Cheltenham Festival Tips and Trends – (DAY THREE: Thurs 14th March 2019)

TQ Weekend Wrap – Free Horse Racing Tips and Trends: 14th Dec 2019

Each day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival here at TRAINERS-QUOTES we’ll give you the quick-fire positive and negative stats for EVERY race. Apply these to the final cards and you will build up a picture and a profile of which horses have historically done the best in recent renewals.

Did you know that 10 of the last 14 Stayers’ Hurdle winners won last time out?

We hope they help narrow down the fields and also help pin-point plenty of winners at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival for you……………………………………

 

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL DAY THREE:

Thursday 14th March 2019

13:30 JLT Novices’ Chase   2m 4f

2018 Winner: SHATTERED LOVE (4/1)
Trainer – Gordon Elliott
Jockey – Jack Kennedy

Pluses….

  • 7 of the 8 winners were Irish-trained
  • Willie Mullins has trained 4 of the last 8 winners
  • 6 of the last 8 winners had won a Graded Chase before
  • All 8 past winners had run at the Festival before
  • 7 of the 8 winners came from the top 4 in the betting
  • 6 of the last 8 winners came from the top 2 in the betting
  • 7 of the last 8 winners finished 1st or 2nd last time out
  • 7 of the last 8 winners returned 7/1 or shorter
  • 5 of the last 8 winners won last time out
  • 5 of the last 8 winners ran at Leopardstown last time out
  • 6 of the last 8 winners ran between 47-54 days ago
  • 7 year-olds have won 6 of last 8 renewals

Negatives….

  • Be careful of horses rated 146 or less
  • Just one British-trained runner so far
  • The top-rated horse is just 1 from 8
  • Since 1990 all Festival Novice Chase winners have been aged 8 or younger
  • 3 winning favourites in 8 runnings (1 co)
  • Just 1 of the last 8 winners had less than 3 career chase starts
  • Just 1 winner had been off for more than 54 days

Willie Mullins has a great record in this race – 4 winners in the last 8 runnings. With that in mind, his REAL STEEL looks interesting. This 6 year-old has won his last two in good fashion and looks a horse with more to come. He’s won over further, which will be a plus up the Cheltenham Hill and also tasted the hustle and bustle of the Festival when 11th in the Albert Bartlett Hurdle last season. Defi Du Seuil and Lostintranstaltion are big players too and it will be a shock if they are not involved in the finish in a race that generally goes to those fancied in the betting. Of that pair Defi Du Seuil, who won the 2017 Triumph Hurdle, is expected to come out on top. Finally, Kildisart is a proven course and distance winner that won well here at the end of January. He’s got a bit to find at the ratings with those already mentioned, but not a lot and that course form is a huge plus.
 

14:10 Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle   3m

2018 Winner: DELTA WORK (6/1)
Trainer – Gordon Elliott
Jockey – Davy Russell

Pluses….

  • 7 of the last 13 winners were aged 8 or older
  • 8 of the last 9 winners started their careers in bumpers (6) or points (2)
  • 10 of the last 18 winners were from outside the top 5 in the betting
  • The last 8 winners were rated 138 or higher
  • 9 of the last 12 winners were rated between 132-142 (inc)
  • 9 of the last 14 winners had won over at least 2m7f
  • 9 of the last 12 winners had run 10 or less times over hurdles before
  • 8 of the last 18 winners won their last race
  • 3 of the last 10 winners finished in the first 5 in the Betfair Hurdle
  • Look for Jonjo O’Neill, Twiston-Davies, Mullins and Pipe-trained runners
  • Respect JP McManus-owned horses

Negatives….

