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13th April 2021

Cheltenham Festival Tips and Trends – (DAY FOUR: Fri 19th March 2021)

Each day of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival here at TRAINERS-QUOTES we'll give you the quick-fire positive and negative stats for EVERY race. Apply these to the final cards and you will build up a picture and a profile of which horses have historically done the best in recent renewals.

Did you know that 17 of the last 21 Cheltenham Gold Cup winners ran in the Savills Chase or King George earlier that season?

We hope they help narrow down the fields and also help pin-point plenty of winners at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival for you..........................................

 

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL DAY FOUR:

Friday 19th March 2021 (New Course)

Cheltenham Festival Trends

 

 1.20 - JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 179y ITV

2020 Winner: BURNING VICTORY 12/1
Trainer – Willie Mullins
Jockey – Paul Townend

Pluses…..

  • 21 of the last 27 winners won last time out
  • 8 of the last 12 winners were unbeaten over hurdles
  • Irish have won 5 of the last 8 runnings
  • French-breds have filled 10 of the last 16 places (last 6 runnings)
  • 11 of the last 16 came from the top 4 in the betting
  • 10 of the last 13 winners returned 13/2 or shorter in the betting
  • Respect Henderson (7 winners), Nicholls, Hobbs and King-trained runners
  • 7 of the last 17 first ran over hurdles by November (5 of the last 8 by mid-Nov)
  • 10 of the last 15 winners returned 13/2 or shorter
  • The Spring Juvenile Hurdle is a good guide
  • 9 of the last 11 winners ran in the Finesse, Adonis or Spring Juvenile Hurdles last time
  • 7 of the last 12 winners had run in France before
  • Nicky Henderson has trained 7 winners of the race
  • Gordon Elliott has had 2 wins and 2 seconds in the last 7 years

Negatives….

  • Take on horses that have won at 2m2f or further in the past
  • Avoid horses that last ran 56 days or longer ago
  • Avoid horses that had run 3 or more times over hurdles
  • Just 2 of the last 16 winner returned bigger than 12/1
  • Be careful of horses rated 138 or lower – no winner in the last 12
  • Willie Mullins has fairly poor record despite winning the 2020 race – currently 1-from-29

TQ VERDICT: The Alan King yard landed this race in 2005 and 2007 – they look to have a fair chance of adding to those successes here with their unbeaten Tritonic, who was last seen winning the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton. He was a fair flat horse (rated 99) and has made a decent transition to the sticks. However, the horse he’s beaten the last twice – Casa Loupi (Gary Moore) – has hardly advertised the form since and was beaten at odds-on only this Monday at Stratford. I also think his jumping has been a tad iffy at times and even though his proven flat speed is a big plus, I’m happy to go against him here. The Pipe runner Adagio has also done little wrong in winning his last two, but he also beat another Gary Moore runner in Nassalam last time at Chepstow and I’m not sure how solid that form is either. On a plus, this 4 year-old is a proven CD winner here and should still go well. But this could be another race for the Irish as they look to have a big hand with both Quilixios and Zanahiyr heading here unbeaten. Both are hard to fault and I certainly wouldn’t want to put you off either. Quilixios is 4-from-4 and was last seen wining the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival – beating Saint Sam by 5 ½ lengths and that runner-up ran a fair race to be runner-up in the Fred Winter on Tuesday. However, that same horse – Saint Sam – does tie in with ZANAHIYR too as this former Gordon Elliott runner beat that horse by 14 lengths back in November. He’s since won very easily at Leopardstown on Boxing Day and has been kept fresh for this since. The reports are that he’s going well at home and in what looks a cracking match-up I’m happy to side with this one to remain unbeaten. Of the others, a small saver is advised on the Mullins runner – HAUT EN COULEURS (e/w) – purely because Mullins is running him here! His only run came in France and that was a win and even though he’s not been out since Oct 20, coming from this yard he’ll be fully tuned up. He’s clearly well-thought of to run here and even though it remains to be seen how good he really is, he could be the value of those priced at bigger odds.

