Bet365 Gold Cup 2009

The traditional race to bring down the curtain on the big events of the current National Hunt season takes place at Sandown on Saturday 25th April. This race has had many incarnations over the years and is now in the hands of Bet365.

To those of a certain age it will probably always be “The Whitbread” as the race was run under that banner from its inception in 1957 until 2001, the longest running sponsorship in the sport.

There have been some top class winners of the Sandown race over the years including Arkle, Mill House, The Dikler and Desert Orchid.

This race also provided one of the best finishes ever seen in a National Hunt race when in 1984 Special Cargo was victorious in a heart-pumping, two short head victory from two-time winner Diamond Edge and Lettoch.

The 2009 version promises to be another thriller with a host of good horses entered at this stage including Grand National fourth State Of Play, Irish Grand National runner-up Church Island and Topham Chase runner-up Oodachee.

Current favourite is the Paul Nicholls’ trained Hoo Loo Baloo who is a best priced 7/1 with Stan James.

Check back later in the week when we will be looking at some more of the prices on offer but start giving us your idea of the winner of this wonderful old race.

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328 Responses to Bet365 Gold Cup 2009

  1. Pablo says:

    My approach to finding the 2009 Derby winner:

    1. 19/20 won last race except if ran as a 3-y-o in Group 1 (a Guineas or Kentucky Derby) – makes sense because a horse should be in good form or running in top company in its preparation – exception was Quest For Fame who came second to Belmez in Chester Vase but Belmez didn’t turn up in Derby (but won King George)

    2. 10/10 RPR at 3 of 118+ – makes sense because reflects very useful form at 3 with the trials a month or less before the race

    3. 20/20 won over 10f+ as 3-y-o except if contested a Group / Grade 1 as a 3-y-o or unraced at 3 – makes sense because a reasonable indicator that 12f should be attainable

    Average best RPR pre-Derby at 3 (of those raced at 3) in last 20 years = 118

    Average winning Derby RPR over last 20 years = 125

    Five horses qualify:

    1. Sea The Stars (RPR 124, 1st Guineas)
    2. Fame And Glory (RPR 120, 1st Derrinstown)
    3. Gan Amhras (RPR 119, 3rd Guineas)
    4. Rip Van Winkle (RPR 118, 4th Guineas)
    5. Black Bear Island (RPR 118, 1st Dante)

    Looked at last ten years – 1999 had 4 qualifiers (1st, 7th, 9th & 14th), 2000 2 (1st & 2nd), 2001 2 (1st & 2nd), 2002 4 (1st, 2nd, 3rd & 8th), 2003 2 (1st & 13th), 2004 2 (1st & 7th), 2005 2 (1st & 3rd), 2006 2 (1st & 12th), 2007 1 (1st), 2008 3 (1st, 2nd & 3rd)

    4 forecasts from a possible 9 when 2 or more qualifiers
    2 tricasts from a possible 3 when 3 or more qualifiers

    Possible weaknesses in the qualifiers:
    Sea The Stars & Rip Van Winkle – concerns over trip
    Gan Amhras – lower than average wins to runs (25%) vs 33% minimum last 20 years (16/20 50%+)
    Fame And Glory – won over 10f on soft at 2 – no Derby winner for at least 20 years has run at more than a mile at 2 years old
    Black Bear Island – slight doubts over Dante form with a blanket finish, whereas 3-y-o Group 1 form seems to be holding up well

    Improvement required in best 3-y-o RPR by other trial winners (last run) to win an ‘average’ Derby:
    Golden Sword: 14lb
    Age Of Aquarius: 17lb
    South Easter: 22lb

    Improvement required in best 3-y-o RPR by horses beaten in non-Group 1 trial:
    Kite Wood: 11lb
    Masterofthehorse: 15lb
    Crowded House: 16lb
    Debussy: 17lb
    Montaff: 18lb

    Gan Amhras main bet
    Sea The Stars saver

  2. Systemsman says:

    “Looked at last ten years – 1999 had 4 qualifiers (1st, 7th, 9th & 14th), 2000 2 (1st & 2nd), 2001 2 (1st & 2nd), 2002 4 (1st, 2nd, 3rd & 8th), 2003 2 (1st & 13th), 2004 2 (1st & 7th), 2005 2 (1st & 3rd), 2006 2 (1st & 12th), 2007 1 (1st), 2008 3 (1st, 2nd & 3rd)”

    Fantastic work Pablo once again (its going into my “Black Book”) and what results all 10 winners from the last ten years!!
    Pablo: If you put a £1 on all 24 qualifying runners in the last ten years would you make a profit?

