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22nd June 2024

Saturday Racing Tips and Trends: 29th January 2022

Another massive day of horse racing this Saturday with ‘Trials Day’ at Cheltenham – their last meeting before the Festival in March. Therefore, plenty more clues to be had, including top races like the Cleeve Hurdle and Cotswold Chase.

The Cheltenham track will be hoping for better weather than last year as the meeting was abandoned due to heavy rain and the threat of snow.

The ITV cameras are also heading to Doncaster to take in the best of their action, including the ultra-competitive Sky Bet Chase – a race the Alan King yard have won in two of the last five seasons.

As always, here at TQ, we've got it all covered with all the key trends – use these stats to help find the best past winning profiles to help whittle down the runners and hopefully pin-point a few winners.


Cheltenham Trials Day Horse Racing Trends (RacingTV/ITV)


12.15 – SSS Super Alloys Handicap Hurdle (CLASS 2) (4yo+) 2m1f RacingTV

16/16 – Rated 120 or higher
15/16 – Had raced within the last 9 weeks
14/16 – Priced 8/1 or shorter
13/16 – Had won between 1-3 times over hurdles in the UK before
12/16 – Had raced at Cheltenham before
11/16 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
10/16 – Winners that went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (1 winner La Fontana)
9/16 – Unplaced favourites
8/16 – Placed 1st or 2nd last time out
8/16 – Irish bred
7/16 – Winning distance – 1 ¼ or less
5/16 – French bred
4/16 – Won last time out
3/16 – Winning favourites
3/16 – Ridden by Paddy Brennan
2/16 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
2/16 – Ridden by Tom Scudamore
2/16 – Trained by Chris Gordon
2/16 – Trained by Martin Keighley
9 of the last 10 winners aged 7 or younger
11 of the last 12 winners carried 10-12 or less in weight

2020 Winner:  BACK ON THE LASH (M Keighley) 13/2

TQ VERDICT: Masters Legacy is one for the shortlist and should enjoy the drop back in trip here, but he does have a fair bit of weight (11-12) and with 11 of the last 12 winners carrying 10-12 or less that is the worry. Sticking with that weight trend, then that would be a plus for the likes of Severance, Byzantine Empire, Ashutor and Lively Citizen. Of that quartet a chance is taken on SEVERANCE and LIVELY CITIZEN. The former has been below-par this season but has been running over much longer trips today. He’s down another 3lbs here and having been pulling too hard in recent races then should find things happening a bit quicker here, which he’ll like. Lively Citizen, who was a nice CD winner here last time out, is up just 5lbs for that win and another big run looks on the cards here off a light weight. He’s now only finished out of the first three once from 10 runs over hurdles and Archie Bellamy, who was on last time, continues to take a handy 7lbs off. Of the rest, the Fergal O’Brien yard took this in 2019 and have a leading chance with the already mentioned Byzantine Empire, while recent winners, Hydroplane, Kihavah and Hystery Bere are others to respect.


12.45 – JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial (A Juvenile Hurdle) (Grade 2) Cl1 2m1f RacingTV

15/17 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
14/17 – Had raced within the last 7 weeks
13/17 – Placed favourites
12/17 – Winners that went onto run in that season’s Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival
12/17 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
10/17 – Had previously won at least once over hurdles in the UK
10/17 – Won last time out
10/17 – Winning distance – 2 ¼ lengths or less
10/17 – French bred (including last 8 winners)
9/17 – Returned 2/1 or shorter in the market
8/17 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
7/17 – Went onto be placed in that season’s Triumph Hurdle (3 winners, Defi Du Seuil  2017, Peace & Co 2015, Katchit 2007)
5/17 – Had raced at Cheltenham previously
4/17 – Trained by Alan King
4/17 – Priced 25/1, 50/1 or 100/1
3/17 – Won by a German bred horse
3/17 – Won by an Irish bred horse
Nicky Henderson has trained 4 of the last 8 winners
3 of the last 4 winners have been owned by JP McManus

2020 Winner: GALAHAD QUEST (N Williams) 6/1

TQ VERDICT: Some promising 4 year-olds on show here. The Nick Williams won this race the last time it was run in 2020, so their recent CD winner - Interne De Sivola - has to be considered. We can expect another bold bid from the front and with that track experience under his belt then he’ll have an advantage over the rest. The Gordon Elliott yard bring over Pied Piper, who won on his hurdles debut at Punchestown last month. He was a 90-rated flat useful flat horse for John Gosden and the Queen before that and looks an interesting recruit to jumping having been bought for 225k. The Gary Moore yard are in good form still and run Moulins Clermont here. This French recruit got off the mark last time at Sandown, but that came in heavy ground so the quick conditions here are the slight concern. The call though is for the Paul Nicholls yard to take this with their recent Kempton scorer - ICEO - who is around 10/1 in the betting for the Triumph Hurdle. He’s 2-from-2 now after winning in France before going to Nicholls but went into many a notebook after an easy 17 length success over Christmas at Kempton. He’ll face a bit quicker ground here but looks the sort to have a fair bit more to come.

