• Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase


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

    Jamie Codd has won this four times, Derek O'Connor thrice a runner up

    Only two claiming jockeys have got a first three placing in the last 10 races

    Last 14 winners had at least two runs this season

    13 from the last 14 winners aged between 7 to 9 years

    10 of the last 13, all bar the two JP achieved their best RPR within their last two runs, the three exceptions were 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. Last ten renewals have been on the New Course.


    Will be aged 7 to 9 years unless trained by D Pipe. Nothing placed above a 10 yr old unless Henderson or Pipe trained. Will be either a novice, placed at a previous festival or ran in a hcap chase at the International meeting. Either between 10 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 near the h'cap ceiling, last race will have been in a handicap over at least 3 miles. Not necessary to have won a handicap chase. Has competed in at least a G3 this season but has not won this season anything but an ordinary novice chase. Not a handicap debutant nor French bred. Best RPR achieved within previous two runs, unless well fancied and maybe 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 top class placed form over at least that distance. Will have finished at least 3rd in either of last two runs or is under 10/1. Unlikely to be from Ditcheat or Closutton. Irish trained punch well above their numbers. Headgear wearing very much in vogue recently. Can be carnage here. Winning jockey a non claiming amateur. Mr D O'Connor deserves a win. Laying beaten favourites last time out still pays.

  • Evidence

    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 horses, 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 and what a 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 tried since Omerta, 7 gained a place. (Apart from Double Ross last year, 11 in total unplcd over the past four years, 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.


    7 to 9 years, 13 from last 14. 17 winners from last 22 older than seven yrs (not Spring Heeled, Same Difference, Cloudy Lane '07 or Stop the Waller '96, all 7 yrs olds). Placed horses behind the Package were 9 and 10 yr olds. 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. Two last year, well down the field. Only one in 2017 was Squouateur fav under Jamie Codd UR 'when going ok'.


    WEIGHT - 10 winners in last 29 carried over 11st 2lbs to victory after taking into account jockeys claim. That includes nine of of the last ten (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 eight of the last nine races were very compressed handicaps. Last year we had two declared on the 10st mark and then a 7lb gap to the next runner. 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 claim 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 - 19 of last 21 win and placed horses rated over 135. Last 9 winners all rated at least 134. 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 . In the last three years all of the first four home rated at least 135. Of those only Squouateur 3rd last of 135 was rated lower than 137. Only 7 of the 21 runners last year were rated lower than 135 and they carried less than 11st 2 lbs before jockeys allowances.


    Since this race moved to the New Course, five of the ten winners ran in a course h'cap chase at the INTERNATIONAL Meeting, 4 in the Unicorn 3m 2f one won this season by Cogry from Singlefarmpayment, Rolling Dylan and Theatre Territory. Looking at the ratings, you might expect that race to provide runners for this. Exceptions to running there were, Missed Approach, Domesday Book, Cause Of Causes and the two novices, Same Difference and Ballabriggs. The novice winners had never raced here before but the other three had Festival chase experience, Cause of Causes had won, and Missed Approach been placed in a 4 miler.


    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 and Missed Approach 8/1. Quite surprisingly the top three in the market all finished in the first three home last year.


    This century 40 beaten favourites last time have gone to post including seven last year. Missed Approach is the first to win. (that's the sound of me gnashing my teeth) Notable losers include Squoateur (usually backed into favouritism everywhere) and Champagne James in2015 backed from 8s to 4s in the 15 minutes before the off. None of the three qualifiers placed last year.


    FORM - 16 from last 25 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 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.


    10 from last 14 finished in first 3 in either of last two starts. Not 4 of the last seven.
    Apart from Missed Approach, Cause of Causes and Sunnyhillboy, ten from the last 12 had all achieved best RPR within their last two runs. The latter two were both JP owned. All three exceptions were seriously punted on the day.

    Apart from Cause Of Causes, the last 25 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. Will hardly be a discriminator.


