Cheltenham Festival Tips and Trends – (DAY TWO: Weds 13th March 2019)

Cheltenham Festival Tips and Trends - (DAY TWO: Weds 14th March 2018)

Each day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival here at TRAINERS-QUOTES we give you our quick-fire positive and negative stats for EVERY Cheltenham Festival race. Apply these trends 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 16 of the last 20 Champion Chase winners came from the first three in the betting?

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 TWO:


Wednesday 13th March 2019

 

13:30 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle   2m 5f


2018 Winner: SAMCRO (8/11 fav)
Trainer –Gordon Elliott
Jockey – Jack Kennedy


Pluses….

  • 12 of the last 14 winners came from the top 4 in the betting
  • 14 of the last 18 winners returned 17/2 or shorter
  • 13 of the last 19 winners won last time out
  • The Irish have won 8 of the last 13
  • All of the last 13 winners were aged 5 or 6 years-old
  • In the last 8 runnings Irish-trained horses have filled 14 of the 24 top 3 places
  • 18 of the last 20 were NH bred
  • 13 of the last 20 had won a graded race before
  • Look for past Irish point-to-point winners (5 of the last 9 begin their careers in Irish points)
  • Respect Willie Mullins – 4 winners and 7 placed in last 14 years

Negatives….

  • Only one winner aged older than 6 has won since 1974
  • Avoid 4 year-olds too – just one winner since 1991
  • Horses aged 7 or older are 0 from 54 (since 1988)
  • Only two of the last 33 winners came from outside the top 5 in the betting
  • The last 16 Challow Hurdle winners have all been beaten
  • Avoid ex-flat horses (since 2005 all have been beaten)

This has been a good race for the Irish in recent years – with 8 wins in the last 13. Willie Mullins in particular has sent out 4 winners and 7 places in the last 14 years so anything he runs should also be respected. The betting has revolved around the Nicky Henderson-trained Champ for a while now and having won his last four hurdles starts in eye-catching fashion then it’s easy to see why. He’s a big player – for sure – but with ALL of the last 13 winners aged 5 or 6 years-old then at 7 years-old he’s got this hefty trend to overcome. With that in mind, the Gordon Elliott runner – BATTLEOVERDOYEN – gets the nod. This 6 year-old has won his only two starts over hurdles and with former point-to-point horses doing well over the years in this race this is another plus when looking at the trends. His Grade One win over Sams Profile at Naas back in January was a very solid effort and that also brings the runner-up that day into the mix, but with the expected improvement over the last few months I’ll take the Elliott runner to uphold that form. Others to note – if running – from Ireland are the Mullins trained Easy Game and Allaho, plus Elliott could also have Commander Of Fleet running – he ticks a lot of trends too. On the home front it could be all about the B’s – with Brewin’upastorm, Beakstown and Birchdale looking to have leading says too, but I’ll stick with the Irish ‘B’ in Battleoverdoyen.

 


14:10 RSA Chase   3m ½f

2018 Winner: PRESENTING PERCY (5/2 fav)
Trainer – Patrick Kelly
Jockey – Davy Russell

Pluses….

  • 4 of the last 10 winners ran in the Flogas Chase (Leopardstown, 4th Feb) that season
  • Respect 7 year-olds – won 9 of the last 11
  • 9 of the last 13 winners won last time out
  • 6 of the last 12 favourites won (50%)
  • Irish bred horses are 18 from the last 22
  • 8 of the last 12 winners had won a Grade 1 or 2 Chase
  • 6 of the last 10 winners were trained in Ireland
  • Trainers Nicky Henderson, Willie Mullins and Paul Nicholls often do well in the race
  • 22 of the last 26 were novice hurdling last season
  • 5 of the last 9 winners ran in the Albert Bartlett the previous season
  • Look for horses that ran that same calendar year (51 of the last 52 winners had)
  • 9 of the last 12 winners had raced at the Festival the previous year

Negatives….

  • No winner aged 9 or older since 1992
  • Just 4 winners younger than 7 since 1978
  • Avoid horses that had fallen before over fences
  • Avoid unbeaten horses over fences
  • Avoid horses that had had 2 full seasons over hurdles prior
  • Just 1 of the last 19 winners had run less than 3 times over fences
  • All 21 winners of the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase (Feltham, Kempton 26th Dec) have lost
  • Avoid unbeaten horses
  • Horses in headgear are currently 0 from 24


14:50 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle   2m 5f

The Nicky Henderson-trained Santini has been popular for this race for a while, but despite having an obvious chance – he’s not for me. 9 of the last 13 winners of this race won last time out but Santini could only manage third last time at Kempton – yes, the form of that race has been franked since with La Bague Au Roi winning since but with only two starts over fences then his lack of experience is also a worry – just one of the last 19 winners had raced less than 3 times over fences. Delta Work, for Ireland, will be very popular too – he’s 3-from-3 over fences and has been very impressive in those victories. He also won the Pertemps Final Hurdle here last season so has tasted Festival wining experience before too- it’s hard to fault his chance. But the call is side with the Paul Nicholls-trained TOPOFTHEGAME. 7 year-olds have a good record in this race and this improving chaser has done little wrong in his three runs over fences despite not winning yet. He ran La Bague Au Roi to 1 ½ lengths at Kempton on Boxing Day. He’s been kept fresh since and last year at the Festival was only just beaten in the Coral Cup, so we know the track suits – albeit this is over fences. He’s a consistent sort that I think has more to come. Of the rest, On The Blind Side looks to be back to his best so can’t be ruled out, while Drovers Lane, Mortal and The Worlds End are others that can go well if lining-up at bigger prices.  

