Year||| Form||| Winner||| Age||| Weight||| OR||| SP||| Trainer||| Jockey||| Last race (No of days)
2020 |||494||| Sire du Berlais |||8||| 11-12 |||152||| 10/1 |||G Elliott(IRE)||| B Geraghty |||4th Warwick Qual (61)
2019||| 86 |||Sire du Berlais |||7 |||11-9 |||145 |||4/1F |||G Elliott(IRE)||| B Geraghty ||| 6th Leop Qual. (76)
2018 |||33243||| Delta Work||| 5||| 10-10 |||139||| 6/1 |||G Elliott(IRE)||| D Russell |||3rd Punch'twn Qual (23)
2017||| 11541 |||Presenting Percy |||6 |||11-11 |||146 |||11/1||| P Kelly(IRE) |||D Russell |||1st F'house H'cap Hdle (19)
2016 |||21433 |||Mall Dini |||6 |||10-11||| 139 |||14/1 |||P Kelly(IRE) |||D Russell |||3rd F'house h'cap hdle (26)
2015 |||41||| Call The Cops |||6 |||10-12 (5ex) |||133 |||9/1 |||N Henderson |||A Tinkler |||1st Donc H'cap Hdle (12)
2014 |||1||| Fingal Bay||| 8 |||11-12 |||148 |||9/2F |||P Hobbs |||R Johnson |||1st Exeter Qual. (32)
2013 |||2222||| Holywell ||| 6 |||11-4 |||140||| 25/1||| JJ O'Neill||| R McClernon |||2nd Warwick Qual. (61)
2012||| 5P504 |||Cape Tribulation |||8 |||10-11||| 142 |||14/1 |||M Jefferson||| D O'Regan |||4th Hayd. Qual. (26)
2011||| 28700||| Buena Vista||| 10 |||10-3||| 138||| 20/1||| D Pipe||| Conor O'Farrell (5)||| 15th Kemp. Lanzarote Hdle (61)
QUALIFIERS - Pertemps are good enough to sponsor qualifiers for this throughout the season on 16 different courses (Market Rasen has joined since 2019), 14 in the UK plus Leopardstown and Punchestown. The December qualifier at Wincanton is over 2m 5f, the only one not over 3 miles. You have to finish in the top six to qualify and then be a high enough handicap mark to get in. That is usually about 135. Last year the bottom weight got in off 131 and finished last.
Rating needed to get a run from 2020 back to 2013 - 131, 134, 135, 137, 135,135,135,135.
Last year Sire Du Berlais could only finish 9th in the Xmas Leopardstown Qualifier so G Elliott had to take him to Warwick where he achieved a qualifying 4th place. (Holywell 2013 also came from Warwick when 2nd) The coveted 6th place in the Leopardstown Qualifier had once again gone to Davy Russell but this time he was on The Storyteller, jtfav and 2nd here to the back to back Festival winner. In third at Cheltenham was the Noel Meade trained Tout Est Permis who had finished two places in front of The Storyteller in December at Leopardstown. In second at Leopardstown was Ronald Pump who then ran 2nd in the Stayers.
In 2019 Davy Russell had steered Sire Du Berlais to a beautiful 'never threatening' 6th in the Christmas Leopardstown Qualifier. Only raised from 142 to 145 for the 2019 Cheltenham. Whether it was the first time blinkers last year as opposed to the first time blinkers in 2019, Barry Geraghty never had a moment's bother with him in the 2020 Final. Said a 'different horse.' How are we meant to know? Two years ago Ian Bartlett finished his course commentary with 'and Barry Geraghty has carried this home.' Agreed. Barry had just opened his 2019 Festival account on Defi Du Seuil in the JLT. Obviously bouncing but was 'getting after' Sire Du Berlais throughout the last mile here. And he practically lifted him over the line. Ride of the 2019 Festival, in my opinion.
WIN A QUALIFIER? - Fingal Bay 2014 and Ballyfitz 2008 are the only winners in the last 23 to win this after actually winning a Pertemps Qualifier. In both cases the final was their next run and within 35 days of their Qualifier win.
