Nicky Henderson’s Quantitativeeasing (pictured, red cap) bids to defend the December Gold Cup that he won in 2011, but will the seven year old be able to do so? We’ve had a look through the 2012 field and have picked out a horse with an excellent chance, currently priced at 10/1 (11.00) with Bet365. Read on more our analysis of the 2012 December Gold Cup…
We’ve cast our eagle eye over the last twelve winners of the December Gold Cup (the race was was not contested in 2001 or 2008, so we’re looking at 1998 to 2011) in a bid to discover what a potential winner’s profile looks like. Here are the key trends to emerge:
- 10 of the last 12 horses to win the December Gold Cup were aged 6 or 7
This trend clearly suggests focusing on the six and seven year olds amongst the 2012 December Gold Cup field. For the record it’s an even split, with five 6 year olds and five 7 year olds having won in the last twelve renewals. The other two winners were both aged 8.
- All of the last 12 December Gold Cup winners had run in 1 to 3 races that season
- 10 of the last 12 winners had run in the past 30 days
- 10 of the last 12 had finished in the first three last time out
These trends suggest that our 2012 December Gold Cup selection ought to be race fit but not overworked, having had at least one run so far in the season (but no more than three) with the last run coming no more than a month ago. Also, some sort of form would be preferred, as the vast majority of winners had finished in the front three last time out.
- All of the last 12 horses to win the December Gold Cup had won 2 to 4 chases in their career
We should be looking for a horse with enough proven ability and experience over fences, but we don’t want one that is over-exposed.
- 8 of the last 12 December Gold Cup winners were officially rated 146 or lower
Tying in with the previous trend, this one suggests that we want a horse that hasn’t shown too much to the handicapper.
Applying the above trends to the 2012 December Gold Cup field leaves us with one standout candidate – Nicky Henderson’s mare Nadiya De La Vega. According to the Paddy Power Gold Cup form, the six year old has 12 lengths to make up on antepost favourite Walkon, but I think that’s more than possible. First of all, Walkon has been put up 5lbs by the handicapper for that second place finish to Al Ferof while our selection remains unchanged and secondly, you can see that McCoy realises he’s beaten in the Paddy Power (but clear of fourth) and arguably doesn’t finish as strongly as he could have done.
I can see Nadiya De La Vega reversing that form and at the current prices, I think she’s the value play for the 2012 December Gold Cup.
2012 December Gold Cup
Saturday December 15th, 14:30
Nadiya De La Vega @ 10/1 (11.00) with Bet365
Be sure to subscribe to our Twitter feed @betpal_ where you’ll find all of our free horse racing tips!