Friday, November 17, 2017

BetVictor Gold Cup 2017

Richard Johnson riding at Newcastle on the first day of the Cheltenham Open meeting?

There was a tally of two winners from four rides for the champion jockey, courtesy of Jassas (7/2) and Mary Eleanor (13/8).

When Taquin Du Seuil pipped front-running Village Vic (Richard Johnson up) a neck in last year's running of the BetVictor Gold Cup, the gelding became the first nine-year-old to collect the spoils since Cyfor Malta in 2002.

In the intervening years Little Josh remains the only horse older than seven to have won.

And since Cyfor Malta carried 11-9 to that famous victory 15 years ago, only four others have come home in front with more than 11-0 on their back: Our Vic (11-7 in 2005); Exotic Dancer (11-2 in 2006); Al Ferof (11-8 in 2012); and Taquin Du Seuil last year with 11-11.

This race is known for its trends and traditionally the market has proved a reasonable guide to finding the winner - there has been only one winner priced bigger than 12/1 in the past ten years.

Nicky Henderson's decision to go to Ascot with Top Gamble has seen the weights rise five pounds with the result eleven of the runners are now set to carry more than 11-0.

This year's handicap looks atypical with a top-heavy feel to it and for that reason I'm not inclined to be too dogmatic about the 11-0 weight threshold.

The market has a slightly idiosyncratic look to it as well with the following horses quoted at around 10/1 or less: Kylemore Lough, Tully East, Le Prezien, Starchitect, Foxtail Hill, Ballyalton and Romain De Senam; past trends suggest the winner will come from this list of horses (with ten-year-old Ballyalton looking to become the first winner older than nine since Clear Cut in 1975).

All the other runners are priced 16/1 or bigger.

Of the fancied horses Foxtail Hill is eight years old and burdened with 11-5 but he's my idea of the winner following his all-the-way win over two miles here three weeks ago.

He has gone up seven pounds for that effort but the additional four and a half furlongs will suit and he won over this trip on the new course in January with Jamie Balgary in the plate; Jamie rides again tomorrow and claims three so the weight carried falls to 11-2.

Foxtail Hill races from the front and, provided he gets into a good rhythm early on, should run a respectable race (famous last words); at the time of writing at least two bookmakers (Betfair and Paddy Power) go 10/1 which offers the opportunity for an each-way wager for those interested.

Of the bigger priced runners Skybet's 20/1 about Aqua Dude catches the eye as they're paying a fifth the odds six places.

This one will need to show improvement on what he has achieved to date but at seven years of age and with 10-11 to carry Evan Williams' contender has the right profile; the trainer saddled Buywise to finish second in this event in 2015 and the same horse returned to finish third behind Taquin Du Seuil last year.

Aqua Dude (20/1 Skybet) is the each-way suggestion.


Anonymous said...

I, for one, am certainly guilty of over complicating this game and simply following the obvious of RJ at Newcastle provided a 78% ROI with zero study time!

My system, as ever showing no respect for trends, has thrown up Plaisir D’Amour and I’ve taken an interest at 25/1 (5 plcs ¼ odds BET365).

The former French trained 5yo mare joined Venetia Williams in late 2016 and showed progress and promise in her 6 runs for the yard rising 19lbs in the handicap. The ground and trip should be perfect today and whilst it may well be that she has now reached her peak in the handicap I’m hoping she still has plenty more to offer and that she can cope with the hurly burly demands of the race.

Tom Segal (Pricewise) has also highlighted the value in Aqua dude, I’m not sure if that increases or decreases your confidence!

Good Luck


System Ratings

It’s the Timeform free race so I’ve also included their form rating for each horse:

Timeform TW Rtg Horse Win Chance (%)
163 174 PLAISIR D'AMOUR(FR) 23.29
170 169 KYLEMORE LOUGH(GB) 7.87
166 169 GUITAR PETE(IRE) 7.18
158+ 167 DOUBLE TREASURE(GB) 6.29
164P 167 LE PREZIEN(FR) 6.01
164+ 165 ROMAIN DE SENAM(FR) 5.4
168 166 STARCHITECT(IRE) 5.06
164 168 AQUA DUDE(IRE) 4.93
165 166 THEINVAL(FR) 4.55
164 168 FOXTAIL HILL(IRE) 4.24
167 169 BALLYALTON(IRE) 4.05
164 168 MYSTIFIABLE(GB) 4.05
163 165 DAYS OF HEAVEN(FR) 3.97
163 165 VICONTE DU NOYER(FR) 3.46
165 161 TULLY EAST(IRE) 2.87
160$ 165 SPLASH OF GINGE(GB) 2.62
162 163 LAKE TAKAPUNA(IRE) 2.22
163 160 BENTELIMAR(IRE) 1.95

GeeDee said...

Thanks again for your ratings, TW. More hopeful than confident with Aqua Dude.

Your selection has set me thinking - the last mare to win the race? I *think* it was Lady Cricket in 2000 when the race was known as the Thomas Pink Gold Cup Chase.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

The change in going from Good to Soft to Soft, Heavy in places clearly had an impact on the race result.

Pre Race Quote - Nigel Twiston-Davies, trainer: "Splash Of Ginge was seventh in the race two years ago and seems in better form now."

Stewards Report:

The winner, SPLASH OF GINGE, appeared to show improved form compared with its previous run at Wetherby on 3 November 2017 where the gelding finished fourth of the six runners, beaten 27 lengths on good to soft ground. Nigel Twiston-Davies’s explanation that SPLASH OF GINGE lost its confidence over fences last season and has improved for the softer ground, was noted. The gelding was routine tested.

Following the race Noel Fehilly reported that KYLEMORE LOUGH, which was pulled up, made a bad mistake and was never travelling thereafter. The Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination of KYLEMORE LOUGH failed to reveal any abnormalities. Nicky Henderson reported that DAYS OF HEAVEN (FR), which was pulled up, was unsuited by the soft, heavy in places ground and would prefer a sounder surface. Ryan Day reported that GUITAR PETE (IRE), unplaced, was badly hampered by a faller at the first fence. The Veterinary Officer reported that AQUA DUDE (IRE), which was pulled up, was lame left fore and that BALLYALTON (IRE), placed fourth, lost its left fore shoe. She also reported that PLAISIR D’AMOUR (FR), which was pulled up, lost its left hind shoe.

GeeDee said...

And sometimes there are times when following trends is little more than a waste of time...

Splash Of Ginge, a nine-year-old carrying 10-6 and sent off at 25/1, took up the running three from home and had just enough left in the tank to repel Starchitect's challenge up the hill on the soft/heavy ground. There was a neck in it on the line; I wouldn't want to guess what the Pipe team feels this evening - mistakes at the final two fences probably cost their charge his moment of glory.

Le Prezien (6/1) was third with Ballyalton (8/1) fourth.

Selection Aqua Dude (16/1) raced in midfield for much of the race but went backwards quickly from four out. TW's post giving details from the stewards' report indicates the gelding was pulled up after going lame while Plaisir D'Amour (20/1) was pulled up after losing a shoe.

On occasions such as this, the like of which I have encountered many, many times over the years, I tend to fall back on a stock list of mundane, prosaic phrases to help ease the pain.

On this particular occasion I'll use: 'Back to the drawing board then...'

Mulldog said...

Hi GD! Glad to see you're still blogging Norm. Just going through my blogroll to check all the links are nice and healthy.

GeeDee said...

Hi Mully!

Good to hear from you - trust you're keeping well and finding the winners... ;)

Mulldog said...

As always- we all enjoy a good puzzle.