1.55 - McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 179y ITV

2020 Winner: SAINT ROI 11/2 fav
Trainer – Willie Mullins
Jockey – Barry Geraghty

Pluses….

  • The Irish have won 9 of the last 14 runnings
  • The last 6 winners were trained by Willie Mullins or Dan Skelton
  • Willie Mullins has won 5 of the last 11 runnings
  • 16 of the last 20 winners were novices or second season hurdlers
  • 4 of the last 13 winners ran in that season’s Coral.ie Hurdle (Leopardsotwn)
  • 14 of the last 15 winners were rated in the 130’s
  • 7 of the last 13 winners returned 20/1 or bigger
  • 6 of the last 12 winners had run in 6 or less hurdles races
  • 11 of the last 15 winners were aged 5 or 6 years-old
  • 11 of the last 22 winners aged 5
  • 6 of the last 7 winners had run at Cheltenham before
  • 9 of the last 14 winners Irish-trained
  • 8 of the last 13 winners started their careers in France
  • 12 of the last 15 winners were priced in double-figures
  • 13 of the last 17 winners began their careers on the flat
  • Look for Mullins, Martins & Nicholls-trained runners
  • Respect the Imperial Cup (Sandown Park) winner
  • 9 winners since 2002 ran in the Ladbrokes or Betfair Hurdles that season
  • 11 of the last 20 winners came from the top 5 in the betting
  • 14 of the last 17 winners were 1st or 2nd season hurdlers
  • 11 of the last 14 winners DIDN’T win last time out
  • The last 5 winners hadn’t raced in the last 72 days
  • Paul Nicholls is 4 from 30 (+16pts)
  • Willie Mullins is 4 from 38 (+47.5pts)
  • Trainer Dan Skelton has trained 3 of the last 5 renewals (2 of last 3)

Negatives….

  • Strangely, previous course winners have a bad record
  • Only 2 winners since 2000 winning with a mark of 150+
  • Since 1960 only 5 winners carried more than 11st 2lb
  • Since 1961, only 9 winners had run at the Festival before
  • Since 2005, just one winner rated 140+ (158 runners)
  • Avoid runners that hadn’t raced at least 4 times that season
  • Avoid horses making their handicap debuts, although last year’s winner defied this trend
  • 0 of the last 7 winners ran no more than 4 times that season
  • Just 2 of the last 14 winners returned a single-figure price
  • Nicky Henderson has a poor record (0-from-32) since 2000
  • Gordon Elliott has a poor record (0-from-17) last 10 years

TQ VERDICT: With 14 of the last 15 winners rated in the 130’s then of the 26 runners, this is good news for just a handful – ÉCLAIR DE BEAUFEU, SAINT D’OROUX, GOWEL ROAD, GETAWAY GORGEOUS, ANNA BUNINA, FIFTY BALL, CAPTAIN KANGAROO, STRONG GLANCE and BELFAST BANTER. It’s also been a good race for the Dan Skelton yard in recent years – winning 3 of the 5 three – so their Third Time Lucki enters the mix and has been running well this season too. While the Mullins camp also love to target this race – winning 4 of the last 10, so their runners Ganapathi, Ciel De Neige, Buildmeupbuttercup, Captain Kangaroo and Getaway Gorgeous can’t be ruled out. Of his bunch, the 5 year-old Ganapathi looks to be their main hope and off a mark of 140 is only just outside the ratings trend. You Raised Me Up, Champagne Gold and Drop The Anchor are others to note, but I’m happy to stick with those rated in the 130’s. With 5 and 6 year-old’s having the slightly better record in the race then FIFTY BALL, GOWEL ROAD and CAPTAIN KANGAROO (e/w) are chanced. The former was a decent runner-up in the Betfair Hurdle and last time and even though the winner – Soaring Glory – could back that form up in Tuesday’s Supreme, the ground went against him a bit. Fifty Ball still beat 21 others home that day and gets in here with a light weight again (10-6). The Nigel-Twiston-Davies runner Gowel Road has won his last two in good fashion at Newbury and despite being up in grade and up 6lbs in the ratings for that, is another that gets in here with just 10-8 to carry. He was also a tad green the last day, which suggests there is more learning and improvement to come and sports the first-time cheekpieces. A chance is also taken on the Mullins runner Captain Kangaroo. Beaten at odds-on the last day, but might just improve by having just 10-2 on his back – he’s raced with a big weight (12-0) in all of his last four runs over hurdles, plus a year ago he beat a certain Kilcruit by 4 lengths in a bumper at Clonmel!

