• Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase

    The last four David Pipe trained finishing 1st or 2nd in this had not raced for at least 75 days.

    Irish trainers saddled eight favourites in the last 17, all beaten. However, Irish trained have won four in the last seven.

    Irish based amateurs have ridden six of the last seven winners.

    Jamie Codd has won four, Derek O'Connor one and has been thrice a runner up

    Only three claiming jockeys have achieved a first three place in the last 12 renewals, including last year's winner.

    Ballabriggs 2010 last winner to win previous run.

    The last 16 winners had raced at least twice this season

    None of the last six had won that season

    8 of the last 10 wore some sort of headgear.

    15 from the last 16 aged between 7 to 9 years

    11 of the last 15 achieved their best RPR within their last two runs, three of the exceptions were JP owned and returned at less than 9/1.

    P Nicholls and W Mullins yet to win this


    This race was changed to the New Course in 2009. Race Distance - 3 miles and abt 2 furlongs, half a furlong longer since 2014. Still a 0 - 145 handicap. The last twelve renewals have been on the New Course.


    Will be aged 7 to 9 years unless trained by D Pipe. Nothing placed above 10 yr olds unless Henderson or Pipe trained. Will be either a novice, placed at a previous festival or ran in a h'cap chase at the International meeting. Either between 9 and 20 previous runs over fences or less than 7 previous chase runs and strongly fancied. Winner rated at least 137. Unless a full range handicap winner will carry more than 11st 2 lbs after allowances taken off. Unless Elliott trained, last race will have been in a handicap over at least 3 miles. Not necessary to have won a handicap chase or at all that season. Has competed in at least a G3 in the last two seasons but has not won this season anything but an ordinary novice chase. Unlikely to be a handicap debutant unless Elliott. Not French bred. Best RPR achieved within previous two runs, unless well fancied and probably McManus owned. At least two runs this season but may not have been seen for months. Either has won a NH race over 3 miles or has Graded class place form over hurdles or fences. Will have finished at least 3rd in either of previous two runs or is under 10/1. Unlikely to be from Ditcheat or Closutton. G Elliott and other Irish trained punch well above their numbers including and recent moves to UK. Headgear wearing in vogue recently. Can be carnage here. Winning jockey a non-claiming amateur or from Elliott stable. Derek and Jamie worth half a stone. Laying beaten favourites last time out still pays.

  • Honours Board

    Year||| Form||| Winner||| Age||| Weight||| OR||| SP||| Trainer||| Jockey||| Last Race (No of days)

    2020 |||452422||| Milan Native||| 7||| 11-1||| 141||| 9/1 |||G Elliott(IRE)||| Mr R James (7)||| 2nd Gowran Beginners 2m 4f (26)

    2019 |||5253||| Any Second Now||| 7||| 11-11 |||143||| 6/1||| T Walsh(IRE) |||Mr D O'Connor |||3rd G2 Navan Ten Up Nov (25)

    2018||| P632||| Missed Approach||| 8||| 11-5||| 138 |||8/1||| W Greatrex||| Mr N McParlan||| 2nd Cl2 M'burgh H'cap 4m 1f (41)

    2017 |||5683||| Domesday Book |||7 |||11-4 |||137 |||40/1||| S Edmunds||| Miss G Andrews||| 3rd CL3 Leic H'cap 2m 4f (28)

    2016 |||005 |||Cause of Causes||| 8 |||11-9||| 142||| 9/2 |||G Elliott(IRE)||| Mr JJ Codd||| 5th G2 Naas Ch 2m (25)

    2015||| 6P||| The Package |||12||| 11-4||| 137 |||9/1 |||D Pipe||| Mr JJ Codd |||PU G3 Becher Ch 3m 2f (96)

    2014 |||13280||| Spring Heeled||| 7 |||11-6 (2ow) |||138 |||12/1||| J Culloty(IRE) |||Mr R McNamara||| 10th Lstd Leop Paddy Power Ch (76)

