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29th February 2024

Saturday Racing Tips and Trends: 13th November 2021

A huge day up at Cheltenham this Saturday with the Paddy Power Gold Cup the feature racethe ITV cameras are at Prestbury Park to take in four of the races, plus they are also covering two at Lingfield. As always, here at TQ we've got all the key trends & stats to help you whittle down the runners.


Cheltenham Horse Racing Trends (RacingTV/ITV)

1.40 – From The Horse’s Mouth Podcast Novices´ Chase (Grade 2) (Registered As The November) (GBB Race) Cl2 2m ITV

10/10 - Returned 13/2 or shorter in the betting
10/10 - Finished first or second last time out
9/10 - Aged 5 or 6 years-old
9/10 - Favourites placed in the first three
9/10 - Won between 0-1 times over fences
7/10 - Ran in the last 6 weeks
7/10 - Won last time out
7/10 - Had raced at Cheltenham before (hurdles/chase)
6/10 - Ran at Cheltenham (2), Aintree (2) or Uttoxeter (2) last time out
5/10 - French bred
4/10 - Winning favourites
3/10 - Trained by Paul Nicholls
2/10 - Trained by Philip Hobbs

TQ VERDICT: Some promising Novice Chasers on show here, but it’s hard to get away from how well the Dan Skelton-trained THIRD TIME LUCKI won here last month and it should be more of the same. This 6 year-old jumped well and travelled powerfully that day and even though the opposition here might be a tad harder that proven CD form is a plus and he looks an exciting prospect for the yard. Of the rest, Mick Pastor had Sebastopol well beaten last time at Exeter and should be able to uphold that form, but Captain Tom Cat managed to get the better of Mick Pastor at Wincanton last Saturday, so he’s the obvious one for the forecast.

2.15 – Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (GBB Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m4f ITV

19/19 – Had run at Cheltenham before
18/19 – Had won over at least 2m4f over fences before
18/19 – Won by a UK-based trainer
15/19 – Returned 14/1 or shorter in the betting
14/19 – Carried 11st or less
13/19 – Had won at Cheltenham before
13/19 – Finished in the top 4 last time out
12/19 – Aged 6 or 7 years-old
12/19 – Had won just 2 or 3 times over fences before
11/19 – Trained by Pipe (3), Jonjo O’Neill (3), Nicholls (2) or Twiston-Davies (3)
9/19 – Won by a horse in the first 3 in the betting
9/19 – Aged 7 years-old
9/19 – Placed favourites
8/19 – Won this on their seasonal reappearance
5/19 – Won their last race
5/19 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
4/19 – Trained by the Pipe stable
3/19 – Winning favourites
3/19 – Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies
3/19 – Trained by Jonjo O’Neill
3/19 – Ran at Carlisle last time out
2/19 – Ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies
1/19 – Irish-trained winners
The last winner aged in double-figures was in 1975
Paul Nicholls has saddled 10 placed horses (two winners, Al Ferof & Caid Du Berlais) from his last 41 runners
The average winning SP in the last 19 years is 10.5/1

TQ VERDICT: Another top renewal of this competitive handicap. Last year’s winner - Coole Cody - will be looking to become the first back-to-back winner since Bradbury Star (1993-94), but being a 10 year-old now looks against him - the last winner aged in double-figures was in 1975! 14 of the last 19 winners also carried 11st or less, so that might be seen as a negative for the top 11 on the card - Simply The Betts, Protektorat, Aso, Paint The Dream, Al Dancer, Lalor, Caribean Boy, Midnight Shadow, Spiritofthegames, Manofthemountain and Zanza. Of that lot, Spiritofthegames was runner up 12 months ago and Al Dancer managed third, so they have pedigree in the race. Aso was 7th too and Simply The Betts, who is now trained by Paul Nicholls, was back in 6th. Simply The Betts does, however, return this time on a 3lb lower mark and have also had a wind op since that last run. Along with Protektorat, they are the class acts in the race and will certainly have their supporters, but you can’t help feeling with 11-12 in weight this will make life a lot harder. Lalor is another horse Nicholls has acquired over the summer and also has his first run after a wind op. He’s useful on his day and Nicholls is the right man to try and recapture his form, but I’d like to see it on the track first. The already mentioned Coole Cody is 4lbs higher this time but returned here last month to run well (2nd) and should be spot on for his defence. Zanza is interesting too - he ran well in the Haldon Gold Cup last month (3rd) and is 4lbs lower this time - the niggle with him is that he’s run four times at the track and been unplaced each time. The three I like though are SPIRITOFTHEGAMES (e/w), GALAHAD QUEST and NIETZSCHE. The former was a close second in the race last year and is 4lbs lower this time. He’ll be fitter for a return run (4th of 10) at Newbury earlier this month and even though he’s yet to win here at the track, has run many solid races. Galahad Quest is a course winner and with just 10-7 to carry has a light weight. This Nick Williams runner was a fair third at Wetherby (Listed) last month and even though his lack of runs over fences (4) is a slight worry, this also means he should be open to a lot more improvement then most of these. Finally, the 2018 Greatwood Hurdle winner, Nietzsche has been well supported all week and with just 10-5 to carry it’s easy to see why. He loves the track and having got a bit keen in the Ultima Chase here over 3m 1f at the Festival will enjoy this shorter trip. His record over fences is not too shabby either - 12 runs and has been in the top three 9 times (3 wins). A recent run on the flat at Catterick would also have blow away the cobwebs.

