The Racing Horse examined the information given to members prior to the 2019 Cheltenham Festival and asked the question - was it all worth it?
We always start with our Racecourse Template. Before the Festival winning favourites in non-handicaps over hurdles and chases showed 44% & 42% respectively and 25% in NHF races but returned poor figures of 16% & 17% in handicaps.
Before the 2019 Festival:
FAVOURITES NON-HANDICAP RACES (5 YEARS) HANDICAP RACES (5 YEARS) Hurdle: 52-119 for 44% (+5.26) 17-104 for 16% (-38.63) Chase: 55-131 for 42% (-7.90) 21-125 for 17% (-35.92) NHF: 7-28 for 25% (-4.00) 0-0 for - Total: 114-278 for 41% (-6.63) 38-229 for 17% (-74.54)
Results of the 2019 Festival
FAVOURITES NON-HANDICAP RACES (5 YEARS) HANDICAP RACES (5 YEARS) Hurdle: 1-8 for 12% (-5.63) 2-5 for 40% (+4.50) Chase: 4-9 for 44% (+3.11) 1-5 for 20% (+1.00) NHF: 1-1 for 100% (+2.00) 0-0 for - Total: 6-18 for 33% (-0.52) 3-10 for 30% (+5.50)
Before reviewing the results we thought there was a break-even total regarding winning favourites but no, had you backed every favourite at Cheltenham you would have banked +4.98pts profit to SP. Despite some big priced winners 9 favourites found their way into the winners enclosure at around 32%. Did our template help members? No one could have envisaged the poor return on favourites in non-handicap hurdles and it is hard to imagine those figures being repeated this year. Also those figures included the defeats of Benie Des Dieux and the ill-fated Sir Erec.
What about our top five trainers for 2017/18, did they have winners? Yes, Willie Mullins and Nicky Henderson had 4 each and Gordon Elliott had 3. So, three trainers were responsible for 11 of the 28 winners (39%). A little obvious perhaps but information that must be factored into proceedings! With regards to Gordon Elliott we thought his return was disappointing and expected him to have at least one more winner if not two, and this negatively impacted our forecasts. His 3 winners came from 45 entries at 6.67% and one of those winners was in the circus race, so clearly a fail!
We need to remind ourselves that Henderson did not have his horses spot on because of the flu injection farce so he did well to register four winners.
What about our top five jockeys for 2017/18, did they have winners? Yes, Barry Geraghty rode 2 winners (4/1 & 3/1)) but 3 second places (22/1, 7/2 & 9/2) and 2 third places (18/1 & 9/1). Davy Russell surprisingly drew a blank regarding winners. Harry Skelton had 2 bigger priced winners at 12/1 & 10/1 and Noel Fehily had a massive 50/1 winner for a Willie Mullins horse so the information was of real value!
Talking of winners we reminded members that 21 of the 28 races at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival were won by just five trainers. They were Gordon Elliott (8), Willie Mullins (7), Nicky Henderson (2), Paul Nicholls (2) and Colin Tizzard (2). Though we expressed concerns for Tizzard we thought these figures would be reflective, so how did they do in 2019?
G Elliott (3) WINNERS: 5/4, 2/1 and 4/1 2nd: 14/1, 20/1, 4/1 and 7/2 3rd: 33/1, 15/8, 9/1, 14/1 and 40/1 W Mullinns (4) WINNERS: 6/1, 5/1, 50/1 and 20/1 2nd: 20/1, 7/1, 25/1, 66/1, 28/1 and 7/2 3rd: 17/2, 4/1 and 8/1 N Henderson (4) WINNERS: 10/1, 28/1, 4/11 and 20/1 2nd: 9/2, 3/1, 3/1 and 14/1 3rd: 18/1 P Nicholls (2) WINNERS: 4/1 and 9/2 2nd: 11/1 3rd: 8/1 C Tizzard (0) 2nd: 4/1
The Racing Horse said a week before of the Festival: "We noted that 21 of the 28 races at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival were won by just 5 trainers and even if those individual numbers are down this year they will still win more than half to two-thirds of the races!"
This year those trainers only had 13 winners (46% of all the races) but between them they had 16 second places and of course Benie Des Dieux had bolted clear before falling at the last. Our prediction was sound and hope members honed onto these trainers. We also flagged up trainers not to back and all of those failed to have a winner, we also voiced the concerns regarding Colin Tizzard (just one second place) and his poor showing affected our final results board.
In conclusion, the Racecourse Template and the associated information did show us the way, not just in finding winners but who to discard, so we hope the members found it advantageous.
What about our nominations - did we help members? You decide!
Because many of the fields were big we looked at our first and second choices and the fairest way to measure. Of our first two nominations, the following won at advised or best price guaranteed: KLASSICAL DREAM 6/1, DUC DES GENIEVRES 7/1, BEWARE THE BEAR 16/1, TOPOFTHEGAME 4/1, ALTIOR 4/9, TIGER ROLL 6/4, ENVOI ALLEN 9/2, PAISLEY PARK 2/1, SIRUH DU LAC 7/1, PENTLAND HILLS 20/1 and HAZEL HILL 6/1. Prices shown were neither best prices nor exchange prices..
So, if our members just had a £10 stake on each of these selections (11 winners for 39%) they would have collected £725.00. But, we also had 17 losers leaving us with a NET PROFIT of £555.00. You have to understand Cheltenham before you can profit here and we understand Cheltenham.
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