First ran in 2005. As said. the last three years this has been a conditions race.
Last year Tiger Roll at 8 yrs 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 strongly 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.
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? Mssrs Keighley and Coleman could do 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 - Balthazar King 2012 and 2014 the only English trained winner in the 14 runnings. 1-2 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 nine runnings (7 from 16 English trained last year, 6 from 16 2014, 5 from 16 in 2013, best finisher 9th). Ireland have supplied 35 of the 46 win and place returns including the other 10 winners. '11 Maljimar best of the English in fourth when favourite, '10 Lacdoudal only English trained finisher in first 7 home.
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 in January.
check In 2018 Auvergnat beat Josies Orders. Finished 4th and 6th respectively at Cheltenham. In 2017 Auvergnat beat Usuel Smurfer and Ballybroker Bridge.016 Ballybroker Bridge beat Cantlow (11/10 fav). Finished 4th in this, Cantlow finished 2nd last. 2015 PP Hogan Ballybroker Bridge 25s beat Owens Pride 66s, Federici 3rd at 3/1, Quantitiveeasing 8/11 only 4th). In 2013 and 2014 Big Shu finished 2nd in the P P Hogan races before winning this in 2013 and 3rd in 2014 to Balthazar King. L'Ami 2nd here in '09, '10 Another Jewel won at Punchestown berfore 4th here.
COURSE FORM - This season's November course h'cap was won by Josies Orders from Fact Of The Matter and Jarob with Tiger Roll in that very eyecatching forth giving lumps of weight away. The December H'cap race this season was a turn round with Fact of The Matter (trained by Jamie Snowden) winning from My Hometown and Josies Orders.
AGE - Big Shu, Balthazar King, Le Duc, Freneys Well and Josies Orders at 8 yrs were the youngest to win/place. First three home last year aged 8, 10 and 10 respectively. Ages of the first four home in 2017 were 9, 12, 12, 7. In the first running in 2005 7 of the 16 runners were aged in single figures. In the last three years it has been 8 from 16 each time. No real difference. Apart from Tiger Roll, Big Shu and the Balt, all winners aged between 9 and 12 years of age. Only two winners older than 11 in last 13. Bless The Wings 14 yrs young, Cantlow 14 yrs. In the 2013/14 season's December C & D handicap Pasquini Rouge, a French trained 5 yr old, was placed.
TRAINERS - Gordon Elliott has won the last two. Also trains Bless The Wings, placed twice in 2016 and 2017.
Officially, Enda Bolger has trained 5 out of the 14 winners with four seconds, four thirds and four fourths. (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 nine and would be 0 from 28.
Paul Nicholls has only ever won two of these types of races. No winners from 16 runners in this. No entry last two years. Sire Collonges. Willie Mullins is 0 from 11 here. Alelchi Inois PU in 2017 his last contender.
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. Wonderkid, Dec '07, Sire Collonges and Josies Orders only 7 yr olds to win one of these types of races at Cheltenham. Dogora is the only horse under 8 yrs of age to be placed in this and he was only six in 2015.
All had won over at least 2m 6f. Last 13 had all won over at least 3m.
7 from the last nine had run in no more than five cross country chases.
11 of the 14 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) Tiger Roll was 150, Cause of Cause 142, Any Currency top rated 157. Top rated horse have 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.
8 out of 14 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 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. And Rivage d'Or
PRICE - the front three in the market have won 22 of the last 27 races over this course and 11 of the 14 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. No winning fav 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. None turned up last year. In 2017 Cantlow was beaten fav (again) and Colour Squadron unpl.
JOCKEYS - R Johnson has now won this twice. Nina Carberry has now 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 two years. May not be allowed to claim anymore since is now a conditions race.
BLINKERS CHEEKPIECES etc - Tiger Roll had worn cheekpieces before. Cause Of Causes and Bless The Wings in 2017 wore their usual cheekpieces. Any Currency always wears cheekpieces but Josies does not Therefore officially three winners from 55 triers. 11 last year including the 1-2. 8 in each of the previous three years (no first timers at all) At least one placed each time, 5 in 2014 wore different types of headgear producing 2nd and 4th.
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 Beware GO SEA - Groundless Optimism Syndrome Encouraged by Alcohol. A Cotswold condition very common at this time of year.