Let’s start with some basic figures to help us find a winner:
- Each of the Last 5 winners had previous experience of the track
- 7 of the last 10 SP favourites have won
- Willie Mullins and Nicky Henderson have won 8 of the last 10 renewals
- Danish Flight was the last 9-year-old to win the race in 1988
- The handicapper has given the winner an average rating of 165 in the last 5 years
- Each of the last 10 winners had made at least 3 previous starts over fences
Finding the Winner:
There is no hiding place in this race, it is one of the best races in the calendar for favourite backers, with 7 of the last 10 crossing the line in front. Not only has the favourite got the job done, but all 7 have returned a Tote premium less than £2.00. There has been the odd anomaly, the miraculous win of Western Warhorse in 2014 (£40.90) and Put the Kettle On in 2020 (£18.60), but in the main the market has got this race right.
5 of the last 10 winners ran in the Supreme, with 4 of them doing the double (Simonsig, Douvan, Altior and Shishkin). Most significant of all seems to be the age of the winner, there hasn’t been a 9-year-old winner since 1988, whilst the last 5-year-old to win the race was Voy Por Ustedes in 2006.
In 2022, whilst there is unlikely to be an odds-on winner, the horse that fits most of the trends is Blue Lord.
With so little value in the win market, those looking for greater reward need look no further than the Place betting pools. The key to this market has been to focus on horses who will be ridden with the placed finish in mind. Superb rides by Harry Cobden (Eldorado Allen 2021) and Jonathan Burke (Sizing John 2016) show the key to understanding when the hot priced favourite is hard to beat and making sure their mount had the best chance of getting up the hill has proved a solid tactic to look for. Eldorado Allen returned £7.10 last season, God’s Own returned £5.00 when chasing home Un De Sceaux in 2015 and even future Gold Cup winner Sizing John paid £3.00 when he finished 2nd to Douvan.
With so much pace in this year’s field, it could pay to focus on the outsiders who are likely to be held up away from the battle in front with a view to picking up the pieces when the prominent racers tire up the hill.
In a race that revolves around short-priced horses and in many cases small fields, the Exacta and Trifecta can offer some hope for those looking for the bigger returns. With a banker at the front of the market, the exacta and trifecta look to be the better way to approach the race. Last year’s Trifecta, helped by the presence of the outsider of the field Eldorado Allen, returned £55.60, despite the fact there were only 5 runners in the field. When Altior won in 2017, the trifecta returned £62.10, even though he was just £1.20 on the win. It was a similar result with the Exacta that year, yielding a return of £6.80 to a £1 stakes despite the fact that the well fancied each-way punt on Cloudy Dream came 2nd.
So if you’re looking at this year’s race and thinking that Blue Lord is the likely winner and Edwardstone is most likely to be ridden to chase him home, then these are perhaps the markets to explore to get the best return.