If you’re trying to decide who’s going to win this year’s most prestigious chase in the racing world – the Cheltenham Gold Cup – then maybe it’s worth looking back to see what the great race has to tell us?

Looking through history sheds a lot of light on the likely winner this year – as there are certain patterns that begin to emerge.

For Cheltenham 2017 betting: tips, odds, free bets and more are available from a number of good sources, but before deciding which offers to take advantage of, and where to invest the proceeds of those offers, let’s have a look at a few Gold Cup historical stats…

Since the contest was first run on 12 March 1924, there have been 88 Cheltenham Gold Cups. And of those 88 winners, 35% (31 out of the 88) have been favourites. But In the modern era (since 1970) the mean average odds of the winner are around 11-1. So it seems likely that the winner won’t be a real outsider – but then Norton’s Coin did manage to win 1990 at odds of 100/1 (pulling up the mean average a lot in the process).

The shortest-priced winner in the modern era (again since 1970) was the 2004 winner Best Mate with odds of 8/11 – as he landed his third Gold Cup in a row (the only horse to do since the legendary Arkle). In contrast, Lord Windermere, the 2014 winner, won at odds of 20-1 beating another outsider the 16-1 shot On His Own by a short head. Lord Windermere was the longest-priced winner since Norton’s Coin.

Meanwhile, the average age of a Gold Cup winning horse is 8.4 years old and the most common age for the winner is 9 years old, as was the case with last year’s winner Don Cossack, who is now retired due to injury.

So the winner is likely to be aged between 7 and 10 – with these ages accounting for 45 of the last 46 runnings of the race since 1970 (there was no Gold Cup in 2001 due to the Foot & Mouth disease outbreak). The only horse outside this age range to win since 1970 was the great Nicky Henderson-trained Long Run, winner as a six year-old in 2011 (beating the great Kauto Star in the process) and third in each of the two subsequent runnings. No horse aged 11 or over has won the Gold Cup since 1969.

Breeding also seems to play a huge part in deciding who’ll win. From the last 15 Cheltenham Gold Cups, seven of the winners have been French-bred and six have been bred in Ireland.

So when you’re deciding who will emerge victorious for this year’s Gold Cup, bear in mind that history tells us the winner is statistically likely to be fairly short priced (at less than 10-1) that it is most likely to be aged 8 or 9, will probably have been bred in France or Ireland.

This year’s favourite Cue Card was bred in England, but is aged 11 – whilst second favourite Native River is just 7, but was bred in the Emerald Isle. Djakadam, third favourite also ticks all the boxes – 8 years old, short odds and bred in Ireland.