    Why Gan Amhras main bet Sea The Stars saver rather than say Fame and Glory?

    Keep up your excellent work Pablo I am a fan.

  3. Pablo says:

    Systemsman – think the 5 qualifiers are all strong and all have weaknesses but don’t want to bet on all 5

    Don’t get me wrong Fame And Glory has done nothing wrong – unbeaten, won Ballysax and Derrinstown at 3 with similar RPR to O’Brien’s other 2 winners (the excellent Galileo and High Chaparral) – on the face of it the stats say that he has Derby winner written all over him!

    However my take on it is that he has been running against Mourayan and Fergus McIver this year and both are inferior to stablemates (Sea The Stars and Gan Amhras respectively) – plus he was sent over to France as a 2 year old over 10f which puts me off (does he have enough speed?) – and at 3/1 or lower is a bit short for me

    Black Bear Island is very well bred (brother to High Chaparral) but again I prefer the Guineas form over the Dante

    If in doubt go with the Group 1 form is the way I play it and Gan Amhras is very well bred for 12f too (by Galileo with same damsire as Black Bear Island (Darshaan))

    For me Sea The Stars is unquestionably the best horse on form so far and I would take him to beat anything in the field over 10f but nagging doubts that he will get 12f – if he does I think he wins so I have to have a saver just in case

    But no big bets

  4. Neil says:

    If anyone considering Sea The Stars for the Derby then I’ve an iticle from my racing paper which you should take into account.

    Quoted from John Oxx.
    His only defeat so far was on his debut when 4th behind Black Bear Island and Freemantle in a red hot maiden.After winning his maiden over 7f, he went to the Curragh and won the Group 2 Bereford from Mourayan. His progress over the winter was good and he trained well in the spring, dispite a slight niggle which put his 2,000 guineas run in jeopardy. Thankfully we got him there and he won very nicely, for a horse who I hope will be better over further given he’s a half-brother to Galileo. That said, being by Cape Cross raises questions about the mile and half of Epsom for the Derby.
    Interestingly Mick (Kinane) describes him as an easier ride than Galileo. We want the ground riding fast with the obvious questions about his stamina limitations, and I have to be hoonest and say I rate him only 50-50 to stay. If there were a wet week leading up to the race and plenty of cut I would seriously consider not running him. We won’t know until the day if he stays or not, but whatever happens in the Derby he will drop back to a mile and a quarter after. He came out of his guineas win in great form and lost very little weight, which he quickly replaced. We have built him up slowly since- in fact he has only had 1 fast piece of work so far. He thriving at home and Iam delighted with him. I have no worries at all about his temperament, but it does appear to be a high quality renewal this year with Gan Amhras and all of Aidan O’Brien’s horses.It should be a very interesting race.

  5. Neil says:

    that should read article not “itcle” sorry for incorrect english,but i think you can assume what I meant