 

 2.30 - Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 7f 213y ITV

2020 Winner: MONKFISH 5/1
Trainer – Willie Mullins
Jockey – Paul Townend

Pluses….

  • 9 of the last 16 winners had run at Cheltenham over hurdles before
  • 14 of the last 16 winners contested a Graded Hurdle last time out
  • 15 of the last 16 winners won or placed in a Graded Novice before
  • 6 of the last 9 winners had won a Point
  • 5 of the last 7 winners trained in Ireland
  • 10 of the last 12 winners had won at least twice over hurdles
  • 8 of the last 10 winners had won or been placed in a bumper
  • 9 of the last 16 came from the top 5 in the betting
  • 10 of the last 16 winner ran 47 days (or more) ago
  • 14 of the last 16 had run in a race over 3m
  • 13 of the last 16 winners were aged 6 or 7 years-old
  • 13 of the last 16 winners were 1st or 2nd last time out
  • 15 of the last 16 winners finished in the top 3 last time out
  • 11 of the last 16 winners had 4+ runs over hurdles
  • 14 of the last 15 winners finished in the top 3 last time out
  • 4 of the last 15 favourites won
  • Respect Jonjo O’Neill runners (2 wins, from 2 runners!)
  • Trainer Willie Mullins has won 2 of the last 4 runnings

Negatives….

  • Horses that ran in the last 23 days haven’t fared well
  • Avoid horses that DIDN’T finish 1st or 2nd last time out
  • Be wary of horses that have raced less than 3 times over hurdles (1 from 16)
  • Willie Mullins is 2 from 38 in the race, but has won 2 of the last 4
  • Gordon Elliott is 0-from-7
  • 5 year-olds have a poor record
  • Only 4 of the last 16 winners hadn’t raced that calendar year

TQ VERDICT: Horses that finished first of second last time out have a good record in this race, so that’s not a great sign for the well-fancied pair – Stattler and Fakiera, who will be popular after running third and fourth behind Gaillard Du Mesnil last time out at Leopardstown. We also want to look for horses that had a small break (more than 23 days), while Willie Mullins has won 2 of the last 4, but Gordon Elliott (Denise Foster) is currently 0-from-7. Adrimel has won all three hurdles starts, but is up should have more to come, but you feel he’d want a bit more rain, with both recent wins coming in heavy ground. Torygraph is another that can go well if building on his recent Thurles win, but the two I like here are the British pair of BARBADOS BUCK’S and ALAPHILIPPE. The former is from the powerful Paul Nicholls yard and has won his last three in good fashion. Another step up is needed here, but we know he stays this 3m well and is related to the former four-time Staying Hurdler Big Bucks. He’s got a long way to go to get to that level, but is improving all the time and won’t mind it if the ground dries out. The other pick – Alaphilippe, hails from the Fergal O’Brien yard and has caught the eye in winning 5 of his last 6. The latest was an easy 14 length win at Haydock in a Grade 2 contest last month. That was also his first try over 3m (rules), but it clearly suited and is closely linked in with the other pick having been placed behind him at Southwell earlier on in his career – he’s progressed since and holds a leading chance here. Of the rest, with Monkfish winning this race last season then running in the same colours, N’GOLO (e/w), might be worth noting in the betting – he’s lost his way in better company of late, but has some fair form before that and is interesting now upped to 3m (from 2m)!

