Year |||Form||| Winner||| Age||| OR||| SP||| Trainer||| Jockey||| Runners Last Race (No of days)
2020||| 11F||| Champ||| 8 |||153||| 4/1 |||N Henderson||| B Geraghty||| 10 |||FELL Chelt Dipper Ch 2m 4f (70)
2019||| 22||| Topofthegame||| 7||| 155 |||4/1 |||P Nicholls||| H Cobden||| 12||| 2nd G1 Kempton Kauto Star Ch (77)
2018||| 13112||| Presenting Percy||| 7 |||158||| 5/2F |||P Kelly(IRE)||| D Russell |||10 |||2nd Gowran Red Mills Ch 2m 4f (26)
2017||| 21F1 |||Might Bite||| 8||| 154||| 7/2F||| N Henderson||| N de Boinville||| 12||| 1st Donc Nov Ch (34)
2016 |||4F121||| Blaklion||| 7||| 150||| 8/1||| N Twiston-Davies||| R Hatch||| 8 |||1st G2 Wetherby Towton Nov Ch (39)
2015 |||11||| Don Poli||| 6 |||156||| 13/8F |||W Mullins(IRE) |||B Cooper||| 8||| 1st G1 Leop Topaz Nov Ch (72)
2014||| 2P1 |||O'Faolains Boy||| 7 |||144||| 12/1 |||R Curtis |||B Geraghty||| 15||| 1st G2 Ascot Reynoldstown Ch (25)
2013||| 22123 |||Lord Windermere||| 7 |||145 |||8/1 |||J Culloty(IRE)||| D Russell |||11 |||3rd G1 Flogas Ch 2m 5f (32)
2012||| 132||| Bobs Worth||| 7||| 151||| 9/2||| N Henderson||| B Geraghty |||9||| 2nd G2 Ascot Reynoldstown (25)
2011||| 21411||| Bostons Angel||| 7 |||146||| 16/1||| J Harrington(IRE) |||R Power||| 12||| 1st G1 Leop Flogas Ch 2m 5f (38)
AGE - Since Minnehoma ’92 all 32 horses aged 9 and above have been beaten. None ran in the last three years. So close for Whisper 2017 but Might Bite would have been unlucky to lose that race. No qualifiers in the previous four years, Call The Police 3rd in 2012). 22 of last 27 winners were 7 or 8 years of age. Seven year olds have won 11 of the last 14. Exceptions were Champ and Might Bite both at 8 years and then you have to go back to the 5yr old Star De Mohaison ’06 (with a big allowance) and three 6 yr olds, Florida Pearl ’98, Young Hustler ’93 and Don Poli in 2015. Those are the only three six year olds to have won since 1978. Three six yr olds last year, best Alloha in third. 2019 Delta Work 3rd and Burton Port was 2nd in 2011.
5yr olds recently - None since Adriana Des Mottes 4th in 2015, Unioniste 3rd as fav 2012, Long Run 3rd 2010 at 11/4. Ten five year olds have run in the last 30 years, Star De Mohaison won and three others were placed. Star got a 10lb allowance in 2006. Now only 2lb and mares 7lbs. The three 6 yr olds winners were priced 11/8 fav, 9/4 2nd fav and 13/8 fav respectively in what were, with hindsight, uncompetitive renewals. A 1-2 for seven year olds in 2019 and 2018.
PRICES - From '07 to '09 Cooldine, Albertas Run and Denman all won as jollies. Don Poli, Might Bite and Presenting Percy those since. That's three in the last six. Champ was morning paper fav, ended up third favourite. Nick Dundee, Royal Athlete, Mr. Mulligan, Harcon, Barton Bank, One Man, Keen Leader, Our Vic, Comply or Die and since 2009, Punchestowns, Time For Rupert, Long Run, Grand Crus, Unioniste, More Of That (6/4), Delta Work (15/8) and Alloha (5/2) all 3/1 or under and beat.
22 of the last 28 were in the first four in the market. That means 6 weren't. Not a shock. Mind you, O'Faolains Boy, 12/1 in 2014 is the only winner above 8/1 in the last nine. Might suggest we are due another one.
THE REYNOLDSTOWN, YE OLDE BOGEY RACE. - O'Faolains Boy joined Albertas Run 2008 in completing the Reynoldstown/RSA double, first since Killiney ’73. 22 have tried, 11 started favourite here, only 6 others achieved a place. Copperhead 6/1, fell when beat last year. Mister Malarkey 4th 2019, Black Corton, fifth to Presenting Percy 2018. Bobs Worth '12, Nahthen Lad '96, Envopak Token, The West Awake and Kildimo all beaten in the Reynoldstown went on to win at Cheltenham. Ms Parfois, 2nd at Ascot, just outstayed by Rathvinden in the 4 miler.