1.20 – Timeform Novices´ Handicap Chase Cl2 2m5f RacingTV

17/17 – Aged 8 or younger
16/17 – Winners that went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (3 winners, La Landiere Cathcart 2003, Close Brothers Novices’ Chase, Mister Whitaker 2018, Simply The Betts 2020, Brown Advisory and Merribelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase)
15/17 – Won between 0-2 races over fences in the UK previously
15/17 – Raced within the last 6 weeks
14/17 – Finished either 1st or 2nd last time out
14/17 – Had won over at least 2m4f (fences) in the UK previously
13/17 – Priced 13/2 or shorter
13/17 – Rated 128 or higher
11/17 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
11/17 – Irish bred
9/17 – Winning distance – 5 lengths or more
9/17 – Carried 11-2 or more
7/17 – Won last time out
7/17 – Ran at Kempton last time out
5/17 – French bred
3/17 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
3/17 – Trained by Venetia Williams
3/17 – Won with 11-12 in weight
2/17 – Ridden by Richard Johnson
2/17 – Trained by Colin Tizzard
1/17 – Winning favourites (none in the last 11 runnings)

2020 Winner: SIMPLY THE BETTS (H Whittington) 11/2

TQ VERDICT: With 14 of the last 17 winners placed first or second last time out, then Imperial Alcazar, When You’re Ready, Beakstown, Java Point and Goa Lil have this as a plus. Of that lot, I was impressed with the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained GOA LIL when winning at Newbury last time and he gets the nod. Up only 2lbs for that, but in this better race gets in with just 10st 6lbs to carry. Yes, that came over 2m, but he’s won over this trip in the past and wasn’t stopping last time - he could be very dangerous off this featherweight. Beakstown will have useful claimer Jack Andrews taking off 5lbs, but he’s now 8 races without a win, which is a worry. Paul Nicholls has Solo in the race, but he’s another that seems to be placed more often than win and heads here winless from his last 9. When You’re Ready, Your Daring and Java Point can all go well too, but the other pick is the top-weight - IMPERIAL ALCAZAR. This Fergal O’Brien runner returned at Chepstow last month with a fair second and even though he’s yet to win over fences has only had two runs and been second both times. Okay, he’ll need to brush up his jumping too, but that should come with more experience, while his recent two runs have come off a wind op so we can expect more in the pipeline on that score too.


1.55 – Paddy Power Cheltenham Countdown Handicap Chase (A Handicap) (Grade 3) Cl1 2m 41/2f ITV

15/17 – Had won over at least 2m5f (fences) previously
15/17 – Priced 9/1 or shorter
15/17 – Had won between 1-4 times over fences previously
15/17 – Rated 130 or higher
14/17 – Placed in the top 4 last time out
14/17 – Ran within the last 7 weeks
12/17 – Aged 8 or older
12/17 – Had run over fences at Cheltenham before (7 won)
12/17 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
12/17 – Winners that went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (1 winner – Siruh Du Lac)
10/17 – Aged 8 or 9 years-old
10/17 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
9/17 – Carried 10-7 or less
6/17 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
6/17 – Won last time out
4/17 – Ran at Newbury last time out
3/17 – Winning favourites
3/17 – Won by a previous winner of the race
2/17 – Won by the Pipe stable
2/17 – Won by the Hobbs yard
2/17 - Won the by the Venetia Williams yard

