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 (Gary). The Stats Proverb says 'Relevance Is In The Eye Of The Beholder.' I take no responsibility for (but am keen to hear of) any factual errors. 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 concerned 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
Beware GO SEA - Groundless Optimism Syndrome Encouraged by Alcohol. A Cotswold condition very common at this time of year.
5 YR OLDS We used to avoid them. 2016 4th and 5th from 4 runners both under 12s. 2015 1st and 3rd from 5 runners (fav and 2nd fav). In 2014 5 ran achieving 3rd, 4th and 5th (the fav). 2013 and 2012 no five year old finished in top 6. 10 ran between the two years including the fav on both occasions. In 2011 it was 7 from 22. They finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th. '10 - 1st , 3rd and 5th from the six of the age group in the 28 strong field. '09 finished 3rd and 4th from seven of that age. The improvement in performance stat began in ’06 when the E. O'Grady trained Sky’s The Limit led home a 1-2-4-5 for 5yr olds. Continue to punch above their numbers.
121 horses aged 8 or over have run in the last 15 or 31% of total runners. 15 have been placed, 25% of total places. Three winners. 7 from 26 in 2016 achieved a 1-2-3 for eight year olds. Only 3 ran in 2015 best Bears Affair in 6th. 9 from 28 in 2014 when Get Me Out Of Here was nutted on the line as a 10 yr old. Rest unplaced. Fiveforthree 3rd in 2012 after a year off at 149 at age 11. Placed 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th in 2012. You can't dismiss them.
11 from last 14 aged between 5 and 7 yrs (except Diamond King, Son Of Flicka and Burntoakboy)
Get Me Out Of Here was the first British trained 10 yr old or above ever to be placed (seven others have tried over the last seven races). Fiveforthree only 11 yr old placed in last 14.
WEIGHT Used to not to back anything over 11st. Not now with the compressed handicap. 2016 bottom weight 10st 7lb, Diamond King only one of first six home to carry more than 11st. 2015 bottom weight was 10 st 6 Actival 3rd off 11st 1lb, 2014 bottom weight 10st 7, 3 out of the first 4 home carried over 11st, 2013 first four home carried over 11st - bottom weight 10st 10. 2010 handicap went from 11st 12 to 10st 1lb. 1st, 3rd and 4th home all over 11st. Nothing conclusive
It is true to say that 15 of the last 22 winners carried less than 11st 3. Five others were Irish trained. Exceptions the last two Whisper 11st 11lbs and Medinas 11st 10lb. Both placed previously in the 30k Welsh Champion Hurdle H'cap at Ffos Las. Now changed to run in October over 2 miles. Won this season by Garde La Victoire.
RATINGS Whisper at 153 beat Medinas's 12 month rating record of 148 and being first ever winner rated over 147 (Monkerhostin '04). Diamond King was rated 149. These three ratings are three of the four top ratings ever won at. Before those three, all winners rated between 128 and 147. (Son of Flicka 135, Carlito Brigante 142, Spirit River 141). Aux Ptit Soins rated 139 and probably kept difficult for the handicapper as he had only ever run three times in France. Seven from last eight rated at least 139.
PREVIOUS RUNS None of the last 8 out more than 4 times that season. Before that we had Monkerhostin (5), Sky’s The Limit (5) and Burntoakboy (6).
13 of the last 16 no more than 10 runs over hurdles. Son of Flicka (returned 16s) had 22 previous hurdle runs and the other two were from the top four in the betting.
Since 2002 only Son Of Flicka had not won that season. Won the Martin Pipe Conditional in the previous year.
9 from last 12 were second season hurdlers (exceptions Diamond King, Son of Flicka and Burntoakboy). No novices.
FORM 15 from last 18 had won in UK or Ire between 2m 2f and 2m 6f over hurdles (Not Carlito nor Aux Ptit Soins, Spirit River had done so in France).
14 from the last 16 had won previously won no more than one handicap.
Only 3 from the last 16 had previously ran at the Festival.
No winner since 2004 had previously won a graded race.
Eight from last 15 were French breds from about 20% of total runners. Irish breds 1-2 in 2016, French breds 3rd, 4th and 5th from 10 qualifiers.
9 from the last 14 winners of this race won last time out from under 20% of runners. 2016 only four qualifiers produced the winner, 2015 only 5 qualifiers including 1st and 2nd. 2014 3 last time out winners all unpl. 2013 5 qualifiers produced 1st and 4th. 2012 No last time winners placed. In 2011 Battle Group in 4th was first home from the last time out winners, if you get my drift. 17 from last 20 top six finish last time (Son Of Flicka was 13th).
Nice stat from Weatherby's Betting Guide now written by Matt Tombs, (aka der spieler from oddschecker). The legend that is Paul Jones has gone on to other (not better) things. About half of the winners of handicap hurdles at the festival since 1993 won last time out from about 20% of total runners. 3 out of 5 '09, unfortunately not working 2010-2012 when only 4 of the 15 handicap winners filled this stat. But the stat maybe coming back into fashion, 2013 2 from 5, 2014 3 from 5, 2015 3 from 5 (the other two were trained by W Mullins), 2016 Only one from five although three runners up won last time.
