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    Racing Post Arkle Chase

     

    HEADLINES

    Last nine winners all aged either 6 or 7 years.

    Last 26 winners were favourite or second favourite on previous run.

    N Henderson has ran eight with hurdle rating 145+. Four won, three others, 2nd.

    Only Western Warhorse of the last 20 wore blinkers.

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

    14 of the last 16 winners previously raced at Cheltenham

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

    Last ten winners all won last time out.

    18 of last 20 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. Won last time out and has had previous run since Jan 1. Has won at least 50% of all completed chase starts on trained by W Mullins. 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 2019 Festival novice hurdle form. Won’t be a mare. Unlikely to be wearing blinkers. Course winner or decent previous Festival run. 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.

     

    26th Jan - Racing Post - Henry de Bromhead on the best jumpers he has ever trained - 'I'd say its between Sizing Europe, Special Tiara and Notebook.'

  • 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. Articulum 25/1 placed as a nine year old 2019. 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? Melon? Last year Duc De Genievres and Us and Them both 6 yr olds. 2018 Footpad was a 6 yr old, 2017 First three all seven year olds. That year Charbel only 6 yrs old 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 as 9 yr olds in 2015.

     

    To summarise, last nine winners aged 6 or 7 yrs.

     

    5 yr olds - Do well with smaller numbers but allowance stopped after '08. No 5 yr old winner since Voy Por Ustedes '08. His Excellency 3rd of 7 runners 2013. No 5 yr olds in 6 of the last 8 years. Saint Calvados went off too quick in 2018. None ran in the previous two years, Clarcam beat one home in 2015.

     

    PRICE - Hardline couldn't continue the Arkle Favourites winning run after Footpad 5/6, Altior 1/4 and Douvan 1/4 following Un De Sceaux 4/6. Before that Simonsig (hero) 2013 and Sprinter Sacre 2012. Currently still best current Festival race for favourites.

     

    Before 2012 we have to go back to Azertyuiop ’03, Klairon Davis ’95, Remittance Man ’91. Those 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.

     

    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 I still don't believe it actually happened). Articulum 25s, 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. Only 10 horses 20/1 and over have been placed in past 24 races. Last 26 winners were favourite or second favourite on their previous run.


    Since the turn of the century 25 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. Last year's qualifiers Kalasnikov BD, Lalor PU.

     

    TRAINERS 

    Irish trained - 9 of the last 24 winners but more importantly four of the last five with Duc de Genievres Footpad, Douvan, Un De Sceaux. All trained by W Mullins. Sizing Europe '10, Forpadytheplasterer '09, Moscow Flyer ’03 and ten others placed out of 69 runners over past 18 years. 2019 was an Irish 1-2-3 from 5 runners. (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. 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. Notebook Le Richebourg NR last year. Footpad won it, Min won it 2017, Douvan won 2016. Winners of this who had run in the Irish Arkle finished 111U1FF211 in Ireland. Notebook from Cashback

     

    N. Henderson - Six wins, three seconds and three thirds from 22 runners in past 26 races. No runner 2019, Brain Power 14s second in 2018. 2016 Vaniteux may have finished second before UR two out. Before Altior, Simonsig and Sprinter Sacre his 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.

     

    From David jennings 'Upping The Ante' RP (which has been good fun) - JP McManus has only had six runners this century, none since Tap Night 2013, and nothing placed since Foreman in 2006. Fakir D'Oudairies

     

    M/D. Pipe - 5 wins, 2 seconds and a third from 15 runners in past 20. Nothing placed for 7 years and then along comes Western Warhorse in 2014. 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 four years and I don't see any in 2020. 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 eight.

     

    P. Nicholls - In last 18 has had 20 runners. Two winners, four thirds. However since Azer '03 only three thirds from 15 runners. (No runners last three years, Vibrato Valtat 4th in 2014 after trying to take the favourite on. Dodging Bullets unpl 2014. No runner 2013, Al Ferof unpl 2012).

     

    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, '18 nor '19.

     

    FORM - The last ten winners all won last time out. Only Contraband (3rd) and Moscow Flyer (F) of the last 28 winners did not finish 1st or 2nd in their previous race. Of those 28 only Moscow, Ventana Canyon and Un De Sceaux had actually fallen that season. Moscow had fallen twice. Ventana Canyon started chasing career in the same 2m 2f Thurles Beginners as Un De Sceaux. Duc De Genievres became the first winner since Contraband '05 not to have finished in the first 2 on any completed chase start that season in GB or Ire. But then when did Willie Mullins ever worry about stats. Western Warhorse had won his only chase.