    2013||| 34136||| Same Difference||| 7||| 11-0||| 137 |||16/1||| N Twiston-Davies |||Mr R Hatch(7)||| 6th G3 Kemp H'cap Hdle (26)

    2012||| 7P9 |||Sunnyhillboy||| 9||| 11-11||| 142 |||13/2F||| JJ O'Neill||| Mr A Berry |||9th CL2 Haydock H'cap H'dle (26)

    2011||| 1232||| Junior |||8||| 11-6||| 134 |||100/30F |||D Pipe||| Mr JJ Codd||| 2nd CL2 Chelt H'cap Hdle (75)


    2020 - '7lb claimers never win this race.' Well, Rob James has over 200 Irish p2p winners many of whom I have watched. He has been trusted to ride a lot of expensive thoroughbreds in 4 yr old maidens. I'd say Rob might try to keep that 7lb allowance for a while. Gigginstown's Milan Native in its first handicap, backed from 14s to 9s on course. Obviously tossed in. Simon Holt course commentary coming round the corner 'he's running away.' Gordon 'always the plan' does look extremely happy in the above photo for winning a £41k Amateur Riders H'cap Chase. Maybe a shilling or two on? Gordon was also 6-3 ahead of Willie for top trainer at that moment. Must have thought home and hosed with seven races to go. The well-touted Kilfilum Cross and Plan of Attack 2nd and 4th.


    2019 - Derek O'Connor had never won this race. Watching him throughout this on Any Second Now, you would wonder why. You can see why Derek and Jamie Codd and seen as worth at least 'half a stone.' JP owned and Ted Walsh trained, Any Second Now was a seven yr old, rating 143, carrying 11st 11lb. 6/1 second fav. Rated 1lb lower than the start of the season, had been fav and underperformed in the 2018 Close Brothers chase. Usually wore blinkers. In the 2019 season had run 5th in the PaddyPower chase at Leopardstown and third behind Chris's Dream in the Ten Up at Navan. The Young Master, a 10 yr old finished 3rd here.


    2018 - Missed Approach with Noel McParlan on board, 8s from 11s outstayed Mall Dini 4/1 fav. Both eight year olds. Still meeting people who can't understand how Pat Kelly can train a horse that can lose Festival races. Double Ross 4th at 40s as a 12 yr old.


    2017 After a fantastic duel between Pendra and Doomsday Book, Derek O'Connor's gallant partner just ran out of puff on the run-in, giving a first Festival success for trainer Stuart Edmunds and Gina Andrews. Doc felt he would have won had they not had to miss out the third last. The cavalry were closing in fast behind. Apart from Pendra (9yrs) the rest of the first six home were seven yr olds.


    2016 Cause Of Causes an 8 yr old sped by the placed two seven yr olds and an eight year old. Cause Of Causes was one of those times, as soon as I uttered the words 'Well, Jamie is going to have difficulty winning from there', I felt a bit of a fool.


    AGE - 2015 The Package aged 12 yrs in first time blinkers. Not out for 96 days. Festival record P2431, all in handicaps. 'Clear last, pushed out, comfortably' Great Festival favourite a helluva training performance by D Pipe. Another nice ride by Jamie Codd. The oldest horse before that machine to win this was Omerta in 1991 as an eleven year old. Omerta was trained by MC Pipe and ridden by a 7 lb claimer called Adrian Maguire. Loads of eleven year olds and older have tried since Omerta, 7 only have been placed.


    Apart from Double Ross in 2018, 16 in total older than 10 yrs unplaced over the past six years, including Measureofmydreams the 11yr old 3/1 favourite in 2019. Madness. The Young Master UR 4 out last year when still in touch. Going back then, 6 tried in 2014, Roberto Goldback 3rd at 16s. Twenty unplaced qualifiers between Roberto and the 13 yr old Lord Of The River trained by N Henderson 2nd in 2005 @ 50s. The Package only horse over 9 years of age to win this since Maximise at 10yrs in 2004 trained by, yes you've guessed it. M Pipe. The Package was probably the last of the David Johnson vintage.