2.50 – Paddy Power Games Handicap Hurdle (Listed Race) Cl1 3m1f67y ITV

17/19 – Aged 7 or younger
16/19 – Had between 2 and 5 previous hurdles wins
15/19 – Had won over at least 2m4f (hurdles) before
15/19 – Carried 10-11 or less in weight
14/19 – Winning distance – 3 ½ lengths or less
13/19 – Placed favourites
13/19 – Officially rated 126 to 137
13/19  – Ran at either Cheltenham (7), Aintree (3) or Chepstow (3) last time out
13/19 – Irish bred
12/19 – Ran within the last 4 weeks
12/19 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
11/19 – Had run at Cheltenham before
9/19 – Won their last race
7/19 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
7/19 – Returned 11/4 or shorter in the betting
4/19 – Won by the Pipe stable
1/19 – Won by an Irish-trained stable
5 of the last 13 winners have had a claiming jockey riding
Golan Fortune won the race in 2019
On The Blind Side (7/1) won the race in 2020

TQ VERDICT: With 17 of the last 19 winners aged 7 or younger , then the older horses in the race - Dorrells Pierji, Shannon Bridge, Scheu Time and Kansas City Chief are overlooked. 15 of the last 19 winners carried 10-11 or less in weight, so this would be a negative for the top four on the card - Sporting John, Proschema, who is well-fancied, Shannon Bridge and Ballymillsy. Dragon Bones was a good second over this trip here last time out and despite being up another 2lbs that is offset with Charlie Todd’s 3lb claim. He can go well for the Ian Williams yard. But I’ll take a chance on the Fergal O’Brien two in the race - VALENTINO DANCER and ONAGATHERINGSTORM - both look closely-matched. The former was a head runner-up at Chepstow last time out and is only a pound higher. He’s been on the go since May so will also be fitter than most, but probably wouldn’t want the ground to get much softer. Onagatheringstorm returned here last month (3rd) in the same race Dragon Bones was second in but will be a lot fitter for that outing. He just seemed to get a bit tired in the closing stages that day so you feel he can sustain his challenge for longer this time.

3.25 – Paddy Power Feel Like A Favourite Intermediate Handicap Hurdle Cl3 2m5f26y ITV

14/16 – Won between 1-2 times over hurdles before
14/16 – Aged 5 or 6 years-old
13/16 – Finished in the top 4 last time out
11/16 – Raced in the last 7 weeks
8/16 – Returned a double-figure price
7/16 – Favourites unplaced
7/16 – Carried 10-13 or less
8/16 – Had run at Cheltenham before
7/16 – Irish-bred winners
6/16 – Went onto finish in the top 4 in a race at the Cheltenham Festival
6/16 – Won last time out
5/16 – French bred winners
2/16 – Ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies
2/16 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
3/16 - Winning favourites
2 of the last 8 winners went onto be placed in the Martin Pipe Conditionals race at the Cheltenham Festival that season
2 of the last 12 winners went onto be placed in the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival that season

