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Three trends point to December Gold Cup win for Colour Squadron

Trends are only one way of narrowing down the field for a particular horse race, but when it has come to assessing the Stewart Family Thank You Gold Cup, the chances of Colour Squadron are given a substantial boost.

The Paddy Power Gold Cup has often proved a good guide to this Cheltenham contest, with five of the last eight winners of this race having finished in the top five of the slightly shorter renewal at the same course a month earlier.

Colour Squadron was second in the Paddy Power this year behind Johns Spirit, but does re-oppose here on 2lb better terms, despite losing by less than a length.

Yet, Johns Spirit and Colour Squadron are joint favourites in the Cheltenham betting at 5/1.

What goes against Johns Spirit here is that additional weight, as he will run off 11st 9lb, in contrast to Colour Squadron’s 11st 7lb. No horse has lugged more than 11st 8lb to victory in this race this century.

There has also been a consistency in terms of age of winners since 2000, with just the sole winner aged eight or older. This is bad news for fancied duo Cantlow and Salut Flo.

The final statistic of note is that each of the last five winners of this race have had an official rating no lower than 145.

Not only is Colour Squadron aged seven, but is rated at 146. Attaglance is another horse that may prove popular among those at each-way prices, but a rating of just 137 must be a negative to his prospects.

Therefore, for those wanting to take on Colour Squadron, Grandioso looks the obvious candidate, especially as trainer Paul Nicholls has saddled three of the last four winners of this contest.