 

3.05 - WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1) 3m 2f 70y ITV

2020 Winner: AL BOUM PHOTO (12/1)
Trainer – Willie Mullins
Jockey – Paul Townend

Pluses….

  • 17 of the last 21 winners ran in the Savills Chase or King George that season
  • 18 of the last 20 finished 1st or 2nd last time out
  • 18 of the last 21 winners were 2nd or 3rd season chasers
  • 10 of the last 15 winners had run 9 or less times over fences
  • All of the last 21 winners were Grade 1 winners
  • 16 of the last 20 had won or placed at the Festival before
  • 17 of the last 20 winners hailed from the top 3 in the betting
  • 19 of the last 21 winners had raced no more than 12 times over fences
  • 12 of the last 13 winners ran 3 or less times that season
  • 16 of the last 24 winners were bred in Ireland
  • 16 of the last 20 winners won last time out
  • 6 of the last 15 favourites won
  • 9 of the last 18 winners were favourirtes
  • 12 of the last 16 winners yet to win beyond 3m 1/2f
  • ALL of the last 21 winners were aged 9 or younger
  • 20 of the last 21 winners aged between 7-9 years-old
  • 19 of the last 21 winners were in their first three seasons over fences
  • Horses placed in a previous Supreme Novices’ Hurdle have a good record (6-from-6 this century)

 

Negatives….

  • Non-Grade One winners have a poor record
  • No winner older than 10 years-old since 1969 (0 from 71)
  • Just one winning 6 year-old since 1964
  • Horses rated 166 or less are only 5 from last 34
  • Avoid horses that had run on ‘heavy’ ground that season
  • Horses wearing headgear have a bad recent record
  • Willie Mullins has only won the race twice (2020, 2019), 2 from 33 (had 4 of the last 8 seconds and the 2019 & 2020 winner though)
  • Only 2 winners since 2000 returned 9/1 or bigger
  • Just 1 of the last 13 winners had raced more than 3 times that season
  • Horses that were beaten in their first Gold Cup don’t fare well
  • Only 2 winners since 2000 had previously been beaten in the race
  • No winner since 2000 ran in that season’s Cotswold Chase

 

Cheltenham Gold Cup Betting Trends

18/18 – Aged 9 or younger
17/18 – Had raced within the last 3 months
16/18 – Had run over fences at Cheltenham before
16/18 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
15/18 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
15/18 – Had won over at least 3m (chase) before
14/18 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or more
14/18 – Won last time out
12/18 – Placed favourites
11/18 – Had won 5 or more times over fences in the UK or Ire before
11/18 – Rated 170 or higher
10/18 – Irish bred
9/18 – Winning favourites
8/18 – Had last raced in the previous calendar year
8/18 – Had won over fences at Cheltenham before
7/18 – Irish-trained winners
5/18 – Last race was in the King George VI Chase (Kempton)
4/18 – Won the Denman Chase (Newbury) last time out
3/18 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
2/18 – Ran in the Lexus Chase last time out
2/18 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
The average winning SP in the last 18 renewals is 11/2

Other Cheltenham Gold Cup Stats

Only one horse (Kauto Star 2009) has ever regained the race
26 of the last 27 winners have been aged 9 or younger
9 of the last 19 winners came here fresh – did not race that same calendar year
17 of the last 20 winners were rated 166 or higher
20 of the last 22 winners had won a race already that current season
14 of the last 20 winners had finished second or better at the Cheltenham Festival before
11 of the last 21 winners had run in that season’s King George VI Chase (Kempton)
All of the previous 21 winners had won a Grade One Chase contest before
The last winner aged older than 10 was in 1969 (What a Myth, 12)

 

Cheltenham Gold Cup – UK v Irish

16/23 – British-trained winners
7/23 – Irish-trained winners (3 of last 5 though)
Willie Mullins (Ire) has trained just two winners
Nicky Henderson (UK) has trained 2 of the last 9 winners
Paul Nicholls (UK) has trained 3 of the last 13 winners (4 in total)

