Cheltenham Festival Clues

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The Racing Horse offer more key trends – use these stats to help find the best past winning profiles and clues for these races AND for the Festival in March. These trends must point you in the direction of a few winners, if not then at least help narrow down some of the field to highlight the horses that fit the best profile of past winners. 

12.40 Cheltenham: JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial (Grade 2) 2m1f

12/14: Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
11/14: Winners ran in that season’s Triumph Hurdle at the Festival
11/14: Had raced within the last 7 weeks
11/14: Placed favourites
10/14: Came from the top 3 in the betting
..9/14: Winning distance – 2 ¼ lengths or less
..9/14: Had previously won at least once over hurdles in the UK
..8/14: Returned 2/1 or shorter in the market
..8/14: Won last time out
..7/14: French bred (including last 5 winners)
..7/14: Winning favourites (1 joint)
..7/14: Placed Triumph Hurdle (3 winners, Defi Du Seuil, Peace & Co, Katchit)
..4/14: Trained by Alan King
..4/14: Priced 25/1, 50/1 or 100/1
..4/14: Had previously raced at Cheltenham

Nicky Henderson runs the hot favourite Apple's Shakira and this looks like a penalty kick and the placepot banker. After the filly's win in December at Cheltenham on soft ground he told us: "A little bit more cover would probably help. Apple's Shakira was a little bit keener today and she's woken up quite a bit at home since her first run. There wasn't a lot of pace and there wasn't a lot of cover, but she's enjoyed herself and I like the way she came away. She jumped very well. She's very slick. I think you have to like everything she's done. She's going the right way but there's long way to go and it's a long time until March. I'll certainly want to run her again. She's only had three races in her whole life. I'd like to see her in a bigger field where you could put her to sleep a little more and let her do some racing. You aren't learning a huge amount doing that and come March it will be more competitive. 

In 2017 Defi Du Seuil won this race for trainer Philip Hobbs as the short priced 1/5 favourite and we see a similar type result this year.

SELECTIONS 1st: Apple's Shakira  2nd: Look My Way  3rd: Elixir De Nutz


1.15 Cheltenham: Timeform Novices' Handicap Chase (Class 2) 2m5f

14/14: Aged 8yo or younger
13/14: Winners ran that season’s Festival (1 winner, La Landiere Cathcart 2003)
13/14: Won between 0-2 races over fences in the UK previously
12/14: Raced within the last 6 weeks
11/14: Finished either 1st or 2nd last time out
11/14:  Had won over at least 2m4f (fences) in the UK previously
10/14: Priced 13/2 or shorter
10/14: Rated 128 or higher
..9/14: Came from the top 3 in the betting
..9/14: Winning distance – 5 lengths or more
..8/14: Irish bred
..7/14: Carried 11st 2lbs or more
..6/14: Won last time out
..5/14: French bred
..5/14: Ran at Kempton last time out
..3/14: Ran at Cheltenham last time out
..3/14: Trained by Venetia Williams
..3/14: Won with 11st 12lbs in weight
..2/14: Ridden by Richard Johnson
..1/14: Winning favourites

In 2017 the winner was Royal Vacation for Colin Tizzard at 12/1. This 7-horse race has no real each-way angle and it might make sense to bet two in the race and those 8yo or younger.

Since sorting out his jumping, Sizing Tennessee has shown himself to be a useful novice. He finished 11 lengths ahead of Ballyandy in a Grade 2 here at the start of the month and is a pound better off but Nigel Twiston-Davies’ 7yo only weakened at the last on his return from a lay-off and can reverse the placings. He has a cracking record here and was a high-class hurdler last season.

SELECTIONS 1st: Ballyandy  2nd: Theatre Territory  3rd: Full Irish


1.50 Cheltenham: Festival Trials Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m5f

13/14: Had won over at least 2m5f (fences) previously
12/14: Priced 9/1 or shorter
13/14: Had won between 1-4 times over fences previously
12/14: Placed in the top 4 last time out
12/14: Rated 130 or higher
11/14: Aged 8yo or older
11/14: Ran within the last 6 weeks
10/14: Had run over fences at Cheltenham before (6 won)
10/14: Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
..9/14: Aged 8 or 9yo
..9/14: Winners ran at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
..8/14: Came from the top 3 in the betting
..8/14: Carried 10st 7lbs or less
..5/14: Ran at Cheltenham last time out
..5/14: Won last time out
..4/14: Ran at Newbury last time out
..3/14: Winning favourites
..3/14: Won by a previous winner of the race
..2/14:  Won by the Pipe stable

The 2017 winner was Foxtail Hill for Nigel Twiston-Davies at 12/1. This race looks tricky but we are going with the statistics and looking for a horse older than 8yo and carrying less than 11st.