  • Just 4 Irish-trained winners in the last 13 runnings
  • Avoid horses with less than 6 runs over hurdles
  • 5 year-olds have won just twice since 1973
  • French-bred horses are currently on a run of 1-80
  • All horses rated 150+ since 2000 have failed to finish in the top 2
  • 1 winning favourite in last 13 years
  • Paul Nicholls is currently 0 from 18 (One third and two 2nds in the last 5 runnings)
  • Horses aged 7 or younger and priced in single-figures are just 2 from 37

Not the best of races for trainer Paul Nicholls – he’s currently 0 from 18 in the race, but it’s worth pointing out he’s had a third and two seconds in the last five runnings. The Gordon Elliott-trained Sire Du Berlais will be all the rage as owner JP McManus loves to target this race too. This 7 year-old was a close fourth in the Martin Pipe Hurdle here last year and is only a pound higher. However, French-bred horses are currently 1 from 80 in this race so that’s a big trend to overcome, while he doesn’t look great value either. The last 8 winners were rated 138 or higher, with 9 of the last 12 rated between 132 and 142. On the domestic front, trainers David Pipe, Jonjo O’Neill and Nigel Twiston-Davies have decent records, so look for their runners too. First Assignment and Flemcara look interesting runners too but I’ll take a chance on the Dan Skelton-trained – NOTWHATIAM (e/w). This 9 year-old is one of the more experienced in the field with 23 runs and has been running well in defeat this season. The longer trip here will suit him better than last time and connections have freshened him up with a few months off. He was also going well in a race here back in October until falling two out so that track experience will help, even though he did hit the deck – he looks sure to fill one of the places at worse.

14:50 Ryanair Chase   2m 5f

2018 Winner: BALKO DES FLOS (8/1)
Trainer – Henry de Bromhead
Jockey – Davy Russell

Pluses….

  • 19 of the 27 winners and runners-up had won at the course before
  • 5 of the last 6 winners were 2nd season chasers
  • 9 of the last 11 had won at Cheltenham previously
  • 9 of the last 11 winners had won a Grade 1 Chase before
  • The King George VI Chase is often a good guide (7 from 25)
  • The previous year’s renewal is often a good guide
  • 10 of the last 13 winners returned 6/1 or shorter
  • 6 of the last 7 winners were aged 7 or 8 years-old
  • 10 of the last 11 winners were rated 161+
  • 4 of the last 14 winners were placed in the top 3 in the Ascot Chase last time out
  • 10 of last 14 winners were fav or 2nd fav
  • Trainers Jonjo O’Neill, David Pipe & Nicky Henderson are respected
  • Respect first time head-gear (2 from 7)
  • 8 of the last 11 winners DIDN’T win last time out

Negatives….

  • The Irish are 3 from 43 runners in this race
  • Avoid horses priced 7/1 or bigger
  • Avoid horses aged 11 or older
  • Just one winner rated 160 or below
  • Just 3 of the last 11 won last time out
  • All winners ran 4 or less times that season
  • No winner was having their Festival debut

This looks set up to be one of the races of the Festival with four or five in with big shouts. Last year’s winner – Balko Des Flos – will be looking to defend his title, but since taking this race has rather gone off the boil and preference would be for last year’s runner-up Un De Scueax to reverse that form with him at least. The 2017 winner of the race is now 11 years-old but is still pitching in at the highest level and was only 4 lengths behind Altior at Sandown last time out. He’s finished in the top two in 17 of his 19 starts over fences (other two he fell in) so looks a banker to get placed again. Frodon loves the track and will have his supporters too after winning the Cotswold Chase here last time. However, he’s some big trends against him – 8 of the last 11 didn’t win last time out, while 8 of the last 10 had raced 11 or less times over fences – he’s run 22 times. Monalee, Min and Road To Respect are all huge players too – all three certainly have the form to take this, but the one that fits most of the main trends is FOOTPAD. Last year’s Arkle winner has not kicked on as many thought this season after falling when beaten at Naas on his return run, but he bounced back a tad with a second at Leopardstown last time out. Yes, that form (second to Simply Ned) is still off what we were all expecting off him, but with just 7 runs over fences (5 wins) he’s got time on his side. The longer trip here is expected to suit too and having won on very soft ground over 2m3 1/2f in France earlier in his career then the signs he’ll stay are good. Being a course winner is a plus too and the Mullins yard have taken their time with him this season, Of the rest, I expect Min and Monalee to provide him with his biggest threat, while if you want one at a bigger price that ticks a lot of trends too then THE STORYTELLER (e/w) looks interesting. He won at the Festival last year (Brown Advisory) so we know the track suits and despite not winning this season has run well in some decent races. – he can go well at a price.