TQ VERDICT: Al Boum Photo will cement his name in the Gold Cup hall of fame if he can land this famous race for a third year on the spin and emulate Best Mate, who did just that between 2002 and 2004. It will be a brave man to say he can’t as he’s still only 9 years-old and has returned this season as good as ever. The Mullins camp have given him the same prep as last year by winning at Tramore on New Year’s Day – which was his only run since winning this 12 months ago. He’s a horse that goes well fresh and with a mark of 175 is the top-rated in the field. He’s the champ, the favourite, the top-rated in the field and clearly the one to beat – I certainly can’t put you off him, but he’s also little value around 5/2. I also feel that this year’s Gold Cup is better than the two he’s won, while 12 months ago he only just got home by a neck from Santini, who tries again, with Lostintranslation back in third. However, that pair have hardly advertised the form since and even though they are clearly capable of better, they’ve had very average seasons, which casts a doubt about just how good that Gold Cup form of last year is. The King George winner – Frodon – continues to surprise and does love it here at Cheltenham. He might prove his doubters wrong again, but you just feel over this 3m 2 1/2f trip, will his stamina last out, but if the ground continues to dry out that will be in his favour. The warrior that is Native River, who won this in 2018, is back for more at the age of 11 and after a top win in the Cotswold Chase (run at Sandown this year and not Cheltenham), he continues to defy his age. But winners of that trial race don’t have the best record here – I think the last horse to do the double was Looks Like Trouble in 2000 (but I might be wrong), while only one horse has ever regained the Gold Cup crown and that was the mighty Kauto Star. He can still go well, but a place might be the best he can do and he’d of course love any more rain. The Venetia Williams-trained Royal Pagaille is the dark horse in the race and it’s interesting (and brave) that connections opted to run him here instead of the easier NH Chase on the opening day. That might be something to do with his owner, who is yet to win this race and gone close a few times, but he’s clearly a fast-improving staying chaser after three eye-catching wins this season and we’ll see if he’s up to this class here. He could easily grind it out from the front, but he’s another that you feel would want softer ground to be seen at his very best – all his runs to date have been on ground soft or worse. The main two against the champ though look to be a A Plus Tard and the Henderson-trained CHAMP. Both are strong finishers, so this trip and the stiff hill should be right up their street – if they jump the last in contention then it should be a epic battle up the home straight. A Plus Tard is still only 7 and he was a great winner of the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Xmas. He finished with a rattle again that day to collar Kemboy on the line and has tasted the Festival before when running third in the Ryanair Chase last season. With age on his side he should have more to come and connections have clearly been wrapping him up in cotton wool this season with just a few runs – Al Boum Photo won his first Gold Cup as a 7 year-old and it wouldn’t be a shock if this Henry De Bromhead runner did too. However, for me last season’s RSA winner - CHAMP – just edges it. He came from the clouds to win at the Festival last season to get the better of Minella Indo, who also runs here, so the extra few furlongs should be perfect. He’s had a wind op since too and returned to run a blinder over an inadequate 2m at Newbury (Game Spirit) last month so should be spot-on for this now. Yes, his jumping has not always been the best, but let’s not forget he’s only had 5 runs over fences (3 wins), so is getting better and learning all the time. Of the rest, Kemboy has the class to go well, but after running 7th last year and unseating in 2019, you just wonder if Cheltenham is his track. Of those at a bigger price, NATIVE RIVER (e/w), might also be worth a small interest. Yes, it would be a shock if he won, but he’s as consistent as they come and could easily get placed again. He’s run 20 times over fences and only been out of the top three once! He was fourth last year after never really travelling in the race and has returned this season better than ever. Any rain would help, but he’s got decent form on good ground too, while connections report him in great heart at home – he’ll have regular pilot, Richard Johnson, on too in what will be his seventh Festival outing and his fifth in this race!

