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23rd September 2021

Cheltenham Horse Racing Trends & Tips: Friday 11th Nov 2020

It's DAY ONE of the Cheltenham November Meeting this Friday and to get us off-and-running the ITV cameras have FIVE LIVE races from Prestbury Park for us to take in that include the Glenfarclas Cross Country - a race trainer Enda Bolger has won 7 times in the last 16 years.

The day also includes the Peterborough Chase that has been moved to Cheltenham after being called off last Sunday at Huntingdon.

So, as always, we’ve got it all covered here at TQ with all the key trends, plus our verdict, on each of the LIVE ITV races - we’re confident these trends will point you in the direction of a few winners, or at least help narrow down some of the field to highlight the horses that fit the best profile of past winners – So, let’s get GOING!

Cheltenham Horse Racing Trends (RacingTV/ITV)

1:15 – CF Roberts Electrical + Mechanical Services Mares’ Handicap Chase Cl3 2m5f ITV4

Four previous runs
3 of the last 4 winners carried 11-3 or more in weight
All 4 past winners aged between 6-8 years-old
Zara Hope (5/2) won the race in 2019
Synopsis (13/2) won the race in 2018

TQ VERDICT: Arian heads here on a three-timer and is certainly one for the shortlist, but does have a lot of weight here (12-3) and that might proven her undoing. Black Tulip was another good winner last time out and a 5lb rise might not be enough to stop her being involved too. Nikap, Bit On The Side and Jubilympics are others that consider, but the two I like here are AGENT VALDEZ and MARTILA (e/w). The former hails from the in-form Fergal O’Brien yard and after an easy 28 length win at Leicester last time out heads here in tip-top form. He’s up 7lbs for that, but the stiff finish here looks right up his street and that was also only her second run over fences. Martila was third to the already mentioned Arian last time at Warwick but has a handy 6lbs weight pull for just 2 ¼ lengths so can be expected to get closer this time and hopefully reverse that form.


1.50 – Fitzdares Club Loves The Peterborough Chase (Grade 2) (GBB Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m4f ITV4

16/18 – Had won a race at Grade 2 or higher before
16/18 – Came from the first three in the betting
16/18 – Had won (fences) over at least 2m4f before
15/18 – Aged 9 or younger
15/18 – Had raced within the last 8 weeks
15/18 – Priced 5/1 or shorter in the betting
15/18 – Officially rated 155 or higher
14/18 – Winners that went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival
14/18 – Placed fifth or better last time out
14/18 – Either Irish (7) or French (6) bred
13/18 – Had won at least 4 times over fences before
13/18 – Placed favourites
12/18 – Had between 1-2 previous runs already that season
9/18 – Aged 6 or 7 years-old
9/18 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
8/18 – Former Grade 1 chase winners
8/18 – Went onto finish 7th or better (no winners) in that season’s Ryanair Chase
7/18 – Won last time out
4/18 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
3/18 – Ran at Aintree in the Old Roan Chase last time out
2/18 – Trained by Philip Hobbs
1/18 – Went onto win at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (2002 Best Mate, Gold Cup)
The average winning SP in the last 18 years is 10/3

TQ VERDICT: Cancelled on Sunday, as this Grade 2 is normally run at Huntingdon. It’s a race that Top Notch has won twice recently (2017 and 2019) so he’s sure to be popular again, but the switch to Cheltenham might not be in his favour – he’s run here five times now and is still looking for his first win. He also has to give 6lbs away to most of the others and 3lbs away to another Henderson horse – MISTER FISHER. This 6 year-old was pulled up in the Paddy Power Gold Cup last time out but the reports show he lost a shoe that day in the race. He can also be expected to have come on for that as it was his first run back since March, while if the ground dries out a bit more that will also be in his favour. Add in that he’s won over fences here in the past and was a decent fourth to Samcro in the Marsh Novices’ Chase here at the Festival then we know he does handle the course. Recent winner Newbury, Clondaw Castle is a horse on the up and was also runner-up in the Old Roan Chase this season – he can go well too, but the track would be a tiny worry as he’s run here three times and been well beaten each time. Any rain would help Kalashnikov, but you feel he’s got something to prove at the moment, so the dangers to the pick can come from the Paul Nicholls-trained Dolos, who should be a lot better for a recent fourth here back in October and the Venetia Williams runner – Fanion D’Estruval, who ran a blinder to be second in the Paddy Power Gold Cup here at the last meeting.


2.25 – Unibet Handicap Chase (Grade 3) Cl1 3m1f110y ITV4

15/18 – Raced within the last 4 weeks
15/18 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
15/18 – Had run over fences at Cheltenham before (6 won)
13/18 – Had won at least 3 times over fences before
12/18 – Returned 13/2 or shorter in the betting
11/18 – Aged 8 or younger
11/18 – Carried 11-0 or more in weight
10/18 – Went onto run at the Cheltenham Festival that season (none won)
10/18 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
9/18 – Placed favourites
9/18 – Irish bred
8/18 – Aged 7 or 8 years-old
6/18 – Won last time out
5/18 – Won by the Pipe stable
4/18 – Winning favourites
2/18 – Trained by Colin Tizzard (2 of last 4 runnings)
Cogry (9/1) won the race in 2018 and 2019
Robinsfirth (7/4) won the race in 2017

