• Johnny Henderson

    Grand Annual Handicap Chase

    HEADLINES

    10 of the last 11 winners aged between six and ten years

    The last nine winners rated between 138 and 150

    19 of the last 21 no more than 12 runs over fences

    Last seven winners no more than four runs that season

    Only one conditional jockey winner this century

    Since 2004, no winner had won a h'cap chase that season

    No repeat winners since 1959. No novice winner since 2013.

    13 of the last 15 had run at a previous Festival.

    Six from the last 14 came from the front three in the market in their last Grand Annual attempt.

    Only one winner this century had won a chase over further than 2m 3f

    Last 6 winners had not been raced for at least 50 days

    Summary

    Race Distance - 2 miles and abt half a furlong. Winner will be aged 7, 8 or 9 years except if older will have been already been placed in a Festival chase or if younger is from the first 4 in the market. Will be rated between 138 and 150. Either a course winner or ran at a previous Festival, or the jockey has already had at least two winners this week. If a novice not rated above 140. Should have finished in the first three in one of last two starts or placed in this last year. Does not run under a penalty. Has not more than 12 previous runs over fences on previously placed in this. Won’t have run more than 4 times since August. Irish trained punch above their numbers. If English trained is a course winner, Henderson trained or placed in this before. Not ridden by a conditional jockey. JP McManus very much involved but has been stung. Will have won over the trip. Has won over 2m 2f but not a chase in excess of 2m 3f. Check fancied horses in previous renewals. Not Croco Bay. Hasn't won a handicap chase this season and h'cap mark has not moved up by much since Oct. Winner usually battle hardened but may not have been seen for months

     

  • Evidence

    AGE - Croco Bay, as a gallant 'always prominent' 12 yr old, became the 4th winner of this in the last 22 to be aged 10ys or older. Six elder geldings in total tried last year, next best to the old boy was ninth. In 2018 nine qualifiers, best Gino Trail an 11 yr old in 2nd and Top Gamble another Kerry Lee inmate and 10 yr old in third. In 2017 four ran best Croco Bay in 5th, only 10 yrs old then, but getting a sighter.

     

    2016 5 ran best Savello (previous winner) in fourth. All unplaced going back to 2013 Oiseau De Nuit 2nd (previous winner). In both '12 and '11, 2 tried, Askthemaster. '09 best was Tramantano 4th at 33s (previously placed in a Greatwood Hurdle). In '08 Tiger Cry won at age 10, ’97 Uncle Ernie at 12 and in ’93 Space Fair at 10. Tiger Cry had been previously placed in this and and the latter two had each achieved places in an Arkle. 72 from last 84 win and placed aged under 10.

     

    2016 Solar Impulse, first 6 yr old since Oh Crick '09 and Edredon Bleu '98 (the latter under a gloriously mad front running AP ride). Magic Saint another Nicholls horse was only 5yrs old last year, finished 10th at 9/2 fav. No six yr olds ran. Le Prezien won as a seven yr old. He ran in 2017 as the only six yr old finishing 8th. Backed down to 7/2 fav. Won in 2017. Dolos, also a Nicholls horse was the only five yr old in the 2018 version, 16/1, finished seventh. Second to fifth home last year were all eight yr olds..

     

    2016 - Red Spinner also as a 6 yr old finished 5th. 2015 2 ran. Blood Cotil 4/1 jtfav and PU. 2014 3 ran. Ned Buntline a novice was 2nd and 6/1 jt fav. 2013 three aged under 7, all unplaced. 2012 - One five yr old ran, Kumbeswar, finished 3rd at 16s. Four six yr olds, best finisher Astracad in 7th. Palarshan '03 at 8/1 only 5 yr old winner since 1954.

     

    Alderwood was a 9 yr old and previous Festival winner. Next Sensation, Savello and Bellvano were all 8.

     

    To summarise, all winners bar Croco Bay aged between 6 and 10 yrs in the last 11 renewals.

