First run 2008. Upgraded to G1 in 2015.
Apart from Whiteoak 2008, L'Unique 2014 and Legacy Gold last year all the other 24 win and placed had previously won over at least 2 and 1/2 miles. Whiteoak had been winner last time out and had placed form in a G2 Novice hurdle. L'Unique had won a 4yr G1 at Aintree.
Whiteoak, a 5 yr old, held on to win the inaugural running when Refinement pulled herself up in the final furlong.
Quevega hacked home 6 times between 2009 and 2014, her final win achieved as a 10 yr old. A fantastic training performance. 'In command' was the phrase used about her in RP race notes 2014 and exactly the same phrase used about the racing position of Annie Power before her misfortune in 2015. 'In command' would describe Quevega's relationship with this race. In '09 she had won last time out, '10 she won by 4l after returning from injury (and on the day I was reliably informed she 'wasn't well'). In 2011, on her first run for 327 days, she wins by 10l and more checks should have been carried out to prove that she hadn't joined in at halfway. In 2012 it was only 313 days off so the rest of them decided to jog for over 2 miles and sprint up the hill. She wins by 4 lengths. 'Readily' was an understatement. I did suggest in 2013 that 'Maybe they should tie her back legs together and start her pointing in the opposite direction'. Well, she got hampered, shuffled back and nearly fell on the flat at the top of the hill. She touched 4s with Betfair, and still won, 'going away'. Finished like Nijinsky (relatively) over the final 3 furlongs. In 2014 it looked for a second that Glens Melody might have got away from her as they came round the corner. Just for a second.
They all carry 11st 5lb. Vroum Vroum rated 154 last year. Next two top rated Bitofapuzzle 148 and Desert Queen 147 both flopped. To be fair to the performance of Annie Power in 2015 she was rated 162, Polly Peachum only 7lb behind on 155 and Glens Melody 150. In 2014 2nd top rated to Quevega was 22lbs lower. Glens Melody that year was 145 and third rated. In 2013 second rated was Une Artiste 21lbs lower. In 2013 placed horses were 126 and 131 to Quevega's 163. In 2012 the dawdle didn't help the others with a half decent rating and the placed horses 134 and 135. 2011 Sparky May third top rated on 148 finished 2nd. '10 Voler la Vedette top rated in third. As usual there will be a lot of little or no hopers in this looking for that placed black type. At time of writing Vroum Vroum rated 154 and Apples Jade 153, Limini 145 and Jers Girl 144. At the moment it is 16s bar these four.
Irish trained - 8 wins, three runners up, four thirds and a fourth.
PRICE Going backwards from last year, the three Mullins hotpots have had the SPs of 4/6, 1/2, 8/11 (twice) 4/7, 5/6, 6/4 and 2/1. All favourites. Might be slightly different this year should Apples Jade run. Quevega won this as a five year old and Apples Jade is the first four year old ever to win a Hattons Grace (beating Vroum Vroum Mag in the process).
The OLBG Mares Hurdle at Ascot registered as the Warfield is a fair trial. Three runners in it finished second to Quevega. United and Sparky May won at Ascot before finishing second here. Both Kentford Grey Lady 2012 and Refinement 2008 finished second in both races in the same season. Frozen off in 2017.
Apart from Quevega no other horse had finished in the first three more than once until Glens Melody in 2015. Rock On The Moor, Legacy Gold. Second favourite has finished placed 3 times in the nine races. Would have been four had Annie Power stood up.
2016 - Hills and Paddypower went 1/5 the odds. Shop around
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.