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Vautour exit shakes up Cheltenham Gold Cup market

Owner Rich Ricci has confirmed that his horse, Vautour, will run in the Ryanair Chase at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival rather than the Blue Riband event of the week, the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The decision was delayed as long as possible but once the announcement was made, the bookmakers were quick to react with their market for the 3m2f contest. Don Cossack is as a result around 11/4 in the Gold Cup betting. The Gordon Elliott-trained runner has won three Group races this season, including the JNWine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal back in October. read more

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Willie Mullins: How many winners can he land at the Cheltenham Festival?

It is now a matter of hours until the 2016 Cheltenham Festival takes place next Tuesday. On opening day last year, the bookmakers were running for cover as Irish super-trainer, Willie Mullins swept all before him with a quadruple of winners – and ended the four-day meeting with eight successes, surpassing Nicky Henderson’s tally of seven, back in 2012. read more

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Victoria Pendleton looks uncertain for Cheltenham ride

Victoria Pendleton’s move from Olympic cyclist to jockey has been dealt another blow after she was unseated from her horse at Fakenham. The Olympic gold medal winner was riding Pacha Du Polder in her first mount in a Hunter Chase of her career when she lost her balance. Her race started well and she looked more competitive than she has in previous races before colliding with Baltic Blue over the seventh fence on the course. Pendleton seemed to lose control of Pacha Du Polder, colliding into the back of Baltic Blue and unseating her and fellow jockey Carey Williamson. read more

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Big Data and Horse Race Results: Inside the World of Predictive Analytics

Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane became famous for pioneering predictive data usage in baseball. Back in 2002, faced with a limited budget and the departure of three heavy-hitting free agents, Beane and his statisticians built a cost-effective roster by betting that a player’s on-base percentage mattered more than batting average, home runs, RBIs, and other traditional stats. read more