 

2018 Winner: BLEU BERRY (20/1)
Trainer – Willie Mullins
Jockey – Mark Walsh

Pluses….

  • 11 of the last 14 were 2nd season hurdlers
  • 8 of the last 10 winners hailed from the top 8 horses in the weights
  • 11 of the last 13 winners hailed form the top 7 in the betting
  • 18 of the last 24 winners won earlier that season
  • Respect JP McManus-owned runners
  • Respect trainers Nicky Henderson & Gordon Elliott (2 wins each in last 9 years)
  • 9 of the last 17 winners were FRENCH-BRED
  • 13 of the last 25 won last time out
  • Respect Irish-trained runners (5 of the last 10)
  • Look for horses that had raced 4 or less times that season (last 10 winners)
  • 12 of the last 14 winners had run 32 days or longer ago (look for horses that have had a small break)
  • Trainer Gordon Elliott is 2 from 9

Negatives….

  • No winning favourite in the last 15 years
  • Horses aged 10+ are just 2 from 301to even place since 1999
  • Horses rated 150+ don’t have a great record
  • Only 4 of the last 18 winners had raced at the Festival previously
  • The last 74 horses wearing headgear have been beaten
  • Only 3 winners since 2000 had run more than 9 times over hurdles
  • Willie Mullins won the race last year, but overall has a bad record – 29 runners – just one placed inside the top 2

If getting in the race, I’ve been impressed with ERICK LE ROUGE (e/w) this season – he’s won his last four in decent fashion and with a light weight he looks interesting. The Irish tend to do well too but even though Willie Mullins won the race last year his overall record isn’t great – 1 from 29 runners – he could have Uradel and Whiskey Sour running, who are both owned by the same owner that took this prize 12 months ago. Gordon Elliot has two recent wins in the race though so anything he runs should be noted –– Cracking Smart, Dallas Des Pictons and Farclas are possible Elliott entries, with Dallas Des Pictons, who has won his last two, could be the most interesting. However, Paul Nicholls has done well in this race over the years too (winner in 2015) and have a narrow second 12 months ago too – so his BRIO CONTI (e/w) is another to consider. He’s won 3 of his 8 starts over hurdles and should be coming to the boil now with this being his third run off a 446 day break. He’s run okay at the track in the past too and with only 11 career runs looks a horse that can offer more.

15:30 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase   2m

2018 Winner: ALTIOR (Evs)
Trainer – Nicky Henderson
Jockey – Nico de Boinville

Pluses….

  • 11 of the last 18 winners ran in the Tingle Creek Chase that season
  • 3 of the last 6 winners also won the Clarence House Chase (Ascot) that season
  • 22 of the last 34 had won at the Festival before
  • Paul Nicholls & Nicky Henderson have won 7 of the last 11 between them
  • 15 of the last 16 winners had run that calendar year
  • 35 of the last 37 winners returned 10/1 or shorter
  • 14 of the last 19 winners returned 5/1 or shorter
  • 6 of the last 12 winners were French-bred
  • 11 of the last 16 winners were second season chasers
  • 16 of the last 20 winners came from the top 3 in the betting
  • 14 of the last 19 winners ran in the previous season’s Arkle or Champion Chase

Negatives….

  • Only two winners priced 11/1 or bigger in the last 36 years
  • Top Irish trainer, Willie Mullins, is yet to win this race
  • Just 1 of the last 17 winners hadn’t won a Grade 1 Chase before
  • 12 of the last 13 winners had run in no more than 16 chases
  • Be wary of horses older than 10 – just 2 winners since 1977

Let’s keep this short and sweet – ALTIOR – will win this! Yes, no prizes for value or originality here but with 12 straight wins over fences then…….if it ain’t broke don’t try and fix it. He’s the current champ and it will be the biggest Festival shock if he’s not taking this again.  

 


16:10 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase   3m 7f

2018 Winner: TIGER ROLL (7/1)
Trainer – Gordon Elliott
Jockey – Keith Donoghue

Pluses….

  • The Irish have won 12 of the last 14 runnings
  • Respect Enda Bolger-trained runners (won the race 5 times)
  • 17 of the last 21 winners came from the top three in the betting
  • 8 of the last 14 ran in the December Cross Country race here
  • Respect Nina Carberry, Richard Johnson and Davy Russell-ridden horses (8 from 15 between them)
  • 11 or the last 14 winners were aged 10 or younger
  • Trainer Philip Hobbs is 2 from 10 (5 placed in the top 5 too)

Negatives….

