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21st October 2021

Free Horse Racing Tips and Trends: 19th Dec 2020

It’s the last weekend before Christmas and it looks set to be another decent Saturday of jumping action with the ITV cameras heading to Haydock and Ascot for six LIVE races.

So, to help you narrow down the fields we’ve got all the big-race trends and key stats.

Ascot Horse Racing Trends (ATR/ITV)

1.50 – ‘For The Love Of Racing’ Handicap Chase Cl2 2m3f ITV4

Only 5 previous runnings
5/5 – Aged between 4-7 years-old
5/5 – Yet to run at the track
4/5 – Had won over 2m3f+
4/5 – Carried 10-10 or more
4/5 – Returned between 6/1 to 10/1
4/5 – Finished in the top 4 last time out
2/5 – Ran at Exeter last time out
0/5 – Winning favourites
Trainers Venetia Williams, Paul Nicholls, Ian Williams, Robert Walford and Harry Fry were past winners
Espoir De Guye won the race in 2019nly 5 previous runnings
Trainers Venetia Williams, Paul Nicholls, Ian Williams, Robert Walford and Harry Fry were past winners

TQ VERDICT: Just the five previous runnings to go on here, but with all five recent winners aged between 4-7 years-old there might be something building up. If this trend is to be repeated then the likes of Bennys King, Drumcliff, Not Another Muddle, Theo and Gardefort might be too old. I think the David Bridgewater runner – ENRICHISSANT (e/w) – is the first horse to have an interest in. This front-runner ran well at Doncaster last time out (third) but in this better race gets in with only 10-1 in weight to carry – that’s 10lbs less than last time. He can make a bold bid out in front again and with proven form on soft/heavy ground that’s a further plus. The Gary Moore yard run too – Early Du Lemo and Not Another Muddle – and of the pair the former looks their better chance having run well to be second last time at Sandown after 689 days off – he’s gone up 5lbs for that, but is another that has a light weight (10-1). The reason for a lot of the low weights is that the 150-rated Henderson horse – MENGI KHAN – is in the race. This former Gordon Elliott runner is a useful horse that was rated 145+ over hurdles too. He was last seen winning easily in Ireland back in September and is another that likes to race up with the pace and will be fine on the ground. He’s a big weight, but showed last time out he is capable of winning with this sort of burden and looks a nice recruit to the Seven Barrows yard. Of the rest, the Paul Nicholls runner Saint Sonnet can’t be ruled out if you can forgive his last two runs, while Saint De Vassy, who was a nice winner at Exeter last time out, will be popular for the Tom Symonds team.

2.25 –
Long Walk Hurdle (Grade 1) Cl1 3m1f ITV4

18/18 – Raced within the last 7 weeks
17/18 – Winners that went onto compete in that season’s World Hurdle (6 won, 4 runners-up)
16/18 – Placed in the top three in their last race
15/18 – Favourites placed
15/18 – Won by a horse aged 8 or younger
13/18 – Won at least 4 times over hurdles previously
13/18 – Won over at least 3m (hurdles) previously
12/18 – French-bred horse
12/18 – Winning distance – 4 lengths or more
11/18 – Raced at Newbury last time out
10/18 – Won their last race
10/18 – Favourites that won
3/18 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
3/18 – Trained by Nick Williams
2/18 – Ridden by jockey Richard Johnson
2/18 – Ridden by jockey Tom Scudamore
The Worlds End won the race in 2019
Paisley Park won the race in 2018
Thistlecrack won this race in 2015
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 3/1

2009 and 2010 runnings - Newbury
2005 running - Chepstow
2004  running -Windsor

TQ VERDICT: A fascinating renewal of this Grade One staying hurdle, with cases to be made for several. We’ve got the 2015 winner – Thistlecrackback in action and despite being a 12 year-old now can’t be totally ruled out. The fact connections have kept him in training suggests he’s still showing a bit of class at home and could be a nice e/w play in the race. The Pipe team run their prolific winner – Main Fact, who has now won his last 9 races (flat and hurdles). This will be his biggest test to date, but it’s hard to fault what he’s done so far and after stepping up to 3m last time there could be even more to come now proven over this longer trip. The Dan Skelton mare, Roksana, will get a handy 7lb allowance and that brings her right into the mix. She also heads here off the back off a top win at Wetherby and has now been placed in the tip three in 11 of her 13 hurdles races so is sure attract plenty of e/w support. We’ve also got the winner from 12 months ago – The Worlds End in the race. Now with the Olly Murphy team, this 9 year-old hasn’t won since taking this though and being pulled up the last twice has a bit to prove. Gordon Elliott’s Sire Du Berlais could also head over and be an interesting runner. This 8 year-old was a Cheltenham Festival winner last season after winning the Pertemps Network Hurdle and has progresses again this term with a top Grade 2 win at Navan – it’s hard to put you off his chance if finding a tiny bit more. The Kim Bailey yard have a good overall strike-rate at the moment so their Younevercall could go well of those at bigger prices, while the Hughie Morrison yard have a 67% record with their hurdlers at the track – they run Third Wind. However, this race looks to be dominated by the 2018 winner, Paisley Park and the new kid on the block in this division – Thyme Hill, who landed the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury last time out. There was 1 ½ lengths between THYME HILL, who won that day and was getting 3lbs, and Paisley Park so off level weights you feel there won’t be a lot between them here. There has since been a lot said that Paisley Park will be better for the run as it came off a 260-day break and I’m sure he will. Plus, the already mentioned 3lbs weight pull is a plus. However, let’s not forget Thyme Hill was also returning from a time off (259 days) so can also be expected to improve for that, but at only 6 years-old I just feel there could be more to come. This Philip Hobbs runner has only had five runs over hurdles (4 wins) and the way he travelled through the race last time, quickened and then stayed on well also suggests we might not have seen the best of him yet.

