Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Double Handful

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Double Handful

Article excerpt

Byline: John Shaw's racing betting column in association with

THERE'S no denying the bet365 Gold Cup is a race steeped in history. It was also known as the Whitbread Gold Cup for so long I make it 4-9 anyone over 60 still calls it that.

"What between One It's a contest won by Arkle and Desert Orchid over the years, two of the bestloved racehorses the game has ever known. Dessie probably my favourite horse of all time won the Whitbread 31 years ago, but I mention this merely to make you feel as old as me.

As you'd expect with 20 runners this is no easy event to win, a fact reflected by some big-priced winners.

Hellan Harri scored at 40-1 in 2017, and in the last 10 years we've seen seven of the winners returned at double-digit prices.

Then again, nine of the past 16 winners have hailed from the top seven in the market. It just goes to show statistics can be moulded to fit any argument which make them extremely useful for politicians and pundits alike.

I'm not big on studying trends but it is a fact that 23 winners in the last 28 years have carried less than 11st.

There's been money for Mark Bradstock's Step Back and nobody really knows why.

Backed in from 16s to around 8-1 favouritism suggests either somebody knows something or nobody knows anything.

The nine-year-old is defending his title, so has to be respected, even if only four horses have ever won this race twice.

One of my Bets Of The Day back in February's 888Sport's handicap chase at Kempton was TALKISCHEAP.

Alan King's seven-year-old disappointed to finish fifth of 10 runners. But previously to that he hadn't finished outside the first three in four starts.

He is still relatively lightly raced and nicely rested after that Kempton run.

I'm inclined to give him another THE jumps season seems to have been winding down for the last few weeks, so it's a shame it won't end with a contest racing fans really wanted to witness. …

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