(My Uncle Gerald story. He and I went to the Festival in 1987. On the Wednesday he had a serious view on Kildimo for the RSA. Strode towards the ring, money firmly in hand, keen on the 7/1 available. As he approached a rails bookmaker, one very dapper snooker player, a Mr Willie Thorne (RIP), stepped in front of my uncle. Willie then said to the bookie 'Nine thousand to two', and pointed to the favourite Tawridge. Bookie just nodded. This was 1987. My uncle paused and said to himself, 'well, Willie must know what he's doing...' Yes, that's right, he changed his mind and followed in behind Mr. Maximum. And yes, Graham Bradley jumped Kildimo off in last place, passed all 16 opponents and won by an easy 8 lengths or so from Playschool who himself then went on the win the Hennessey and the Welsh National that year. Cavvies Clown fell when going well. Reasonable form. Tawridge never sighted. Uncle Gerald not great craic that night. Never forgave Willie. And perhaps it doesn't read that well given Willie's well publicised gambling problems.)
Back to the Reynoldstown. In 2016 Vyta Du Roc won at Ascot but 5th here. Minella Rocco (2nd at Ascot) took the 4 miler and Ballyalton (F) won the 2m 4f nov h'cap. Since 1996 only 10 horses have ran in the RSA after being beaten in a Reynoldstown. Bobs Worth only winner. Now McGinty and Top Ville Ben unsuccessful. Nothing beat at Ascot came here last year.
All 21 Kempton Feltham (now the Kauto Star Novice Chase) winners to come here have failed to do the double. Some have said this stat survives thanks to Darryl Jacob wrestling Might Bite to the ground at the last fence in the 2016 race when 'slightly' ahead of Royal Vacation Otherwise this stat may have be consigned to dust. Last year Slate House won at Kempton and then finished a distant last in this. In 2019 La Bague Au Roi took the easier 68k at the DRF, then Aintree. Very wise, Mr Greatrex. Topofthegame was second at Kempton but won here. Kempton 2017 Black Corton beats Elegant Escape and then only 5th to Presenting Percy. Another fortunate winner at Kempton after Fountains Windfall RIP fell going strongly 4 out. Annacotty well beaten here 2014, 2012 Dynaste beat in the Jewson. Even Trabolgan '05 winner was beaten a short head at Kempton before coming here.
Last 18 RSA winners all placed at least in a Grade 1 or 2 chase. Not Might Bite but I am going to give it to him (Kempton). Percy second at Gowran. Blaklion won the G2 Towton at Wetherby. Interesting hindsight stat for last year as Minella Indo was favourite.
This century 'second season' chasers are 4 from 14.
Last year's Neptune Hurdle winner hasn't figured in the finish of this since at least 1991. City Island couldn't jump but Champ did, just about. Samcro went another route. Envoi Allen.
Topofthegame joined Don Poli to be the exceptions in the last 55 winners had a run since 31 December. Don Poli won G1 Leopardstown on the 29th December. Goes back to Boxing Day now, that stat. Champ fell in the Dipper on New Year's Day
Apart from Hussard Collonges’ success in 2002, Royal Emperor placed ‘04 and According To John's 3rd in '07, 32 other Northern based have failed to reach frame in the last 15. Those to flop recently include Seeyouatmidnight, Corrin Wood, Vintage Star, Mr Moonshine, Wymott. '10 legend Knockara Beau finished 4th. Aye Right came down from Jedburgh last year. Rated 146 100/1 5th of six finishers. No triers previous three years.
FORM - 41 from last 46 winners were 1st or 2nd last time (exceptions Kildimo 4th in a Reynoldstown, Lesley Ann Fell, Hanakham, 3rd in the Wincanton Gold Cup Trial and, after a gap of 16 yrs, Lord Windermere 3rd G1 PJ Moriarty, then Champ F). The better stat is that this century all bar Lord Windermere and Lord Windermere finished 1st or 2nd last time out.
25 of last 28 had run no more than 5 times over fences. 25 from last 27 had run at least three times over fences (Topofthegame, three chases over two seasons. Exceptions to last Florida Pearl and Don Poli - but they were unbeaten over 2 chases. The 'W Mullins doesn't give a monkeys about stats' stat.
4 of the last 6 Irish Winners ran in the Flogas Chase on Dublin Festival Day. But no winner of this since Lord Windermere in 2013. Monalee was second at Cheltenham to Presenting Percy. Faugheen went Marsh Chase.