     

    IRISH TRAINED - Rock The World, Savello, Alderwood, Tiger Cry, Fota Island ‘05 and Fadoudal Du Cochet make it six Irish trained winners in the last 18. Only Minds Eye ran last year for Henry de Bromhead, 7/1 PU after a bad mistake 4 out. Four ran in 2018, again best Henry de Bromhead's Three Stars in 5th. Dandridge 4th in 2017 behind Rock The World, 10/1 winner. In 2016, 5 ran, Dandridge 8s 2nd and Rock The World 9/2 fav and 3rd. 2015 6 ran, best Ned Buntline, AP's final festival ride 4/1 jt fav and 4th. In 2014 4 ran - Irish 1-2, Savello the final leg of a Gigginstown 4 timer. . Alderwood was the only Irish entry in his 2013 winning year, 3/1, defeat not happening. Five unplaced in 2012.

     

    2011 Askthemaster only Irish entry 2nd at 50/1. ’07 Ground Ball and ’06 Tiger Cry both placed. That's 6 winners and 9 placed from 55 runners in 17 years (that's about 35% of winners, 22% of total places for about 12% of total runners). Besides 2010 (nobody came), in the last 17 the Irish trained 'race within a race' has been won by the most fancied one on 9 occasions. Arthur Moore trained 2 winners this century with Dandridge running well in successive years.

     

    Rock The World 2017 was Jessica's third winner of the week and her first runner since winning the GC with Sizing John. Momentum? Robbie Power admitted later he 'had no idea where he was'. Just floated round.

     

    M/D. Pipe have yet to win this. 13 runners in past 13. Best has been Leo's Lucky Star 3rd 2011, Consigliere 3rd '10, Madison Du Berlais 3rd in ‘06. No runner last year. P Nicholls produced Solar Impulse to win this in 2016, first winner since Andreas 2007 (see Momentum Theory on General Trends page and first time blinkers). Le Prezien was his beaten fav in 2017, returns to win 2018. Last year ran Brelan D'as 3rd at 8/1, Magic Saint fav and Le Prezien.

     

    N Henderson has a decent recent record, Whatwrongwithyou 7th last year, but Theinval 4th 2018at 16s and 3rd 2017 at 9s, Nickys only runner in each of the last two. One unplaced in 2016. Kid Cassidy 2nd in 2013 from 6 (and shortest in price), 1-2 in 2012 from 6 runners. Bellvano was the fifth fancied of the 6. One of the great P Carberry rides. N Henderson has had three beaten favourites in the past 11 years. Both his winners since the name change were priced 20/1.

     

    8 of the last 11 English trained were course winners. Including Le Prezien but not the three before him. I know, misleading.

     

    RETURNING WINNERS - Repeat success hasn't been achieved since Top Twenty in 1959. This century nine winners have returned the next year. They were placed, most recent first. 9th/14th/BD/9th/5th/4th/11th/10th/PU. Croco Bay.

     

    JP McManus - Owned winners 2005, 2012, 2013, 2018. Also seconds in 2013, 2014, 2015. Six others placed since 2003. Breslan D'As third last year, 12 others unplaced over the last four years including Le Prezien, Champagne At Tara, Don't Touch It and finally Bouvreuil who turns up in this most years.

     

    FORM - Apart from Le Prezien (8th in 2m 5f course December H'Cap chase), Rock The World (wind op after 11th in a course chase 141 days hence), Savello (9th in £50k F'house Ch) and Pigeon Island (5th of 5 at Warwick G2 Novice) every other winner since 1984 has finished in the first 4 on their latest completed chase start. Croco Bay had been 2nd, 227 days previously

     

    22 of last 34 not outside first four on any completed run that season. Used to be a good stat. Not now. Two of the exceptions finished in the first 3 in their three previous runs. Rock The World' form figures before went 080. Le Prezien 238

     

    Since 2004 no winner had won over fences that season anything other than a beginners or ungraded novices chase. No handicap chases winners that season. 118 have tried. Seven qualifiers in 2019, including 2nd, 5th, 6th home plus fav Magic Saint.
     