3.40 - St James's Place Foxhunter Chase 3m 2f 70y ITV

2020 Winner: IT CAME TO PASS 66/1
Trainer – Eugene O’Sullivan
Jockey – Miss M O’Sullivan

Pluses…..

  • 26 of the last 30 winners were aged under 11 years-old
  • 25 of the last 35 won last time out
  • 17 of the last 18 winners Irish or French bred
  • The last 14 winners were yet to win over this trip
  • 6 of the last 11 winners finished in the top 5 in the race last year
  • 8 of the last 12 winners came from the first 4 in the betting
  • 28 of the last 32 started out in point-to-point races
  • 11 of the last 15 winners ran 34 days or less ago
  • Respect the Irish runners (won 7 of last 10)
  • 5 of the last 9 winners ran in the Leopardstown Inn Hunters’ Chase
  • 10 of the last 15 winners were aged 8-10 years-old
  • 8 of the last 12 winners returned 15/2 or shorter
  • 11 of the last 13 winners finished in the top 3 last time out
  • 9 of the last 11 winners rated 134 or higher (6 of last 8, rated 138+)

Negatives….

  • Horses that ran in a handicap race that season haven’t got a good record
  • Avoid horses that hadn’t won a race under rules
  • Just 2 winners in the last 44 years aged 12 or older
  • 27 of the last 29 horses aged 11+ (priced in single figures) have lost – but the 2019 winner – Hazel Hill – defied this trend
  • Just 1 6 year-old winner in the last 33 runnings
  • Only 2 winners aged 7 since 2000
  • Avoid ex-handicappers rated 140+ in their careers
  • Avoid horses that raced 35 days or longer ago
  • British bred horses are 0-81 (last 18 runnings)
  • Just 2 winners since 2000 hadn’t run within the last 53 days
  • Horses aged 11+ are just 5 from 245 since 1990
  • Just 4 winners since 2000 didn’t finish in the top 3 last time out

TQ VERDICT: With 26 of the last 30 winners aged 10 or younger, then this would be a negative for last year’s winner - It Came To Pass, plus the 2019 hero Hazel Hill, Ravished, Wishing And Hoping, Monbeg Gold and Sonneofpresenting. Last year’s runner-up, Billaway will be poplar for the Willie Mullins yard and he’s returned this season with a couple of nice wins – he’s not been out of the first two in his last eight starts and it’s hard to crab his chance. The Enda Bolger pair of Stalker Wallace and Stand Up And Fight are others to consider – the yard won this in 2015 and 2016, while Latenightpass was a CD winner at the May 19 meeting here, so we know the track is fine. But I’m happy to side with the Paul Nicholls runner here – BOB AND CO – as the yard look to win the race for a third time in the last five years. This 10 year-old was a very easy winner at Haydock last time out (17 lengths) and with that coming off a year out, will be spot on for this now. Sean Bowen rode that day and continues in the saddle. Of the rest, Red Indian is another to note in the betting, but the other at a bigger price that stands out is the Denise Foster runner – MIGHTY STOWAWAY (e/w).  This horse was beaten by Stand Up And Fight last time, but I think that race might have just come a bit too soon after winning a Point. He’s had a break since (4 months) and might be worth chancing if the ground dries out a bit.

 4.15 - Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Chase 2m 4f 127yds ITV

New Race – No Key Trends

TQ VERDICT: CD winner, Shattered Love was sixth in the Ryanair Chase last season but will probably find this easier now racing against her own sex, in this welcomed new Festival race. That said, this looks a race the Willie Mullins yard have a good chance in with the first two in the betting – Colreevy and ELIMAY. The former has won her last three and remains unbeaten over fences. She was fifth in the mares’ novice hurdle here last season too, so the Festival is no strange place for her either. She can go well, but she has to give 2lbs away to her stablemate – Elimay – and this JP McManus-owned 7 year-old is also rated 5lbs higher. Elimay beat Shattered Love easily by 5l last time at Naas too and before that was a good second to Allaho at Thurles in a Grade 2. She’s also run at the Festival before, when 6th in the Mares Hurdle in 2019, but has gone onto become a better chaser – winning 3 of her 4 starts. Of the rest, former Grand National runner-up Magic Of Light is no back number, but the trip here might be a bit on the short side for her, so any rain would help. So, SALSARETTA (e/w), another Mullins runner might do best of the bigger priced runners – she’s lost her way a bit of late, but showed promise during 2019 and 20 – if Mullins has her back to that level, she could place at a price.