Whisper joined Top Cees '98 the only winners of this to be beaten favourite last time in a handicap hurdle. 4 tried last year best Long House Hall in second. In '98 there was a hullabaloo because the Ramsdens didn't seem to try too hard that day at Ayr. I was standing at the unsaddling enclosure after the Coral Cup when Top Cees was booed into the winners position. Mrs Ramsden even ducked her head at the abuse as she led him in.
Of the five horses who won this without winning last time, two of them ran respectable races in that year's Betfair Hurdle, 'going well when blundered 3 out, eased', 'mistake and one paced last, finished 6th'. Monkerhostin '04 only one placed at Newbury before success here. In 2016 none of the first four from Newbury came to this race. Flying Angel, 3rd at Newbury, won the Imperial Cup at Sandown before finishing second in the Martin Pipe Conditionals.
Betfair Hurdle has featured 3 winners and 3 runners up. Blazer unpl 3/1 fav at Newbury finished 4th here Actival was third at Newbury and then third here.
Son Of Flicka only one of the last 14 not to win sometime that season.
8 of the 23 winners not previously successful over a minimum of 2 miles 4 furlongs. However all 8 (five Irish) were 7 years or under and 6 had been previously placed in Graded company. (Not Spirit River nor Aux Ptit Soins, both of whom has won £20k hurdles in France in the previous 12 months).
17 from last 18 had won at Class 3 or higher. Giving that to Aux Ptit Soins.
Only 3 winners this century had previously competed at the Festival, the last two of which finished in the first four in a novice hurdle the year before.
13 from last 14 not seen for at least 32 days. Diamond King 67 days, Aux Ptit, a real plot, had not ran for 6 months.
Court Shareef at 200/1 ’04 only one from more than 7 lbs out of the handicap have been placed (when taking jockeys claims into account). lowest weight 2016 was 10st 7lb.
Loads of big prices. Whisper 14s, Medinas 33s (40s on tote, huge but gettable he smugly says) Son of Flicka 66s on eve of race (owner said he won a million). Xenophon '03 only clear favourite to win. Olympian a joint favourite in '93. Diamond King 12/1 was the Pricewise Selection at 10s and drifted. Tom's only winner of the first two days. 2015 Aux Ptit Soins jousted for favouritism with Actival.
N Henderson's Whisper wounded another stat joining his Spirit River to be only winners of this to be previous Cheltenham course winners (16 others have ran in the last three years, only Long House Hall unplaced). 6 course winners ran in each of 2013 and 2012, best to finish in each year was 3rd.
Last front runner to win was Olympian '93. Whisper was 'always in the leading group'. Diamond King 'held up in midfield'. First two home 2015 were always 'in the van'.
J.P. McManus’s record is 2 wins, 3 second, 2 thirds and three fourths. He does tend to run a few, though. (Blazer 4th last year, two unplaced 2015, Get Me Out Of Here 2014, 2013 Pendra 6/1 fav unpl, '12 Get Me Out Of Here 6/1 jt fav finished 2nd off 11st 12lb, Silverhand 4th at 25s)
Irish trained: Last year 5 runners, 1st and 4th. 2015 8 runners 2nd at 25/1, 4th at 14s. 2 014 again 8 runners, 3rd and 4th. 2013, a third place from five. 2012 - A 4th place from 4 triers, 2011 - 1st from 3. 7 winners and loads of places in the 23 renewals from under 20% of runners. Tend to punch above their weight. 5 of the last 6 Irish trained winners (and the two placed horses in 2015) not seen out since January.
BLINKERS CHEEKPIECES ETC- Only winner from 73 triers over the last thirteen, Sky's The Limit in a first time visor (had been blinkered in France). 6 tried last year including Long House Hall who always wears a hood. 10 tried in 2015 including two in first time headgear. Best finisher was 8th. In Whisper's year, 2nd and 3rd home wore cheekpieces. They always wore them.
TRAINERS Pipe stable has had 3 wins and 3 seconds in this but little luck since the silence that welcomed Ilnamar home ’02 (92/1 on the Tote). Last year and in 2013 the Pipes had no runner in the Coral Cup. Changed times indeed. Dell' Arca on its own unpl in both 2015 and 2014. E O'Grady has trained two winners carrying 11st 8 and 11st 12 respectively. Not many recent runners.
Whisper and Spirit River '10 have changed N Henderson's luck. Before 2010, 0 from 23 with only 3 placed. 3 runners in 2013, best Ericht in 5th. Threw 5 at this last year best finisher was 14th. Six runners 2015, best Volnay de Thaix in 5th.
P Hobbs trained Whats Up Boys in 2000 to be the only successful novice in this. Don't know whether to call Aux Ptit Soins a novice?
Aux Ptit Soins broke P Nicholls's duck in this race. A King has had one winner and 3 places from 15 runners.
JOCKEYS Three conditional jockeys have won this in its 23 year history. Nico de Boinvile on Whisper first since Sam Jones on Burntoakboy. 3 last year, all unplaced. 2015 Peter Carberry (claiming 3) best in 5th. Davy Russell has won this three times in the past nine, twice for Gordon Elliott. Ruby has never won this.
Any bookie who doesn't pay 5 places is stealing from you. Disappointing, Hills