Neville Hotels Chase Xmas Leopardstown - Bostons Angel and Don Poli won both, No More Heroes 4th at Cheltenham when 5/2, Delta Work third when fav. 2020 Battleoverdoyen 7s, a distant 4th here.
Young Hustler '93 last horse to win this with more than 10 previous chase runs. He had run in 13 chases. That's a lot.
Champ joins Lord Windermere, Cooldine, Brief Gale, Florida Pearl and Star De Mohaison to be the only 6 of the last 34 winners yet to be tried in a chase over at least 3 miles. Champ's ability to stay won it for him. Had won the 3m G1 Sefton Novice Hurdle at Aintree. From Cooldine backwards, they all won their previous start, all bar Star in a Graded race. Lord Windermere's notes say 'kept on well' in Moriarty. To be honest, you wouldn't have backed him in a fit three out here until Boston Bob fell at the last, 'with the race at his mercy.' Of the other 28 of these only Topofthegame, Hussard Collonges (2nd twice, ‘staying on’), Nahthen Lad and Bobs Worth (both 2nd in a Reynoldstown) and Trabolgan (short head 2nd in a Feltham) had not been successful over that chase distance. Bobs Worth had won an Albert Bartlett.
No winner since Hussard Collonges 2002 made their chase debut over 3 miles. Like Copperhead perchance?
Seven of the last 11 were beaten on chase debut.
15 from last 21 'raced up with the pace' or 'tracked leaders'. Champ not so, neither Percy. Might Bite very much so. Not O'Faolains Boy, Weapon's Amnesty, Bobs Worth or Lord Windermere. Last 22 hadn't run within the last 24 days. Percy and O'Faolains Boy at 25 days the most recent runner of the 20 (and he would never have won if Smad had been allowed to go on and make the effing pace. Two years later Wayne Hutchinson in the 2015 Hennessey decides to go against trainer instructions, take the lead after half a circuit and wins by an ever increasing 12 lengths. Alan King asked gently on C4 by AP after he won the Cotswold. 'Do you think he could make the running?' Smad was placed in a Stayers as a five year old. He was never going to get any faster. Stop it now, Bryan, it's over).
Last 22 winners had 78 completed starts over fences. Only seven unplaced completions, three of which were in Irish Grade 1 Chases. (Lord Windermere 3rd of 6 beaten 1/2 length). Might Bite made a hash of the last when 2nd of 3 in his first chase, Blaklion was 4th of 7 in his, O'Faolains Boy was 2nd of 4 in his first chase. Don Poli, Denman, Florida Pearl, and Rolling Ball in 1991 the last four to have 100% success rate over fences before this race. Don Poli and Denman the only two in the last 16.
All the last 12 had between 6 and 13 runs in total over hurdles and chases. Champ 12, Topofthegame had 10, Percy had 13, Might Bite had nine.
THE LETTER F - Champ and Might Bite the first since Hussard last one to fall in any of their last three starts. Blaklion only other one in the last ten to have fallen that season.
No mares have won since Brief Gale in '95. 11 have tried. (None last year, Drinks Interval 100/1 PU 2019, Briery Belle 25s and PU 2017, Adriana Des Mottes in 4th in 2015, only ones to run in last decade. The latter ran when as a five year old and got a 9lb allowance).
BLINKERS CHEEKPIECES etc - No headgear winners in last 19 (Delta Work 3rd 2019 in usual hood, Full Irish PU 2017 Royal Vacation PU regularly wore blinkers, Le Mercurey in 2016 finished last, two tried 2015, finished last and PU, Annacotty 8th in 2014, Wymott PU 2011) Castlebawn West well beat last year, in 2019 five of the 11 runners wore some sort of headgear but neither of the first two home.
BEATEN FAVS LAST TIME - Best race in Festival this century for beaten favourites last time winning. 4 from 27 qualifiers. champ had been 4/9 in the Dipper when demolishing 2 out, Presenting Percy had been evens fav at Gowran. First since Trabolgan 2005, Hussard Collonges '02
BREEDING - 26 of last 28 NH Bred. 20 from last 25 Irish NH Bred (Champ by Kings Theatre, Topofthegame by Fleminsfirth, Presenting Percy by Sir Percy (GB), fast ground Derby winner. Might Bite by Scorpion, Irish Bred. Blaklion by Kayf Tara (GB), Star De Mohaison and Hussard the French-bred exceptions. French Breds are now 0-35 over the last 14 years. Bostons Angel sired by Winged Love, a dual-purpose sire). 6 of the last 14 had won an Irish p2p.
