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Paddy Power stats look GenerousPosted on Saturday 14th November 2015 @ 08.45

What do the trends of the last 10 years say about the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham?

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The Paddy Power Gold Cup, as the first major prize of the National Hunt season, is cherished by all trainers but none more so than the big yards. In the past 10 years the race has been won on two occasions each by representatives from the Nicholls, O'Neill, Pipe and Twiston-Davies camps.

From a statistician's perspective the race has plenty of attractions too. Micro-analysis of the results over the past 10 years reveals that horses matching certain criteria have significantly dominated results.

Nine winners were in the age bracket 5-7, nine were second season chasers and eight had run, and been beaten, at the Festival the previous March.

These criteria significantly narrow down this year's field to Kings Palace, Splash Of Ginge, Cocktails At Dawn and Generous Ransom.

The prospects for Kings Palace would have improved further if the Pipe yard had a winner at the Friday meeting. All the previous Martin and David Pipe winners of the Paddy Power and the Thomas Pink, as it was known previously, had come on the back of at least one victory the previous day. BTO Plus+ stats show Pipe has a 46.5% better than expected record with horses returning in November and a 12.5% better than expected record when running in a handicap for the first time. A concern for Kings Palace is his ability to dominate from the front in a field of this size but he has that touch of class needed.

Splash Of Ginge enters this race with questions to answer following his lacklustre performances since winning here last term. However, Nigel Twiston-Davies reports the horse to be in good form and this race could bring out the best in him. Current odds of 20/1 make him a horse worthy of consideration given the yard's record in this race.

Nicky Henderson goes for an overdue success in the race with Cocktails At Dawn. He has paid a heavy price to the handicapper for an impressive return to action at Chepstow last month. Jockey Nico de Boinville is 18.9% better than expected on last time out winners as well. He ticks all the right boxes but, like Kings Palace, he may be denied the opportunity to enjoy the lead he needs to be seen at his best.

Generous Ransom produced two great runs here last term. He was beaten by Irish Cavalier at the Festival but is weighted to turn the tables here. He had that same rival back in third when successful here in January for pilot Daryl Jacob. He comes into the race fresh from a preparatory run over hurdles. The 14-day form graph for the trainer suggests things are not going well at the moment. It should be borne in mind that those horses were unfancied and that Generous Ransom has been brought along with this race in mind. As such, then Generous Ransom, with fewer questions to answer, is the one to be on.

Selections: Generous Ransom generally available at 16/1 and an e/w fun bet on Splash Of Ginge at 25/1.

[Peter Appleby]

Article Posted on Saturday 14th November 2015 @ 08.45

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