    17 from last 20 ran over at least 3 miles last time. Not Domesday, nor Cause Of Causes.


    Other than a beginners or an ordinary novice, 9 of the last 10 hadn't won a chase that season.
    No French breds, fallers or unseats that season from any of the last 13 winners.
    This century none of the 26 handicap debutants have won.
    All that last 10 had run over 3 miles that season.


    Only 12 from last 22 had actually won a handicap chase (including seven of the last eleven). Not Missed Approach.

    12 from last 16 has won over 3 miles. Exceptions 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.


    16 from last 21 had run between 9 and 20 times over fences. 5 others had run less than 7 times over fences. They were three winning favourites, a winning 8/1 2ndfavourite and Same Difference, a novice. Missed Approach 11 previous chase runs, Domesday Book 9 chases.


    10 from the last 13 no more than 11 runs over fences, but not Cause of Causes or The Package. Last 15 winners at least two runs this season.


    8 of the last 19 had never raced at Cheltenham before. 9 other had placed course form. . Cause Of Cause 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 Domesday Book unpl Close Bros h'cap and Spring Heeled who could only manage 8th behind Alvarado in the 3m 3f Graded Cheltenham Chase in November.


    9 from last 11 had competed in at least a G3 that season. The other two had won Cl2 handicap chases. Domesday 6th in Troytown. Missed Approach had been 6th in a Newbury Ladbroke.


    TRAINERS  D/M Pipe trained four of the last 16 with The Package, Junior, Royal Predica and Maximise. Also Faasel has been second in both 2011 and 2010. No runner in 2018 (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 last year, 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.


    N Henderson - ’02 The Bushkeeper 11st 2lb and ’05 Juveigneur 11st 7lbs both big weight carrying winners. Last year 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 - Cause of Causes and Spring Heeled shatter the stat of Greasepaint being the only Irish trained winner in 30 years. Ireland has provided 7 favourites in the past 16. All beaten. Mall Dini last year, 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. In 2015, 6 Irish Trained ran finishing 2nd, 3rd and 5th. 2014 Irish Trained finished 1st, 2nd, 4th (Ballinaslow 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 unplced, '07 3rd and 4th achieved from 4 runners. Punching weight well above numbers


    OTHER TRAINERS - Apart from Henderson and Pipe, Messrs McCain, Alner and Ferdy Murphy have all saddled at least 2 winners of this. 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 21runners. Captain Bucks, Unioniste, Mon Parrain Just a Par all unpl in last 4 years. 2 runs later 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' - no runners in 2012 nor 2013).


    W Mullins has yet to have a finisher in the first three.


    Trevor Hemmings has owned 3 of the last 13 winners but none of the last eight. Very First Time unpl last year


    CARNAGE - 2 F or U last year, 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. That's 6 from the last 8 winners wearing headgear and plenty of placers.


    WIND OP - A new stats feature, three of the field in 2018 were having their first race after having a wind op of some description. Finished 1st, 3rd and 6th.



    Apart from Ryan Hatch's 7lbs on Some Difference in 2013, non claiming amateur jockeys had won 11 of the last 12. Non claimers rode the first six home last year, the first five homes in 2017, 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 Ryans year, the next 4 home were all non claimers. Jockey's current role of honour reads G Andrews, JJ Codd ('16 and '15), Robbie MacNamara, Ryan Hatch, A J Berry, JJ Codd, RO Harding, Codd, JE Tudor (3lb), R Burton, Harding, Burton. Mr D O'Connor yet to win this. He will. Has been second three times. 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.


    Apart from Ryan and Michael, the other 28 from 30 1-2-3 jockeys non claimers since race moved to New Course in 2009.


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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.  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. Oh yes, and if you're called Rory Delargy, you can't win the quiz too often.

Beware GO SEA - Groundless Optimism Syndrome Encouraged by Alcohol.  A Cotswold condition very common at this time of year.