TQ VERDICT: A very tight race here with all seven runners having a squeak. We’ve also three proven course winners in the race – West Approach, Black Corton and Storm Control. The Colin Tizzard yard have a good record in the race – winning two of the last four, so their West Approach will be hoping to build on that, but this trip might be stretching his stamina. Black Corton is the class act in the race and the clear top-weight but has to bounce back from unseating Bryony Frost last time out at Ascot and with 11-12 to carry he’s got a lot of weight over a trip that also might be testing his stamina reserves. Storm Control won here last time but more is needed off a 6lb higher mark and jockey Richard Patrick can’t claim his 3lb that he did that day either. Potters Legend is the only distance winner in the field so has to be respected but at 10 years-old might just get done by some younger legs. With that in mind, the Irish raider – COURT MAID – looks interesting. This Thomas Mullins runner won’t have any issues with the trip, having won over 3m5f last time out and heads here now having won 3 of her 4 chase runs. We can expect connections to make full use of her proven stamina and jockey David Mullins makes the trip over to ride. Of the rest, I think COMMODORE, who ran well on his return at Haydock last time out after 269 days off (2nd) can go well for the Venetia Williams yard too.

3.00 – Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase Cl2 3m7f ITV4

15/16 – Raced within the last 4 weeks
14/16 – Had run over the Cheltenham Cross Country course before
14/16 – Went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (4 won)
13/16 – Returned 7/1 or shorter in the betting
12/16 – Placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd last time out
10/16 – Won by an Irish-trained horse
9/16 – Aged 9 or older
9/16 – Placed favourites
8/16 – Aged in double-figures
7/16 – Had won over the Cheltenham Cross Country course before
7/16 – Trained by Enda Bolger
6/16 – French bred
6/16 – Won last time out
5/16 – Carried 11-12
Easysland (5/2) won this race in 2019
Fact Of The Matter (6/1) won the race in 2018
Josie’s Orders won the race in 2015

TQ VERDICT: Not the best renewal of this Cross-Country race with no Tiger Roll, Easyslands, who won this 12 months ago, or Potters Corner, who ran third over these fences last month. We do have the first, second and fifth from last month’s Cross-Country contest though, with the winner – Kingswell Theatre, runner-up Beau Du Brizais and fifth Vivas all running again. The runner-up Beau Du Brizais has a 5lb pull with the winner – Kingswell Theatre – who beat him 5 lengths, so there shouldn’t be a lot between them here. The Jessie Harrington-trained Neverushacon will be popular too after a nice win over the bank course at Punchestown last month, but he’s been well beaten the last twice he’s run over this course and that would be a concern. I think we can expect another bold front-running showing from KINGSWELL THEATRE, who is a horse that does like these fences, but I also think it’s worth having an interest in the Enda Bolger-trained MY HOMETOWN. This 10 year-old was a close second in this race in 2018 and has only run once since. He’s clearly had his issues but a recent run over hurdles at Tipperary would have helped and the fact the Bolger yard, who love to win these Cross-Country races here, are sending him over suggests he’s ready to run well with just 10-7 on his back. Out Sam and Step Back are others that are sure to have their supporters.


3.35 – Citipost Handicap Hurdle Cl2 3m ITV4

14/17 – Had raced at Cheltenham before
13/17 – Aged 7 or younger
13/17 – Carried 11-2 or less
13/17 – Had won between 1-3 times over hurdles before
12/17 – Irish bred
12/17 – Ran within the last 6 weeks
11/17 – Unplaced favourites
10/17 - Priced 15/2 or bigger in the betting
10/17 – Rated between 128 and 137
8/17 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
8/17 – Winners that went onto run at the Cheltenham Festival that season (one winner)
7/17 – Had won over at least 3m (hurdles) before
6/17 – Won last time out
3/17 – Winning favourites
3/17 – Trained by Philip Hobbs
2/17 - Trained by Jonjo O'Neill
Goodbye Dancer (13/2) won the race in 2019
Aaron Lad (15/2) won the race in 2018

TQ VERDICT: Plenty of old favourites on show here, including the 2019 winner – GOODBYE DANCER (e/w), who is rated only a pound higher than last year and gets in with just 10-0 to carry. But he’s been very poor since winning this and was beaten a massive 47 lengths here last month. However, he could bounce back with the Fergal O’Brien yard going well and he’d have clearly had this race as a target during this first half of the season – any rain would help. More of the wet stuff would also help CD winner Agrapart, but the Nick Williams yard do have a decent 20% record with their hurdlers at the track. The 12 year-old Unowhatimeanharry showed recently that he’s still got something to offer when winning at Aintree, beating Mohaayed by 1 ¼ lengths and the pair renew their rivalry here with the weights now favouring Mohaayed. But I still feel this Skeleton runner has a bit to prove over this 3m trip and is also now 10 runs without a win. On The Blind Side is another old favourite that returned with a win last time here. He’s a horse that threated to go onto big things but didn’t quite get there. He’s still only 8 though (somehow) and might just be starting to settle down now – he’s 5lbs higher than last time. However, a chance is taken also on the Philip Hobbs runner – COTSWOLD WAY (e/w). The yard has won this race 3 times in the last 17 years – most recently in 2015 – and their horses are in good order. This 7 year-old ticks a lot of the key trends and ran a much better race when a close fourth at Kempton last month. He’s only got 10-3 to carry and being rated 128 looks well-treated on older form considering he was as high as 140 over fences last year.



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