    All winners bar two this century were 7 to 9 years old. Only 5 of the 20 winners have been seven yrs of age but all five of those have come since 2012 - Milan Native, Any Second Now, Domesday Book, Spring Heeled, Same Difference, Cloudy Lane '07. Last one before that was Ferdy Murphy's Stop the Waller in '96. Oh, how I remember shouting, 'don't stop, Stop...keep going, Stop.' Five six yrs old ran down the field in the last three years including Champagne Platinum last year, N Henderson's 5/1Jt Fav with Doc on board. 2014 and 2013 two second placers were Cause Of Causes (6 yrs) and Super Duty (7). No 6 yr old winner of this since 1971. Only one in 2017 was the wonderfully exasperating Squouateur the 5/1 fav under Jamie Codd UR 'when making steady progress'.


    WEIGHT - 11 winners in last 31 carried over 11st 2lbs to victory after taking into account jockeys claim. That includes ten of of the last twelve (Milan Native 11st 1 lb after Rob's useful 7lb taken off. Any Second Now 11st 11lb, Missed Approach 11st 5 lbs, Doomsday Book 11st 4lb, Cause Of Causes 11st 9lbs, The Package 11st 4lbs. Spring Heeled carried 11st 6lbs, '12 Sunnyhillboy 11st 11, '11 Faasel 11st 9lb, '10 Ballabriggs under top weight 11st 12lbs, '09 Character Building 11st 12lb). 2013 Same Difference carried 11st after taking off Ryan Hatch's 7lbs.


    However this is now usually one of the most compressed handicaps in the Festival after the Nov h'cap chase. Ten of the last eleven were very compressed handicaps. Last year 10lb covered the h'cap before jockeys' allowances, 2109 it was 11lbs. 2018 was a bit odd with two declared on the 10st mark and then a 7lb gap to the next runner on 10st 7lb. Before that the bottom weight hadn't been less than 10st 8lbs after jockeys allowances for some time. 2017 the bottom weight was 11st before claims 2016 was 10st 12, 2015 was 10st 11lbs and 10st 13 in 2014. It remains a skill in itself for trainers to get horses into some of these handicaps.


    RATINGS - Have gone up throughout this century. Before 2009 no winner rated above 134. In the last 11 nothing rated below 134, four of the last 10 in the 140s, peaking with Any Second Now winning in 2019 off 143. This is a 0-145 and with the compressed handicaps, this scenario was always going to happen. , Ballabriggs 140, Junior 134, Character Building 139, Ballabriggs 140, Same Difference 137, Spring Heeled 140, The Package 137, Cause Of Causes 142, Doomsday Book 137, Missed Approach 138 and Any Second 143 and Milan Native 141. Last year all placed horse rated at least 138, in 2019 it was 139. Between 2016 and 2018 all of the first four home rated at least 135.


    Since this race moved to the New Course, five of the twelve winners ran in a course h'cap chase at the INTERNATIONAL Meeting, 4 in the Unicorn 3m 2f chase one won last season by Cogry. Looking at the ratings, you might expect that race to provide runners for this. However none of the last five winners run in it nor did the other two novices, Same Difference and Ballabriggs. The three novice winners had never raced here before but the other four did have Festival chase experience, Cause of Causes had won, and Missed Approach been placed in a 4 miler. Both Any Second now and Domesday Book had been well beaten in Close Bros chases. This was Milan Native's first visit to a UK course. Summarise, 4 from the past 12 hadn't been before to the Festiaval.


