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Tony's Trends - Will the Stats Pick Your Winner for The London Cup?

The London Gold Cup, 1 mile and 2 furlongs, Newbury, Saturday May 14 2022

A week after lamenting about not quite getting there with a 33/1 saver, the Trends hit the bullseye right in the middle with Vafortino, who drifted out to a tasty 16/1 (thanks to great odds from Unibet on that occasion) and rewarded followers by gaining a very well-fought victory in the Victoria Cup.

He was holding on to win all the way and he’s one I shall most certainly continue to follow.  The draw was all-important, as the first three to come in were all drawn next to each other in high numbers.

The one I put up on the other side, Dance Fever, ran reasonably well, but the jockey tried to come up through the middle, which ruined any chance he had of getting us a place. He had also drifted out to 25/1, making him a borderline selection, but he is one I’d keep in mind if he were drawn on the right side in a big Handicap later in the season.

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The main race this week is the Lockinge Stakes, but that has a small field and an odds-on Favourite who looks like he will take a lot of beating. Also, there are no established Handicaps this weekend where I can apply Trends, which leaves me with the London Gold Cup. Although this race has had only nine renewals, I’m going to take a look and try to establish a Trends pattern. However, this is not going to be one of my strongest selections.

Normally, I am able to focus on a well-established race and use 30+ years of Trends which make using the results much more reliable. Nine years really is the bare minimum that can be used and I would therefore advise caution from the outset if you decide to take a punt.

Age

This race is confined to three-year-olds only, so this will not help us whittle the runners down.

Weight

The nine previous winners have carried a variety of weights, ranging between 08-02 and 09-07. Of those previous winners, five have carried between 08-10 and 09-04.

Odds

The fields have not been the biggest, with only around 10-15 runners lining up. Eight of the nine winners were sent off 12/1 or less. Favourites have won this race four times and have been placed in four other renewals, so the market is an excellent guide.

  • The draw has always favoured those drawn low.
  • All previous winners who were allotted an OR were rated at least 79, although five of them had no OR assigned at the time of the race.
  • All previous winners achieved an RPR of at least 86, but not more than 94.
  • All had between two and six lifetime runs, the last six winners having either three or four.
  • Eight out of the nine winners had recorded a win and the ninth horse was never out of the top three in his four runs.

Trend review

Albeit more limited in terms of previous data, the Trends indicate we are looking for a horse who has not been over-raced and has the ability to get the distance.

I will first discount any runner who clearly does not meet the OR, or RPR Trends criterion:

  • Bizarre Law
  • Zoom
  • Wootton’Sun

Next, I will remove the runners showing at odds of more than 14/1. The ideal would be 12/1, but there is a chance that some will drift, whilst others shorten.

NB. Remember this is a fluid selection criterion, so be sure to keep checking leading up to the race.

  • Razzle Dazzle
  • La Pulga

All previous winners had at least one run as a two-year-old, so for that reason I will discount Marsoul.

I will also overlook Mr Big Stuff, who is still a Maiden and he did not place in the first three when making his debut.

Discussion

I now need to review six qualifiers, which I will do in race card order rather than preference order!

Israr is a really nice sort who is borderline in several Trends criterion. Of slightly more concern, is the high draw he will have to overcome. I think he will run a big race and considering that some bookies are paying five places, he is a bet to nothing. But as stated, he is borderline with a bad draw, so I will exclude him on this occasion.

Inverness is the Hill’s runner, who placed sixth last time out in a Listed race. He was not disgraced by any means and United Nations, who was just ahead that day, has franked his form since. However, my concern is that his trainer thinks he’ll run at his best over further, so he may well get tapped for toe at the business end of the race.

Luminous Light was on a recovery mission last time out and ran well enough, but I still can’t forget the complete disaster at Chester (albeit when being asked to compete over a shorter distance). However, to add to that, he is currently trading at 14/1 and for these reasons I will pass him over.

Surrey Mist has won both his starts this year and looks to be an improving sort. However, he has won his races without posting a TS (Top Speed) rating over 34, which is significantly lower than all of the previous winners. In addition, the trainer and jockey combination are not firing at present, so I will have to count him out.

Wineglass Bay was a bit one-paced last time out over 1 mile, but he was sticking on and it’s possible he could be the one to step up here. My main concern though is yard form. Although they’ve sent out some decent runners, there have been no winners in the last few weeks, so I’ll discount him on that basis.

Red Vineyard won over the same 1 mile, 2 furlongs distance last time out and his yard are doing well, even if not brilliantly. He held on well in that one, so at least we’re sure about stamina. Also, he has not been out of the first three places in any of his races.

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As mentioned earlier the lack of previous renewals makes applying the Trends considerably more difficult. When working with such a small data set there is a greater chance that the Trends are still evolving and will continue to do so over the coming years.

This time, I have chosen Red Vineyard as a tentative value selection, with several bookies going five places, but proceed with caution for the reasons stated.

Moving forward

I am looking to add more articles going forward and intend to cover some of the bigger Handicaps that will be running at the major mid-week festivals over the summer and autumn. So, keep an eye out for those additional Trends articles, where I hope we will find more winners at juicy prices.

As always, use Betting.co.uk to find the most lucrative bookie deals and Oddschecker to keep up to date with the odds available for all races.

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