    21 from the last 24 top three in at least one of its last two starts. Not Rock The World, Next Sensation nor Pigeon Island. Both Rock and Next placed in this the year before they won.

     

    20 out of last 24 no more than 4 times since August including none of the last seven (exceptions Oiseau de Nuit, Oh Crick and Fota Island with 5, The Pigeon had 7 goes).

     

    Novices - 7 novice winners in past 22 races (4 ran in each of the last two years, best Brelan D'As last year, 2018 best Dolos in 7th, North Hill Harvey, fav, 2nd when challenging three out, fell. Three ran in 2017, best Theinval 3rd, 4 unplaced 2015, 2nd and 3rd 2014 the joint favourites, 2013 and 2012 winners, '10 1st and 2nd, '09 1st and 3rd, ’08 My Petra fav and 2nd). 12 of the other winners who were not novices had previously competed in a previous Festival chase (exceptions to all Savello and Edredon Bleu 7/2 fav and with both of those winners, the jockeys were on fire that week). No novice winner since Bellvano and Carberry in 2012.

     

    RATINGS - 10 successful novices since 1984 Brelan D'As 136 when 3rd and Rock The World (146) 3rd when fav 2016. All novice winners bar the last two Alderwood (140) and Bellvano (138) rated between 129 and 135. Pigeon Island 129, Oh Crick 130. The latter two were the lowest rated novices in the race. Alderwood and Bellvano were the second lowest of the 7 novices in their year.

    Seven novices ran in 2016, Rock The World joint top rated of those. Three novices in 2017, top rated Le Prezien on 146. The four novices to run in 2018 were rated between 150 and 141. Last year novices betwen 145 to 136

     

    Lowest rated runner to get in going back six years from last year were 134, 139, 135, 137, 130, 136.

     

    Those rated between 130 and 134 responsible for the winner and the second in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008. Only 1st in 2010 and 2009. None of the first 4 in the last six years were in this band (Oiseau 145 before taking off jockeys 7lb claim). Only other two winners not in this band were '07 Andreas on 143 and Pigeon 129, both novices. Le Prezien off 150 highest rated winner since My Young Man off 153 in 1992. Last nine winners rated betwen 138 and 150 with only two in the 130's. Rock and Savello both 147, Croco 'thrown in' off 139.

     

    Rated over 145 - Last year first four ratings home were 139, 148, 136, 153. Forest Bihan in 4th was top weight. 2018 first three home rated 150, 149, 152. 2016 placed ratings included a 146 and a 150. In 2015, it was Eastlake 2nd at 145, Croco Bay 3rd at 149. Savello 147, Tanks For That 149, Oiseau 145 and 149, the three placed horses in 2010 off 154, 145 and 150 and Andreas, placed '08, only horses rated 145 plus to be placed in last 16. That's 16 from the last 80 placings but bringing it up to date, 10 from the last 20 over 145. Higher ratings definitely becoming more involved.

     

    PRICE - 24 from last 35 found in first five in the betting. 15 from last 23 not above 12/1. Exceptions, Croco Bay, christ, 66s, £138 on tote, 190s I believe on machine. Solar Impulse 40s to 28s on course, Next Sensation, Savello, Bellvano, Uncle Ernie, Greenhope, Pigeon, Oiseau at 40/1. Not helpful at all. In 2014 Savello was also backed, 33s to 16s in 15 minutes. (Davy Russell trebles? Or the last leg of Mr Michael O'Leary's 50p ew Lucky 15 that day?)

     

    Last three favs to win Space Trucker 7/2 '99, St Pirran 4/1 '04, Alderwood 3/1 '13. Only Alderwood in the last 15 years. Due another. Only three winners from the last nine came from the front six in the betting.

     

    2 beaten favourites last time have won since 1999 from 30 qualifiers. £1 on all of them would leave you £9 behind. Best qualifier last year was Bun Doran in 2nd. One ran 2018, Top Gamble in third at 8/1.