I counted four winners of Qualifiers that ran in the 2020 final, best in 4th was Third Wind who had won the 2m 5f Wincanton qualifier on Boxing Day. 8 qualifier winners turned up for the 2019 final, best placed was Not Many Left in 3rd, who had won the Huntingdon qualifier for Jessica Harrington. In 2018 seven of the qualifier winners made it into the Festival Final. The wonderfully named Taj Badalandabad the best of the seven in 4th. The 1-2-3 that year all had finished third in the Punchestown, Leopardstown and Musselburgh qualifiers respectively.
In 2017 none of the qualifier winners turned up in the final. Presenting Percy had previously jogged around in fifth in the Christmas Leopardstown Qualifier. 4 of the last 5 Pertemps Final winners contested the Leopardstown qualifier, (albeit last season Sire Du Berlais didn't qualify here), finishing 4469. The 6 qualifiers this December were: Dandy Mag, The Bosses Oscar, Unexpected Depth, Mrs Milner, Anything Will Do, Morosini. In 2017 both placed horses Barney Dwan (Exeter) and Jury Duty (Chepstow) had made it to the Final through one of the last three qualifiers. In 2016, the first four home all finished in the first three of a qualifier. Mall Dini, 3rd at Leopardstown, Arpege D'Alene won at Chepstow, If In Doubt won at Wincanton, Tagliatelle 3rd at Musselburgh.
Qualifier winners this season are (entered in bold) - Honest Vic, Unowhatimeanharry, Storm Goddess, Dell' Arca, Teescomponent Lad, Portrush Ted, Jacamar, Dandy Mag, Captain Zebo, Imperial Alcazar, Bushpark, Brinkley
Punchestown, Haydock, Exeter and Chepstow are the qualifiers covered by the 35 days stat.
The Irish plots that may get in -
AGE - It's over for Pragada, the 1988 winner. One of the Cheltenham Stats big beasts brought to its knees when Delta Work 2018 became the first five year old to win this in 31 yrs and only the second its 44 year history. Like Pragada, Delta Work was a novice but unlike Pragada, he had not won his previous 3 races. The Josh Gifford trained Pragada started at 16s and won by 12 lengths. Bless him. Delta Work, the only novice to run in 2018. Both Presenting Percy and Mall Dini were novices. Two unplaced last year, two in 2019, Cuneo best 4th. One other in 2016 finished 12th. Before that Son Amix (2nd in 2011) was only the 8th to have been placed, 5 of which were Pipe trained.
Five 8 yr olds, one 9 yr old and one 10 yr old have won in the last 14 from small numbers. 5 winners aged 9 or over this century.
All bar Sire du Berlais of the last six winners aged seven or less.
Since ’91, The Tourad Man 4th 2017, Pineau De Re 3rd 2014 both at 11yrs only the 7th and 6th horses aged 10 or above to be placed. Buena Vista won as a 10 yr old in 2011. Last double figure aged before him was Willie Wumpkins aged 13 in 1981. Both won this more than once. Berties Dream 33s 5th 2013 when aged 10. Nothing older than an 8 yr old ran in 2016. 2018 Mine Now was the oldest runner at 10, and unplaced. Last year Tobefair 2nd 40s as a nine yr old, only Abolitionist 11yrs PU.