15:30 Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle 3m

2018 Winner: PENHILL (12/1)
Trainer – Willie Mullins
Jockey – Paul Townend

Pluses….

  • 10 of the last 14 won last time out
  • 16 of the last 18 winners came from the top 4 in the betting
  • 8 of the last 17 were French Bred
  • Respect the Cleeve Hurdle and Long Walk Hurdle form
  • 14 of the last 17 winners finished 1st or 2nd in all their hurdling runs that season
  • 12 of the last 14 winners started 10/1 or less in the betting
  • Respect past winners of the race

Negatives….

  • Avoid horses that didn’t finish either 1st or 2nd last time out (2 from 19)
  • A 5 year-old is yet to win the race
  • Trainer Willie Mullins has only won the race twice
  • Avoid front runners
  • The Irish are have won the race just three times since 1995
  • Avoid horses that were beaten in the race before
  • Previous Albert Bartlett winners have an overall poor record (1 from 16)
  • Horses wearing headgear are 0 from 63
  • Horses aged 10 or older have all been beaten since 1986 (0 from 52)

No Penhill this year to defend his title and really it’s hard to get away from PAISLEY PARK. This 7 year-old has improved at a rate of knots in this division this season after mopping up the Long Walk Hurdle and the Cleeve Hurdle and if running to that level again will be very hard to beat. He rates one of my bankers at the meeting. Yes, Faugheen will be interesting against him over this trip, but at 11 years-old he’s no spring chicken and has just one win from his last six. Last year’s runner-up Supasundae likes the track and should be in the mix too, but the jury is still out on the trip – I personally feel he gets it, but just not at the highest level. With 15 top three finishes from 19 hurdles runs then he looks destined to be in the frame though. Of the rest, Barcardys could be interesting if Mullins has him back to his best, while the consistent Black Ops is another for the each-way punters, but is likely to come up short in in terms of winning.

16:10 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate   2m 5f

2018 Winner: THE STORYTELLER (5/1 fav)
Trainer – Gordon Elliott
Jockey – Davy Russell

Pluses….

  • 26 of the last 31 winners were officially rated 141 or less
  • 9 of the last 10 winners carried under 11-0
  • Look out for French-breds
  • Venetia Williams & Pipe-trained runners should be noted
  • The Pipe yard have won 7 of the last 21 runnings
  • 16 of the last 18 winners returned at double-figure odds
  • 20 of the last 27 winners had run at the Festival before (but 6 of last 8 were having Festival debut)
  • 18 of the last 19 winners had run in no more than 16 chases
  • 17 of the last 19 winners came from outside the top 4 in the market

Negatives….

  • Avoid horses that are yet to win at Class 3 or better
  • The Irish have only sent out 4 winners since 1951
  • 2 winning favourites in the last 13 years
  • 3 of last 24 won with 11st+
  • Winners of a chase at Cheltenham before have poor records

Tough race to call, but some fair trends to take into account. French breds do well, while the Venetia Williams and Pipe yards often target this race with a lot of success so anything they run should be noted. The Pipe team could have Eamon An Cnoic, who was a good winner at Chepstow last time out, while Williams has Gardefort and Didero Vallis entered at this stage so we’ll have to see if they make the final line-up. River Wylde, Kalondra and Spiritofthegame popular too, as will the Henderson runner Janika, but it won’t be easy with 11-12 to carry – 26 of the last 31 winners were officially rated 141 or less! With that in mind the Nick Williams runner, SIRUH DU LAC, stands out. Rated 141 and a course and distance winner here last time out – beating Janika a head. He’s up 7lbs for that but looks as if he should have more in the locker and so far has won 5 of his 7 runs over fences.

