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2010-2011 Jump Season
The seasons first big handicap chase is upon us, the Paddy Power Gold Cup. I've approached it from mainly a stats point of view and below is my main summary.


Through looking at the last 10 years, I have come up with the following stats.

Age 6-8
OR 136-154
11st 3 Max
Max 1 race this season
Run in Max 2 handicap chases
Max win around 2m5 (give half a point for anything further)
Won 2+ Chases
Won max 1 handicap chase
Run in class a chase
Won at least a class 2+ chase
Placed in class a+ handicap chase if run in a handicap
Won over 2 and half miles
145+ RPR if run this season
140+ RPR lifetime over fences
Form over CD
2-3 seasons chasing
Won this season if run

Using this 9/10 winners have scored at least 14.5/17, the exception being the evergreen Cyfor Malta.

This year the top scorers are;

17 - Great Endeavour
16 - Sunnyhillboy
15 - Little Josh

However, being  a bit more lenient (for example I upgraded Pigeon Island on the critera "max run in 2 handicap chases", because he's run in 3 but in one of them he fell and he didn't have blinkers on, so it was hard for the handicapper to assess him") the results are as follows...

17 - Great Endeavour and Sunnyhillboy
15.5 - Little Josh
14.5 - Long Run, Edgebriar, Catch Me, Pigeon Island, Fisher Bridge


Dealing with a few of the main contenders first...

Long Run

Could easily bolt up but is very hard to put up at the price (3/1f) in such a competitive handicap as it's hard not to seeing him hit a fence or two.

His runs over British fences last season earned him the following comments....

"not fluent at many fences"
"not fluent 5th, hit next"
"blundered 6th, mistakes 12th, 16th and 2 out"

Also added to that the fact that 5 year olds have a poor record in the race, especially jumping round with Chapoturgeon, Tatenen, Granit Jack and Taranis all coming to grief when fancied 5yos recently - it's very hard to see him putting in a perfect round of jumping. As such, he really can't be put up as a bet. Also the finishing position of those running off an OR of 155+ in the last 10 years is 60PP60F54.

Sunnyhillboy

I would really fancy this one apart from the lack of run. The trainer has described him as 'being in badly need of a run' and his trainer has had 10 winners in the last fortnight but none of them have been first time out and I'm struggling to think of any first time out winners he's had this season (bar a few NHF races). Also he's drifting in the market which isn't encouraging and is easily enough passed over. However, i'd say he's the most likely winner of the **** at this point.

Little Josh

Had a hard race under a fortnight ago and still even though his jumping was good there it is still a question mark. Also he front runs and there could be a lot of competition for that role in this race with Max Max, Tchico Polos, Fingeronthepulse, The Sawyer and Pickamus all liking to role on in front. His trainer also stated a while back that Pigeon Island was one of his selections for the race.

Selections



Great Endeavour

Not hard to see why he's a selection being the ultimate stats pick, being an unexposed 2nd season chaser with form all ready over the CD. Won far easier than the margin suggests at the festival, travelling like the best horse by far before idling, and is only raised 7lbs for that (seems fair considering Edgebriar has gone up 8lbs for his october run). Form hasn't worked out too badly, with Fromdawntodusk franking it massively at the Aintree festival. Is said to have progressed since the spring and his trainer's family have a cracking record in this race so will surely be spot on. Off 10st 4lbs he is sure to go very very close.



Pigeon Island

The last 10 winners in running descriptions have been...

. Held up in midfield
. Chased leaders
. Held up in rear
. Held up in last place
. Pressed leader
. Held up in last place
. Held up in midfield
. In touch
. Behind
. Held up in rear

Seems it pays to be held up and especially in this years race with all the pace in it I definitely would mind to be on one popping round the back. The obvious ones are Can't Buy Time, Long Run and Pigeon Island.

There are many things going for Pigeon Island

. Loves the track and has tonnes of experience over it - He won the grand annual and his form over fences here is F222F13

. Step up in trip from last 3 runs should help. Just about got away with it in the GA, but has struggled last 2 runs. his form over 2 and a half read 31321113322F.

. Runs off a feather weight - Not sure who rides it yet - but i'd guess either Sam will ride it and it'll be off 9st 11 or Paddy will sweat down to his min weight (10st), if he does i'd definitely take note.

. Doesn't look horrendously handicapped, being off a mark only 6lbs higher than GA (though will running off 9lbs higher as he'll be out of the handicap by 3lbs). At his peak was rated 9lbs higher over hurdles.

. Trainer has a great record at this meeting, and stated a while back this was Pigeon Island's aim and it was his main hope. Also you'd expect the blinkers to be back on.

It's not hard to see him popping round the back off a feather weight, and with the nature of the race he is a massive price at 30s on betfair. The other non stats horse to note could be Can't Buy Time especially if AP is on.

Suggestions

1.5pt E/W Great Endeavour 5/1 (1/4, 1-2-3-4) Coral
1 pt E/W Pigeon Island Betfair - Win 30, Place 5.3
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