WEIGHT - Only Buena Vista (10st 3lb and 10st 1lb), Creon ‘04 and Generosa ’99 in past 25 runnings carried 10st 5lbs or less after jockeys allowances. Creon first winner out of the handicap in 28 years and may be the last for a long time. 15 from last 21 carried no more than 11st 2lb. But five of last eight carried at least 11st 4 lbs. Sire De Berlais, 11st 12lbs, 11st 9lbs. , Presenting Percy jogged around under 11st 11lb. A lot of crying done in 2017 by connections about his handicap mark, seems a long time ago now. Bottom weight last year 10st 5lb plus a 7lb claimer. In 2109 it was 10st 12lb all placed in that carried at least 11st. 2018 it was 10st 6 lbs. Bottom weight in 2017 was only 11st 2lb so it wasn't like Percy was giving lumps away. The 11st 2 lb 'barrier' broken by Holywell 11st 4 in 2015 and Fingal Bay 11st 12lb in 2014. Bottom weight in those two years was 10st 13lbs and all placed horses in 2013 and 2014 carried over 11st. In 2016 bottom weight 10st 7. Placed horses all carried at least 11st 4 lbs. In 2019 ll place 11st plus. Last year Tout est Permis carried 10st 3lb minus E Walsh's 7lbs in third. The other three placed horses all over 11st. As with all Festival handicaps, it is usually harder to get a run.
FORM - Only 14 from last 23, 1st, 2nd or 3rd in last completed start. All bar Sire De Berlais (twice) of the last eight finished in the first three last time. 13 from last 25 did win last time out from about 20% of total runners. Usually a field of 24. Only three last time winners in 2020, best 4th. Of the 18 renewals this century that had had at least one last time out winner, 7 were won by last time out winners. (Hope that one makes sense). Five last time out winners 2019, best Not Many Yet. Only three last time out winners in 2018. None of them finished in the first 10. 8 qualifiers in 2017, Percy, the winner, the only one placed. 2016, 6 qualifiers including 2nd and 3rd. 7 qualifiers in 2015 including 1st and 2nd. 6 qualifiers in each of the previous two years, Fingal Bay winning in 2014, Shutthefrontdoor best in 4th 2013. In 2011, 3 from 23 best the great Knockara Beau in 4th. I'm told that if you had backed all last time out winners this century to win, you'd be in front. Hmmm. Not sure by how much.
FESTIVAL FORM - This would have been handy last year. Sire De Berlais joined Buena Vista to be the only horses this century to have won this having been placed at a previous Festival. He was 4th in the Martin Pipe, Buena had been 2nd in this 2009 to Kayf Aramis
COURSE WINNERS - Sire du Berlais, Fingal Bay and Buena Vista are the only first previous Course winner to win this since at least 1991. Obviously two of those had won this before. Last year 8 Course winners showed up. They finished 1-2-5. In 2019 5 course winners in the field, first home was First Assignment in 9th. 2018 had three course winners, all unplaced. In 2017, 7 of the 24 strong field were course winners. Best placing achieved was 8th. 2016 two course winners ran including unplaced 11/2 fav Leave At Dawn. In 2015 five course winners lined up, Unique De Cotte best in 2nd. Apart from Fingal, four other course winners in 2014 including Southfield Theatre beaten a nose (with Whisper winning the Coral Cup it was not a good year for this theory). Nine course winners 2013, best Captain Sunshine 2nd.
10 from last 15 had won at least at Class 2 level (not Sire De Berlais first time, had never won a race in UK or Ire, not Delta Work, only a maiden hurdle winner but placed in two Graded novices, not Holywell, best before was 2nd in G3 handicap Haydock in November). Davy Russell did his best not to win a 15k Fairyhouse hurdle on Percy by too far. Fun to watch again, I tell you, he's good at that. Mall Dini only a winner of a £7k Thurles maiden hurdle. Placed in a Cl2. Call the Cops won Cl2 at Doncaster
18 from last 21 between 6 and 15 hurdle runs (Sire second time 12 in UK and Ire. Sire, first time 7 in UK and ire, Delta Work 7 runs, Percy 6 runs, Mall Dini 7 runs. Buena Vista - 21 in 2010, 29 in 2011). Better is that 11 of the last 14 between 6 and 10 total runs over hurdles. Plus two back to back winners.
Front runners. Used to be never placed. But in the last eight years Berties Dream, Ballyfitz, Kayf Aramis, Buena Vista (twice) and some of the placed horses were kept prominent. As this race is now run on the New Course where they only jump 2 hurdles in the last mile, maybe less chance of making up ground? However front runners swallowed up in 2014 and again in the last five years. Connetable, 3rd in 2018, was up with the pace. In 2015 both 1st and 2nd home were up with the pace.