    PRICE - 6 winning favourites since 1977 including Sunnyhillboy 2012, Junior 2011, Cloudy Lane '07 and The Bushkeeper '02. The last few winners have been 16/1, 12/1, The Package 9s, Cause Of Causes 9/2 second fav, Domesday Book 40/1, Missed Approach 8/1 and the least two 6/1 and 9/1. The 1-2 last year were in the first five in the betting, in 2019 second and third fav (Kilfilum Cross 7/1) finished as the 1-2 and in 2018 the top three in the market all finished in the first three home. No winning fav in the last nine. Becoming due.


    This century 43 beaten favourites last time have gone to post including Cloth Cap last year unplaced. Two in 2019 also unplaced. Missed Approach 8/1 in 2018 the only one to win. (hate it when that happens, spoiling my stat). Notable losers include Measureofmydreams (amazing SP at 3s for this), Squoateur (who was usually backed into favouritism everywhere) and Champagne James in 2015, backed from 8s to 4s in the 15 minutes before the off.


    FORM - 17 from last 27 finished 1st or 2nd in either of last two starts. (three others were Pipe trained, Character Building, Same Difference and High Chimes only achieved a 3rd place two runs previous). Spring Heeled's last run finished 10th in Leopardstown Paddy Power Chase, Cause Of Causes warmed up in a 2 mile jog in a Navan 2 miler. Domesday Book 3rd at Leicester, Any Second Now, 3rd to Chris's Dream in the Ten Up. Fair form.


    Only one of the last 12 had won a chase (other than a beginners or ungraded novice) that season. Milan Native was a maiden. Only Ballabriggs of the last 18 won last time out.


    12 from last 16 finished in first 3 in either of last two starts. Not 4 of the last nine.
    RP RATINGS - Apart from Any Second Now, Missed Approach, Cause of Causes and Sunnyhillboy, nine from the last 13 had all achieved best RPR within their last two runs. Three of the four exceptions were JP owned and all four were seriously punted on the day. Milan Native's best RPR two runs previous in Alloha's beginners chase win.

    Apart from Milan Native, Any Second and Cause Of Causes, the last 26 winners all competed in a handicap last time out. Junior and Sunnyhillboy were in handicap hurdles. Missed Approach 2nd in the 4m 1f Edinburgh National at Musselburgh. On the wane?


    18 from last 22 ran over at least 3 miles last time. Not Milan Native, Domesday, nor Cause Of Causes.

    No French breds, fallers or unseats that season from any of the last 14 winners.
    Milan Native the first winner this century from the 27 handicap debutants. I knew there was some reason..
    Milan Native the first in 12 not to have run over 3 miles that season. And another one..


    Only 12 from last 24 had actually won a handicap chase (including seven of the last thirteen). None of the last three.

    12 from last 18 has won over 3 miles. Exceptions Milan Native, had never run over 3 miles, Any Second Now, 5th in the Paddypower, Doomsday Book, previously 6th in a Troytown, Spring Heeled 2nd in a 3m Munster National, Character Building placed in a Hennessey, Sunnyhillboy placed in an Irish National. The latter pair were both previous Festival placed.


    17 from last 23 had run between 9 and 20 times over fences. The other six had run less than 7 times over fences. They were three winning favourites, a winning 8/1 2ndfavourite, Milan Native at 9/1 and Same Difference, a novice. Any Second Now 9 runs, Missed Approach 11 previous chase runs, Domesday Book 9 chases.


    12 from the last 15 no more than 11 runs over fences, but not Cause of Causes nor The Package. Last 17 winners at least two runs this season.


    Glyde Court '85 and '86, the last horse to win two of these. Trained by Fred Winter.


    9 of the last 21 had never raced at Cheltenham before. 9 others had placed course form. Cause Of Causes had been placed in this before and won the 4 miler as a second season novice. The Package loved the place. Junior 2nd season before in G3 course chase. Character Building had been 2nd in the 4 miler in '07. Sunnyhillboy placed in this in 2010 and was a course winner. Exceptions to all are Any Second Now and, Domesday Book both unpl in Festival Nov H'cap and Spring Heeled who could only manage 8th behind Alvarado in the 3m 3f Graded Cheltenham Chase in November.


