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    Racing Post Arkle Chase

     

    HEADLINES

    Nicky Henderson has ran eight with hurdle rating 145+. Seven finished 1st or 2nd (no entry in 2019)

    Only Western Warhorse of the last 20 wore blinkers

    Only Western Warhorse has prevented Mullins or Henderson winning the last seven

    14 of the last 16 winners previously raced at Cheltenham

    Six of the last seven favourites have won. All odds on

    Last nine winners all won last time out

    17 of last 19 all rated 142+ over hurdles

    SUMMARY

    Race distance - about 2 miles. Not 8 yrs of age or older unless Grade 1 Chase winner and rated in high 150s. Hasn’t finished outside the first two on any completed chase start in England or Ireland. 1st or 2nd last time out and has had previous run since Jan 1. Has won at least 50% of all completed chase starts. If fallen in a chase, has won all others. At least 7 total runs over hurdles/fences. Won’t have run more than five times over fences. A chase win in a time under 4 minutes 1 sec or Grade 2 Hurdle winning time under 4 minutes is useful. French bred to be placed. Will have been rated over hurdles in excess of 142 or unbeaten over fences. Will have been favourite or second favourite last time out. Check 2017 Festival novice hurdle form. Won’t be a mare. Unlikely to be wearing blinkers. Course winner or Festival placed. Form over 2m 4f would be useful. Can't get away from N Henderson runners with hurdle rating above 145. Not beaten favourite last time. The Supreme/Arkle double is a collector's item. RPR recent hurdle rating of 160+ is very handy.

  • Evidence

    AGE - Sizing Europe 2010 and Moscow Flyer 2002 only winners for those aged 8 since Commandante ’90. Both Sizing and Moscow rated in the high 150s when running in this and both had won the Grade 1 novice chase in December at Leopardstown. 8 yr olds do get placed but not last two years. (None tried 2017 or 2018) 2011 Finians Rainbow 2nd, '10 Osana 3rd, Kalahari King 2nd in '09. No 9 year old winner since Danish Flight '88. One of the best known Cheltenham stats. Will die someday, but when? Footpad was 6 yrs, second and third last year from only fie runners were both seven yr olds. 2017 First three all seven year olds. That year Charbel only 6 yrs and probably would have been placed. Royal Caviar as a nine yr old finished fourth, a country mile behind the placers. Sgt Reckless and Court Minstrel well beaten in 2015.

     

    5 yr olds - Do well with smaller numbers but allowance stopped after '08. 4 winners from 14 races with approximately 20% of the runners. His Excellency 3rd of 7 runners 2013. No 5 yr olds in 5 of the last 7 years. Saint Calvados went off too quick in 2018. None ran in the previous two years, Clarcam beat one home in 2015. Ballywood.

     

    PRICE - Favourites now taking off after Footpad 5/6, Altior 1/4 and Douvan 1/4 following Un De Sceaux 4/6 following Simonsig (hero) 2013 and Sprinter Sacre 2012. I can't find the last time that four consecutive different favourites won a Festival race, never mind five in a row.

     

    Before 2012 we have to go back to Azertyuiop ’03, Klairon Davis ’95, Remittance Man ’91. Short priced and turned over - Champagne Fever (11/4) Medermit (11/4), Captain Cee Bee (5/2), Noland, War of Attrition, Sybillin, Mulligan, Decoupage and Seebald. With small fields and the JLT you might expect more favourites to win. No more than 11 runners each year in this since JLT introduction. (I hear 'disgrace' from Lydia and Steve Mellish on Racing TV).

     

    Six odds on shots this century and all have won. Western Warhorse 33s first winner priced over 11/1 since Waterloo Boy 20s in '89 (I was at Sedgefield the day Western Warhorse won, watched it with Steve, the only man there who had backed it and still don't believe it actually happened). Ordinary World 25s joined Gods Own and Baily Green (both 2nd at 33s) first since Ashley Brook '05 to be placed at 20/1 plus. Probably wouldn't have happened without the Charbel fall. 'There to be jumped.' La di da. Only 9 horses 20/1 and over have been placed in past 23 races. Fox Norton 3rd 2016 at 33s but only 7 runners. Last 25 winners were favourite or second favourite on their previous run.