All bar Delta Work of the seven Irish winners in the last 15 ran in the Leopardstown Qualifier. Mall Dini was the only one of those seven to get placed there. Mall Dini ran off 129 at Leopardstown, put up to 139 at Cheltenham. Needed to be 135 to get a run that year. 2015 Zabana also finished third in this qualifier off 130 before being touched off by Aux Ptit Soins in the Coral Cup. His rating that day was 144. Percy in 5th was rated 129 at Leopardstown, ran off 146 at Cheltenham.
Irish trained have won 10 of last 26 from a small proportion of runners. But, more importantly, have won the last five. A third of the 24 strong field last year were Irish trained, finishing 1-2-3-5. The Storyteller and Relegate in 5th were the 11/2 jtfavs (the latter a fine Festival return for CA Murphy). Six ran in 2019 finishing 1-3-4-5. Five in 2018, 1-2 for Gordon Elliott (who incidentally on Preview Nights, was all over Glenloe against Delta Work). Five ran in 2017, 1st and 3rd home. There have also been five Irish trained runners up in the last ten races. Seven ran in 2016, 1st and 4th. Only Edeymi at 8s ran 2015, unplaced. 3 in 2014, best Jetson in 5th warming up for Quevega at Punchestown. 2013, 5 ran best again Jetson 'never nearer' third. 6 ran 2012, Catch Me 2nd. 6 in 2011 best Son Amix 2nd, Sivota 3rd. 8 in 2010, best Prince Erik in 2nd). Well on top.
4 of the last 5 Pertemps Final winners contested the Leopardstown qualifier, (albeit last season Sire Du Berlais didn't qualify here,) finishing 4469. The 6 qualifiers tis season were: Dandy Mag The Bosses Oscar Unexpected Depth Mrs Milner Anything Will Do Morosini.
GORDON ELLIOTT - In the last five he has run nine horses. They all finished in the first five. 1-2 last year and in 2018.
Willie Mullins and Paul Nicholls have never won this. Willie no runners last three years. Paul Nicholls has run 18 in this, six placed, including Connetable 3rd 2018 at 33s. None last year.
TRIP - Only 21 of last 29 had previously won over a minimum of 3 miles (Ok, Fingal Bay only 2m 7.5f at Exeter. Only Sire (second time, obviously of the last five Irish trained. Holywell hadn't won over 3m. Percy won that 2m 4f h'cap, Mall Dini had won a 2m 6f maiden. Holywell had been close 2nd in the Warwick Qualifier and was fitted here with first time blinkers. Not Buena in 2010 but 2nd in this in '09). 11 from last 14 winning form over 2m4f to 2m 6f. Not Sire nor Delta Work, had only won a two mile maiden. Fingal Bay had won the Challow three seasons before in 2011.
JP McManus has owned 5 winners two of which were priced 50/1. Does run a few. Sire De Berlais returned 10/1 and 4/1 fav. 4 other JP owned unplaced last year. Sire Du Berlais has been the shortest priced JP horses in his both wins, Aspen Colorado unpl in 2019, Glenloe fav 2nd in 2018 from four (poor jump at the last for Barry may have cost him though he got his 'revenge' on Davy last year). Only For Good Measure in 2017, 9th. 6 in 2016, first home was If In Doubt 10s in 3rd. Leave At Dawn was the 11/2f that year unpld.
BREEDING - Another stat kicked in the head. Sire De Berlais joins Delta Work to became the first French Breds to win this since Tindari 1994. 88 other French breds have tried since. Four others last year Tout Est Permis 3rd as well. Five others in 2019, Cuneo 4th as well. Nicholls trained Arpege D'Alene close 2nd in 2016. An obsolete stat.
