5 victories
- 12yo – 2 victories
This suggests a nine year old is the best bet.
Almost half of all winners have been ridden by Irish jockeys… enough said.
So what’s the forecast?
The heavy ante-post favourite, Thistlecrack, was withdrawn from the running with a tendon injury less than a month before the race, blowing the betting field wide open.
Colin Tizzard’s stable is in fine form this season and attention has focused on his runners Cue Card and Native River, who lead the betting.
However, Grosvenor Sportsbook has analysed the data of the past 88 Cheltenham Festival winners, and has predicted which horse is most likely to win.
Based on the data it will be an Irish, nine-year-old horse with starting odds of around 7/1, 8/1 or 7/2.
Using those stats they’ve identified Outlander as the most likely horse to win.