Luckless Rather Be gets a second crack at Cheltenham fame this Saturday, when he's favourite in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup betting.
The Nicky Henderson-trained seven-year-old was having his first run of the season in the BetVictor Gold Cup last month, when Willie Boy brought him down four fences from home.
He was the second favourite at 7/1 that day, and is already no bigger than 100/30 (Paddy Power) in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup betting, but he's got last year's winner Guitar Pete, and last month's first and second Baron Alco and Frodon to contend with.
Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Trends
Favourites have an abysmal record in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup trends, winning just one of the last 11 renewals. In addition, only two others from the top three in the betting have won in that time.
They have all been aged eight or younger, with just 1/11 having had less than five chase runs and 10/11 having won 2-4 chases, with at least one of them over 2m4f-2m5f. Cheltenham form is important, with only 2 winners having not run at Cheltenham at least twice, and 8/11 winners were rated below 150.
On that note, the profile of the winner has changed in the past seven renewals with the average official rating of the winner dropping from 153 to 140, and only one horse carrying more than 10st 10lb to victory.
Applying the key trends gives us a short-list of four in Guitar Pete (10/1 Betway), Casse Tete (33/1 Coral), Romain De Senam (20/1 William Hill), and Marienstar (20/1 Bet365), the last-named standing out as a mare on the upgrade.
Front-runners can win at Cheltenham, and this one is thriving on the late good ground, which is forecast for this weekend. She's going to be bottom-weight, and trainer Neil King is likely to claim further off that too.
When once topweights could win, now they tend to place, the form of topweights in the last 11 Caspian Caviar Gold Cups reading, from oldest to newest, 5P4012073532.
You therefore couldn't go far wrong backing Frodon (9/1 Ladbrokes), who won the £130,000 handicap chase in 2016. He's already won the Old Roan Handicap Chase this season, and finished second in Cheltenham's more valuable BetVictor Gold Cup.
In January he won his second course-and-distance handicap chase, and he's now run in 15 chases from 2m4f-2m5f, finishing out of the first three 4 times. He's a sold each-way bet.
Should Frodon stay in at the top of the weights, it will show how much trainer Paul Nicholls fancies his other entry Romain de Senam (20/1 BetStars), who unseated Harry Cobden at the first fence last time out.
He was 16/1 that day in the BetVictor Gold Cup, and has been dropped 1lb in the handicap for his efforts - or lack thereof - with the ground set to be fast enough, and Marienstar set to make the pace fast enough too.