RATINGS - Fingal on 148 broke the glass ceiling. Previous 12 rated between 120 to 142. Now Sire on 152 and 145, Delta 139, Percy 146, Mall Dini 139, Call the Cops off 138. As stated, since it now takes you to be 135 to get in, it's not surprising that before last year the previous eight winners rated from 138 to 148. In 2020 only 131 needed to get a run in the Final but that was unusually low - the previous 7 renewals had needed 135-137. First 3 home at Leopardstown should have no trouble getting a run but Mrs Milner (129) Anything Will Do (133) will probably need to go up a bit (6th Morosini - 137)
19 of the last 30 had not run in the previous 30 days. Sire last year 62, previous 76 (first one this century not to have run in the calendar year), but Delta 22 days, Percy 19 days, Mall Dini 26 days since last run, Call The Cops won 12 days before this and was winning under a 5lb penalty. So much for improving novices?
BLINKERS ETC - 10 headgear wearers last year resulting in a 1-3, Sire Du Berlais in first time blinkers. Eight headgear wearers last year resulting in a 1-3, Sire Du Berlais in first time cheekpieces. 10 Headgear wearers in 2018 finishing 1st, 3rd and 4th. All those three had worn their headgear before. In 2017 three headgear wearers, all finished down the field. 7 headgear wearers in 2016 including 2 first timers, Tagliatelle 4th in blinkers always worn. 7 Headgear wearers in 2015 including 3 first timers, best Henryville in 4th in a hood he always wore. 2013 Holywell won in first time blinkers (7 others tried 2013). Before that, Buena Vista, in 2010 was first blinkered runner to win in 14 races from 66 triers (2010 also Chamirey 3rd. '09 5 qualifiers Bueno Vista 2nd, Pennek 3rd). Buena also wore blinkers to victory 2011.
PRICE - Sire Du Berlais returned at 10/1 and 4/1 fav, nothing in the last seven above 14/1. Before 2014 Fingal 9/2 fav the previous 10 winners average price over 25/1. Inching Closer 2003 at 9/2 the only other favourite to win since '98. Delta Work 5/1 second fav to Glenloe, Percy 11s, Mall Dini at 14s. Three winning favourites this century.
In the last eleven years 44 horses aged 7 yrs or under have started at under 10s. Relegate of three best in 5th last year. Winner 2019, 1-2 2018. Jury Duty placed at 9s in 2017. Call The Cops winner 2015.
Sire Du Berlais the sixth horse to repeat success. Ratings 145 and 152. Buena Vista's ratings were 133 and then 138. Willie Wumpkins '79, '80, '81 the previous multiple winner. Sire Du Berlais
Since 1983 8 novices have won off ratings up to 146 including three of the last five. Also Cuneo 4th 2019 Southfield Theatre 2nd in 2014 was a second season novice. (Darryl didn't take to been beaten by a nose, if I remember).
JOCKEYS - Since 1992 8 conditional/amateur jockeys have won this. But none recently. None since Conor O'Farrell claimed 5lbs off Buena Vista second time around in 2010. Thirteen claiming jockeys spread over the past three years, Eoin Walsh (7) in third last year the only one to finish in the first seven home in any of the three years. In 2017, 8 claiming jockeys tried, best Kevin Dowling (10) in fourth. 4 tried in 2016, best Jack Kennedy(3) also fourth. 3 in 2015 where Mr. W Biddick (3) had a great spin in fourth. 6 unsuccessful 2014, 4 unsuccessful in 2013.
Barry Geraghty and Davy Russell lead this with three each. Level with Jim Wilson on Willie Wumpkins. Between them Barry and Davy have won the last five. Davy had actually no ride in 2019 having won it three years in a row. Scandalous!
This century no beaten fav last time out has won this. Jatiluwih tried last year under Mr David Maxwell (3), finished 7th. Five tried in 2019, Cuneo best finisher in 4th. Three unpl triers between 2018 and 2017
If your bookie doesn't pay at least 5 places in this, with 24 runners every year, they are stealing from you. Take your custom somewhere else.
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.