    10 from last 13 had competed in at least a G3 that season. Two others had won Cl2 handicap chases. Domesday 6th in Troytown. Missed Approach had been 6th in a Newbury Ladbroke. Exception Milan Native decent G2 novice hurdle form but had been hidden away in plain sight for this.


    TRAINERS - Fred Rimell top with four successes.


    D/M Pipe trained four of the last 18 winners with The Package, Junior, Royal Predica and Maximise. Also Faasel has been second in both 2011 and 2010. Hasn't won any of the last five. No runner in last three years (sad) but ran seven in total over the previous two years' including in 2016' Dr Harper fav and disappointing, Amigo 5th at 33s and Top Wood 25s 'disputing close second when fell 4 out'.


    The last four horses D Pipe trained to finish 1st or 2nd in this had not been seen for 96, 267, 75 and 97 days respectively. Amigo 5th 2016, hadn't been seen for 293 days. Spring Heeled not out for 76 days, Same Difference only 19 days, Domesday Book 28days, Missed Approach 40 days. Pendra, runner up in 2017 hadn't been let loose by Charlie Longsdon for 341 days, Any Second Now's run at Navan was 25 days before this. Milan Native 26.


    N Henderson - Nothing recent. '90 Master Bob, ’02 The Bushkeeper 11st 2lb and ’05 Juveigneur 11st 7lbs both big weight carrying winners. Champagne Platinum (a JP punt) 5/1jt fav 7th. No runner 2019, 2018 Sugar Baron 14th. In 2017, saddled four, Premier Bond 3rd, Sugar Baron 6th. 2016 Ericht hit a few fences, unpl. Roberta Goldback 3rd 2014. One runner unplaced in each of 2013 and 2012, no runner in 2011.


    IRISH TRAINED - Like them all, an improving record - Milan Native led home a 1-4-6 from five runners last year. Any Second Now, Cause of Causes and Spring Heeled shattered the stat of Greasepaint in 1983 being the last Irish trained winner. 8 others ran in 2019, none finished better than 8th. Ireland has provided 8 favourites in the past 18. All beaten. Love that. Measureofmydreams, 2018 Mall Dini, also Squoateur 5/1 third, Marinero 100/1 PU. Before 2016 J.P. McManus had been a particular sufferer with his Irish trained (happy enough with Jonjo, though). In 2017 Pendra nearly made up for Squouteur's unseat.


    All bar Milan Native of the last four Irish trained ran in the Paddy Power Chase.


    Back to Irish trained. 4 winners in the last seven. And with due respect to the skills of Stuart Edmunds, Domesday Book had only moved to his yard from Henry de Bromhead's on the 4th February.


    In 2015, 6 Irish Trained ran finishing 2nd, 3rd and 5th. 2014 Irish Trained finished 1st, 2nd, 4th (Ballnaslow a rare place for W Mullins). 2013 4 ran, best was Romanesco in 3rd (and some said that Nina on board gave those in front of her a touch too much rope) also Becauseicouldntsee in 5th. 2012 5 tried, finished 2nd, 4th and 5th. '11 Deal Done 3rd at 20s from 3 runners. '10 3 tried, all unplaced. In' 09 best of Irish 3 was Newbay Prop in 3rd, '08 3 tried all unplaced, '07 3rd and 4th achieved from 4 runners. Continue to punch weight well above their numbers


    G ELLIOTT THE MAN - In the last eight renewals, he has run ten. Two winners, four placed, and Squoateur threatening, when fell. Did cause the ill fated antepost plunge on Measureofmydreams on the Preview Circuit but also gave Milan Native when he was at 33s.


    W Mullins has yet to have a finisher in the first three. Cabaret Queen last to finish last year, Livelovelaugh 16s 12th in 2019.