  • Debutants over these fences/course have a poor record
  • Avoid horses aged 7 or younger – they are only 2 from 97
  • Horses rated 126 or less have a very poor record
  • Trainer Willie Mullins is 0 from 12
  • Trainer Paul Nicholls is 0 from 16

Another race that we are going to keep simple – the current champion and last year’s Grand National winner – TIGER ROLL – is a stalwart here at the Festival and he warmed-up for this with a top win over hurdles last month. He’s won a race of some sort at the Festival for the past two seasons and I expect him to reward favourite backers again here. Josies Orders is a past winner of the race too (2016) but at 11 is not getting any younger, while with the Bolger yard having a good record in this race, their other runner – Auvergnat – can go well too. Course and distance winners – Urgent De Gregaine and Fact Of The Matter – are others to consider that are at least proven at the track but it’s hard to get away from last year’s hero – Tiger Roll.

 


16:50 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle   2m ½f

2018 Winner: VENEER OF CHARM (33/1)
Trainer – Gordon Elliott
Jockey – Jack Kennedy

Pluses….

  • 10 of the last 14 winners had run just 3 times over hurdles before
  • French bred horses have a good record
  • Respect Fillies
  • 7 of the last 8 winners all came from the bottom half of the weights/handicap
  • 10 of the last 14 had run in the last 25 days
  • David Pipe, Paul Nicholls, Gordon Elliot and Alan King-trained horses often do well
  • 6 of the last 7 winners returned between 25/1 and 40/1
  • Respect horses wearing headgear
  • The last 13 winners were ALL rated between 124-134
  • 8 of the last 11 winners were British-trained
  • Trainer Paul Nicholls has won 3 of the last 9 runnings

Negatives….

  • Just 1 recent winner had last raced in January or further back
  • Trainers Willie Mullins, Philip Hobbs and Venetia Williams are 0 from 29 between them
  • Willie Mullins runners are 0 from 12 (and all not placed in the top 5 either)
  • Only 3 winners had run in a handicap hurdle before
  • No winner had raced at Cheltenham before

Not a great race for the Willie Mullins yard, but a better one for Paul Nicholls, who has won three of the last 9 runnings. He could have FRIEND OR FOE engaged and he comes here on a nice-looking mark. A good winner last time out at Taunton too on just his third career run and with 10 of the last 14 winners having had exactly three runs this is positive trend. Nicholls has clearly been protecting his mark as he’s not run him so 2 ½ months now – so, if lining-up he looks a big player. Bad Of Outlaws went into many a notebook after an eye-catching win at Naas last time, but I’m not totally sure what he beat that day and looks plenty short enough in the betting, if running. Alan King has won well in the race in the past too – he could have Our Power and Cracker Factory heading to post, while others to note on the home front are Belargus and Capone. Gordon Elliott, who won this in 2013 and 2018 will certainly have a few plotted out for this too – Lethal Steps – could be one and was a 100+ rated flat performer that has had a lot more experience than most, while Chief Justice and Surin are other potential Elliott runners.

17:30 Weatherbys Champion Bumper   2m ½f

2018 Winner: RELEGATE (25/1)
Trainer – Willie Mullins
Jockey – Katie Walsh

Pluses….

  • 24 of the last 26 had won last time out
  • Respect Irish-trained runners (19 from 35)
  • 4 of the last 9 winners were won by UK-based trainers
  • 17 of the last 26 came from the top 6 in the betting
  • 20 of the last 26 were Irish-bred
  • 10 of the last 18 winners were second season horses
  • 12 of the last 13 winners were aged 5 or 6 years-old
  • 16 of the last 18 had their debut runs in Ireland
  • 11 of the last 16 had been beaten in a race before
  • 6 of the last 9 winners returned between 14/1 and 40/1
  • Respect Willie Mullins (9 winners) – also had first three in 2018, but is just 3 from last 34 runners
  • The Irish lead the British 20-7 in the race history

Negatives….

  • Avoid horses with 4 or more NH Flat runs
  • 4 year-olds are 1 from 58 since 2000
  • Gigginstown, Paul Nicholls & Nicky Henderson don’t often focus on the race

Always a tough race to call with most of these horses improving bundles between races. It’s a funny year as the Willie Mullins yard that have sent out 9 winners of this race only have the one runner this year – but it’s likely to be the favourite – Blue Sari. He won by 11 lengths on debut at Gowran Park so could be anything and the fact he’s the sole Mullins runner suggest they think a bit of him. However, with 12 of the last 13 winners aged 5 or 6 then this 4 year-old has a big age trend to overcome. Elliott won this in 2017 and in ENVOI ALLEN he’s got a big chance too. He’s won all three of his starts and with that experience edge looks a serious player – of the main two in the betting this 5 year-old gets the nod. If running, there has been a lot of positive words for the Harry Fry-trained Get In The Queue, who is meant to be a very nice prospect – we’ll have to see if he lines-up, but regardless this is a horse to have on your radar with his trainer already saying he could be one of the best he’s ever trained or looked after and don’t forget he used to be assistant to a certain Paul Nicholls.