Cash in on Henderson record
Ian Ogg analyses the last nine runnings of Saturday's The Ladbroke at Ascot and picks out the key statistics.
- Six winners have been aged five, one six and two seven.
- Winners have carried between 10-1 and 11-9.
- Winners have been rated between 122 and 144 with seven between 122 and 132.
- Winners have been priced between 9-4 and 33-1 with five returned at double figure sps. Only one favourite has won.
- Eight winners finished in the first three on their preceding start, five were successful.
- Eight winners had had between four and 10 starts over hurdles.
- All nine winners had had no more than three runs during the current season.
- Six winners were in their second season over hurdles.
- Five of the last six winners all contested a race at the preceding Cheltenham Festival (County (2), Arkle, Supreme, Triumph).
There are six four year olds going to post and that generation have failed to land any of the last nine runnings but eight runners from that generation have made the frame (from 34 to have gone to post out of a total of 127 runners) achieving a percentage share of the places in line with their representation so, perhaps, all is not lost.
Their number include runners trained by Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson who have enjoyed contrasting fortunes in this handicap. The Seven Barrows handler has won three renewals but the closest that the Master of Ditcheat has come to success was when Sud Bleu (7/1) finished second in 2003 while both Poquelin (12/1) and Prospect Wells (11/4f) crept into the places in fourth.
His other runners have been priced at 3/1f, 33/1, 20/1, 14/1, 20/1 and 6/1 so it's also clear that he hasn't saddled that many strong contenders while his supporters need only point to Unioniste's victory on Saturday for evidence that the champion trainer continually confounds popular opinion.
However, in spite of those qualifying remarks, the younger generation can't be considered for the purposes of this guide given their lack of success and the trio that appeal most are Cash And Go, Thomas Edison and It's A Gimme; none of whom actually ran at the Cheltenham Festival (unlike five of the last six winners) for a variety of reasons.
Cash And Go is rated 1lb higher than the next highest-rated winner (stablemate Sentry Duty) but he's open to improvement on just his second start for his new trainer and he gets the vote with his proven ability to handle testing conditions coupled with his yard's excellent record in this contest.
Statistics include the 2001 renewal onwards with the race abandoned in 2009 and 2010. The 2004 and 2005 contests were held at Sandown in the following January.