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Saturday, December 11, 2004




2.40pm £110,000 bonusprint.com Gold Cup Handicap Chase, Grade Three, 2m 5f

For the latest best odds, go to www.britodds.com BP= best price at the time of writing

1) 2624-11 ARMATURK (FR) 7-11-12 Barry Marshall Paul Nicholls/Christian Williams
Unbeaten this season and his last win, a The Open at Cheltenham last month, received a boost when the horse he beat Well Chief came a close third to Moscow Flyer and Azertyuiop in the Tingle Creek at Sandown. On the downside, he has top weight and has appears best around two miles, with only one of his 11 wins coming at this trip. BP=25/1

2) 4534F-0 FONDMORT (FR) 8-11-11 Bill Brown Nicky Henderson/Mick Fitzgerald
Won this race two years ago but has yet to give any indication that he can do so again at his current rating which appears too high. BP=20/1

3) 100-1F2 FARMER JACK 8-11-09 Peter Partridge Philip Hobbs/Paul Flynn
Has come back to form this season, with an easy win at Aintree before falling two out in the Paddy Power Gold Cup last month. Then a fair second to Le Roi Miguel in the Peterborough Chase but he may have too much weight in this competitive affair. BP=25/1

4) 5U232-4 IMPEK (FR) 8-11-07 Jim Lewis Henrietta Knight/Tony Dobbin
Consistent sort but has had a high rating which has been difficult to overcome. BP=25/1

5) 21F22-2 THISTHATANDTOTHER (IRE) 8-11-05 Graham Roach Paul Nicholls/Ruby Walsh
The only one to give Celestial Gold a fright in the Paddy Power Gold Cup here last month. Very consistent and talented but does still make the occasional jumping error.

Through World Chief, he has the beating of Armaturk and will go close. BP=9/2

6) 11/2113- OUR VIC (IRE) 6-11-03 David Johnson Martin Pipe/Timmy Murphy
A talking horse who has proved pretty good so far but has yet to appear this season after missing the Paddy Power Gold Cup because of a slight setback. One to watch. BP=3/1

7) 223-111 MASSAC (FR) 5-10-12 Million in Mind Partnership Alan King/Robert Thornton
Progressive young horse - trainer thinks this might be pressing Massac’s stamina but he has won over close to this trip on his last two starts. The question is whether he is good enough. BP=20/1

8) 14112-0 TIKRAM 7-10-11 Mike Charlton & Rodger Sargent Gary Moore/Jamie Moore
Never really got going in the Paddy Power Gold Cup. Not the most straight forward of horses and his jumping can be suspect so it is difficult to predict when he will hit form. BP= 14/1

9) U5003-0 REDEMPTION 9-10-10 John Duggan & Mr Michael Purtill Martin Pipe/Carl Llewellyn
Has changed stables again. Missed the Paddy Power Gold Cup when his former trainer was bullish. His jumping haslet him down in the past. BP= 10/1

10) 133F/1F- SCOTS GREY 9-10-09 Henry Ponsonby Nicky Henderson/Andrew Tinkler (3)
An interesting contender, making his seasonal debut. Has won on his last three seasonal debuts and has potential. Looks well treated on some form. BP= 12/1

11) 42FF-251 MOSSY GREEN (IRE) 10-10-08 Greenstar Syndicate Wilie Mullins IRE/Barry Geraghty
Won over hurdles last time out. Potentially very well handicapped but his jumping has let him down and may do so again. He failed to complete in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase at the last Festival in March. BP= 14/1

12) 3P0-0P13 EUROPA 8-10-03 Trevor Hemmings Ferdy Murphy/Jason Maguire
Came back to form at Kempton two outings ago and may have been given a bit too much to do at Newbury next time out. A good value outsider. Trainer in great form. BP=25/1

13) 116-132 MONKERHOSTIN (FR) 7-10-02 Martin St Quinton Philip Hobbs/Richard Johnson
Very consistent and useful sort - third in the Paddy Power Gold Cup and must go close here - his last victory was over hurdles. BP=5/1

This is a very strong field. The advice is to bet small and have a bit each-way on 25/1 chance Europa who is even better priced on the betting exchanges.



2.40pm, Cheltenham, Saturday, December 11, 2004

Past Trends

all of the last 15 winners have been aged between six and nine

14 of the last 15 winners were placed in the first three on their last outing

12 of the last 15 winners had run between one and three times earlier in the season

12 of the last 15 winners carried between 10st 1lb and 11st to victory

14 of the last 15 winners were returned at odds of 9/1 or less

Cheltenham’s bonusprint.com Gold Cup is the highlight of this weekend’s racing, but sadly Celestial Gold will be unable to complete the Paddy Power and bonusprint.com double in the same season as connections have decided to bypass this event in favour of a tilt at a future event, having already gone on to win the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup.

The last horse to win here not aged between six and nine was Garnishee, a 10-year-old who was victorious in 1974.

A field of 13 will go to post this season and this trend does not bode well for five-year-old Massac and the old man of the field Mossy Green, who is 10, and this pair are discounted.

14 of the last 15 winners were placed in the first three on their last outing before Cheltenham. The one anomaly was Fragrant Dawn, who could only manage a sixth in a handicap chase at Ascot before becoming a hero at Prestbury Park.

Fondmort, Impek, Tikram, Redemption and Scots Grey all finished out of the places last time and these disappear from the reckoning.

12 of the most recent 15 winners had run between one and three times earlier in the campaign. The three anomalies were Fragrant Dawn and the 1986 hero Oregon Trail, both of whom were successful on their seasonal debuts, while Clever Folly had been seen on a racecourse five times before his victory in 1989.

Europa has already had four outings this term and is discarded together with Our Vic, who is making his seasonal bow.

Since 1986 just three horses, Addington Boy (11st 10lb) in 1996, Kings Fountain on the same weight five years earlier and Senor El Betrutti (11st 7lb) the following season have been able to carry more than 11st to victory.

Armaturk carries top-weight of 11st 12lb and he is eliminated along with Farmer Jack and Thisthatandtother, both of whom have to shoulder at least 11st 5lb.

This leaves MONKERHOSTIN as the Codebreaker selection and confidence is boosted by the fact that he is a top-priced 11/2 with Bet Direct, Coral and Victor Chandler - 14 of the last 15 winners were returned at odds of 9/1 or less.

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