The last big chase of the season is at Sandown on Saturday, the Bet365 Gold Cup Chase. It's a real puzzle with 21-runners but that is the beauty of using the elimination trends method, you can narrow down the field pretty quickly. Let's do a full rundown using GeeGeez TV Trends and their GeeGeez Gold racecards to quickly eliminate runners that don't meet the key trends. The elimination method is really straightforward. You start with the strongest trends and rule out runners that don't hit them, then work your way down until you are left with one or two selections.
15/15 Had raced within the last 56 days. So clearly a horse needs to have some level of recent fitness. That rules out Regal Encore (70 Days), Rock The Kasbah (98 days), Present Man (83 Days), Domesday Book (408 Days), Caroles Destrier (66 Days), Relentless Dream (63 Days) and Henllan Harri (119 Days). So already we have eliminated a third of the field.
12/15 Carried 11-0 or less in weight. That only rules out top-weight Blaklion who carries 11-12 but it's another one we can remove.
12/15 Had won over 3 miles or further. In a race of this nature it's unlikely to rule out many and in this case it doesn't rule out any.
11/15 Aged 9 or younger. General need a bit of youth on your side, partly because this 3 1/2 miles with a stiff uphill finish takes some getting, but also it can come at the end of a long, hard season. We can rule out Theatre Guide (11), Houblon Des Obeaux (11), Benbens (13), Rathlin Rose (10) and Band Of Blood (10).
10/15 Priced at 14/1 or shorter in the betting. We can come back to this one, simply because we can't really tell the final SP and also, I don't want to rule out one of those 5/15 who won at greater than 14/1 that hit all the other trends bar price! This is always worth bearing in mind with this kind of analysis.
9/15 Officially Rated 140 or higher and 9/15 Had raced in the last 25 days. Now, here is where things can get complicated. If we were to go with the Official Rating of 140 or higher then it would leave us with just 2 contenders, however both of them have raced 40+ days ago. If we were to go with raced within the last 25 days it would also leave us with 3 contenders but they are rated less than 140. What I do in this situation is I eliminate horses that don't meet either of these two trends and then I carry on and maybe come back to it. So we can eliminate Minella Daddy (OR 137 and 46 Days), Sugar Baron (137 and 44 Days) and Dawson City (133 and 35 Days).
8/15 In the Top-7 in the market and finished 4th or worse last time out. So there is another price-related trend again which again I'll leave for now and just eliminate those that finished in the Top-3 last time out. That rules out Missed Approach and Step Back who both won last time out.
So, our shortlist comprises of -:
ROYAL VACATION 40/1
THE YOUNG MASTER 10/1
The value hunter in me wants to go with Royal Vacation who has first time blinkers on, however, we have to be a bit strict here. The fact is that only 5/15 have been priced higher than 14/1 and only 7 have been outside the Top-7 in the market. The biggest priced winner from that bunch was actually last year's winner Henllan Harri at 40/1, all the others were 20/1 or 25/1 so the trends point to Royal Vacation being up against it so I'll rule him out. There have been 4 repeat winners and I'm a fan of horses for courses, especially at Sandown in these conditions so previous winner THE YOUNG MASTER has to be in with a shout. I also like the fact that BIGBADJOHN only misses out by 2lbs to being officially rated 140, so I'm sometimes prepared to consider that ‘close enough' to being the strongest contender.
I'm going to go with a split-stakes trends bet here -:
Sandown Saturday Bet365 Gold Cup Chase 3:35pm
BIGBADJOHN 2pts win @ 12/1
THE YOUNG MASTER 1pts win @ 11/1