2020 Winner: CEPAGE (V Williams) 8/1

TQ VERDICT: A lot of faces that have been contesting the Paddy Power and Racing Post Gold Cups in recent seasons and a horse that’s been threatening to win one of those big handicaps is GALAHAD QUEST. This Nick Williams runner was fifth in the Paddy Power Gold Cup this season and gets in here 3lbs lower. This doesn’t quite look as competitive as that race, while the return to slightly quicker ground won’t be an issue. The 11 year-old Coole Cody is having a top time of it during is later life - winning the Racing Post Chase Gold Cup here in November, but will need to bounce back from a poor run here last time on New Year’s Day (8th), while you just feel that the handicapper might be starting to catch up with him again. Magic Saint is often not far away in these sorts of race and connections are helping his big weight by putting up Tom Buckley to claim 5lbs. She’sasupermack and Jacamar are two recent winners in the race to note, while - if running - the Venetia Williams-trained Farinet can go well for a yard that won this race in 2020. But the other pick is the Pipe runner - EDEN DU HOUX - who ran the useful Frenchy Du Large to a length at Chepstow last time out. He’s off the same mark here and with just 10-9 to carry gets weight from all the others.


2.30 – Paddy Power Cotswold Chase (Grade 2) Cl1 3m1f110y ITV

18/18 – Officially rated 151 or higher
17/18 – Ran at Cheltenham over fences before (9 had won)
16/18 – Won over at least 3m before (fences)
16/18 – Raced in the last 8 weeks
14/18 – Won between 2-6 times over fences
13/18 – Priced 7/1 or less
13/18 – Went onto race in that season’s Gold Cup (no winners, all placed 8th or better)
12/18 – Placed favourites
11/18 – Aged 9 or 10 years-old
11/18 – Ran at either Wetherby (3), Cheltenham (4) or Kempton (4) last time
10/18 – Winning distance – 6 lengths or more
8/18 – Won last time out
8/18 – Unplaced last time out
8/18 – Won by an Irish-bred horse
7/18 – Winners from outside the top 3 in the market
6/18 – Won by a French-bred horse
3/18 – Won by the Paul Nicholls yard (5 wins in total)
2/18 – Won by the Oliver Sherwood yard
2/18 - Won by the Colin Tizzard yard
1/18 – Went onto win the Grand National (Many Clouds, 2015)
1/18 – Went onto win the Ryanair Chase (Frodon, 2019)
1/18 – Favourites
10 of the last 14 winners were aged 9 or 10 years-old
The average winning SP in the last 18 runnings is 7/1
Looks Like Trouble (2000) was the last winner to go onto win the Cheltenham Gold Cup

Note: The 2021 running was staged at Sandown

2021 Winner: NATIVE RIVER (C Tizzard) 13/2

TQ VERDICT: Probably not the best renewal of this Grade 2 but will some familiar faces on show. Aye Right is the only last time out winner in the field after getting home by a head in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle last time out in November. He’s been freshened up with a few months off since and heads here as the second top-rated in the field so must have a say. Former Gold Cup runner-up and winner of this race in 2020 - Santini, who is now with Polly Gundry, is another to note, but he’s rather lost his way in recent seasons and actually hasn’t won a race (6 runs) since taking this in 2020.  However, the two to probably focus on here are CHANTRY HOUSE and SIMPLY THE BETTS. The former is the main pick and the top-rated in the field at 160. He was last seen being pulled up in the King George at Kempton as the favourite that day but was never really going during the race - Kempton isn’t a track for all horses. Henderson has given him a month to get over that race and he’s back at Cheltenham here - a track he’s 2-from-4 at, including winning the Marsh Novices’ Chase at the Festival here in March. Taking that last disappointment out, he’s still a horse that’s won 71% of his seven runs over fences (5-from-7) and he’s taken to get back to winning ways here. Simply The Betts, who won on this card in 2020, can give him most to think about having returned to form here on New Year’s Day with a close second. Yes, he’s got a bit to prove up in trip again, but he’s worth another crack at this distance, in my opinion - especially a track he seems to love. His form at Prestbury Park over fences reads 1-1-6-6-2. Harry Cobden rides this Paul Nicholls runner and the fact they also get a handy 4lbs from Ayr Right, Coole Cody and Chantry House is a further plus for this 157-rated chaser.


