The Cheltenham Festival has run the Gold Cup on eighty-eight occasions. Every year it is the jewel in the crown of the national hunt season and every year pundits and spectators think they know who will win the big race.
They use every possible hint and statistic in the book. The only time a grey horse won the Gold Cup was Desert Orchid in 1989. Since 1970, there has only been a single six-year-old to have won the race. No horse has ever won which has a name beginning with an H,O,Q,U,V,X,Y or Z. If you want to dig around and find the most bizarre of facts or statistics to back up any assumption, there are some brilliant facts to be found. But even with some facts to back up why a horse should or shouldn’t win there is no way to know if it could happen this year or not.
One thing for sure is that if you want to place a bet on the Gold Cup – William Hill is the place to do it for the best odds and biggest pay-outs.
One of the really interesting patterns in The Gold Cup is the history of repeated winners. Kauto Star became a household name when he managed to make the race his own in the late 2000’s, sandwiching a second in 2008 in between winning in both 2007 and 2009. It was a determined effort to become the first horse to regain the cup, after coming in second in the 2008 race. It is a feat which has not been matched since.
The last horse to win back-to-back Gold Cups was as recently as 2003. Best Mate had won the 2002 race at an unfavoured 7/1 and when he returned to defend his crown in 2003, he had transformed into the 13/8 favourite and the clear favourite by a very large margin. He duly strode home to an almost easy victory and became the first back-to-back victor since L’Escargot in the seventies.
As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Best Mate returned once more in 2004 and became the first horse since 1966 to win three back-to-back Gold Cups. This feat has not been repeated since; which makes it strategically harder to successfully pick your winner for the Gold Cup day & bet on your favourite race horse.
In 1970, L’Escargot was an outside shot at 30/1, yet he managed to upset the odds and win the race. The following year, despite being the reigning champion, he was not the favourite. Still running at decent odds of 7/2, he proved that he should have been given the favourite moniker and won back-to-back races.
The back-to-back has precedence, unfortunately, this year the current champion, Don Cossack will not be running. The closest you will find in name is Don Poli and as far as the history books tell us, this horse has a chance. You can find everything you need for your Gold Cup day betting online at williamhill.com.