The Betway Bowl Chase: The Stats That Matter

The Betway Bowl Chase: The Stats That Matter

The big race on Day 1 of the Aintree Grand National Festival is the Grade 1 Betway Bowl Chase, and they are off at 14.50. The ‘People’s Champion’ Cue Card will be back to defend the crown he won in spectacular style 12 months ago, but it might not be plain sailing for the old boy.
He fell at the exact same stage in the Gold Cup in 2017 as he did last year, but he wasn’t travelling as kindly this time around. It remains to be seen whether that mishap has taken its toll, and below you can find out if the stats are in his favour for a repeat bid in this race 2017.
Betway Bowl Last 5 Winners
Cue Card
Colin Tizzard
Paddy Brennan
Silviniaco Conti
Paul Nicholls
Noel Fehily
Silviniaco Conti
Paul Nicholls
Noel Fehily
First Lieutenant
Mouse Morris
Bryan Cooper
Follow The Plan
Oliver McKiernan
Tom Doyle
Avoid Golden Oldies
The bad news for Cue Card supporters is that he falls at the first fence, as does former dual winner Silviniaco Conti. No 11yo has won since Grey Abbey back in 2005, and no horse younger than 7yo has won since Escartfigue back in 1998. Consequently, that means a line can also be put through 6yo Bristol De Mai.
It is rare that three of the top four in the betting market for a race like this are cut so early on, but the stats clearly state that all three are up against it. With only seven runners going to post that leaves us with just four possible winners, and we will try to pinpoint the most likely victor below.
Starting Price Is Paramount
Since 2006 only two horses priced up at 12/1 or bigger have triumphed in the Betway Bowl. The last two favourites have obliged, and the biggest priced winner in recent times was Follow The Plan back in 2012 for Oliver McKiernan at odds of 50/1.
That means, at the current odds, we can discount three of the remaining four contenders. As a result, Aso (25/1), Smad Place (18/1) and Tea For Two (16/1) are all discounted for winning purposes because of their prices. At 11/4 with William Hill, the Gordon Elliott trained and Gigginstown owned Empire Of Dirt is the last horse standing.
Empire Of Dirt produced a pretty disappointing effort in the Ryanair, but that 2m 5f trip might be a bit sharp for him nowadays. Gordon Elliott repeatedly stated in the run up to the Cheltenham Festival that he would have run him in the Gold Cup if it was up to him, but he was overruled by owner Michael O’Leary.
In hindsight, Sizing John’s victory probably proved Elliott right as Empire Of Dirt was only 0.75L behind the Gold Cup hero when they met over 24.5f at Leopardstown back in February. Aso had Empire Of Dirt’s measure when they met in the Ryanair last month, and at 20/1 he could be the one to chase the selection home over this longer trip. Tea For Two should be suited by the return to better ground and a flatter track, and he can fill third spot in what should be an exciting race.

Verdict: 1. Empire Of Dirt 11/4. 2. Aso 25/1. 3. Tea For Two 16/1.

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