3.05 – Welsh Marches Stallions At Chapel Stud Cleeve Hurdle (Grade 2) Cl1 3m ITV

15/16 – Won by a horse aged 9 or younger
15/16 – Ran within the last 8 weeks
15/16 – Won at least 3 times over hurdles previously
14/16 – Raced at Cheltenham (hurdles) previously
13/16 – Went to run in that season’s Stayers’ Hurdle (5 won)
13/16 – Officially rated 154 or higher
11/16 – Winners that went onto finish in the top 4 in that season’s Stayers’ Hurdle
11/16 – Finished either 1st or 2nd in their last race
10/16 – Favourites placed
10/16 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or more
10/16 – Winners from the top 3 in the market
9/16 – Won their latest race
8/16 – Favourites that won
6/16 – Won by a French-bred horse
3/16 – Won by the Paul Nicholls stable
Note: The 2006 running was staged at Sandown

2020 Winner:  PAISLEY PARK (E Lavelle) 4/6 fav

TQ VERDICT: A small but select field here of just five runners, including the 2019 & 2020 winner - Paisley Park. This Emma Lavelle past Staying Hurdle champ is now a 10 year-old and contesting these top end 3m hurdles races, but whereas a few seasons ago he was a winning machine he brings a record of just one win from his last 8 into the race. He was last seen running just over 5 lengths third in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot in December and prior to that was third again in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury. He’s hard to totally rule out back here at Cheltenham, but you just feel that age is starting to catch up with him - after all, he’s had some tough races over the years. The Nicholls camp farmed this race with three wins between 2009 and 2015 (3 wins) - they pin their hopes on McFabulous here. He returned from a wind op on New Year’s Day to run second in the Relkeel Hurdle so can be expected to come on for that too. He’s now finished in the top two in 7 of his 10 races over hurdles and at 8 still has time on his side. The niggle for him though would be the step up in trip to 3m - the last time he tried this distance he was a beaten favourite in the 2020 Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury. The 2020 Stayers’ Hurdle winner - Lisnagar Oscar - seems to have been a bit of a ‘one hit wonder’ having not won a race (8 races) since, so the obvious call here as to be to stick with CHAMP. Okay, no spring chicken either at 10 year-old, but the switch back to hurdles last time was a good move after winning the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot in good fashion - beating the useful Thyme Hill by just under 2 lengths. He’s now won 6 of his 8 runs over hurdles and has NEVER been out of the first two from his runs over the smaller obstacles. We know he likes the track here at Cheltenham too so with plenty of question marks against his rivals here, then he’s by far the safest option and most likely to give his running.


3.40 – Ballymore Novices´ Hurdle (Grade 2) (CLASS 1) (4yo+) CH4 2m4f110y ITV4

15/15 – Placed 1st or 2nd in their last race
14/15 – Ran within the last 8 weeks
13/15 – Won between 1-3 times over hurdles previously
13/15 – Winners that later raced at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (3 winners)
12/15 – Favourites placed
12/15 – Won over at least 2m4f (hurdles) previously
12/15 – Winners from the top 3 in the market
12/15 – Won their latest race
11/15 – Won by a horse aged 6 years-old
10/15 – Winning distance – 2 ½ lengths or more
10/15 – Priced 4/1 or shorter
8/15 – Raced at Cheltenham previously
5/15 – Favourites that won
4/15 – Raced at Cheltenham last time out
4/15 – Raced at Newbury last time out
4/15 – Won by the Nicky Henderson stable
3/15 – Won by the Alan King stable
3/15 – Winners that went onto win at that season’s Cheltenham Festival

2020 Winner: HARRY SENIOR (C Tizzard) 4/1

TQ VERDICT: Just the six runners here, but five of them won last time out. The eye will be drawn to A Different Kind, who has won his last five for the Don McCain yard, but this will be his biggest test to date. Balco Coastal has won his last two at Huntingdon and Ludlow as favourite so should make his presence felt, while North Lodge and Picanha command respect after good wins last time out. But it’s hard to get away from the Henry Daly runner - HILLCREST - who win so well here last time out. It’s no secret that the yard thinks a lot of this horse and heads here now having won all three starts over hurdles. He can take this before heading to either the Ballymore or Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdles at the Festival in March.


Doncaster Horse Racing Trends (RacingTV/ITV4)


2.10 - Yorkshire Rose Mares´ Hurdle (Registered as The Doncaster Mares´ Hurdle) (Grade 2) Cl1 2m110y ITV

11/12 – Had won over this trip before
11/12 – Had run in the last 6 weeks
10/12 – Aged 8 or younger
9/12 – Won last time out
8/12 – Went onto run in the Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
6/12 - Winning favourites
6/12 – Irish bred
5/12 – Won between 1-3 times before (hurdles)
2/12 – Trained by Philip Kirby

2021 Winner: MIRANDA (P Nicholls) 3/1

TQ VERDICT: The Paul Nicholls-trained MIRANDA won this race 12 months ago and I think she can go in again. She heads here in good form too - having won at Ludlow last time out and is the clear top-rated in the field. She can have most to fear from the Emma Lavelle runner - Western Victory, while Anna Bunina and Miss Heritage can do best of the rest.


