Astracad can rise to the Challenge
We analyse the last nine renewals of Saturday's Paul Stewart Ironspine Charity Challenge Gold Cup and pick out the key statistics.
- Winners have been aged six (4), seven (4) and eight.
- Winners have carried between 10-00 and 11-8 with four of the last five carrying 11-4+.
- Winners have been rated between 132 and 163 with six between 142 and 151.
- Winners were priced between 7-2 and 22-1 with one favourite successful (one further favourite was placed).
- Three winners were successful on their previous start and all finished in the first five.
- Six winners had run in a renewal of the Paddy Power Gold Cup with five contesting the race in the same season.
- The last nine winners had had between six and 12 starts over fences.
- The last nine winners had run between one and three times during the current season.
- Only one of the last nine winners hadn't previously won or been placed at Cheltenham.
- All winners had either won or been placed in a class one chase.
Applying the statistics relating to age and form (recent, class and course) produces a short-list of Walkon, Nadiya De La Vega and Astracad.
The strong recent record of runners to have contested the Paddy Power Gold Cup at the course in November is in favour of the first two named but both have to prove that they can back up a run having shown their best form when fresh.
With that in mind, it may be worth chancing Nigel Twiston-Davies' runner who looked ready for a step back up in trip when fourth at The Open over two miles on his seasonal reappearance.
The 2008 renewal was abandoned