Since '94 no ex Flat horse has gained a place.
TIMES - 2020 6mins 29 in soft, 2019 6 mins 17 in soft, 2018 6mins 32 also in soft, 2017 6 mins 9 including that bit when Might Bite went missing. 2016 6 mins 6, 2015 6 mins 9 secs. 2014's fast time of 6 mins dead would confirm a good pace and good ground. O'Faolains Boy, surprisingly for a son of Oscar, hadn't run over good ground since he won an Irish point.
Conclusion - Previous times have not been much help as an indicator. However, let's not be negative. Best times for this years candidates so far:-
Feltham - Slate House in 6 mins 17, slower than last two renewals.
Leopardstown Flogas Chase - Faugheen from Easy Game in 5 mins 34 secs, 2mile 5f (great to have been there)
Leopardstown Neville Hotels Chase Xmas Battleoverdoyen 6 mins 15 secs good ground in a three horse race.
Simon Rowlands ATR Sectionals Spotlight
COURSE FORM - Five of last 16 placed at least in a course chase that season but only Blaklion of the last nine. Haven't included Champ in the five. Had been second in the Ballymore. Topofthegame had been touched off in the previous year's Coral Cup at 9/1. Percy strolled the Pertemps in 2017 (when vastly overhandicapped, I believe). Might Bite had won a £10k novice hurdle but had not impressed in two attempts at course novice chases. Bostons Angel PU in an Albert Bartlett, Cooldine 7th in the Bumper 2 years previous, Lord Windermere had never been here before, O'Faolains Boy 17l 4th in Albert Bartlett. Don Poli won the Martin Pipe hurdle. Eight of the last nine winners either a C or had strong form from the previous Festival.
12 of the last 14 had ran at a previous Festival. Not Might Bite nor Lord Windermere.
Topofthegame joins Might Bite as being the first since Lord Noelie '00 to have raced two seasons over hurdles. The latter two had only one hurdle in one of those seasons. Topofthegame came back to hurdles from one unsuccessful chase. Rolling Ball in 1991 the last winner of this to have previously spent two full seasons over hurdles.
HURDLES - Last six winners rated at least 143 over hurdles (Champ 152 Topofthegame 154, Percy 157, Might Bite 148, Blaklion 144, Don Poli 153. O'Faolains Boy 4th in an Albert Bartlett under 143, Lord Windermere 135, Bob Worth 150+ Bostons Angel 139, Weapons Amnesty 140+), 11 before that weren't.
24 of last 27 were novice hurdlers the previous season. Not Topofthegame.
ALBERT BARTLETT HURDLE - Blaklion, Bostons Angel and O'Faoloins were beaten in the Albert Bartlett before coming to win this race. Bobs Worth and Weapons Amnesty both did the double. Minella Indo and Alloho did justice for the AB last year. Santini and Monalee placed in both. Elegant Escape placed in RSA after finished 7th in an Albert Bartlett. No More Heroes 4th in RSA after being 3rd in AB. That's 5 winners from the last 11. Monkfish, Latest Exhibition, Fury Road, Thyme Hill
11 of the last 14 winners had all won listed/graded races over hurdles (not Might Bite, O'Faolains or Bostons Angel. Might Bite had won a £20k Cl2 at Kempton). Champ Aintree G1.
TRAINERS - Nicky Henderson has now trained four winners including three of the last nine. And a second with Santini. Paul Nicholls has won three '06, '07 and 2019. All three winners ran at Exeter before the New Year.
IRISH TRAINED - Willie Mullins has also trained four winners. Himself, NH and Fulke Walwyn top the all-time RSA leaderboard. Of Willie's other 18 runners in this, three were second, three thirds, one fourth. (Alloha 3rd no runner 2019, Al Boum Photo fell in third at the second last in 2018, Bellshill 3rd 2017, Shanehill 2nd 2016, 2015 Don Poli, 2014 Ballycasey 4th, 2013 Boston Bob fell 2 out when right there, 2012 Call The Police 3rd.
Only 6 Irish trained victories since 1985 but 6 of the last 12 and four runners up in Minella Indo, Shaneshill, Horner Woods and Lyreen Legend, 3rds in 2014 with Morning Assembly and with Delta Work, Alloha. All bar Presenting Percy of the last 6 Irish trained winners finished in the first three at Leopardstown over Christmas, three in a 3m G1, one in a 2m 1f G1 and one in a beginners chase.
The last six Irish trained were from 5 different trainers. Four of the Irish winners ran in PJ Moriarty/Flofas at Leopardstown. Not Percy, not Poli.
Gordon Elliott has yet to win this.
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.