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Paddy Power Gold Cup Stats
Thu, Aug 21st, 2014

The Paddy Power Gold Cup is the feature event on the middle day of the three day Cheltenham November meeting. It is a handicap chase run over 2 miles 4.5 furlongs.

Trainers : David Pipe  won the race in 2011 continuing a fine Pond House record in the race. Nigel Twiston Davies trained runners should also be respected. He has sent out Little Josh and Imperial Commander to claim two of the last six renewals. Jonjo O'Neill has also sent out two winners since 2006.  Irish have a very poor recent record with Tranquil Sea's win in 2009 the first since 1980.

Ratings: 4 of the the last 5 winners have been rated 146+

Weight: While some will argue that horses in top half of handicap have overperformed we are never comfortable with the logic of backing horses becuase they are carrying more weight. The top weight has a poor record with 6 of the last 8 not completing the race ( finished 504FPP65PPP )

Age: Horses aged between 5 and 7 have overperformed winning 10 of the last 11 renewals having supplied c. 52% of the runners.

Course Form: 8 of the last 11 winners had previously won at Cheltenham.

Distance: 10 out of 11 had previously won a chase at 2m4f or more.

Paddy Power Gold Cup Winners 1997-2013

Year

Horse

Age

Trainer

Jockey

Weight

OR

SP

2013

Johns Spirit

6

O'Neill, Jonjo

McLernon, R

 10-2

139

7-1

2012

Al Ferof (FR)

7

Nicholls, P F

Walsh, R

 11-8

159

8-1

2011

Great Endeavour (IRE)

7

Pipe, D E

Murphy, T J

10-03

147

8-1

2010

Little Josh (IRE)

8

Twiston-Davies, N

Twiston-Davies, Mr S

10-05

146

20-1

2009

Tranquil Sea (IRE)

7

OGrady, E J

McNamara, A J

10-13

148

11-2

2008

Imperial Commander (IRE)

7

Twiston-Davies, N

Brennan, P J

10-07

139

13-2

2007

LAntartique (FR)

7

Murphy, Ferdy

Lee, G

10-13

146

13-2

2006

Exotic Dancer (FR)

6

O'Neill, Jonjo

McCoy, A P

11-02

139

16-1

2005

Our Vic (IRE)

7

Pipe, M C

Murphy, T J

11-07

149

9-2

2004

Celestial Gold (IRE)

6

Pipe, M C

Murphy, T J

10-02

136

12-1

2003

Fondmort (FR)

7

Henderson, N J

Fitzgerald, M

10-13

150

3-1

2002

Cyfor Malta (FR)

9

Pipe, M C

Geraghty, B J

11-09

154

16-1

2001

Shooting Light (IRE)

8

Pipe, M C

McCoy, A P

11-03

137

9-4

2000

Lady Cricket (FR)

6

Pipe, M C

McCoy, A P

10-13

138

5-1

1999

The Outback Way (IRE)

9

Williams, Ms V

Williamson, N

10-0

139

9-1

1998

Cyfor Malta (FR)

5

Pipe, M C

McCoy, A P

11-03

150

3-1

1997

Senor El Betrutti (IRE)

8

Nock, Mrs S

Osborne, J

10-00

150

33-1

Paddy Power Gold Cup History

First staged in 1960, the Grade Three Paddy Power Gold Cup is one of Jump racing's most illustrious and valuable handicap chases and its history is replete with the names of some of the sport's finest horses.

The initial incarnation of the race produced a mighty winner in the Tom Dreaper-trained Fortria. Ridden by Pat Taaffe, the eight-year-old Irish raid er carried top-weight of 12st to victory in what was then an extended two-mile contest staged under its original title of the Mackeson Gold Cup. Fortria went on to win the two-mile Champion Chase at The Festival four months later andremarkably added the Irish Grand National shortly afterwards. But Dreaper's charge was trumped in the1961 renewal of what is now the Paddy Power Gold Cup when second to another Cheltenham stalwart, the Arthur Thomas-trained Scottish Memories, to whom he was conceding 16lb. Having finished runner-up to Mandarin in the 1962 Cheltenham Gold Cup, Fortria returned triumphant to the Prestbury Park winner's enclosure that November, two years after his initial win, as he became the first of five dual winners of the Paddy Power Gold Cup. Once again burdened with 12st, Taaffe's mount saw off 24 rivals to score by three lengths before going on to finish runner-up to Mill House in the 1963 Gold Cup.

Dunkirk was a flamboyant trail-blazing star of the 1960s and holds the Paddy Power Gold Cup weight carrying record. The Peter Cazalet-trained gelding had been crowned champion two-mile chaser at The Festival the previous March and when he lined up for the 1965 renewal of the Mackeson Gold Cup, he was burdened with a hefty 12st 7lb. Such was the class of the eight-year-old that he gave 31lb and a half- length beating to runner-up Choreographer.

The great County Durham trainer Arthur Stephenson sent Pawnbroker to Cheltenham in 1966 to see off only four rivals - the smallest field in the race's history. Due to three years of single figure field sizes, a decision was taken to increase the race distance to two miles, four and a half furlongs thereafter. The first running of the race at its new trip saw Charlie Worcester defeat 12 opponents under Josh Gifford.

Legendary Kinnersley trainer Fred Rimell dominated the race for four years from 1968 to 1971 thanks to the triumphs of Jupiter Boy (1968), Chatham (1970) and the dual winner, Gay Trip (1969 & 1971).  The last-named, an exuberant little horse, also lined up for the 1970 renewal, having won that year's Grand National. In contention jumping the second last fence in the Cheltenham contest, he slipped on landing and came home last of the 13 finishers behind his stablemate.

