Nicholls' Knoxs can strike Gold
We analyse the last nine renewals of Saturday's StanJames supporting Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury and pick out the key statistics.
- Winners have been aged 6 (two), 7 (two), 8 (five) & 11.
- Winners have carried between 10-1 and 11-5 with five above and below 11-0.
- Winners have been rated between 130 and 155 with six between 139 and 146.
- Winners have been priced between 10/3 and 22/1 with six returned at single figure SPs. Three favourites have been successful.
- Seven winners finished in the first four on their preceding start and a further two had a top four finish to their name in their last three starts.
- Eight winners had had no more than 15 starts over fences.
- Eight winners had won over at least two miles four furlongs. Of the exceptions, one had been placed in both runs over that trip and the other was trying the distance for the first time.
- All winners had won a class 3 chase or above, eight a class 2 chase or above.
- Seven winners had previously won a handicap; one of the exceptions was scoring on his handicap bow.
- Five winners have been bred in France.
- Five winners have been trained by Paul Nicholls and two by David Pipe.
There was a dead-heat in 2006 resulting in 10 'winners' over nine renewals
The Knoxs is older than your typical winner but simply can't be ignored given Paul Nicholls' domination of this race (won 4 of the last 5) and he doesn't have very many miles on the clock with just 14 career starts (split evenly between fences and hurdles) to his name.
All in all, he has plenty in his favour and he gets the nod although market support for Garynella would be of obvious interest given the exploits of David Pipe's fellow French import Ballynagour at Warwick and it would be no surprise to see the six year old improve markedly on his debut for the yard at Cheltenham in December where he was backed into a share of favouritism.
It is worth noting, however, that both runners fall down on one key trend in that all 10 winners had their preceding run in either January or February.