    Since the turn of the century 23 last time out beaten favourites have run. One winner Tidal Bay 6/1. Had been beaten 1/2 length on previous run at Doncaster at 1/4 but had won 3 novice chases that season.

     

    TRAINERS 

    Irish trained - 8 of the last 23 winners and three of the last four with Footpad, Douvan, Un De Sceaux. Sizing Europe '10, Forpadytheplasterer '09, Moscow Flyer ’03 and eight others placed out of 64 triers over past 17 years. (Sizing John, Champagne Fever both 2nd, Ordinary World 3rd, Trifolium 3rd 2014. 2013 Baily Green 2nd 2011 Realt Dubh 3rd). Last 9 winners of Irish Arkle finished 3112111161 in this. Le Richebourg NR Some Plan finishing 6th of seven finishers spoilt it a bit. Irish winners of this finished placed 31121111 in the December Leopardstown 2 mile novice. Sir Richebourg NR Footpad won it, Min won it 2017, Douvan won 2016. 2013 Defy Logic beat Trifolium and Champagne Fever. Winners of this who had run in the Irish Arkle finished 111U1FF211 in Ireland.

     

    N. Henderson - Six wins, three seconds and three thirds from 22 runners in past 25 races. Brain Power 14s and second last year. 2016 Vaniteux may have finished second before UR two out. 2015 Josses Hill 3rd, 2014 Grandouet unpl. Before Altior, Simonsig and Sprinter Sacre last winner was Tuitchev in 2000. He has run eight horses in this who had a hurdle rating in excess of 145. Four won, three finished second and Vaniteux. Irish trainers making it hard for him these days but N Henderson but he remains a real trainer. No entry in 2019. Hard to believe.

     

    M/D. Pipe - 5 wins, 2 seconds and a third from 15 runners in past 19. Nothing placed for 7 years and then along comes Western Warhorse. D Pipe immediately admitted that he had spent the previous two weeks trying to persuade the owner, Roger Brookhouse, not to run him. What chance have we? Sail By The Sea from the same connections PU in 2015. No runners last three years and I don't see any in 2018. Well Chief (star) and the Warhorse only had one chase run. Rest back to '94 at least two chase runs.

     

    If it hadn't have been for Western Warhorse Mullins/Henderson would have won all of the last seven.

     

    P. Nicholls - In last 17 has had 20 runners. Two winners, four thirds. However since Azer '03 only three thirds from 15 runners. (No runners last two years, Vibrato Valtat 4th in 2014 after trying to take the favourite on. Dodging Bullets unpl 2014. No runner 2013, Al Ferof unpl 2012). Dynamite Dollars now injured.

     

    A. King - has only ever had 6 runners in this. Probably now as well known a stat as Danish Flight. Jahash in ’04 was 4th at 150/1, Kadount ’05 was travelling well when UR four out and then he won it twice with Voy Por Ustedes and My Way De Solzen. 2011 Medermit his first runner for 4 years and favourite, only 4th. Last runner was Valdez 4th 2014.

     

    Northern based - Cloudy Dream 12s ran on 2017 to finish 2nd for Malcolm Jefferson. Kahahari King 2nd '09, Tidal Bay won '08 and Monets Garden’s 2nd to Voy ’06 improves their performance from the previous decade. Overturn well beaten at 7/2 in 2013. No triers 2015, '16, nor '18.

     

    FORM - Only Contraband (3rd) and Moscow Flyer (F) of the last 27 winners did not finish 1st or 2nd in their previous race. Of those 27 only Moscow, Ventana Canyon and Un De Sceaux had actually fallen that season. Moscow had fallen twice and like Un De Sceaux (when not racing Altior), stands up, wins. Ventana Canyon started chasing career in the same 2m 2f Thurles Beginners as Un De Sceaux. 32 from last 34 winners not outside first 2 on any completed chase start that season in GB or Ire. (Not Contraband and Galas Image). Western Warhorse had won his only chase.