2.45 – Albert Bartlett Novices´ Hurdle (Registered as The River Don Novices´ Hurdle) (Grade 2) Cl1 3m110y ITV

12/12 – Had won between 1-3 times over hurdles in the UK before
10/12 – Had raced within the last 6 weeks
10/12 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
9/12 – Winning distance – 1 ½ lengths or less
9/12 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
7/12 – Won last time out
7/12 – Placed favourites
6/12 – Irish bred
5/12 – Had raced at Doncaster before
3/12 – Winning favourite
3/12 - Trained By Ben Pauling (3 of the last 6)
2/12 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
2/12 - Ridden by Nico de Boinville
2/12 - Ridden by Daryl Jacob
8 of the last 10 winners were aged 5 or 6 years-old

2021 Winner: THE COB (B Pauling) 25/1

TQ VERDICT: Trainer Ben Pauling took this race 12 months ago and has a good chance to add to that with Not At Present, who has won his last three, but each time has had a claiming jockey riding and that can’t happen here in this Grade Two. Bridge North and Unanswered Prayers both won well last time out and should be in the mix, while My Bobby Dazzler has been running well this season and has to be considered too. The picks though are to side with the Irish raider - MAHLER MISSION - and the Sandy Thomson entry - COOLBANE BOY. The first-named was an easy 14 length winner at Sedgefield last time out under James Bowen and connections have booked the same jockey here. The tongue-tie is also on for the first time today, but with just three career runs looks a horse with more to come. Coolbane Boy also improved last time at Musselburgh to win well. Yes, that was his first win over hurdles from 11, but it only his second run for his new yard - they’ve clearly found the key to him.


3.20 – Sky Bet Chase (A Handicap) (formerly The Great Yorkshire Chase) (Listed Race) (CLASS 1) (5yo+ 0-155) CH4 3m ITV

15/16 – Had won between 0-3 times over fences before
13/16 – Carried 11-2 or less
13/16 – Officially rated 130 or higher
13/16 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
12/16 – Aged 9 or younger
11/16 – Returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
10/16 – Unplaced favourites
10/16 – Irish bred
9/16 – Carried 10-12 or less
9/16 – Had raced within the last 4 weeks
9/16 – Finished unplaced last time out
8/16 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
5/16 – Raced at Cheltenham last time out
3/16 – Won last time out
2/16 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
2/16 – Trained by the Pipe stable
2/16 – Winning favourites
2/16 – Trained by Alan King
The average winning SP in the last 16 runnings is 11/1

Note: The 2007 running was staged at Southwell

Other Stats:
4 of the last 16 winners of this race went onto contest the William Hill Trophy (now JLT Chase) at the Cheltenham Festival that season (1 winner)
6 of the last 16 winners went onto run in that season’s Grand National (no winners, all unplaced)

2021 Winner: TAKINGRISKS (N Richards) 40/1

TQ VERDICT: 17 runners here but with 13 of the last 16 winners carrying 11st 2lbs or less then this might be seen as a negative for the top five on the card - Nuts Well, Midnight Shadow, Fusil Raffles, who has been very popular in the build-up to this race, Cloudy Glen and Janika. Cap Du Nord, who was third in this 12 months ago, continues to drop down the handicap and you’d feel that he’d be dangerous soon - he’s rated 10lbs lower than last year. He’s only got 10st to carry too but was well down the field last time at Kempton and is now 9 runs without a win. KAPCORSE came back from a year out to win at Newbury last time out and could have more to offer for the Paul Nicholls yard. He is 8lbs higher here and you’d fear about the ‘bounce factor’ but has had another 2 months off to freshen up for this and ticks a lot of the main trends. The other JP McManus runner in the field - CANELO (e/w) - represents the Alan King yard, that have a good record in the race. He was fourth 12 months ago in the race too, but is now rated 11lbs lower and does seem to run well here at the track. He’s got a bit to prove - however, might be worth chancing in a race his trainer likes to target and one that he’s gone okay in before. The 11 year-old - Debece - is lightly-raced for his age and is now with the Dan Skelton yard - having previously been with Tim Vaughan. He’s another with a light weight (10-6) and returns from a wind op. But is also back from almost a year out and is not getting any younger at 11.