2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup: The Stats That Matter

by | Jan 31, 2022

2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup: The Stats That Matter

Due to mildly popular demand, The Stats That Matter will be making a return ahead of Cheltenham. Dave Stevos will be using stats to narrow the fields in all four Championship Races and first up is the big one. We didn’t find the winner in the 2021 Gold Cup but we did manage to unearth two of the first three finishers. Hopefully we can get the full house this time around. Will the stats matter in the 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup? Find out below.


Perhaps the most reliable stat to use when narrowing the 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup field is age. Barring Long Run, who won as a 6yo in 2011, every winner since the turn of the century has been aged between 7yo and 9yo. No 10yo has scored since 1998, so we will focus on the 7yos, 8yos and 9yos.

Some longer priced horses fall foul of this stat, including the 10yos Santini, Melon, Champ, Carefully Selected and Chatham Street Lad. The highest profile casualty at the first fence is former two time winner, Al Boum Photo. He isn’t your typical 10yo as he has relatively few miles on the clock. However, the stats say he can’t win and that’s good enough for me.

Cut: Santini; Melon; Lostintranslation; Chatham Street Lad; Champ; Carefully Selected; Al Boum Photo.

Previous Cheltenham Form

Previous track experience is massive at a track like Cheltenham and this is borne out by the stats. No horse in the last thirteen renewals has won without previously having a spin at the course and six of the last dozen winners had won at Cheltenham previously. I don’t think winning course form is imperative but it is a big plus if a horse has shaped well coming up the hill in the past. So, I’ll be discounting any horses that have no Cheltenham form and those that have run here and failed to place.

This is another stat that wipes out a lot of horses at huge odds. The likes of Remastered, Thyestes Chase 2nd Franco De Port and Northern challenger Ahoy Senor all come a cropper due to their lack of placed form at Cheltenham. The biggest name to drop out at this stage is Royal Pagaille. A general 16/1 shot for the Gold Cup, Venetia Williams’ charge was beat 50L in his sole Cheltenham run in last year’s renewal. There was no promise whatsoever in that run so I will happily wield the axe.

Cut: Remastered; Franco De Port; Eklat De Rire; Conflated; Run Wild Fred; Angels Breath; Ahoy Senor; Royale Pagaille.

Recent Form

Anyone who follows my selections will know I am always willing to forgive a poor previous run. However, as far as the Gold Cup is concerned, the stats aren’t quite as kind. Since Kauto Star’s first win in 2007, 12 of the last 15 winners won on their previous start before the big one. This stat eliminated the winner last season, hopefully history doesn’t repeat itself.

At the lower end of the market some of the horses to miss out include Aye Right (3rd), Delta Work (6th), Saint Calvados (3rd) and Imperial Aura (pulled up). A couple of extremely well fancied horses miss out here too, including the 2021 hero Minella Indo and the runner up A Plus Tard. Minella Indo was pulled up in the King George and was beat on his comeback so he can have no complaints. A Plus Tard was beat a short head by Galvin last time out so he is very unlucky but the stats say he gets the chop.

Cut: Aye Right; Delta Work; Saint Calvados; Imperial Aura; Fiddlerontheroof; Asterion Forlonge; Minella Indo; A Plus Tard.


Another non-negotiable for potential 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup winners is previous Grade 1 winning form. Cool Dawn was the last horse to defy this stat in 1998. Since then, every single winner had previously won at the highest level. We only have seven horses remaining in the running and this stat will enable us to narrow it down to the final five.

100/1 shot Mister Fisher has given it a good go but this is the end of the road for him. He has won seven races during his career but none of them have been Grade 1s. Gordon Elliott’s Mount Ida is the only other one of the remaining horses that has yet to win at the top table.

Cut: Mister Fisher; Mount Ida.

2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup: The Verdict

And then there were five. The longest priced survivor is Allaho but he is 11/10 for the Ryanair and he will more than likely run in that. Chantry House won the 20f Novice at last year’s Festival and then followed up with successive wide margin wins at Aintree and Sandown over 24f on good to soft ground.

Nicky Henderson’s charge then headed to the King George at Kempton where he pulled up on the soft ground. The 8yo son of Yeats bounced back with a win in the Cotswold last weekend but the way he finished that 25.5f race did not offer much hope for his prospects in a far tougher race over a furlong further.

We backed Tornado Flyer for the King George and he won easy. He ran on well behind Allaho for 3rd in that 20f Novice here last season but I think this horse is better going right handed. All his best Irish form is at Punchestown and while he has run ok going left handed, he’s probably 10lbs better going the opposite way. He has place claims alright but others look more likely for win purposes.

Big Guns

That leaves us with the two remaining big guns for the 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Protektorat is the leading British hope and Dan Skelton’s charge is a serious contender. I am a big believer that speed is nearly almost as important as stamina when it comes to winning a Gold Cup. Yeah, you need to stay the distance but if a horse has a bit of toe too, even better.

Protektorat has a turn of foot as he has shown when doing most of his winning at 20f. He stepped up to 25f last time out at Aintree for the first time and absolutely dotted up. This is going to be a much tougher proposition but he has plenty of course form in the book and this 7yo is no forlorn hope.

Galvin Stays All Day

Galvin has an extremely different profile. I’ve described him as being as slow as a boat on more than one occasion and I never saw him being good enough to win a Gold Cup. He is an out and out stayer, as he showed when winning the 30f Novice at the Festival in 2021.

My opinion on him was slightly changed after watching him win at Leopardstown last time. He beat A Plus Tard by a short head and while he ultimately outstayed him, he did quicken up quite well after the last. However, I’m still not fully convinced by him and Protektorat is narrowly preferred. Tornado Flyer can edge out Chantry House for 3rd.

2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup Prediction

  1. Protektorat (10/1)
  2. Galvin (9/2)
  3. Tornado Flyer (12/1)
  4. Chantry House (20/1)


Other Stats That Matter Previews

2022 Champion Hurdle

2022 Stayers’ Hurdle

2022 Champion Chase

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