  6. Neil says:

    Half Day Harry here is the full DP,DI and CD for all 13 remaining Derby hopeful

    1=Age of Aquarius DP=3,0,11,4,0 (18):DI=0.89:CD=0.11
    2=Black Bear Island DP=6,1,22,9,2 (40):DI=0.82:CD=0.00
    3=Crowded House DP=14,1,21,10,4 (50):DI=1.04:CD=0.22
    4=Debussy DP=5,1,11,7,4 (28):DI=0.70:CD=-0.14
    5=Fame and Glory DP=3,1,14,6,4 (28):DI=0.65:CD=-0.25
    6=Gan Amhras DP=4,0,11,5,2 (22):DI=0.76:CD=-0.05
    7=Golden Sword DP=3,0,10,4,1 (18):DI=0.80:CD=0.00
    8=Kite Wood DP=7,1,9,4,3 (24):DI=1.09:CD=0.21
    9=Masterofthehorse DP=6,2,24,10,4 (46):DI=0.77:CD=-0.09
    10=Montaff DP=6,1,11,4,0 (22):DI=1.32:CD=0.41
    11=Rip Van Winkle DP=5,0,13,4,0 (22):DI=1.10:CD=0.27
    12=Sea The Stars DP=5,3,8,0,0 (16):DI=3.00:CD=0.81
    13=South Easter DP=6,3,22,4,1 (36):DI=1.25:CD=0.25

  7. Systemsman says:

    Re: Pablo’s work
    “If you put a £1 on all 24 qualifying runners in the last ten years would you make a profit?”

    Found the answer on Wiki.
    In the last ten years you would have won 44.5pts (placing one on each selection)minus the 14pts loss (24pts – one for each selection – ten pts returned on wnnning selections)

    Profit 30.5pts – not bad at all for covering every selection each year for the last ten years.

  8. Jackie says:

    Hi, did introduce myself on another page, but hello to everyone. Just one question, are you discounting Crowded House because of his last run? Or other reasons too? I thought his 2 year old form was excellent, maybe he needed the first run? Thoughts?

  9. Neil says:

    Pablo does your system work on the Oaks and what do you fancy for that

  10. crisp 73 says:

    Hello guys,gals. Enjoyed reading, and grateful, for your Derby info.

    Pablo, like you on what I’ve seen, and gut instinct, I thought Gan Amhras looked impressive in defeat in Guineas but what do you think of his win strike rate? Wouldn’t it be the lowest strike rate in 20 years? Usually, looking for something with at least 40% win strike rate?

    So, Johnny Murtagh has chosen Rip Van Winkle. Will it be good to firm or even faster at Epsom and who might benefit? Thanks again.

  11. Pablo says:

    Neil – Oaks looks tricky to me – not great trends either

    Crisp – strike rate does bother me – normally Derby winners have better strike rates

    Looking at Gan Amhras – caught the eye first run, won comfortably enough second run, dropped back to 7f for €1m race (ran on well but trip too short), then placed in Guineas – on the face of it looks ok – but maybe he’s just not good enough?

    But of the five that qualify using the indicators above I think he’s the best price for a bet (with saver on STS) and his trainer said the Guineas was his Derby prep

    But looks a very competitive race

  12. Thanks very much Neil for dosage profiles, great help.

  13. Pablo says:

    Superb performance by a very good horse

  14. Neil says:

    Sea the stars won well from Fame and Glory with Masterofthehorse third. Golden Sword was worth a bet but caught on the line. I Thought that sea the stars would stay the distance, but I thought fame and glory would had have that turn of speed at the line. Had sea the stars on betfair and fame and glory on the place market with betfair so got lucky there. Now for Grand National.

  15. Neil says:

    My personal opinion of Sea The Stars is here is the next Nijinsky because I think he would have stayed the st ledger, but Oxx says it will drop now to ten furlongs so we will never know.

  16. Systemsman says:

    Great run by a great horse. At the end of the day you have to make a choice (at the prices available it was always a fun bet) from the five that Pablo gave – this time got it wrong to a worthy winner but next year I wlll do the same – not back 2000gns runners but back the best of the others in the top five in the betting.
    Now back to the resaerch for the GN 2010.

    Well done Pablo with your research.

  17. maureen says:

    Yes; well done Pablo….what a race; trainer is a gentleman; jockey is a gentleman [and one of the few people older than me, bless him] and the horse is just perfection in every way; looks, temperament, ability.

  18. Jackie says:

    He still looked in great after the race. Shame Golden Sword didn’t hold on to a place for me. Oh well never mind.

  19. maureen says:

    Same here; really thought I’d got third with Golden Sword! Masterofthehorse looks worth following, though. Needed a place win to recoup quite a few losses; must remember to avoid the Derby next year as most of my horses didn’t even run!

