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3rd December 2020

Cheltenham Horse Racing Trends & Tips: Friday 13th Nov 2020

It's DAY ONE of the Cheltenham November Meeting this Friday and to get us off-and-running the ITV cameras have FOUR 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.

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)

1:50 – Mucking Brilliant Paddy Power Handicap Chase Cl2 2m ITV

16/17 – Won by a horse aged 9 or younger
15/17 – Carried 11-7 or less in weight
15/17 – Raced at Cheltenham before
14/17 – Raced at least 5 times over fences previously
13/17 – Priced 9/1 or shorter
10/17 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or more
10/17 – Unplaced in their previous race
9/17 – Having their first run of the season
9/17 – Favourites placed
8/17 – Winners from the top 3 in the betting
6/17 – French-bred horse
4/17 – Favourites that won
3/17 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
3/17 – Ridden by Barry Geraghty
3/17 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
3/17 – Raced at Ascot last time out
3/17 – Raced at Cheltenham last time out
2/17 – Won their most recent race
2/17 – Trained by Philip Hobbs
2/17 – Trained by Paul Henderson (2 of last 3 runnings)
0/17 – Irish-trained winners
Bun Doran won the race in 2018
Doitforthevillage won the race in 2017

TQ VERDICT: A tricky race to get the live action started, with 7 or 8 of the nine runners looking to have some sort of say – I’d say only Full Glass can be ruled out! The answer though could be to keep things fairly simple and just stick with the in-form Paul Nicholls yard – they run MAGIC SAINT. This 6 year-old blew away the cobwebs at Aintree last time out to run a fair sixth in the Old Roan Chase and should be a lot better for that. I also feel the drop back to 2m around this stiffer track is more what he needs after not quite getting home in his three tries over 2m4f. Add in that he’s been dropped two pounds for that last run and also that Nicholls has booked Bryan Carver to claim a further 5lbs then he's also 7lbs better off than last time. Of the rest, the likes of Beat The Judge and Ballywood have been closely-matched this season and should go well, but this looks harder than the races they’ve been running in of late. The Venetia Williams runner – Fanion D’Estruval looks the sort to have more to come and has gone well fresh in the past before. He’s gone well fresh in the last too and should go well – but if there was a niggle it would be that he’s only had four runs over fences. The Pipe yard head here in good form too so their Eamon An Cnoic has to be considered but has unseated now in two of his last five races so would need to cut out the errors. The danger to the pick, therefore, can come from the Chris Gordon ON THE SLOPES. This 6 year-old returned here last month with a fine fifth (of 10) to the useful Rouge Vif and should be a lot better for it. Richard Johnson is an eye-catching booking in the saddle too and with two promising runs at the track we know he gets on well with the test Cheltenham provides.

2.25 – SSS Super Alloys Supports Racing Welfare Novices´ Chase Cl2 2m4f110y ITV

17/17 – Won by a horse aged 5 or older
16/17 – Won between 0 and 1 times over fences previously
15/17 – Priced 6/1 or shorter
15/17 – Ran between 0 and 2 times over fences
14/17 -  Finished in the top three in their latest race
13/17 – Raced at Cheltenham previously
12/17 – Favourites placed
12/17 – Placed in the first two in their previous race
11/17 – Won by a horse aged 6 years-old  (10 of last 12 runnings)
9/17 – Irish-bred horse
8/17 – Raced at either Aintree (2), Cheltenham (4) or Auteuil (2) last time out
8/17 – Winning distance – 6 lengths or more
8/17 – First run over fences
8/17 – Raced already that season
7/17 – Won their latest race
6/17 – French-bred horse
6/17 – Favourites that won
5/17 – Trained by the Pipe stable
5/17 – Won over hurdles at Cheltenham previously
Dynaste, Denman, Weird Al, Imperial Commander, Time For Rupert and Grands Crus are all big names to win this race in recent years

TQ VERDICT: Just the four runners here but it’s a race that’s produced some big-name stars over the years – including Denman and Imperial Commander - so this year’s quartet will certainly have some big boots to fill if they win this. I think on these terms the Fergal O’Brien runner Paint The Dream will be out of his depth, but the Twiston-Davies entry Mossy Fern if building on it’s return run. However, even though the NTD yard often do well at this meeting, I’d be worried they head here a bit out of form – at the time of writing they’ve had only 1 winner from their last 32. So, really this should be going to either the Nicholls runner – Southfield Stone or the Skelton horse Protektorat. A case can be made for both really but with SOUTHFIELD STONE already having had six runs over fences then that experience might just be the advantage. Yes, he’s rated 3lbs inferior to Protektorat and also has to give away 3lbs to the Skelton runner but I also feel that because he’s won over this trip (fences) and at the track that will also swing things his way. Okay, he’s not the best jumpers but has completed in all 6 runs over fences and should also be better for that last run as it came off a 245-day break. Protektorat is still an exciting sort though and won very well on his chasing debut at Carlisle last month. That came over 2m though so even though he’s a hurdles winner over 2m4f I’d have preferred to see him win over this trip over fences first.


