Year |||Form||| Winner||| Age||| Weight||| OR||| SP||| Trainer||| Jockey||| Last race (no of days)
2020||| 1111||| Easysland |||6 |||11-4 |||152||| 3/1 |||D Cottin (FRE)||| J Plouganou |||1st Pau Listed Ch (38)
2019||| 41 |||Tiger Roll||| 9||| 11-4 |||159 |||5/4F |||G Elliott (IRE)||| K Donoghue |||1st G2 Boyne Hdle (24)
2018||| 2P5 |||Tiger Roll||| 8||| 11-4 |||150 ||| 7/1 |||G Elliott (IRE)||| K Donoghue |||5th Glenfarclas Ch (90)
2017||| 5P05 |||Cause Of Causes |||9 |||11-4 |||142 |||4/1 |||G Elliott (IRE) |||Mr JJ Codd |||5th Glenfarclas Ch (46)
2016||| 3428 |||Any Currency* |||13||| 11-4||| 157 |||11/1||| M Keighley |||A Coleman |||8th Glenfarclas Ch (96)
2015||| 4172F ||| Rivage d'Or||| 10||| 10-10||| 134||| 16/1 |||A Martin (IRE)||| D Russell |||PU Irish p2p (101)
2014||| 111 |||Balthazar King |||10 |||11-12||| 150 |||4/1||| P Hobbs||| R Johnson |||1st Glenfarcalas Cond. Ch (117)
2013||| F72 |||Big Shu |||8 |||10-5||| 136 |||14/1 |||P Maher (IRE)||| B Cash ||| 2nd PP Hogan (39)
2012||| 15P0F |||Balthazar King||| 8||| 10-9 |||139||| 11/2||| P Hobbs |||R Johnson||| ro Glenfarclas Cond. Ch (95)
2011 |||70454||| Sizing Australia |||9||| 10-9||| 131 |||25/1 |||H de Bromhead ||| A Lynch||| 8th Navan h'cap hurdle (30).
First ran in 2005. As said, since 2016 this has been a level weights conditions race.
Last year there were been rumours on the preview nights (Kevin Blake in Belfast a prime example) that Tiger was not unbeatable. And that the French raider Easysland not that far off him even with a 19lb difference in the ratings, 171 to 152. So I tipped up the exacta. Paid £6.40 or just under 9/4. And since nothing else got within a beagle's gowl of the two of them, that seemed a reasonable punt. Out Sam was 35 lengths behind the winner. Otherwise known as the Cross Country free money.
The magnificent Tiger Roll had liked to hoover this up on his way to Aintree. 22 lengths in 2019 at an SP of 5/4 with never a moments worry. Josies Orders finished 2nd sometime later. Tiger Roll was rated 159, the placed horses each on 149. At the moment the dual Grand National winner has a chase rating of 172.
As an 8 yr old in 2018 the Tiger stayed on strongly to beat Urgent De Gregaine and The Last Samurai (fav) both 10 yr olds.
2017 - Cause of Causes at 9 yrs stayed on to go 9l clear of two 12 yr olds Bless The Wings and Cantlow. Cause Of Causes had spent a couple of days in January schooling over the course fences. The world knew. Gordon now does it every year.
2016 - Any Currency a 13 yr old held on from Josies Orders and Bless The Wings. Nina got a wee bit behind and Josies came with a late flourish. Any Currency started running in these X Country races in March 2013 and had been close before in this one. Disqualified later in 2016 for a drugs irregularity. Not sure anyone really cared, not even JP? At that time Mssrs Keighley and Coleman could have done with the Festival winner..
2015 - Davy Russell won this on Rivage D'Or at 16s for Tony Martin and Gigginstown. A 10 yr old who had been pulled up in a point to point on his last run and had never raced over these type of fences before. He had schooled a lot with Paul Carberry, they said. Sure, that was easy to find. Well, it was Davy's 5th consecutive winning Festival ride, his confidence must have been high and he has happy memories of this race. His first Festival winner was in 2006 on Native Jack trained by PJ Rothwell. Rivage D'Or got 15lbs from Any Currency in 2nd and 13lbs from Uncle Junior (14 yrs young) in 3rd, Dogora (levels) 4th. However there was carnage at the second last fence where Quantitiveeasing was carried out by Toutancarmont. The Q horse (8/1) with Nina on board was going very easy at the time. All those mentioned bar Rivage had oodles of experience at these types of obstacles.