16:50 Dawn Run Mares’ Novices Hurdle 2m1f

2018 Winner: LAURINA (4/7 fav)
Trainer – Willie Mullins
Jockey – Paul Townend

A new race (Just three renewals)
Favourites have all three runnings
All three past winners won last time out
All three winners have been aged 5 years-old
Willie Mullins won the race in 2016, 2017 & 2018
Ruby Walsh has ridden the winner in 2016, 2017
Owner Rich Ricci has won 2 of the last 3 runnings

Only in it’s fourth year so not a not of trends to go on. Trainer, Willie Mullins has won all three renewals so he’s sure to have an interest again, but it doesn’t look like he’s got his usual banker in the race. Henderson’s Epantante looks the likely favourite and it’s hard to get away from here chance. However, all three past winners of this race had already won a graded race – she’s not, so if you are looking to take her on then this a trend to cling to. Sinoria is a Listed race winner and looks like running well, while the Paul Nicholls runner – Posh Trish – will have her supporters too after three recent wins. But none were in graded company. Henderson also has Lust For Glory and she’s closely-linked in with Posh Trish after running against here a few times this season. She looks fair value. However, if running it might pay to take a chance on QUEENOHEARTS (e/w). This 6 year-old won a Grade Two at Sandown last time out and being trained by Stuart Edmonds, who won the Kim Muir in 2017, might just be going under the radar a tad in a race like this with the likes of Nicholls, Mullins and Henderson. Yes, she’s got a bit to find based on the ratings, but she stays further too, with recent wins coming over 2m4f and that will be a big plus up the hill.   

17:30 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase   3m 1½f

2018 Winner: MISSED APPROACH (8/1)
Trainer – Warren Greatrex
Jockey – Mr N McParlan

Pluses….

  • Respect 8 and 9 year-olds
  • 3 of the last 8 winners ran in the BetVictor Handicap Chase (Open Meeting)
  • The last 7 winners ran off a mark of 137 or more
  • 7 of the last 9 winners carried 11st 5lbs+
  • Look for McCain, Pipe and Henderson-trained runners
  • Look for horses in the top half of the handicap
  • 17 of the last 19 winners ran over at least three miles in their last race
  • Look for non-claiming amateur riders
  • 7 of the last 8 winners wore headgear
  • 8 of the last 10 winners came from the top 6 in the market
  • Jamie Codd has ridden 4 of the last 10 winners
  • Nina Carberry placed 6 times, Derek O’Connor 2nd 3 times

Negatives….

  • Just two Irish winners for 35 years (but have won 2 of the last 5)
  • Horses that fell or unseated that season have a poor record
  • Avoid Paul Nicholls-trained horses – he’s just 1 placed horse from his last 20
  • Trainer Willie Mullins has a poor record in the race
  • Horses carrying less than 10-10 have a poor record
  • French breds are 0 from 56 since 2005
  • Avoid claiming jockeys – 1 from 85 since 2009

Trainers Paul Nicholls and Willie Mullins doesn’t have a great record in the race, while French breds are 0 from 56 since 2005. In fact, we’ve only had two Irish-trained winners of the race for 35 years, but those two have come in the last 5 years. Also being an amateur riders’ race then jockey bookings are also key. Jamie Codd has ridden 4 of the last 9 winners, while Derek O’Connor is another to look out for – he’s been second three times. Gordon Elliott won this in 2016 and in Measureofmydreams and Its All Guesswork he looks to have two big chances. Owner JP McManus could have Any Second Now and No Comment in the race, but the one that should like the step up in trip is SPEAKER CONNOLLY (e/w). This 6 year-old was running on well over 2m5f last time to be third of 13 at Leopardstown so the extra 5 furlongs look right up his street. Only five runs over fences too so is still learning – he looks the sort to go well, if running. Just A sting, Impulsive Star and Sky Pirate are others to look at, while the third in this race last year – SQUOUATEUR (e/w) – might also be worth second glance. He’s only 3lbs higher but has changed stables from Gordon Elliott to be with Ben Haslam now and that change of scenery might help. He was sent off 5/1 for the race last year and was going well in the 2017 running until unseating.