After a gap of 11 years, Ireland enjoyed a rare triumph in the race when Skymas scored in 1973 for County Antrim trainer Brian Lusk. The gelding was a top-class chaser and won the two-mile Queen Mother Champion Chase at The Festival in both 1976 and 1977.

Irish-trained horses have won the Paddy Power Gold Cup on five occasions to date. After Skymas added to Fortria's brace it was the turn of Bright Highway, who triumphed in 1980 for trainer Michael O'Brien. Ireland then endured a 29-year drought that ended when the Edward O'Grady-trained Tranquil Sea stormed to a commanding four and a half-length success in 2009.

Fred Winter saddled the Sheikh Ali Abu Khamsin-owned Fifty Dollars More to win the 1982 race under Richard Linley and the trainer/owner/jockey combination was on the mark again two years later when Half Free saw off Acarine to score by half a length . The gelding returned as a nine-year-old in 1985 to become the third dual winner and the first of those to land back-to-back wins as he ran on to lead in the final strides and deny the gallant Arthur Stephenson-trained Newlife Connection by a head.

Fifty Dollars More went on to win the 1983 December Gold Cup at Cheltenham and seven Paddy Power Gold Cup winners in total have won both contests. The Martin Pipe-trained Beau Ranger landed the December Gold Cup in 1984, three years before making all for a 15-length triumph in the Paddy Power Gold Cup under Mark Perrett. Another Coral won the Paddy Power Gold Cup in 1991 and the December race in 1992, Dublin Flyer took the December Gold Cup in 1994 and Tim Forster' s charge was a brave half-length winner of the 1995 Paddy Power Gold Cup from Egypt Mill Prince. Pegwell Bay, Senor El Betrutti and Exotic Dancer won both races in the same year. The first-named, another Tim Forster runner, won the 1988 Paddy Power Gold Cup by 10 lengths before adding the December Gold Cup, while Senor El Betrutti, trained by Sue Nock, won the 1997 Paddy Power Gold Cup at 33/1. The grey held Challenger Du Luc in the run ner-up berth and it was the same result in the December Gold Cup the following month.

You can catch videos of that era here:

Exotic Dancer was a top-notch chaser and won both races in 2006 for trainer Jonjo O'Neill. A P McCoy took the ride in the Paddy Power Gold Cup when Exotic Dancer scythed from last place three out to take the lead at the final fence and storm to a three-length win. The gelding was subsequently runner-up to the incredible Kauto Star in that season's King George VI Chase and the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The late Josh Gifford became the only person to ride and train winners of the Paddy Power Gold Cup when Bradbury Star won the 1993 renewal. The gelding's next start saw him fail by a head to reel in BartonBank in the Grade One King George VI Chase at Kempton but he gained his own niche in history when becoming the fourth dual winner with a head victory over Irish challenger Second Schedual in the 1994 Paddy Power Gold Cup.

The fifth and most recent horse to win the race twice is Cyfor Malta, who took the spoils for the first time as a five-year-old under McCoy in 1998. Beset by injuries throughout his career, it was four years before the grey returned for a second success in 2002, this time under Barry Geraghty. Martin Pipe, now retired, has by some way the best training record in the race's history. His tally stands at eight thanks to Beau Ranger (1987), Challenger Du Luc (1996), Cyfor Malta (1998 & 2002), Lady Cricket (2000), Shooting Light (2001), Celestial Gold (2004) and Our Vic (2005).  McCoy rode Cyfor Malta (1998), Lady Cricket and Shooting Light for Pipe, and became the most successful jockey in Paddy Power Gold Cup history when successful aboard Exotic Dancer Richard Dunwoody matched Richard Linley's three victories in the Paddy Power Gold Cup when triumphant on the David Nicholson-trained pair of Very Promising (1986) and Another Coral (1991), plus the Pipe-trained Challenger Du Luc (1996).

In 2008, Imperial Commander won the Paddy Power Gold Cup and is one of the best horses to have done so. Nigel Twiston-Davies' charge must rank as one of the good things of recent times off 10st 7lb as he defeated the Queen's Barbers Shop by a comfortable two and three quarter lengths under Paddy Brennan. The gelding, owned by the Our Friends In The North syndicate, took the Grade One Ryanair Chase at The Festival the following March and became the first Paddy Power Gold Cup winner to land the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup when seeing off the awesome Denman by seven lengths in the 2010 renewal of Jump racing's Blue Riband.

Twiston-Davies is the most successful current trainer in the Paddy Power Gold Cup. Little Josh gave him a third victory in 2010, following on from Imperial Commander and Tipping Tim (1992). The 20/1 chance Little Josh was given a great ride by the trainer's son, Sam Twiston-Davies, who made all on the chaser, with 2/1 favourite Long Run back in third. Long Run went on to win the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park the following January and the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup two months later.

In 2011 Martin Pipe's son, David, trained his first winner of the extended two and a half mile contest when Great Endeavour stormed to a seven-length victory under Timmy Murphy, who was winning the race for the third time. Murphy had previously triumphed on Celestial Gold (2004), who completed a rare double when winning the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup two weeks later, and subsequent Grade One Ryanair Chase hero Our Vic (2005).

Last year seven-time champion Jump trainer Paul Nicholls won the race for the first time when Al Ferof stayed on strongly for a three-length victory in the famous colours of owner John Hales.

The race was sponsored under the Mackeson banner until it became the Murphys Gold Cup in 1996. In 2000, Thomas Pink was unveiled as the sponsor until leading bookmaker Paddy Power took over in 2003

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