SELECTIONS 1st: King's Odyssey  2nd: Bally Longford  3rd: Potters Legend


2.25 Cheltenham: Cotswold Chase (Grade 2) 3m1f110y

14/14: Officially rated 151 or higher
13/14: Raced in the last 8 weeks
13/14: Ran at Cheltenham over fences before (8 had won)
13/14: Ran over at least 3m before (fences)
12/14: Won between 2-6 times over fences
10/14: Ran at either Wetherby (3), Cheltenham (3) or Kempton (4) last time
10/14: Raced in season’s Gold Cup (no winners, all placed 8th or better)
10/14: Aged 9 or 10yo
..9/14: Priced 6/1 or less
..8/14: Winning distance – 6 lengths or more
..8/14: Placed favourites
..7/14: Unplaced last time out
..6/14: Won by an Irish-bred horse
..5/14: Winners from outside the top 3 in the market
..5/14: Won by a French-bred horse
..5/14: Won last time out
..2/14: Won by the Paul Nicholls yard (4 wins in total)
..2/14: Won by the Oliver Sherwood yard
..1/14: Went onto win the Grand National (Many Clouds, 2015)
..0/14: Favourites

The 2017 winner of this race was the great Many Clouds for Oliver Sherwood at 8/1. It is hard to oppose Bristol De Mai on these terms even though American is one of our 5 to follow from the Harry Fry stable. On the Betting School Forum we have backed both horses to 1/2pt win but if forced to make a selection predictably go for the favourite.

The one thing to note about this race is that fancied horses have an absolutely dreadful record. Stretching back to 2006, the last 23 horses that started under 4/1 have ALL BEAN BEATEN, Will Bristol De Mai buck the trend?  

SELECTIONS 1st: Bristol De Mai  2nd: American  3rd: Definitly Red


3.00 Cheltenham: Ballymore Classic Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m4f110y

12/12: Placed 1st or 2nd in their last race
11/12: Ran within the last 7 weeks
11/12: Favourites placed
10/12: Won between 1-3 times over hurdles previously
10/12: Winners raced at season’s Cheltenham Festival (3 winners)
..9/12: Won over at least 2m4f (hurdles) previously
..9/12: Winning distance – 2 ½ lengths or more
..9/12: Winners from the top 3 in the market
..9/12: Won their latest race
..9/12: Won by a horse aged 6yo
..8/12: Raced at Cheltenham previously
..8/12: Priced 7/2 or less
..5/12: Favourites that won
..4/12: Raced at Cheltenham last time out
..3/12: Raced at Newbury last time out
..3/12: Won by the Alan King stable
..3/12: Winners that went onto win at that season’s Cheltenham Festival
..3/12: Ridden by Barry Geraghty
..2/12: Won by the Nicky Henderson stable

2017 winner was Wholestone for Nigel Twiston-Davies as the 11/4 favourite. This year trainer Nicky Henderson confuses us running two fancied runners in the race, he says of Santini and Pacafic De Baune: "I like them both. They are two really nice young horses that are going the right way. It's quite a big step up for both of them. They won their maidens at Newbury quite nicely. We are jumping them up in one go quite quickly but they know their job pretty well. I wouldn't split them."

SELECTIONS 1st: Santini  2nd: Tikkanbar  3rd: Black OP


3.35 Cheltenham: Cleeve Hurdle (Grade 2) 3m

12/13 – Won by a horse aged 9yo or younger
12/13 – Ran within the last 8 weeks
12/13 – Won at least 3 times over hurdles previously
11/13 – Went to run in that season’s Ladbrokes World Hurdle (4 won)
11/13 – Raced at Cheltenham (hurdles) previously
10/13 – Officially rated 155 or higher
10/13 – Winners went onto finish in the top 4 in that season’s Ladbrokes World Hurdle
8/13 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or more
8/13 – Finished either 1st or 2nd in their last race
8/13 – Favourites placed
8/13 – Winners from the top 3 in the market
7/13 – Won their latest race
6/13 – Favourites that won
5/13 – Won by a French-bred horse
3/13 – Won by the Paul Nicholls stable
2/13 – Ridden by Ruby Walsh

The 2017 winner was the Harry Fry trained Unowhatimeanharry at 10/11 favourite

Finian's Oscar reverts back to hurdles but a few recent winners have done just that. Stamina may be more of an issue while adjusted Racing Post Ratings suggest he doesn't have anything in hand of his rivals. Wholestone is more convincing from a trends perspective. His latest Grade 2 success here over 2m4f represented a career best but he has also won over today's trip and was third in last year's Albert Bartlett. The World's End was still going well when coming down two out in that contest. He falls down on a couple of points but he looks a big danger. Beer Goggles would be a hugely popular winner but his lack of course form may hold him back.

SELECTIONS 1st: Wholestone  2nd: The Worlds End  3rd: Finian's Oscar


4.10 Cheltenham: Steel Plate And Sections Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) 2m1f 

13/13: Rated 121 or higher
12/13: Had raced within the last 9 weeks
12/13: Priced 8/1 or shorter
11/13: Had won between 1-3 times over hurdles in the UK before
10/13: Had raced at Cheltenham before
10/13: From the top 3 in the betting
..9/13: Winners ran at season’s Cheltenham Festival (1 winner La Fontana)
..7/13: Irish bred
..7/13: Placed 1st or 2nd last time out
..7/13: Winning distance – 1 ¼ or less
..7/13: P
laced favourites
..4/13: French bred
..4/13: Won last time out
..3/13: Winning favourites
..2/13: Trained by Paul Nicholls
..2/13: Ridden by Paddy Brennan
..2/13: Ridden by Tom Scudamore

The 2017 winner was William H Boney for Alan King at 5/1

Le Patriote is a dual 2m2f winner on heavy ground in France. His stamina looked a potential issue on British debut in a useful 2m5f handicap at Kempton two weeks ago and, having travelled strongly up front before two out, he ended up in seventh, very much one to note back down in trip.

SELECTIONS  1st: Le Patriote  2nd: Zaidiyn  3rd: Our Merlin


  Today's Pacafi: click here

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