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24th October 2021

Cheltenham Trends and Free Tips: Friday 23rd Oct 2020

The ITV horse racing cameras head to the home of jumps racing – Cheltenham racecourse – this Friday to take in FOUR LIVE races from the Prestbury Park track.

We take a look at the LIVE races and highlight the key trends and stats to help find the best profiles based on past winners of the races.

Cheltenham Horse Racing Trends


1.50 - Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (GBB Race) Cl2 (4yo+) 2m5f ITV4

10/10 – Returned 7/2 or shorter in the betting
9/10 – Favourites that finished in the top 3
9/10 – Won no more than 3 times (hurdles) before
9/10 – Irish (6) or French (3) bred
8/10 – Aged 5 or 6 years-old
7/10 – Won 1 or 2 times over hurdles before
7/10 – Rated between 133 and 140
7/10 – Winning favourites
5/10 – Won last time out
5/10 – Had won over at least 2m5f before
3/10 – Rated 134
3/10 – Had run at the track before
3/10 – Ran at Newton Abbot last time out
3/10 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
3/10 – Irish-trained winners
2/10 – Ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies
2/10 – Ridden by Aidan Coleman
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 7/4

TQ VERDICT: The Sean Curran runner – Domaine De L’Isle gets weight off all the others and that would certainly make him dangerous back over hurdles, but in the past his form off a break has suggested he’s just needed a race or two before hitting top gear. The Twiston-Davies yard won this in 2012 with The New One and even though it’s unlikely their runner here – Topofthecotswolds – will turn out to be as good as that horse, he’s an improving sort that won well again last time out at Uttoxeter. The form of Midnight River’s recent win was franked with the runner-up winning in the week so this Dan Skelton runner can go well too. A case can certainly be made for the likes of Global Fame, Finisk River and Does He Know, especially Global Fame, who represents last year’s winning yard of Fergal O’Brien. But another stable that have done well in this race is Paul Nicholls – winning the pot in 2013, 2014 and 2016 – so their ASK FOR GLORY is the main pick. This 6 year-old was a very easy winner at Wincanton last time out (Feb) but has since had a wind operation and connections have clearly taken their time with him. The yard would probably have had a lot of options for this race so the fact they’ve opted for this 6 year-old suggests he’s ready to rumble and the Nicholls camp could not be in much better form during this early part of the season – at the time of writing they are operating at a 40% strike-rate.

2.25 - Matchbook Better Way To Bet Novices’ Chase (GBB Race) Cl2 (5yo+) 3m 1/2f ITV4

9/10 – Aged 6 or 7 years-old
9/10 – Won over at least 2m4f (fences) before
8/10 – Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting
8/10 – Won last time out
8/10 – Favourites placed in the top 3
7/10 – Irish bred
7/10 – Won just 1 or 2 times over fences
7/10 – Ran in the last 4 weeks
7/10 – Aged 7 years-old
5/10 – Had run at Cheltenham before (fences or hurdles)
4/10 – Irish-trained winners
2/10 – Trained by Gordon Elliott
2/10 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
1/10 – Winning favourites
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 13/2

TQ VERDICT: Some exciting Novice Chasers on show here. The Paul Nicholls-trained Solider Of Love is certainly one of those – having won his last four races over fences. He stays further than this 3m 1/2 f trip too, but the slight niggle would be if the ground got any softer as all his recent wins have been on good ground. Clondaw Caitlin is clearly useful and has won her last four over hurdles. She gets a lot of weight from the others and was last seen winning a Grade Two Hurdle at Kelso easily. But this is her chase debut so jumping has to be taken on trust – if it holds up, she could be very dangerous off just 10st-7lbs but she has been thrown in the deep end a bit. Mossy Fen, who was last seen running fifth in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival, and Ask Dillon are useful hurdlers too and are others that are making their fencing debuts. Irish raider Doctor Duffy can’t be ruled out either but was a faller last time out so that would be a negative for me. So that leaves the Gordon Elliott-trained GALVIN. The yard won this race in 2010 and 2011, while this 6 year-old has at least had experience of the Cheltenham fences, when runner-up here at the Festival in the Northern Trust Company Novices’ Chase. He’s since won three times over fences in Ireland and will surely be fitter than most for those three outings between July and October. Soft ground is fine too so I’ll take his valuable chase and more importantly course experience to win the day.