     

    Racing Post Ratings - In the last 17 races, 17 horses came with a recent hurdle RPR of 160+. 9 won, four others placed. Footpad RPR 162 in previous season

     

    22 from last 27 had won at least 50% of their completed chase starts. All of the last seven back to Captain Chris in 2011 who had only one win from 4 runs. 25 of last 31 had won at least twice over fences. (Three of the exceptions where trained by M/D Pipe, Forpadytheplasterer had been 2nd in three Grade 1 chases). Un De Sceaux and Azertyuiop only winners since Anaglogs Daughter in 1980 to make most of the running. Douvan led from the 3rd when Ruby got bored. Altior, in my view, was just OK for a 1/4 shot. Footpad picked up the pieces as Davy Russell and Aiden Coleman both blew their chances by setting a ridiculous pace.

     

    Last 22 no more than 5 runs over fences. Only Western Warhorse of the last 20 wore blinkers. And that was first time. 25 of last 27 winners had at least 7 runs over hurdles/fences. Not Western Warhorse (5). He also became the 5th winner since 1987 to have had less than 3 chase runs. Footpad had won 3 chases, Altior 4 chases.

     

    8 from last 12 had won over 2m 4f. Footpad at Auteuil. Altior had beaten Black Corton 63 lengths in a match but over just 2m 2f. Not the worst form in the book. Not Forpady, only also had won over just 2m 2f. Not Sprinter Sacre, only 2nd in an 2m 4f novice hurdle. Not Douvan, only 2m 1f. Only 12 from last 18 had won a Chase by Tingle Creek Day (7th December). Not Captain Chris, Well Chief or any of the four before Douvan. Won a beginners chase at Navan on 22nd November. Un De Sceaux would have won 1/8 fell in a Thurles Beginners. Not particularly relevant, methinks.

     

    SUPREME NOVICE DOUBLE - Not happening this year. ( Summervile Boy)Altior and Douvan first since Flyingbolt in 1965 to do a Supreme-Arkle double. And Flyingbolt was rated 210. Seven others have tried. Un De Sceaux didn't come via the hurdle because they already had Vautour. Charbel was also 5th in the Supreme of the Century (so far) in 2015. Other recent triers Al Ferof 3/1 2012 and Champagne Fever 11/4 jt fav 2014 caught on the line. To credit Ruby, he went on RUK later that year explaining in detail why and when he should have kicked on a bit earlier that day. Simonsig won a Neptune. Sprinter Sacre 3rd in Supreme Novice before winning here. He had finished behind Al Ferof in the hurdle, Somersby 3rd in Supreme Novices before 2nd here 2010, Kalahari King 4th in Supreme Novice '08 before 2nd here '09. Noland won Supreme '06, 3rd here '08, Wild Passion 2nd Supreme '05, 4th here in '06. Medermit 2nd Supreme Novice '09 before failing here. Kalashnikov, Mengli Khan, Paloma Blue

     

    COURSE FORM - Only Un De Sceaux and Voy Por of the last 15 winners had never run here before. Western Warhorse had been 2nd in a Cl3 hurdle off 125. The other 14 had 'good' course form. Definition as follows. Either a course winner or placed at a previous festival. Stat stretched to include Forpadytheplasterer had finished 4th in a G1 Neptune. The other 10 had also either won at least a G3 here or been placed in G2 or G1. Altior won the Supreme. Footpad has been 3rd in a Triumph and 4th in a Champion Hurdle.

     

    Boreen Prince 1985 last runner up in Champion Hurdle to win this the following year. Melon not being aimed. Overturn failed in 2013. Nothing coming from that route in 2019. Apart from Sizing Europe all winners since 1966 had had a run since Jan 1st.

