Champion trainer Paul Nicholls is likely to see Nicky Henderson once again sweep all before him at the Cheltenham Festival starting on Tuesday 12th March, but Nicholls has a decent chance to take tomorrow’s feature, the Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury (3.50pm).
Nicholls saddles joint favourite The Knoxs and Pacha Du Polder in a bid to win this Grade Three handicap chase for the sixth time in the last eight runnings.
Only three favourites have won in the last nine runnings and all of them have been trained by Nicholls. Four winners have been at double figures prices including Horus, who dead heated with Cornish Sett, at 22/1 in 2006.
No victor has carried more than the 11st 5lb that Madison Du Berlais shouldered to victory in 2007 since 2004. That would seemingly rule out Big Fella Thanks and Ballabriggs.
Horus is the only horse that has won this contest at an age older than eight in this time frame. That would appear to rule out eight runners from tomorrow’s field.
Five eight-year-olds have won in the nine years and it may pay to have a look at Saved By John, the only charge in the field that fits this trend.