Winners have been a Pipe trained 9/2 favourite which led the whole way, a 40/1 shot of Charlie Egerton’s who led from 4 out. and Crack Away Jack, all three 'held up'. Silk Affair outstayed them all and Sanctuare, in 2010, was an armchair ride for Ruby. In 2011 What A Charm had a Irish flat rating of 105 and got in here with a hurdle handicap of 115. In 2012 N Henderson 4 timer on the day completed by Une Artiste, another 40/1 shot. In 2013 the winner was a 25/1 shot trained by G Elliott who I don't remember mentioning the words Flaxen or Flare at the Belfast Preview Night nine days earlier. 2014 Hawk High 33s trained by Tim Easterby, a rare and welcome Northern Trained festival winner. 2015 Qualando at 25s, the Paul Nicholls third string beat the Paul Nicholls second string, the trainer's third winner of the day. 2016 Diego Du Charmil the 13/2 P Nicholls second fav (and plot) won having been fortunate in about three counts. Two Irish fell when coming with wet sails and his own stable companion got a bit hampered at the last and may have won in another couple of strides. In 2017 a Nick Williams 33/1 shot gives Richard Johnson his first Festival winner since 2014. Noel Fehily on Divin Bere the fav, did a fine job keeping it in prime position going round only to be done on the run in by the champion jockey. There was a horse with Tiger in its name won the day before. That might have helped? Still no easier to produce trends for this.
6 of the 13 winners won last time out (and also six that finished second). But only Qualando of the last seven won last time out. Dabiroun and What a Charm were both maidens and along with Flaxen Flare had been well beaten in a Irish G1 or G2 hurdles on previous run. Both Flying Tiger and Une Artiste finished 4th in the G2 Adonis at Kempton last time out. Spooky. Une Artiste and had previously won the Cl2 Victor Ludorum at Haydock. Turning Gold from Cornerstone Lad. Hawk High had finished last in a Cl2 Novice at Haydock. Qualando won a Cl4 all aged Novice at Exeter. 4th in a Listed hurdle in Auteuil. Diego Du Charmil last race was to finish 2nd in a £17 French hurdle. 'Rating of 133 looked kind' stated trainer. Sure.
Only Gaspara came from the handicap hurdle route. Won Imperial Cup at Sandown 4 days before.
Diego du Charmil 2016 was a maiden. Flying Tiger took four attempts to win a hurdle but only two of those were in the UK. Used to be that all winners took three attempts to win their first hurdle. 4 from the last eight winners won with their first attempt over hurdles. Diego Du Charmil was given his rating and P Nicholls was going to do nothing to harm it. Une Artiste and Sanctuaire had been running in France but both won on their first starts in England. 2011 What a Charm hadn't finished better than 5th on any of his three hurdle starts.
44 beaten favourites last time have tried to win this. Only Diego Du Charmil at 13/2 has been successful.
4 of the last 11 winners have been fillies from only 14 runners in total (only one in the last two years, Unpl last year, 2016 Missy Tata in 4th, 2015 none ran, 2014 Pipe trained Azza only one, finished 17th).
4 of the last 11beat older horses on their latest start.
Top rated horse on the flat has won three and one second. "017 Percy Street (98) finished 6th, Nietzsche off 86 was third. 2016 Duke Street off 83 badly hampered at last.
10 of the 13 ran in the previous 32 days. Flying Tiger 18, Diego 133 days, Qualando 19, Hawk High 25.
8 of 13 French bred or imports. 5 weren't.
No winner had run at Cheltenham before.
No winner that started its career under National Hunt rules did so in Britain or Ireland. A nice thought out stat from Matt Tombs Cheltenham Festival Guide. Not sure how much it will help.
First four winners and Flying Tiger came from the top third of the handicap. Other eight didn't. 12 of the 13 winners were rated between 124 and 134. Not What A Charm. Flying Tiger highest rated to win this of 134. Handicap can be now compressed as everyone fights to get in. Last year not too bad 139-124. But do tend to be rated 129/130 to get a run. 2016 ratings between 128 and 142. 2015 and 2014 both covered by 12lbs. Full range in both 2011 and 2013.
