The 2021 Gstats Festival Review
Sure, how could you have backed any of them?
Feb 9th - Yet to hear my dulcet NI tones? Warm thanx to Jon Babb and Sam Turner for letting me natter on about clerking, Gstats. Lovely guys.
'A shining galaxy of race by race stats..each hand-tooled..packed with more nuggets than a KFC warehouse in a chicken glut.' - surfnturfRP
'Lots of interesting stuff on Gaultstats... certainly things I didn't know.' Matt Tombs.
'Superb stuff.' - Kevin Morley, Racing Post Trends
'If (we) could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us.' - Samuel Taylor Coleridge
'This doesn't happen to people like us.' Maxine O'Sullivan after romping home on It Came To Pass in last year's Hunters' Chase. 'I wish I had the words,' Rachel Blackmore, after Minella Indo's 2019 win in the Albert Bartlett. 'One winner at Cheltenham is what it's all about', Kim Bailey 17th Feb 2021. 'There's no place like this on earth', Ruby Walsh, frequently. National Hunt owners, trainers and jockeys dream about winning at this Festival. Being involved with a winner ensures an entry into the National Hunt Role of Honour even if the race concerned may 'only' be the quirky Cross Country Chase. Michael O'Leary 'It's a phenomenal destination. To walk back into the winner's enclosure at Cheltenham is as close as fat, old, middle-aged men get to playing in the Premier League. The experience of the four days there is unbelievable.' The higher the grade of race, the more likely that horses will repeat or improve on their last run. No higher grade than here. And since all are doing their damnest to win, trends can emerge of those most likely (or not) to succeed.
I first attended this fantastic event in 1985 and have been collecting stuff about it ever since. I love it. It is just marvellous. Nothing better than sitting outside the See You Then Bar in the March sun with an early beverage overlooking that gorgeous parade ring. Hope we are all spared to return.
On this home page the top-line links will take you to each race day and race. On each race page there are Headline stats for that race. Then a Summary of the possible profile of the winner, concentrating on trends that are correct to 90%+ over the last few Festivals. Below that, an Honours Board covering the results from the last decade. The rest of each page will comprise the Evidence to back up the summary. I may suggest something that is overdue or an 'overripe' stat that might be due to fall. For example, if an Arkle odds on favourite hasn't been beaten since 1993, or perhaps a favourite hasn't won a certain race for years. It will happen, sometime. In 2021 it might be that Nigel and/or Sam Twiston Davies are, by God, due to come off the Festival cold list. Or, jeez, Fergal O'Brien must win one.
After doing this for 35 plus years, I find myself left with only two rules about Cheltenham Stats. They are The beauty of any Cheltenham stat lies solely in the eye of the beholder and All Cheltenham Stats die. It is only a matter of when. The former means that you decide what's relevant. Paul Jones, a Festival Trends master, argues that 'trends are just another word for facts and data and we don't dismiss those.' My rule is that if it has happened ten Festivals in a row, you might decide that it's not going to happen this time. Fine. Despite protests from friends I have yet to find a defining rule book on interpreting Cheltenham Festival Trends. It's your money and I won't get offended. I spent most of the Nineties at the Festival losing money as I would regularly and smugly proclaim, 'that can't win because.....' No longer do I utter those words.
Festival Big Beast Trends get shot down most years. Be prepared for that. In 2020 Al Boum Photo won back to back Gold Cups. First since Best Mate. Saint Roi became the first since Thumbs Up in 1993 to win a County Hurdle on a first-ever handicap run. I'll miss that stat. In 2019 Espoir D'Allen, an unconsidered five-year-old, strolled home in the Champion Hurdle. The year before, Delta Work a French-bred five-year-old novice won the Pertemps Final. First French Bred since '94, first five year old since Pragada in '88. Would nearly drive you to more than one beverage. We'll not go on. But as one disappears, other rock-solid stats will take their place. Check out the Gold Cup page.
Horses identified in italics are being aimed to contest the race about which you are reading. As the countdown continues effort will be made to update races with confirmed runners and how they might fit in.
The General Trends page covers lots of information and musings that don't really refer to any specific race. This includes jockeys, trainers, how W Mullins is no respecter of Cheltenham stats, stats on Pricewise, preview nights, course winners, Gault's Momentum Theory, Fate of the Favourites et al. Click on the links and share the concerns of family and friends as to how I spend six weeks at the start of every year. The jockeys page might tell you things you don't know. There's a quiz and other stuff, including a stats review of the 2020 and 2019 Festivals. The 'Which Bookmaker?' page seems to cause the odd annoyance to Twitter bookmaker representatives but you won't get the same anywhere that needs bookmaker sponsorship to survive.
It's my site, and my conscious decision not to have ads.
By 11 am on each Festival day all my selections for each race will be at the top of this page. These will be my view of those with the best chances/value as identified by my interpretation of GaultStats. I don't tend to tip too many shorties so, please, feel free to disagree.
Feedback positive or constructive welcomed at twitter @gaultstats or email email@example.com. Reasonable theories will be researched. As I am old fashioned, I don't count Punchestown as being 'this season.' A big thank you to Ashleigh Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org for her continued work, without which, this wouldn't be here.
Good luck. I hope this tool brings you success, and please don't forget to give,
Wealth Warning. Any decisions made (or not) or the basis of any information in this site are the sole responsibility of the reader. There is no obligation on me to follow my own advice. I take no responsibility for (but am keen to hear of) any factual errors. (Bgault01@gmail.com, @gaultstats). Previous years ‘stats on stats’ would suggest we may identify a decent priced winner from manageable groups every three or four races. It is believed that Savello (2014 Grand Annual) took from Golden Chieftain (2013 3m hcap chase) the record for breaking the most stats in a race. Stands now at 8. Cole Harden equalised with 8 in the 2015 World Hurdle. Remember, after you have cursed/laughed at me and given up totally on trends, they will come back to bite. Always happens. Usually on Gold Cup Day. Beware GO SEA - Groundless Optimism Syndrome Encouraged by Alcohol. A Cotswold condition very common at this time of year.