3.00 – squireintheair.com Handicap Hurdle Cl3 (3yo+ 0-140) 2m5f ITV4

10/10 – Aged between 5-7 years-old
10/10 – Won between 1-3 times (hurdles) before
8/10 – Returned between 8/1 and 12/1 in the betting
8/10 – Placed in the top three last time out
8/10 – Aged 5 or 6 years-old
8/10 – Carried 10-13 or less in weight
7/10 – Rated between 120-130
7/10 – Had won over at least 2m4 before
7/10 – Carried between 10-9 and 10-13 in weight
7/10 – Irish bred
6/10 – Ran in the last 5 weeks
6/10 – Won last time out
2/10 – Trained by Gordon Elliott
1/10 – Winning favourites
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 9/1

TQ VERDICT: 20 runners here so probably not a race to get too heavily involved in. With 8 of the last 10 winners aged 5 or 6 years-old, then this can hopefully rule some out. The 5 and 6 year-olds in the race are – FIX SUN, OUR POWER, UP THE STRAIGHT, WHATSUPWITHYOU, DAGUENEAU, HIJACK, HOMETOWN BOY, YEARVERING BELLE, IMPERIAL ELYSIAN, STORM GODDESS, EXOD’ELA, YOUNG LIEUTENANT, CAPTAIN TOM CAT and STAR OF RORY. We’ve also seen 7 of the last 10 winners carry between 10-9 and 10-13 in weight, so of those mentioned Exod’ela, Star Of Rory, YOUNG LIEUTENANT (e/w) and CAPTAIN TOM CAT (e/w) stand out – both were nice winners last time out too. Young Lieutenant bet a fair rival on his return run at Sedgefield at the end of last month and with that being his first run back after a wind op then there could be more to come. He gets in here with 10st 10lbs and jockey Jack Tudor helps further by claiming another 5lbs. Captain Tom Cat represents last year’s winning yard of Dr Richard Newland and is another that has a low eight and a claimer riding (7lbs). The softer ground is a slight unknown with recent wins coming on a good surface but he’s lightly-raced over hurdles and connections must feel he’ll cope with conditions as they look to back up last year’s stable success in this race. Of the rest, we can’t ignore the Henderson runners – Hijack and Fix Sun – while the Twiston-Davies and Fergal O’Brien camps often do well at this meeting so their entries Our Power (Twiston-Davies), Imperial Elysian (O’Brien) & Lungarno Palace (O’Brien) are worth keeping an eye on in the market.

3.35 – October Handicap Chase (GBB Race) Cl2 (4yo+ 2m ITV4

Just 5 previous runnings
5/5 – Aged 6 or 8 years-old
5/5 – Having first run back for the season
5/5 – Had run at the track before
5/5 – Returned 15/2 or shorter in the betting
4/5 – Irish (2) or French (2) bred
4/5 – Favourites placed in the top three
4/5 – Rated between 140-147
4/5 – Had won exactly 3 times over fences
4/5 – Carried 11-1 or more in weight
3/5 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
2/5 – Winning favourites
2/5 – Won last time out
Trainers Harry Whittington, Paul Nicholls, Nigel Twiston-Davies, Neil Mulholland and Dr Richard Newland have won the race before
The average winning SP in the last 5 runnings is 9/2

TQ VERDICT: The first thing to note here is that the bottom four on the card – Scardura, Doitforthevillage, Movie Legend and Northern Beau will all be running out of the handicap so have that slightly against them. Only 5 previous renewals of the race too, but it’s interesting that all 5 past winners were aged 6 or 8 years-old. Of the 13 runners, this is a plus for ROUGE VIF, BALLYWOOD, ON THE SLOPES, AZZURI and SCARDURA. Previous track experience is another plus, while not having a recent run isn’t much of an issue as all five past winners won this off a break. With this in mind, the Harry Whittington-trained ROUGE VIF (e/w) stands out. The yard also won this prize last season and despite a 227-day absence is a horse that won first time out last term. He was a fair third in the Arkle here last season at the Festival too – albeit beaten 19 lengths, but this will be slightly easier company and with another summer on his back, this 6 year-old could have more to offer this campaign. Top-weight Dolos, from the Paul Nicholls yard, has to be respected too as he’s gone well fresh before and has had a wind op since his last run. Beat The Judge beat Ballywood by 7 lengths last time and should have that one’s measure again, while Azzuri will like the drop back in trip after clearly not staying further at Chepstow last time. But the other pick is the Chris Gordon runner – ON THE SLOPES (e/w). This progressive chaser has won his last two and ran third to the useful Simply The Betts here over 2m4f last January. That track experience is an obvious plus and due to the 161-rated Dolos in the race this keeps the weight down for most of the others in the field – On The Slopes gets in here with just 10st 8lbs!

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