• Gaultstats - Cheltenham 2021

    The Only Trends You'll Need


    'I can't recommend this enough.' Rory Delargy



  • The 2021 Gstats Festival Review


    What Worked


    Tuesday - Appreciate It had won 2 G1s Hurdles in Ireland including the DRF Chanelle. The only horse rated in the 150s (153) and another clear winning favourite was due. Trained by W Mullins. Odds on favourites in the Arkle are now seven from seven in the last ten years. Shiskin the highest rated at 162. Trained by N Henderson. Won last time and the right age. Vintage Clouds had been placed twice before in the Ultima, had a best RPR over 3 miles, having won over the trip. Not Irish trained and the shortest price of the only four runners to wear headgear (first time). Honeysuckle unbeaten, Irish trained, and won at last year's Festival. Black Tears also Irish trained and from the front three in the market. Since Quevega, short-priced jollies have a shocking record in the Mares G1. Jeff Kidder not ridden by a conditional, wasn't BF last time nor British Bred, no first time hood (thank you Andrew Mount), not a filly and hadn't run at Cheltenham before. See, easy. Galvin had eight previous chase runs, came from Cullentra and not Ditcheat, chase rated over 142. Placed last year in a Festival Graded chase. Jack had just ridden a winner an hour earlier.

    Wednesday - The Challow. Do they not know? Bob Olinger a G1 winner. Had won a 2m hurdle. Trained in Ireland and not by PN. Not priced over 8/1. Had won a bumper. Monkfish had won the G1 Flogas at the DRF and was the 2020 Albert Bartlett winner. Heaven Help Us was Irish trained and had won this season. Previously ran on the course. Only 7 previous hurdle runs. Not a winner of an English-graded hurdle. Last year's Arkle winner always has a very strong record in the QM. Only two previous runs this season but had won this season. The trainer had just won the Ballymore and had openly boasted about knowing his QM stats. Chacun had never ran here before. Tiger Roll was a previous winner of the race, from the front two in the market and has (very) serious Graded form. Sky Pirate was in the correct age and ratings range, hadn't won it before and wasn't ridden by a conditional. Ran at the 2020 Festival. Sir Gerhard was (allegedly) a Willie Mullins trained bumper winner. As is usual, his most fancied runner didn't win. Rachel on fire. Sir Gerhard won last time and is the first bumper winner to be sired by Jeremy. The sire stat remains healthy.

    Thursday - The Marsh Chase was due an upset, Chantry House had been third in the 2020 Supreme, won last time and was on the right rating at 151. Irish trained finished 1-2-4 in the Pertemps, Mrs Milner came from the Leopardstown Qualifier but didn't win it. Not a BF last time and not trained by PN or WM. Under 14/1. The second home came from Cullentra. Alloha 'made (practically) all', placed before at two Festivals, Irish trained. Flooring Porter won a G1 at the DRF, hadn't been beaten before in the Stayers and didn't wear any headgear. The Shunter was a novice, making his Festival debut, hadn't won a Graded chase. Not older than nine. Telmesomethinggirl had been third in the DRF Mares h'cap. In 2020 that race was won by Black Tears with Concertista in third. The latter then won this. Not older than 6 yrs. Tony Keenan once again antepost all over the winner of this race. Rachel on fire. Mount Ida came from Cullentra and not from PN or WM. A novice. Rated 137+. Best RPR within its last two chase runs. Made Colreevy look good.

    Friday - The Triumph. Have I mentioned Irish trained so far? Quilixios ran in the Leopardstown Spring Hurdle. Zanahyir hadn't been seen out since Boxing Day. Belfast Banter was a novice with serious big handicap experience, not a course winner, nor ever finished in a Festival top five. Best RPR was his previous run, no headgear and not BF last time. And no, the thought never entered my head. Tipped up by Simon Rowlands on ATR, though. Gavin Cromwell had already won the Stayers Hurdle. Vanillier had previously finished 2nd in that 2m 7f Limerick Xmas G2, was rated 144. Never raced here before but had 4 previous hurdle runs. Stattler, the fav, had no placed form over 2m 7f + ergo didn't stay. Once again PN and Cullentra didn't trouble the scorers. Henry had won the Triumph, Minella Indo was a second season 8 yr old chaser and G1 Festival winner. Not beaten in this before. Prep run was in the 3m Irish GC. Started under 10/1 and had only run in 7 chases. The only BF last time out to win during the week. 43 others tried. No third time GC winner has ever started bigger than 6/5 fav on the third win. Porlock Bay was a 10 yr old, not an ex-handicap chaser, finished in the first three last time as a first-time Hunters Chase winner, had yet to win over the trip. Colreevy was W Mullins trained and Paul Townend was very cross, having just been touched off in the Hunters' Chase. W Mullins then finished the Festival with an momentum double. Galopin Des Champs, being a Willie novice, had never before run in a handicap. Ran in the last 52 days in a DRF G1. The right age and had won a hurdle with at least 11 runners. The 33/1 top weight gets placed. Gentleman De Mee lacked the required experience.