  20. Neil says:

    Golden Sword could take all the beating at ten to twelve furlongs in Group two races. I believe he’s entered in a few at Royal Ascot. The winner Sea The Stars next target might be the Eclipses.

  21. Pablo says:

    Think the Derby is extremely dodgy for antepost bets (Crowded House?) – almost every horse to win in past 21 years has shown RPR of 116+ (last 11 years 118+) as a 3-y-o going into the race

    The exceptions are:

    Lammtarra and Shaamit only raced at 2
    Generous (Dewhurst winner at 2) and 4th in Guineas – Group 1 form at 3
    Commander In Chief and High Rise – unbeaten in only 3 starts before Derby

    So there are some very strong trends – albeit the shortlist was 5 this year from 12 runners!

  22. Neil says:

    Hi Pablo.
    Been studing your system on the Derby quite effective.Some big prices selected,at first I thought that the five mentioned were the first five in the betting and I thought that you were odds on to get the winner.
    I’ve learnt though that the beauty of your system is when the is not a lot of candidates in it,sure in the ten year period you had a few favourites in it,but you are looking for quailty and sometimes people latch on to these. What surprise me was some of the bigger prices (even a 20/1 which finished third in 2002)
    Taking the average price of all runners in your ten year period the price would be 11/2 or just taking the average price of your winners the price would be 9/2.I think that your system is quite good,using 9/2 as a mark of value seems fair and although you would have not had Sea The Stars you would have had the 1999, 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2008 winner and many more winners to come(at value for your money.)
    This is why I think this site is excellent lots of different points of view going around to learn from. Next year I be looking at your system closely.

  23. Pablo says:

    Neil – my thoughts for next year

    I think the stats say that a horse has to have good form as a 3-y-o (RPR 116+ preferably 118+ or be unbeaten or have placed in a Guineas) – normally this leaves only 2 or 3 horses – then you take a judgement and back one or two – but this year the UK challenge was pathetic and we had 5 possibilities (3 trained and owned by the same team who won most of the trials)

    I hope next year we have better UK representation

    Quite often the Derby is won by a horse that never wins another race – peak at the right time and get rewards – but there are so many other international prizes to be won later in the season that perhaps some trainers look to further in the season with their better middle distance prospects

    The Guineas has provided in the past 4 years:

    2nd Sir Percy – won Derby

    5th Eagle Mountain – 2nd Derby (Authorized only qualifier on my system in this year)

    2nd New Approach – won Derby

    1st Sea The Stars – won Derby

    At the moment the Guineas is the best trial and any horse has to put up a very good RPR to win if it hasn’t run in a Group 1 as a 3-y-o

    Epsom requires a combination of speed and stamina but in an era where 10f horses rule you have to have the speed – stamina alone will only work in soft ground (unlikely in June)

  24. Neil says:

    To Pablo or anyone else on this site. Are the any good trends for any races at Royal Ascot like the gold cup for example.

  25. Pablo says:

    Neil – the attheraces website contains a microsite dedicated to Royal Ascot – within that there is a Stats Guide to all 30 races which might help

  26. Neil says:

    Thanks Pablo will study these.

  27. Neil says:

    After a luckless Royal Ascot, (suppose I got carried away with the success of the Derby), I think I’ll stick to the National Hunt scene.Thanks anyway Pablo.
    Don’t know if you’re montering the Grand National 2010 Early Fancies but do you know of an horse call “Surface To Air” was reading some old archives “Summer National 2008″ and Surface To Air won this race and mentioned as a possible for the 2010 Grand National by Pav.
    As I’ve mentioned I’d had no interest in summer jumping so Surface To Air is an horse unknown to me.

  28. Pablo says:

    Well done to all winners and especially TC – you have been very consistent in your support for Church Island

    Hourigan has a nice young horse in Mr Cracker for chases next season

    Amazing run from some of you guys on here that backed all four big priced winners – Bluesea Cracker, Always Waining, Merigo & Church Island

    Top tipping – Showlad, TC etc etc

    Personally I’ve done my proverbials this April!

    Time to take a break & recharge the batteries for Epsom

    Keep up the excellent work next jumps season!