     

    Racing Post Ratings - In the last 18 races, 17 horses came with a recent hurdle RPR of 160+. 9 won, four others placed. Footpad RPR 162 in previous season. None last year.

     

    22 from last 28 had won at least 50% of their completed chase starts. Duc De Genievres broke this stat run which had gone back to Captain Chris in 2011 who had only one win from 4 runs. 25 of last 32 had won at least twice over fences. (Again the Duc broke this, only one win, three other exceptions were 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. Footpad 2018 picked up the pieces as Davy Russell and Aiden Coleman both blew their chances by setting a ridiculous pace.

     

    Last 23 no more than 5 runs over fences. Only Western Warhorse of the last 20 wore blinkers. And that was first time. 26 of last 28 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.

     

    9 from last 13 had won over 2m 4f. The Duc at Gowran, Footpad at Auteuil. Altior had beaten Black Corton 63 lengths in a match but over just 2m 2f. Not Forpady, only also had won over just 2m 2f. Nor Sprinter Sacre, only 2nd in an 2m 4f novice hurdle. Not Douvan, only 2m 1f. Only 12 from last 19 had won a Chase by Tingle Creek Day (7th December). Not the Duc, 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 but fell at 1/8 in a Thurles Beginners. Not particularly relevant, methinks.

     

    SUPREME NOVICE DOUBLE - Not happening this year. 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 route because they already had Vautour. Charbel was also 5th in the Supreme of the Century (so far) 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. Thomas Darby, Itchy Feet, Fakir D'Oudaries.

     

    COURSE FORM - Only Un De Sceaux and Voy Por of the last 16 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 'decent' run at a previous festival. Stat stretched to include the Duc, 5th beaten 9l behind Samcro in the Ballymore, Forpadytheplasterer had finished 4th in another 'Ballymore'. The other 12 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 Overturn failed in 2013.

     

    Apart from Sizing Europe all winners since 1966 had had a run since Jan 1st.

     

    Kingmaker (Warwick, Feb 9th) prep race with best current record. Winner of that has finished 0123U126 in this. Rouge Vif wins well from Nuba Negra in 4 mins flat. No Scilly Isles winner has doubled up in last 20. Itchy Feet. Defi De Seuil went to the JLT. Wayward Lad Chase at Kempton December won by Remittance Man, Sprinter Sacre and Simonsig. Global Citizen bt Rouge Vif in 3 mins 56 seconds, 9 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.

     

    TIMES - This race is usually run in a time under 4 minutes 3 secs (Duc de Genievres 3 mins 59, Footpad 4 mins 2 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). 13 of last 21 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. Not the Duc who had only won a chase over 2m 4f. (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. 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.

     

    2020 contenders best times.

     

    Melon 4mins 14 beginners chase Leopardstown

    Global Citizen Wayward Lad 3 mins 56.

    Put The Kettle On 4 mins 10 sec, 2m Cheltenham November.

    Notebook Arkle 4m 17secs, 2m 1f, Racing Post Leopardstown Christmas 4 mins 15 secs, 2 mile Punchestown G2 4 mins 15.

    Kingmaker Warwick - Rouge Vif 4 mins flat.

     

    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.

     

     

    Simon Rowlands ATR 2020 Novice Chasers Sectional Spotlight

     

    https://cheltenham.attheraces.com/features/sectional-spotlight/novice-chasers

     

     

    BREEDING - 12 of last 25 winners were French bred from about 25% of runners. Including all of Willie's last four winners. 13 weren't. However a French bred has been placed at least in 14 of last 19. Duc De Genievres was the only French Bred in the field. Footpad FRE. Douvan was bred in France but is by Walk In The Park, an Irish sire. (The sire of Min, as well). Altior is Irish bred by High Chapparal.

     

    Only 12 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 20 years. Last mare to win Analog’s Daughter ‘80.

     

     

    RATINGS - 18 of last 20 rated at least 142 over hurdles. Duc de Genievres 146, 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). Notebook only rated 135 over hurdles, Cash Back 141. Henry de Bromhead knows his stats. When questioned about this, 'aah sure, wasn't Special Tiara only a hurdler off 116, Ordinary World 118.'

     

    9 of last 17 had rating of 156 plus and were the top rated hurdler. Kalashnikov top rated hurdler last year on 152. Altior was given a rating of 170 after winning the Game Spirit before this. 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 13 winners had won a Pattern race over hurdles (not the Duc, Captain Chris, Sprinter Sacre nor 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.  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.