3.00 – Good Luck Hollie In SPOTY Silver Cup Handicap Chase (Listed Race) Cl1 3m ITV4

14/15 – Ran within the last 7 weeks
10/15 – Won over at least 3m (fences) previously
9/15 – Aged either 7 or 8 years-old
9/15 – Raced at Ascot previously
8/15 – Carried 10-12 or less in weight
8/15 – Won by a French bred horse
8/15 – Went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
8/15 – Placed in the top 4 last time out
7/15 – Favourites placed
6/15 – Won at least 5 times over fences before
6/15 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
5/15 – Ran at either Cheltenham (3) or Ascot (2) last time out
5/15 – Aged 7 years-old
3/15 – Favourites (1 joint)
2/15 – Trained by Henry Daly
2/15 – Trained by Nicky Henderson (2 of last 3 runnings)
Regal Encore won the race in 2016 and 2019

Note: The 2004 renewal was staged at Windsor

TQ VERDICT: The 2016 and 2019 winner of this race – REGAL ENCORE (e/w) – is back for more and despite being 12 years-old has shown a good appetite for his racing again this season having won here back in October. He was pulled up in the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase last time out, but ran well for much of the race – the drop in trip and the return to Ascot are in his favour. His form at the track in recent runs read 1-3-2-1-3-1! The Conditional was third in the Ladbrokes Trophy last time and that’s probably the best form on offer so it’s no shock to see him high up betting market – he can go well, but doesn’t look great value. Espoir De Guye won on this card 12 months ago and returned this term with a nice win over this course. But the runner-up that day did little for the form in the week, while he’s also got a 6lbs hike in the ratings. Beware The Bear is another CD winner, but you feel he’s got bigger targets later in the season – like the National races. Quarenta won here last time too, but is up 5lbs for that and only just got home by a head so will need more. So, the other I’ll be having an interest in is the Dan Skelton runner – ARDLETHEN (e/w). This 7 year-old has ground to make up on several after running 6th in the Ladbrokes Trophy last time, but the drop back to 3m will suit and he’s also down a pound in the ratings. I feel his best runs over fences have been over this 3m trip and he’s fine on any ground. Harry Skelton rides and with only 10-6 to carry that will help in conditions.


3.35 – Betfair Exchange Trophy Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) Cl1 2m ITV4

17/17 – Aged between 4-7 years-old
17/17 – Had won over at least 2m (hurdles) before
16/17 – Had won between 1-3 times over hurdles before
14/17 – Had raced within the last 2 months
11/17 – Carried 10-10 or more
10/17 – Officially rated between 127 and 136
9/17 – Priced 12/1 or bigger in the betting
9/17 – Unplaced favourites
8/17 – Won last time out
7/17 – Won by a horse aged 5 years-old
7/17 – Irish bred
5/17 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
4/17 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
3/17 – Trained by the Pipe stable
3/17 – Winning favourites
Not So Sleepy won the race in 2019
Mohaayed won the race in 2018

TQ VERDICT: A really competitive renewal. We’ve the winner from 12 months ago in the race – Not So Sleepy – who bolted up by 9 lengths that day from the front. But this Hughie Morrison runner is now rated 15lbs higher and hasn’t really backed that win up since. Benson has caught the eye in winning his last three in great fashion, but is up another 10lbs from the last of those successes and is also up in grade. CD winner, Malaya bounced back to form with a good second here to Kid Commando last time and the pair renew their rivalry on similar terms and can stake claims. Lightly Squeezed could be the dark horse in the race after showing promise back in 2019 and 2020, but has lost his way a bit since so has a bit to prove – maybe a recent wind op will do the trick? Former Greatwood Hurdle winner – Harambe – can’t be ruled out, while Botox Has, Night Edition, Oakley, Time Flies By and Arrivederci are others to consider. But the two I’m interested in here are BUZZ and ISOLATE (e/w). The former was a very eye-catching winner over this course and distance last month and despite a hefty 11lbs rise could be a star in the making. He travelled well through the race and powered clear when asked to win the race. He was a fair flat performer, and that proven speed seems to have translated to his new career over hurdles. Prior to that run he was a close third in the Welsh Champion Hurdle to the useful Sceau Royal, while with only 5 runs over the sticks should still be on the up. Then the Alan King runner – Isolate – is the other call. He’ll need to improve again but has done little wrong in winning his last two at Taunton and Leicester. He’s up just 5lbs for the last of those and gets in here with only 10-6 in weight. His jumping has been good too and certainly looks the sort to have more to come from a yard that know the time of day.