 

4.50 - Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle (0-145) 2m 4f 56y RTV

2020 Winner: INDEFATIGABLE 25/1
Trainer – Paul Webber
Jockey – Rex Dingle  

Pluses….

  • 11 of the last 12 winners were 2nd season-hurdlers
  • 9 of the last 10 winners placed in the top 3 last time
  • All of the last 12 winners carried 11-1 or more
  • The last three winners had top-weight
  • All 12 winners aged 7 or younger
  • 7 or the last 9 winners rated 139+
  • 10 of the last 12 winners had 8 or less runs over hurdles
  • 4 of the last 7 winners were Irish-based Novices
  • Irish have won 6 of the last 10 (5 making handicap debuts)
  • 35 of the 37 win and place horses were 1st or 2nd season hurdlers
  • Look for Henderson, Nicholls, Mullins, Elliot-trained horses
  • 10 of the 12 winners were placed in the top 4 last time out
  • 6 of the 12 winners won last time out
  • 6 of the last 7 winners had run over a longer trip that season
  • 7 of the 12 winners were rated 133-139
  • 8 of the 12 winners returned at a double-figure price (9 of the last 12 were 16/1 or less)
  • 5 and 6 year-old have won 10 of last 12 runnings
  • Look for jockeys that have ridden 20+ winners
  • Willie Mullins is 3 from 19 runners in the race (won 3 of the last 10 runnings)
  • Respect any Gigginstown House Stud-owned runners (4 winners, 5 places)
  • Paul Nicholls has won the race twice in the last 8 years
  • Gordon Elliott has won 2 of the last 4 runnings

Negatives….

  • Despite being named after his father the David Pipe stable has a poor record so far (0 from 20, inc 3 favs)
  • Horses aged 8+ are 0-from 48
  • Just 1 winning fav in the 12-year history (8/11 returned in double-figures)
  • Horses in headgear are currently 1 from 59
  • Only 4 winners have previous Festival experience
  • Horses with 11st or less are currently 0-from-89

TQ VERDICT: Last weekend’s Imperial Cup winner – Langer Dan – did it very well that day and with only a 5lb penalty for that looks an interesting contender for the Dan Skelton yard, especially with a £100k bonus up for grabs – the Imperial Cup sponsors (Paddy Power) put up the bonus should the winner land any Festival race this week. He was a fair 6th in the Fred Winter here last season too – only beaten 4 ¾ lengths – and is off the same mark this time too. The only small concern is the longer trip here, than last time – is up 4f – but he wasn’t stopping at the line last time on that soft ground and Sandown has a stiff finish too. He travelled well during the race too, so seems in a good place at the moment too. However, the Willie Mullins yard do well in this race – winning three of the last 10, so their GENTLEMAN DE MEE and Galopin Des Champs are big players too. The former looks their slightly better hope having won well at Naas last time out and sports the first-time hood too. He’s into a handicap for the first time here and with only three career runs looks the sort that will have more to come, and that’s been laid out for this. This has also been a decent contest for the Gigginstown House Stud owners – winning 3 of the last 7. They run FIRE ATTACK (e/w), DALLAS DES PICTONS and FRONTAL ASSAULT. At the prices all three might be worth having a small interest in, with the Joseph O’Brien runner – Fire Attack – probably their main one. The yard also won this in 2019 and ran well in a Grade 3 on his only try over this trip. Falcano, Gabynako and Floueur are others to respect.

 

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