Flying Tiger, Hawk High, Flaxen Flare, Gaspara, Shamayoun and Crack Away had winning times in 2 miles in soft under 4 minutes 14 secs. Both Dabiroun and What A Charm who had been placed in Listed flat on soft ground. Flaxen Flare Irish flat rating of 80. Hawk High rating of 80. Qualando's hadn't run over 2 miles. Its last run was over 2m 2f. Diego Du Charmil 3 mins 56 when 2nd on last run.
10 of the 13 winners had only ran three times over hurdles. In order to get a handicap mark? The 3 others had run up a sequence of at least 3 wins that season. In Une Artiste's case, the sequence started in France. Qualando only 2 runs in Britain, unsuccessful in 3 runs in France.
Silk Affair had never won over the trip before (had won over 2m 2f) but was rated 94 on the Flat in Britain. What A Charm had won over 2 miles on the Flat.
BETTINGS STATS ON THE FRED WINTER - In the last three years only 3 from the first six home under 16/1. 2014 Katgary (P Nicholls trained and unlucky here) in 2nd only one in the first 11 home under 16/1. Shortest priced animal in the first 14 home 2013 was 14/1. Two horses priced 10s and under finished in the first 6 in 2012. 2 in 2011, 3 in 2010. That brings the total to 21 in 13 runnings. That's 21 out of the first 78 home returned under 16/1. (favourite has been placed in four of the last seven years). Last 5winners priced 33s, 13/2, 25s, 33s, 25s, 40s.
D Pipe has had a winner, two second, a third and a fourth so far from a total of 13 runners. Gaspara and Ashkazar (2nd) came directly from the Imperial Cup at Sandown the Saturday before. Kazilian 4th 2012, T Scudamore went off like a scalded cat. Only three unplaced runners in total over the past five years. Changed times.
P Nicholls has run 18 French breds in this. 3 winners (in the last 8) and 7 placed. Two unplaced last year.
W Mullins 0 from 12 though Voix Du Reve unlucky in 2016, Venetia Williams 0 from 9 and Philip Hobbs both 0 from 8.
Three Irish trained winners at 20s, 25s and 9s, all 'held up'.
Only 5 of the 42 horses rated 120 or less were placed. 1st and 3rd 2011 from 10 runners. Lowest rating 2016 128, 2015 was 129.
JOCKEYS 3 conditionals have won including Nina on Dabiroun when she was claiming 5lb (second female rider to be successful at the Festival in non amateur races. The First lady to win was?). Brian Hughes good ride 2014 on Hawk High. Lizzie Kelly in 5th best conditional finisher last year. Best she was pleased when Flying Tiger won.
BLINKERS CHEEKPIECES etc - Four winners in thirteen races, Hawk High, Flaxen Flare, What a Charm and Shamayoun. All had worn them before but it was Flaxen Flare's first try with them over hurdles. 5 headgear wearers last year, best Nietzsche in 3rd. 10 headgear wearers in 2016 Romain De Senam best in 2nd. 3 first timers. In 2015, 6 headgear wearers, finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th. None first time wearers but first time tongue ties did finish 2nd and 3rd. 8 headgear wearers in 2014 with 1st and 3rd, 5 in 2013 including winner.
James Pyman, Racing Post March 8 2013 tried to make a case that those returning to the festival the season after running in this can run well. Hmmm. Look out for Flying Tiger, Divin Bere, Nietzsche and Project Bluebook. Didn't work last year. Bouvreil 2nd in this, came back to be second in the nov h'cap chase in 2016. Caid Du Berlais 3rd in this 2013, placed in Martin Pipe Hurdle 2014.
Nine of the thirteen had the letter A in the first three letters of their names but none started with the letter A. Two others, Silk Affair and Une Artiste have 'A' at the start of the second bit of their name. (2015 only 9 Qualifiers including 1st, 4th and 5th. 15 qualifiers 2014 including the 1st and 2nd). Like QuAlando. In 2016 this theory didn't work from the 7 qualifiers. I am claiming that it morally worked as CAmpeador was 'mounting a strong challenge' under B Geraghty before crumpling at the last. And his next run in an all age £43k Fairyhouse H'cap might suggest that he would have gone very close here. Couldn't even claim a moral victory in 2017. Best finisher was DiAblo De Sivola in 5th.
(Gee Armytage '87 on The Ellier doubled up the same year on Gee A. First lady winning Festival jockey Caroline Beasley Eliogarty - Foxhunters '83.)
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.