Each year Gaultstats supports a different charity. In 2019 I am asking for donations to Marie Curie in memory of my big chum, Alasdair Robinson, who passed away in 2018 after a long struggle. Alasdair and I first met in Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone in 1984 when he tried to turn the television channel over from the BBC National Hunt racing from Haydock that I was watching. I recall that Sir Peter O'Sullevan was commentating at the time. Then, there wasn't even such a thing as a remote control, Alasdair just walked in front of the TV and turned the knob without as much as a by your leave. Despite that stormy introduction, we were firm friends for well over 30 years. He was known as 'the big good looking one' as I wasn't. Never had a bet in his life and gently looked at Gaultstats.com every year with a sort of worry as to my sanity. However, and whatever the charity, he was always one of the first to throw a £50 donation in my direction. Visiting him when he was sick, he would talk at length about the East Belfast Marie Curie Hospice and the wonderful help and support they gave Gillian and himself.
I miss my friend. Some of you may have had friends or family in a similar situation. Each time I saw him, I used to sit in my car for a while afterwards before driving anywhere and reflect as to how positive he was when fighting illness, and to how trivial were my own personal concerns.
Previous collections have been for Guide Dogs, North Down Samaritans, Cancer Research and the Jonjo Bright Trust amongst others. If you have given before, I thank you. Please give again. A fiver is fine. No monies go to me. Sterling and Euro gratefully accepted.
Click on the Donate Button above or the links above and below. Please feel free to spread the word.
The Cheltenham Festival
'To ride a winner around here is priceless', said Patrick Mullins after winning the 4 miler last year on Rathvinden. 'There's no place like this on earth' says Ruby Walsh, frequently. 'I'm going to go and get extremely drunk.' Michael O'Leary after finally winning the Ryanair last year. This is where all National Hunt owners, trainers and jockeys dream about winning. Being involved with a winner ensures an entry in the National Hunt Role of Honour even if the race concerned may 'only' be the quirky Cross Country Chase. Two full weeks after Missed Approach won 'only' the amateur riders Kim Muir Chase, Nick Luck was interviewing his trainer Warren Greatrex on RUK. First question, 'Well, have you come down yet?' I know first prize for the Kim Muir was £42k but there are big pots to be won everywhere. This one was special. Nigel Twiston-Davies, 23rd Feb 2018, 'We've won nearly £1.4m this season and that's great, but you're judged on your Cheltenham wins.' The higher the grade of horse, the more likely they will repeat or improve on their last run. No higher grade than here. And since all are doing their damnest to win, trends can emerge of those most likely (or not) to succeed.
How to use Gault Stats
I first attended this fantastic event in 1985 and have been collecting stuff about it ever since. Went in March 2017 for the first time in a while and really do recommend sitting outside the See You Then Bar in the sun with an early pint. I love it. The links on the top line here will take you to directly to each race. On each race page there will be Headline stats for that race. The next few lines will summarise a possible Profile of the winner. That profile will concentrate on trends that are correct to 90%+ over the last few Festivals. The rest of each race page will comprise the evidence to back up the profile. I may suggest something that is overdue to happen or an 'overripe stat' that might be due to fall. For example, if the favourite hasn't won the race in years or in the case of the 2019 Arkle, the favourite has won the last four in a row. After doing this for over 30 years, I find myself left with only two rules about Cheltenham Stats. 'The beauty of each stat is in the eye of beholder' and 'All Cheltenham Stats die. It is only a matter of when.' The former means that you decide what's relevant. Paul Jones in his excellent book on betting, From Soba To Moldova, is right to get defensive about stats stating that 'trends is just another word for facts and data and we don't dismiss those.' If it has happened ten Festivals in a row, you might decide that its not going to happen this time. Fine. There is no rule book. Its your money. Cheltenham Stats die most years, one of the big beasts was scuppered by Delta Work in 2018. A five year old French Bred wins the Pertemps Final. First French Bred since '94, first five year old since Pragada in '88. Would nearly drive you to drink.
Horses identified in italics are being aimed to contest the race about which you are reading. As the countdown continues effort will be made to update races with confirmed runners and how they might fit in.
The General Trends page covers lots of information and musings that doesn't really refer to any specific race. This includes jockeys, trainers, how W Mullins is no respecter of Cheltenham stats, stats on Pricewise, preview nights, course winners, Fate of the Favourites et al. Click on the link and share Alasdair's concern as to how I spend my time. Well, maybe. There is a quiz and a page about my visits to meetings at all 85 UK and Irish racecourses (plus Folkestone, no longer with us). This Everest task was completed on the 12th July 2018 at the Newmarket July Course. Lovely spot with great flowering. Even made it onto ITV Racing that day with a short interview with Oli Bell. Yes, I've been to Tramore, Pontefract, Ballinrobe, Hamilton, Chelmsford, Hexham and Plumpton. Great places with nice people. I do like the smaller courses. Sorry, but I'm little behind with my schedule on the course write ups.
On each day of the Festival I will post selections for each race at the top of this home page. For the benefit of my friend Gary, these selections remain my view of those with the best chances / value as identified by my interpretation of GaultStats (He staunchly believes that there are rules about this and that 'As a statsman, you can't say that.') Please feel free to come to your own conclusions.
As ever, a labour of love
(Feedback positive or constructive welcomed at twitter @gaultstats or email email@example.com. Reasonable theories will be researched. As I am old fashioned, I don't count Punchestown as being 'this season'. Reliably informed the site works fastest on Google Chrome).
A big thank you to Ashleigh Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org for her work, without which, this wouldn't be here.
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 Beware GO SEA - Groundless Optimism Syndrome Encouraged by Alcohol. A Cotswold condition very common at this time of year.