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15:20 Ascot 02 Nov 2019

Sodexo Gold Cup Handicap Chase

Grade 3 | Class 1 | 4YO plus

Winner £56,950 - 16 ran

2m 7f 180y

Good to Soft (Soft in places)

Draw Advantage: None

Last year’s race

Traffic Fluide
  • Winner: Traffic Fluide
  • Jockey: Joshua Moore
  • Trainer: G L Moore
  • Owner: Galloping On The South Downs Partnership
  • Age: 8 Weight: 11st 12lbs
  • Starting Price: 4/1
  • Season Form Figures: 2
  • Previous Best: 1st - Limited Handicap (Grade 2), Cheltenham (Apr 2018)

Four of the last five winners of this Grade 3 handicap chase over the best part of three miles had not only had a run earlier in the season but had finished first or second on that most recent start (two of which won at Fontwell) so had proven race fitness on their side and shown their wellbeing to boot. Five of the last ten winners were winning their first handicap chase.

Two of those winners with a recent win to their name were trained by Gary Moore (from just five runners) in the last decade and his two entries this season are the bottom weight, Waikiki Waves, who made a winning seasonal reappearance and Larry who was also successful when we last saw him race six months ago.

Watch Ascot live on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 535) on Saturday 2nd November.

Jonjo O’Neill is another trainer to note with a winner and two places from seven runners in the last decade (the entered Go Conquer for a win and a third) as is Nicky Henderson with a winner and two places from five runners and he has entered On The Blind Side. Paul Nicholls, on the other hand, is 0-14 with six placing.

Since Roberto Goldback won aged ten in 2012, it has been horses aged six-eight that have won all six subsequent runnings. There isn’t much in it on comparative strike rates but the younger the better with five and six-year-olds combined faring best in the last years with three winners from 21 runners. Seven and eight-year-olds for example are 4-78.

Roberto Goldback is also the only winner in the last ten years to be rated in the 150s (he was bang on 150) when racing off 10st 10lb, though Traffic Fluide was rated 149 when successful off top weight and the only winner to carry over 11st 3lb in the same time frame. A low-to-mid weight therefore looks preferable.

Only Pendra in 2015 has justified favouritism in the last 12 years giving Barry Geraghty a third success in the race after Roll Along and Roberto Goldback with the Irish-trained five-year-old The Last Derby causing the biggest surprise when winning at 33/1 in 2009. No five-year-old has run in the race since.

Four of the last 14 winners had won at Ascot before.

At a glance summary

Positives
First or second on previous start this season
Trained by Gary Moore, Nicky Henderson or Jonjo O’Neill
Aged 5-6 (the younger the better)
Yet to win a handicap chase
Negatives
Carrying 11st 4lb+
Aged 10+
Trained by Paul Nicholls