3.00 - Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase Cl2 3m6f ITV

16/16 – Raced at Cheltenham previously
15/16 – Either Irish (9) or French (6) bred
14/16 – Won by a horse aged 9 or older
12/16 – Winner came from the top 3 in the betting
12/16 – Returned 6/1 or shorter
12/16 – Had a recent run that season
12/16 – Won at least 5 times over fences previously
12/16 – Unplaced in their last race
11/16 – Raced over this Cross County course previously (7 won)
11/16 – Favourites placed
11/16 – Winning distance – 2 ½ lengths or less
10/16 – Carried 11-5 or more in weight
10/16 – Won by an Irish-trained horse
7/16 – Trained by Enda Bolger
6/16 – Favourites that won
Josies Orders won this in 2015 and 2018

TQ VERDICT: One of the best renewals of this race in recent years. We’ve got the 2017 winner – Kingswell Theatre in the race, but with the likes of Tiger Roll and Easysland in attendance this time, it will be a shock if this Michael Scudamore 11 year-old can regain his crown. The Welsh National winner – Potters Corner – is an interesting addition to this race and we know he stays! He’s not been out since that win last December though but does get in here with a low eight of just 10-6. The only question mark – and it’s a fairly big one – is the ability to handle these fences and the course – this race tends to go to an experienced soft that has run many times over the Cross Country track. Therefore, it should be left to Easysland and the two-time Grand National winner – Tiger Roll, who finished first and second in the Cross-Country race at the Festival. As a result of their entries there are actually only three horses in the race – Tiger Roll, Easysland and Potters Corner – that are NOT running out of the handicap! Tiger Roll had a prep run on the flat last month so should be spot on for this but it’s still hard to forget his 17 length thumping in this race last March to EASYSLAND. Yes, the heart says Tiger – we all want this popular champ to bounce back and then head to the Festival in March and the National in April with a big chance, but he’s still got to give 4lbs away to Easysland here and last time he couldn’t beat him off level weights. At just 6 years-old the French horse will also have the younger legs and might still have more to come, whereas, even though we all love the Tiger I think it’s fair to say it’s unlikely he’s going to improve much now at the age of 10 (almost 11).  Vino Royal and Kings Temptation can do best of the rest, but are both running well out of the handicap.

3.35 - Ballymore Novices´ Hurdle (Registered As The Hyde Novices´ Hurdle) (Grade 2) Cl1 2m5f ITV

15/15 – Priced 10/1 or shorter
15/15 – Had raced in the last 5 weeks
13/15 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
12/15 – Had won a NH Flat race earlier in their career
12/15 – Went onto run at the Cheltenham Festival that season (2 winners)
12/15 – Won by an Irish-bred horse
11/15 – Had raced at Uttoxeter (4), Chepstow (5) or Cheltenham (2) last time out
10/15 – Aged 5 years-old
9/15 – Won just once before (under rules)
9/15 – Had won over 2 ½m (or further) over hurdles before
8/15 – Won last time out
5/15 – Had raced at Cheltenham before
3/15 – Winning favourites
2/15 – Trained by Philip Hobbs
2/15 – Ridden by Richard Johnson
2/15 – Went onto win a race at the Cheltenham Festival that season

TQ VERDICT: The Grand Visir is decent flat performer but has so far not quite backed that up over the sticks (0-from-3). Wild Romance was a nice winner at Chepstow last time out on his hurdles debut and is clearly well-regarded to be running in this company so soon – he hails from the Dan Skelton yard. Petrastar has a bit to prove after running down the field in the Persian War Novices Hurdle last time out but this return to a longer trip will suit. The obvious call is the Kim Bailey runner – Does He Know – who was a tidy winner over this CD last month and is the clear top-rated in the race (141). His proven form at the track and over the trip will be a big plus and he should get the same ground too – it’s hard to fault his chance. However, the Nicky Henderson runner – GRAND MOGUL – might just be the better value. He was a nice winner last time out at Chepstow over 2m3f and looks the kind to improve again for the longer trip. It’s a race the yard also won with On The Blind Side in 2017 so like to target it and having won a bumper on good ground then the quicker conditions should be fine. Yes, he’s got 11lbs to find on the ratings and only gets 3lbs off the Bailey runner, but I just feel he could close that gap here and give the jolly something to think about. Of the rest, with the Fergal O’Brien camp winning this race the last time it was run in 2018, their Polish might run better than recent runs suggest.

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