    Kingmaker (Warwick, Feb 7) prep race with best current record. Winner of that has finished 0123U126 in this. Del Forsa impressively dismissed Kalashnikov.No Scilly Isles winner has doubled up in last 20. Defi De Seuil in 5 mins 13. Wayward Lad Chase at Kempton December won by Remittance Man, Sprinter Sacre and Simonsig. Dynamite Dollars bt Kalashnikov in 3 mins 52 seconds, 13 seconds faster than Cyrname in 2017. Captain Chris won after success in the 2m 4f Pendil Chase at Kempton. Last 3 winners of Lightning Nov Chase Donc 29th Jan well beaten at Cheltenham although in 2017 Cloudy Dream was second in both races. Dynamite Dollars inj

     

    TIMES - This race is usually run in a time under 4 minutes 3 secs (Footpad 4 mins 2 secs in heavy going, Altior 3.55 Douvan 3. 49, Un De Sceaux 3.51, 2014 3mins 47 2013 Simonsig did 4 mins 2 (in soft ground). The three years previous were all run in 3 mins 52. 13 of last 20 winners had already won a chase in a time under 4 minutes 1 second or had posted a time under 4 minutes in at least a Grade 2 Hurdle (Footpad 3. 45 Irish Champion Hurdle, Altior 3.46, Douvan 3.48 in respective Supremes, Sizing Europe 3.50 for an Irish Champion). Altior 3.54 in a Wayward Lad jog. Un De Sceaux had done 4 mins 12 secs for 2m 1f for G1 Leopardstown which was quick. Other exceptions include Western Warhorse, Or Royal and Tuitchev who all had yet to contest a 2 mile chase although the latter had been 6th in the previous years Champion Hurdle. Also Tidal Bay who had posted a time of 4mins 6 over 2m ½ furlong when 2nd at Doncaster, Captain Chris, a course hurdle winner and G2 Pendil winner last time out and finally Simonsig, a Festival G1 winner.

     

    2018 contenders best times.

     

    Dynamite Dollars Wayward Lad 3 mins 52. Also 3mins 59 soft ground Henry VIII chase at Sandown. Same time good ground Lightning Chase Doncaster 26th January.

    Lalor 3 mins 50 sec, 2m Cheltenham November.

    Sir Richebourg G1 Racing Post Leopardstown Christmas 4 mins 4 secs Irish Arkle 4 mins 1, both races 2m 1 f.

    Glen Forsa Kingmaker Sandown - 4 mins 2 secs soft ground, half a furlong short of two miles.

     

    Some Plan 4 mins 6 secs for Irish Arkle 2017 and then stuffed in this. Although he finished alone it was 'probably the fastest run Irish Arkle in many years' said Davy Russell. Very likely with the unusually good ground in early Feb that year.

     

     

    BREEDING - 11 of last 24 winners were French bred from about 25% of runners. 14 weren't. However a French bred has been placed at least in 13 of last 18. Footpad FRE. Douvan was bred in France but is by Walk In The Park, an Irish sire. (The sire of Min, as well). Dynamite Dollars, Le Richebourg.

     

    Only 11 German breds have run. Well Chief hacked home, two seconds and a third. Lalor

     

    Kruguyrova '08 only placed mare of ten which have run in the past 19 years. Last mare to win Analog’s Daughter ‘80. Altior is Irish bred by High Chapparal.

     

     

    RATINGS - 17 of last 19 rated at least 142 over hurdles. Altior, Douvan 160+ Un De Sceaux at least 156. Footpad 157 (Western Warhorse was 125, Voy Por Ustedes not officially rated but likely to not have been much over 120 - both were unbeaten over fences). 9 of last 16 had rating of 156 plus and were the top rated hurdler. Altior was given a rating of 170 after winning the Game Spirit before this. Might now be close to Flyingbolt. Brain Power and Petit Mouchoir both had 3 lbs in hand over Footpad over hurdles according to the handicapper.

     

    2013 Simonsig second top rated hurdler, 2012 Sprinter Sacre lowest hurdle rating 145 of first 4 home.

     

    9 of last 12 winners had won a Pattern race over hurdles (not Captain Chris, Sprinter Sacre or Western Warhorse).

     

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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.  I tend to improve as a tipster as the week goes on, possibly too worried on the Tuesday.  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. Oh yes, and if you're called Rory Delargy, you can't win the quiz too often.

Beware GO SEA - Groundless Optimism Syndrome Encouraged by Alcohol.  A Cotswold condition very common at this time of year.