UK TRAINED - Take out Any Currency and Balthazar King 2012, 2014 is the only English trained winner in the 15 runnings. A 1-4 for English trained 2014 with Keighley trained Any Currency and Duke of Lucca in 4th. Wedger Pardy 2012, Le Duc and Lacdoudal (two more Hobbs trained) are the only other English trained horses to be placed in the last eleven renewals (5 from 14 English trained last year, best finisher 6th. 6 from 15 in 2019, best finisher 6th again, 7 from 16 English 2018 best The Last Samurai in 3rd.). Ireland have supplied 39 of the 52 win and place returns including the other 12 winners. All bar Easysland
FRENCH TRAINED - The two 1-2s in the November and December handicaps paved the way. Urgent De Gregaine also being placed in the last two.
3 winners of P P Hogan Memorial Cross Country Chase at Punchestown early February won this '06 to '08. However only Big Shu in the last 10 has come from Punchestown to win this. He had finished second at Punchestown. Neverushacon tailed off 8th and last in 2020, probably didn't like the swamp.
At Punchestown in 2019 Josies Orders won, then was 2nd here. In 2018 Auvergnat beat Josies Orders. Finished 4th and 6th respectively at Cheltenham. In 2017 Auvergnat beat Usuel Smurfer and Ballybroker Bridge. 2016 Ballybroker Bridge beat Cantlow (11/10 fav). Finished 4th in this, Cantlow finished 2nd last. Shady Operator 129 beat Blast of Koeman and Space Cadet 131
COURSE FORM - The November handicap was won by Kingswells Theatre 145 (18lb out of the handicap) from Beau de Brizais also 145 (13 lbs) and Potters Corner 151. Easysland was fourth 167 carrying 11st 8 lb beaten 9 lengths In comp the top weight in the 2019 November race was off 147. The December h'cap was won by Some Neck 137 from Defi Des Carres 121 and De Forgotten One 120. In 2019 Easysland won that race rated 139 (then bought by JP McManus) from Amazing Comedy 128 and Out Sam 140. Top rated that year was the rogue Yanworth 148. Amazing Comedy finished 10th and last in this in 2018.
AGE - Easysland first six yr old to win this. And will probably be running in it for a long time to come. Big Shu, Balthazar King, Le Duc, Freneys Well and Josies Orders at 8 yrs were the youngest to win/place before that. First three home last year 6, 10 and 11 respectively. In 2019 it was 9, 11 and 11. In 2018 it was 8, 10 and 10. I In last years renewal we had only three horses aged less than nine years. In 2019 4 nine yr olds ran, the rest were aged in double figures. In the first running in 2005 7 of the 16 runners were aged in single figures. 2016, 17 and 18 it wasn 8 from 16 each time. No real difference. Apart from Easysland, Tiger Roll, Big Shu and Baltazar King, all winners aged between 9 and 12 years of age. Only two winners older than 11 in last 14. In the 2013/14 season's December C & D handicap Pasquini Rouge, a French trained 5 yr old, was placed. Last year I did say 'I sense a change in this profile in 2020 with Easyland being a six yr old and Diesel D'Allier a seven yr old.'
TRAINERS - Gordon Elliott has three of the last four as well as last year Tiger Roll 2nd and Out Sam, his only two runners. Also trained Bless The Wings, placed twice in 2016 and 2017 and Out Sam, again placed in December 2019. Enda Bolger used to farm these races but hasn't won 'on the day' any of the last ten. JP McManus likes this race and has owned 6 winners (+ Josies Orders on the disqualification) Easysland and Cause of Causes 2017 first 'on the day' since 2009. The reason for purchasing Easyland the 6 yr old, methinks.
Officially, Enda Bolger has trained 5 out of the 14 winners with four seconds, four thirds and four fourths. (Both Josies and Yanworth PU last year. Auvergnat in 4th best of four in 2018, Cantlow and Augernat in 2017, Josies and the Q horse in 2016. 2015 only runner was Quantitiveeasing unlucky, 4 unplaced runners in 2014, 2013 Arabella Boy 7th at 9/4, Garde Champetre broke down 2012). Spotthedifference finished 4th in this in '06 at the age of 14 carrying 11st 12lb. Without the disqualification of Any Currency Enda has not won any of the last ten and would be 0 from 30.