    OTHER TRAINERS - Apart from Henderson and Pipe, Messrs McCain, Alner and Ferdy Murphy have all saddled at least 2 winners of this. RIP Robert and Ferdy. McCain fav 2014 with Indian Castle (7th), 2nd 2013 with Super Duty, Khachaturian 5th to Ballabriggs. P Nicholls has not done well here with a 4th best finish from his 22 runners. Two well down the field over the last two years including Touch Kick 11/1. Captain Bucks, Unioniste, Mon Parrain Just a Par all unpl in last five years. Two runs later in 2015 Just A Par won the Whitbread/Bet365. (Referred again to lack of success in his column, feels his handicap chasers tend to come to the Festival 'a bit exposed'). 2020 Coup De Pinceau 40s PU.


    Trevor Hemmings has owned 3 of the last 14 winners but none of the last ten. Deise Aba 5th last year, one of the few Hobbs horses to show in a good light. Touch Kick and Very First Time unpl previous two years


    CARNAGE - 15 finished the race last year, only three UR or F. 5 were F or U over the previous two years, 4 in 2017 and 2016, 7 in 2015 fell, unseated or brought down. Can be the worst race at Festival for this.


    BLINKERS ETC - Before 2011 horse with any type of headgear were 0 from 64 over the previous 12 years. Changed now. In 2011 the first seven home were blinkered, those finishing 3rd and 5th were for the first time. In 2012, 9 tried, best Exmoor Ranger in 3rd. In 2013 Same Difference won in a first time visor, Alfie Sherrin 4th in cheekpieces. In 2014 10 of the 23 runners wore some sort of headgear including Spring Heeled (always wears it) and Same Difference in 5th. In 2015 The Package wins in first time cheekpieces. Ten others wore headgear including 2nd and 4th home. Only other first time headgear was Sixty Something at 33/1 who was tanking along at the top of the hill before trying to demolish 4 out. The man beside me had backed it. Not happy. In 2016 Cause Of Causes wore his usual cheekpieces as did Knock House in 4th. 10 others raced, but no first timers. In 2017 Pendra was in first time blinkers, Premier Bond, 3rd, had worn them before. 2018 Missed Approach had been wearing headgear all that season, Mall Dini was in first time blinkers. Eight qualifiers. 2019 1st, 3rd and 5th in headgear they usually wore. 11 tried in 2020 including 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Bob Mahler in 3rd, finished well in first time blinkers. That's 8 from the last 10 winners wearing headgear and plenty of placers.


    WIND OP - A new stats feature since the RP now give you this info, three of the field in 2018 were having their first/second race after having a wind op of some description. Finished 1st, 3rd and 6th. None in the field 2019, two last year, both unplaced.



    The 2020 big stats killer. Seven claiming amateurs last year, Rob James (7) wins it. No one else closer than 10th. Apart from Ryan Hatch's 7lbs on Some Difference in 2013, non claiming amateur jockeys have now 12 of the last 14. Non claimers rode the first five home in each of 2019. '18 and '17. Apart from Mr M Legg (3) second on A Good Skin in 2016, the other five from the first six home were non-claimers. M Legg was also fourth as a non-claimer in 2017. Non-claimers the first three home 2015, first four home in 2014, the first 6 home in 2012, a 1-2-3-4 in 2011 and 4 out of the first 5 home in both 2010 and 2009. In Ryan's year, the next 4 home were all non claimers. Jockey's current role of honour reads R James, D O'Connor, N McParlan, G Andrews, JJ Codd ('16 and '15), Robbie MacNamara, Ryan Hatch, A J Berry, JJ Codd, RO Harding, Codd. Mr D O'Connor has one win and three second places. Usually well punted.


    Apart from Rob, Ryan and Michael, the other 33 from 36 1-2-3 jockeys non claimers since race moved to New Course in 2009. Since 2009 Mr JJ Codd has won four of these.


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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.