Haydock Horse Racing Trends (RacingTV/ITV)

2.05 – Betfair Exchange Handicap Hurdle Cl2 2m2f191y ITV

13/13 – Returned 12/1 or shorter in the betting
10/13 – Aged 7 or younger
9/13 – Didn’t win last time out
9/13 – Aged 5 or 6 years-old
9/13 – Placed favourites
9/13 – Raced in the last 4 weeks
8/13 – Had won 1-3 times over hurdles before
8/13 – Had raced at Haydock before
7/13 – Ran at either Newbury (2) or Haydock (5) last time out
6/13 – Carried 10-13 or less in weight
5/13 – Finished 2nd or 3rd last time out
5/13 – Winning Favourites
4/13 – French bred
2/13 – Trained by Lucy Wadham
4 of the last 9 runnings were won by a claiming jockey

TQ VERDICT: It’s interesting that 4 of the last 9 runnings of this race were won by a horse with a claiming jockey riding – if that’s to be repeated then Chirico Vallis, Electron Bleu and Secrete Stream are the ones to focus on. War Lord looks the likely favourite after a nice win here last time out, but a 7lb rise for that makes life harder. Albert’s Back is the only other recent winner in the field, but this is slightly harder and is up another 5lbs too. But the Nigel Twiston-Davies and Evan Williams yards have both won this race in the past so their runners – OUR POWER and THE LAST DAY appeal. Our Power, from the Twiston-Davies camp was only 3 ¼ lengths behind War Lord last time out here, but being a bit better off at the weights this time can get closer and hopefully overturn that form. The Last Day, is returning from a beak, but I’m not too worried about that as the Evan Williams yard are in decent form at the moment and this horse often goes well off a break anyway. The longer trip is a slight unknown, but he’s sure to be ridden to get the trip and connections must feel he’s wroth another crack over it being a year older and hopefully a bit stronger.


2.40 – Betfair Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase Cl2 3m ITV4

13/13 – Ran within the last 5 weeks
12/13 – Failed to win their last race
11/13 – Returned 10/1 or shorter in the betting
9/13 – Aged 7 or 8 years-old
9/13 – Won over at least 3m before (hurdles or fences)
8/13 – Had raced at Haydock previously (hurdles or fences)
8/13 – Won between 2-3 times over fences previously
7/13 – Favourites placed
6/13 – Winning distance – 2 ½ lengths or shorter
4/13 – French bred
3/13 – Ridden by jockey Tom O’Brien
3/13 – Went onto run in that season’s Aintree Grand National (all unplaced)
3/13 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
2/13 – Trained by Colin Tizzard
7 of the last 12 winners carried 11-0 or more
Lord Du Mesnil won the race in 2019

TQ VERDICT: Hill Sixteen will be popular here after winning his last two, but I just feel he had a tough race last time when digging deep to beat Lil Rockerfeller at Newbury and I wonder if that’s left it’s mark. That also came over hurdles and off a mark that was a massive 15lbs lower than his current chase rating. Sojourn is another interesting runner after winning easily at Carlisle last time out – he’s up 11lbs for that, but looks an improving chaser that can’t be ruled out – I think I’d rather be with him over Hill Sixteen. Roll Again, Enqarde and Crixus’s Escape are the other recent winners in the field so command respect too, but with 12 of the last 13 winners of this race coming here having NOT won last time out, then this is a trend against all those mentioned. Pop Rockstar is the only course winner in the field, but the two I’ll side with are LORD NAPIER (e/w) and HIGHEST SUN (e/w). The former was a good second at Chepstow last time and gets in here off the same mark. He’s got better with each of his three chase runs this season and the heavy ground is fine. He was also a 140+ rated hurdler so his current chase mark of 132 is starting to look attractive too. Highest Sun represents the Colin Tizzard yard that won this race in 2011 and 2012. He’s the only proven distance winner in the field, so that must count for something, while the softer and heavier ground is certainly in his favour with his last career win coming on heavy ground. His two runs this season have been okay, but is dropped another 2lbs here and that can hopefully make him competitive – Robbie Power takes the ride.

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