Paul Nicholls has only ever won two of these types of races. No winners from 16 runners in this. No entry last four years. Willie Mullins is 0 from 12 here, his best Ballycasey 4th at 33s 2019 as a 12 yr old.
Urgent de Gregaine, Rivage D'Or and Uncle Junior in November '11 are the only horses in 42 races to win first time over these type of fences. Easysland, Wonderkid, Dec '07, Sire Collonges and Josies Orders only 7 yr olds to win one of these types of races at Cheltenham. Easysland also Dogora as the only horses under 8 yrs of age to be placed in this. The latter was also in 2015. Easyland and Diesel D'Allier had raced over these sort of courses in France
All had won over at least 2m 6f. Last 15 had all won over at least 3m.
9 of the last 11 had all contested a graded chase. Easysland had won both French Listed races he had run in. Both as favourite
8 from the last ten had previously run in no more than five cross country chases. Easysland has run in two and won two, Tiger Roll has now run in five.
13 of the 16 winners had raced over the Cheltenham course and distance in the same season. Rivage D'Or unpl Pertemps Final 2011, Big Shu never been here before. Along with Native Jack, the latter's only racecourse run that season came from the PP Hogan.
RATINGS (unlikely to matter now - all level weights) Easyland 152, Tiger Roll was 159, 150 (now 172), Cause of Cause 142, Any Currency top rated 157. The top rated horse has always been placed at least since this became a conditions race. Balthazar King and Garde Champetre won off 150. The other 9 winners were rated between 126 and 143. 11st 12lbs carried to win three times with the Balt, Spot and Garde Champetre. Rivage D'or 134. Big Shu carried 10st 5lb, rating 136. Spot won the first one in '05 off top weight rating 143.
10 out of 16 had won a cross country chase at either Cheltenham or Punchestown. A New Story and Sizing Australia had been previously placed at Cheltenham over these obstacles. Not Tiger Roll (first time) nor Cause Of Cause but both were double Festival winners. (They had actually won four different races. Cause Of Causes had the distinction of winning three different chases in three successive Festivals. Balthazar King (first time) had only ran once over the course, carried out when in contention. Was a previous dual course chase winner over the park fences both successes being over at least 24 furlongs. Last exception to this stat is the enigmatic Rivage d'Or ridden by the wonderful D Russell.
PRICE - the front three in the market have won 25 of the last 31 races over this course and 13 of the 16 runnings of this race. You might expect betting stats like that. Big Shu 14s SP and 20s in running. A 100/1 shot has been placed. Tiger Roll in 2019 was the first favourite to be paid out 'on the day' since Heads In The Ground 2007.
This century 17 horses who were the beaten favourite last time out have competed. Only Any Currency on the day at 11/1 was successful. No qualifiers last three years. In 2017 Cantlow was beaten fav (again) and Colour Squadron unpl.
JOCKEYS - Keith Donoghue has ridden Tiger Roll on his two wins. I'm sure Davy Russell would be happy to step in at a moments notice. R Johnson has won this twice. Nina Carberry won 4 times for Enda. Adrian Heskin on A New Story 40s 2010 is the only claimer to have won this. Josh Halley (7) 3rd 2013 on Outlaw Pete for Mr McManus. 2 claimers unpl 2015. None last three years. May not be allowed to claim anymore since is now a conditions race. Monsieur Jonathan Plouganou was scorned after his different style in December and then lauded to the skies by Ruby on ITV with his ability to cut every corner in March. May have the ride for a while.
BLINKERS CHEEKPIECES etc - Only Might Bite and Diesel D'Allier of the 15 last year did NOT wear any sort of headgear. Easysland and Tiger Roll wear blinkers all the time. Cause Of Causes and Bless The Wings in 2017 wore their usual cheekpieces. Any Currency always wears cheekpieces but Josies did not at htat time Therefore officially four winners from 58 triers. 8 of the 15 in 2019 resulting in a 1-2-3. In 2018 there were 11 including the 1-2. 8 tried in each of the previous three years (no first timers at all). At least one placed each time.
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.