    11 winners came from the DRF

    There, that was easy, wasn't it?


    What Didn't Work


    Tuesday - Appreciate It was too old at seven and only had three hurdle runs. Those beat in last season's bumper rarely win Supremes and the winner of the Leop Xmas G1 has never done the double. Too many short-priced jollies have recently won the Arkle (said by some clown in February Oddcrackers podcast Number 51) and the Doncaster Lightning winner has a shocking record. Vintage Clouds was 11 yrs old ffs, hardly a novice or a second season chaser, stuffed in this last season. Not 1st or 2nd anywhere this season. Too many recent favs have also won the Champion Hurdle but a short-priced Willie one was definitely due in the G1 Mares. Black Tears had also never been placed in an open G2 (only a G3). Jeff Kidder, where will I start? Noel Meade and Sean Flanagan? Second lowest flat rating in the field having won a Bellewstown handicap, hadn't been seen since Boxing Day. The letter A didn't even help. Can't find anything wrong with Galvin's stats. Didn't even start fav, for goodness sake.

    Wednesday - Bob Olinger was rock solid, even the bumper stat. Monkfish likewise, even though he didn't run as if he knew it and fours on is a ridiculous price in a G1 3m Novice Chase. Heaven Help Us was a course winner and they don't win Coral Cups unless trained by N Henderson. That's gospel. Neither do conditional jockeys, even Irish ones. Eighth run this season, wearing cheekpieces? No, no, no. The Kettle was Irish trained and a mare. Not seen since Dec 27th. Didn't finish 1st, 2nd, F or U last time. Sure hadn't Chacun stuffed her at Leopardstown? Tiger Roll, come on now, the horse is gone at the game, he's 11 yrs old. On Facebook a small Belfast bookie went 6/4 Tiger to be placed. Filled in. How arrogant were the O'Learys not to have left him in the GN until at least after this? Would have strolled it IMO. Sky Pirate hadn't won one handicap chase this season, he'd won two and you don't win Grand Annuals after that. Ask Paul Kealy. Had also previously won over 2m 7f and horses with that profile never... Sir Gerhard had only won to Listed level and sure, wasn't he 7lbs behind Kilcruit in those much-vaunted BHA Ratings.

    Thursday - Chantry House was solid on the stats but that wouldn't count. Envoi just had to jump round. Mrs Milner far too many more than the maximum nine hurdle runs (one more, at 10). Alloha wasn't a previous G1 winner. Only twice placed in Festival G1s. Flooring Porter had never raced at Cheltenham before and too many runs this season (5 against 4). 9/4 fav wins Plate? Staap now. Followed by the 3/1 fav winning the Kim Muir. Get real, please. Especially with Mount Ida having already won this season. Doesn't happen. In between those two races none of Willie Mulllins' four novice mares are able to finish in the first five in one of 'his' races. In fact, all four finished behind Skyace, a horse bought out of Closutton for £600. Well done, Shark Hanlon.

    Friday - Quilixios was solid on the stats. As was Tritonic apart from the difficulty of making an argument that week in support of any young GB trained hurdler. Horses rated 129 do not win County Hurdles and sure aren't they all plots, hidden away since Jan 1st by either Willie or Dan. Vanillier was a FRE Bred ffs and wasn't 1st or 2nd last time. Didn't start his hurdling career over 2 miles so obviously would be too slow for this. Minella Indo, aah, Minella Indo. A BF last time out who didn't even finish in the first two at Leopardstown. Good grief. Only rated 164, not ridden by the stable jockey and not even a G1 Chase winner. How could you back that to win a Gold Cup? Jane Mangan was 'all over Porlock Bay' said Tom Segal on that excellent RP In The Know nightly roundup. Jane's a lovely girl but isn't she a shocking tipster and the Irish are winning everything? In the Willie Mullins Mares Chase, it was time for one of his short-priced good things to go in. But no. Appreciate It and Monkfish were winning shorties for Willie but not Concertista, Chacun Pour Soi, Kilcruit, Al Boum, Billaway and Elimay. Saddled the final five favourites on Gold Cup Day 2021. None won. In the Martin Pipe, Willie hadn't won it since Gigginstown left Closutton and Galopin was not in the first three last time. (I worked hard at the Martin Pipe and after all stats were applied, was left with only one possible winner. Frontal Assault. Proves the theory that if only one is left in a handicap, then place lay.)


    Sure, how could you have backed any of them?



    Simon Rowlands




    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

    Using Gaultstats

    '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 bgault01@gmail.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 ash@coppersquareni.com 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,



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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.