• Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase 3m abt 7f



    Last 13 had all won over at least 3 miles

    Ten from the last 12 were aged no older than 10 yrs.

    No winners younger than 8 years

    10 from the last 12 winners of the Course Conditions race came from the market front two

    Only Any Currency (dsqd) of all the March winners had run in more than 6 cross country races

    Paul Nicholls and Willie Mullins have never won this

    On the day itself, Enda Bolger has not won any of the last 8


    Race Distance - 3 miles 6 furlongs. (My friends continue to look down their noses at this. 'I am not having a bet on that nonsense' is the usual quote. Well, I need money to bet. This 'steeplechasing in its purist form' (not my words, those of Davy Russell) has provided me with a steady little stream of income over the years. In November backed Cause Of Causes at 7s to repeat his success. Felt that if he turns up, he wins. Now with 4 days to go, I worry about Tiger Roll. Not sure what to do about the stats since the disqualification of Any Currency. We will go on the official result. As we know the same horses do tend to be involved each time.)


    Winner to be trained in Ireland. English trained horse to be placed. Will have raced over the Cheltenham C & D this season or ran in the PP Hogan Punchestown. Aged 8, 9 or 10 yrs of age. Has been placed at least over these obstacles at either Cheltenham or Punchestown. Has won over at least 3m. Unlikely to be ridden by a claimer. Favourite due to win on the day. Enda Bolger might be nervous and would like to win it. Winer has not ran in more than 6 Cross Country races. Still best to avoid beaten favourites last time.


    From 2016 this is now a Conditions Race and not a Handicap. Bear that in mind though course experience and not weight has tended to be more important. The 16 still turned up last year as usual and yes, no bookie went 4 places

  • Evidence

    First ran in 2005.


    Last year Cause of Causes at 9 yrs stayed on strongly to go 9l clear of two 12 yr olds Bless The Wings and Cantlow. Allegedly Cause Of Causes had spent a couple of days in January schooling over the course fences.


    In 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. Doesn't help stats.

    In 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.


    Balthazar King 2012 and 2014 the only English trained winner in the 12 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, 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. 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 finished third. 2018 Auvergnat bt Josies Orders(giving 2lb) sh hd.


    Officially, Enda Bolger has trained 5 out of the 11 winners with four seconds, four thirds and three fourths. (Cantlow and Augernat last year, 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 Enda has not won any of the last eight and was 0 from 24.


    The November course H'cap was won by Kingswell Theatre from two French raiders Vicomte Du Seuil from Urgent De Gregaine December H'cap race this season was won by Bless The Wings from Cantlow and Josies Orders. The same horses run in these races all the time

    Big Shu, Balthazar King, Le Duc, Freneys Well and Josies Orders at 8 yrs were the youngest to win/place. 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 two years it was 8 from 16 each time. No real difference. Apart from the Shu and the Balt, all winners aged between 9 and 12 years of age. Only two winners older than 11 in last 12. Bless The Wings 13 yrs young, Any Currency 14 yrs , Cantlow 13 yrs. In the 2013/14 season's December C & D handicap Pasquini Rouge, a French trained 5 yr old, was placed.


    Paul Nicholls has only ever won two of these types of races. No winners from 16 runners in this. No entry last year. Sire Collonges. Willie Mullins is 0 from 11 here. Alelchi Inois PU in 2017.


    Urgent de Gregaine, Rivage D'Or and Uncle Junior in November '11 became the only horses in 39 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. Cause Of Causes had finished 5th in the January version.


    All had won over at least 2m 6f. Last 12 had all won over at least 3m.


    10 of the 13 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 (won't matter now - all level weights) Balthazar King and Garde Champetre won off 150. The other 11 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, Uncle Junior top rated 2013 off 157, 14lbs higher.

    8 out of 13 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. Cause Of Cause had won the 4 miler and the Kim Muir. Has won three different races 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.

    No winner of this had run more than 6 times in Cross Country races. Josies Orders (5). Any Currency probably 15 at least.


    PRICE - the front three in the market have won 19 of the last 24 races over this course and 10 of the 13 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. In2017 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 year. May not be allowed to claim anymore since is now a conditions race.


    BLINKERS CHEEKPIECES etc - Cause Of Causes and Bless The Wings in 2017 wore their usual cheekpieces. Any Currency always wears cheekpieces but Josies does not Therefore officially only one winner from 44 triers. 8 in each of the last 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.




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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 (Gary).  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 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.