TQ VERDICT: With 14 of the last 16 winners aged 5 or 6 years-old then this is a good place to start and would be a negative for the older and younger horses in the race - Breffniboy, Pyramid Place, Vis A Vis and Punxsutawney Phil.   Capilano Bridge and Good Time Jonny are two Irish raiders to note in the betting, while the joint topweight - Benson - did well to win three times last season and is back from another wind op here. He’s won 3 of his 6 starts over hurdles and looks sure to play a leading role - this is, however, his first run here at the track. The two I like though are MACKELDUFF and UNEXECTED PARTY. The last-named was an easy winner at Wetherby last time out on only his second run over hurdles for the Dan Skelton yard. This is harder and he’s up 11lbs here, but looks a progressive sort that should have more to come. Mackelduff was also a nice winner last time (Aintree) and a 7lb rise for that looks fair. If the ground got any softer that would be an unknown, but he’s got a similar progressive profile and should be in the mix too, with Aidan Coleman doing the steering.


Lingfield Horse Racing Trends (ATR/ITV)


3.05 – Betway Golden Rose Stakes (Listed Race) (All-Weather Fast Track Qualifier) Cl1 (3yo+) 6f ITV

13/14 – Previous winner over 6f or 7f
12/14 – Didn’t win last time out
12/14 – Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting
12/14 – Aged 4 or older
11/14 – Had raced in the last 6 weeks
11/14 – Won 5 or more times before
9/14 – Drawn in stall 6 or higher
9/14 – Unplaced last time out
8/14 – Unplaced favourites
4/14 – Ran at Doncaster last time out
4/14 – Winning favourites
Judicial won the race in 2019
Good Effort won the race in 2020

TQ VERDICT: We’ve the last two winners of this race in action again - Judicial won the prize in 2019 and Good Effort took the honours 12 months ago. Both look huge players again, but from draws 10 and 8 respectively, that makes life harder. That said, Judicial was drawn 12 when he won this race in 2019 and 9 of the last 14 winners have been drawn 6 or higher. CD winner, Harry’s Bar is another to note from draw 1, while the former G1 winner - The Last Lion - is very interesting if back to his best. He does, however, return from a monster 1876-day break - that’s just over 5 years! I’m note sure I’ve ever seen a horse coming back from this sort of time off. He was last seen winning the G1 Middle Park in 2016, but the Mark Johnston yard must clearly feel there is something more to come. Exalted Angel is another CD winner that brings a bit of class to the race, but the calls here are to stick with last year’s winner - GOOD EFFORT and also have MISTY GREY (e/w) onside. The former is the top-rated in the field (110) and having run in better races recently will like this drop back into a Listed race. He’s won 6 of his 13 runs on the AW and only been out of the top two 4 times. Jim Crowley rides. Misty Grey was a close third to Exalted Angel here last time back in Feb, but has had a nice break since and draw 2 looks ideal. At just 4, he should have more to come too and has run well fresh in the past too.

3.40 – Betway Churchill Stakes (Listed Race) (All-Weather Fast Track Qualifier) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m2f ITV

13/15 – Returned 15/2 or shorter in the betting
12/15 – Had won over at least 1m2f before
11/15 – Rated between 102 and 112
10/15 – Ran in the last 6 weeks
10/15 – Won between 1-4 times before
10/15 – Favourites placed in the top two
10/15 – Aged 3 or 4 years-old
9/15 – Drawn in stall 5 or higher
8/15 – Placed last time out
5/15 – Winning favourites
3/15 – Trained by Saeed Bin Suroor
Dubai Warrior won the race in 2020
Master The World (10/1) won the race in 2017 and 2018

TQ VERDICT: Another past winner here too as the David Loughnane-trained Dubai Warrior bids to follow-up last year’s success. He’s a big player again and is having only his second run for the yard having come from the John Gosden camp. He’s a 6-time winner on the AW and having won this by an easy 3 ½ lengths last time, then he’s sure to be in the shake-up. However, he’s got a worthy opponent this year in PYLEDRIVER, who is rated 9lbs higher than him. Yes, last year’s winner gets a handy 7lbs in weight so there shouldn’t be a lot between them. But the Muir/Grassick runner heads here at a G1 winner after taking the Coronation Cup at Epsom back in June. He’s been put away since and despite having only had one run on the AW, that was a fair second at Kempton in a Group Three. Of the rest, the likes of Harrovian, Via Serendipity, Felix and Fox Tal are all useful on their day, but do have a small bit to find on these terms with the main duo.