     

    Last 25 winners were not running under a penalty. No qualifiers last two years. Six last time out winners ran last year, best Brelan D'As 3rd.

     

    23 out of last 29 carried no more than 10st 13lbs. But only Croco Bay of the last six. He carried 10st 13lbs, Le Prezien 11st 8lbs, Rock The World 11st 5lb, Solar Impulse 11st. Oiseau 10st 13st after jockeys 7 lb allowance. Next Sensation 11st 2 lbs, Savello 11st 5 lbs first winner since '98 Edredon Bleu to carry over 11st. This mirrors the recent raise in ratings to qualify.

     

    Six of the last seven not seen for at least 45 days. Croco Bay 227 days, Le Prezien 90 days, Rock The World 141 days. Solar Impulse 92 . Next Sensation not out for 104 days for another breathing op. Savello 54, Before that 45 days max til at least 1990. Plots.

     

    Rock The World, Next Sensation (4th to Savello), Uncle Ernie and Tiger Cry only winners to improve on a placed effort in the previous Festival. Alderwood won the County and Oiseau PU in this 2010 but was a previous course winner. Le Prezien 7th here in 2017, Solar Impulse 7th in the Fred Winter in 2014. Croco 3rd and 5th in previous installments of this. Sure it was obvious.

     

    RUNS - 19 of last 21 winners no more than 12 previous runs over fences and all were distance winners. (Croco 25 previous chases, Oiseau 20 previous runs - Alderwood only four, Solar Impulse 10, Savello 9, Le Prezien 9).

     

    TRIP -17 of last 23 had won over 2m 2f +. Three others were already course winners. Le Prezien and Alderwood was both. Before Rock The World none of the previous three were either. (Savello earned the title of the 2014 Cheltenham Festival Stats Demolisher)

     

    10 of the last 18 were previous course winners (including 10 of the last fourteen). 7 others had raced before on the course, six at a previous festival. (Exception is, yes, you've guessed it, Savello)

     

    14 of last 16 had run at a previous Festival, only Alderwood won (County Hurdle). 6 of the last 14 ran in this the previous year, best placing achieved was third (Rock).

     

    In the past 11, previous years winners to turn up have finished 0045B000 Croco Bay

     

    The past 16 winners ran in total 60 times that season. Only finished out of the frame on 17 completed runs. 3 of those each to three of the last five winners. That stat's not working.

     

    Top Twenty 1958 and '59 only horse ever to win two of these. Croco Bay

     

    BLINKERS ETC - Croco Bay (bl) joined Solar Eclipse in first time blinkers, Savello (hood) and Pigeon Island (blinkers) only such winners in last 22. Eight of the nineteen in headgear last year also Forest Bihan 4th usual cheekpieces. Nine in 2018 including 2nd, 3rd and 4th, Top Gamble 3rd in first time pieces. Six in 2017 including Theinval, 3rd, in first time cheekpieces. Only three tried in 2016 including Savello 4th. 6 tried in 2015, best Ned Buntline in 4th, 6 others tried in Savello's winning year including Ned Buntline in a first time hood ('09, Moon Over Miami, a close 2nd, 2012 Kumbeswhar first time blinkered, 3rd, 4 unpl 2013).

     

    CONDITIONAL JOCKEYS - Mr Steven Clements (7) is the only conditional winner I can find to win this in the past 35 years. 2010 Oiseau de Nuit 40s. None placed last three years. 2016 step forward Bridget Andrews (5) fourth on Savello, the only conditional riding (8 spread over the previous two years unplaced), 2013 Jeremiah McGrath (3) second on Kid Cassidy, Brendan Powell (3) third on Oiseau. 5 others unplaced. Jeremiah got the ride as P Carberry suffered an unfortunate injury. Whilst he did well to finish second, IMO I would have been surprised if P Carberry would have, three out, taken it up the on the Kid.)

     

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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.  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.