• Boodles Fred Winter H'cap


    No winner had raced at Cheltenham before this.

    P Nicholls has run 23 FRE breds. Three winners and eight placed.

    G Elliott had won three of the last ten. Irish trained have taken the last five.

    Three of the last four had won the same Naas Novice Hurdle

    No filly has won since Une Artiste in 2012.

    Two of the seven runners carrying a penalty have won.

    Five of the last six from the top 12 on the racecard.

    No winner that started its career under National Hunt rules did so in Britain or Ireland.

    British breds 0-62 in last 14 years.

    No winner wearing headgear since 2014

    None of the last ten had won more than two hurdles

    Last nine winners rated between 125 and 139

    Only one winning favourite since 2010

    Willie Mullins, Philip Hobbs, Venetia Williams yet to win

    In seven of the last ten a hood wearer has finished in the first five home

    No last time BF from a GB or IRE race has ever won


    Race Distance - 2 miles and abt half a furlong. Going 18 yrs. Either won last time or beaten in at least a 10k hurdle. Useful to have a previous hurdle time for 2 miles in soft ground of under 4mins 16 secs or has a flat rating of over 80. Ratings 125 to 139. Won't help that much. Ran in the previous 33 days or in a Graded race or has only run in France. May have competed against older horses last time out. Not a filly. Not a conditional/amateur jockey. Winning in headgear not in vogue. Irish trained very much so. Horse wearing a hood in the first five home but not win. Last run not in a handicap. The rare penalised runners have punched above their numbers. Trifecta Perm due covering the front four in the market though has become a little punter friendly recently. Not BF last time. Paul Nicholls and G Elliott target this. If any trainer has had a winner already today, back all their runners. W Mullins, Venetia Williams or Philip Hobbs yet to shine. Winner never ran here before.

  • Honours Board

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

    2022 ||| 6541 ||| Brazil ||| 11-9 ||| 137 ||| 10/1 ||| P Roche(IRE) ||| M Walsh ||| !st Naas Nov Hdle (31)

    2021 ||| 2217 ||| Jeff Kidder ||| 10-8 ||| 125 ||| 80/1 ||| N Meade (IRE) ||| S Flanagan ||| 7th G2 Leop (80)

    2020 ||| 31F31 ||| Aramax ||| 11-8 ||| 138 ||| 12/1 ||| G Elliott (IRE) ||| M Walsh ||| 1st Naas Nov. Hdle (32)

    2019 ||| 311 ||| Band of Outlaws ||| 11-8 ||| 139 ||| 7/2F ||| JP O'Brien (IRE) ||| JJ Slevin ||| 1st Naas Nov Hdle (24)

    2018 ||| 127 ||| Veneer Of Charm ||| 11-0 ||| 129 ||| 33/1 ||| G Elliott (IRE) ||| J Kennedy ||| 7th Navan Nov Hdle (54)

    2017 ||| 2P614 ||| Flying Tiger ||| 11-5 ||| 134 ||| 33/1 ||| N Williams ||| R Johnson ||| 4th G2 Adonis Hdle Kempton (18)

    2016 ||| 322 ||| Diego du Charmil ||| 11-1 ||| 133 ||| 13/2 ||| P Nicholls ||| S Twiston-Davies ||| 2nd Prix Verdi (133)

    2015 ||| 421 ||| Qualando ||| 11-0 ||| 131 ||| 25/1 ||| P Nicholls ||| N Schofield ||| 1st Exeter Nov Hdle (19)

    2014 ||| 51216 ||| Hawk High ||| 11-1 ||| 130 ||| 33/1 ||| T Easterby ||| B Hughes ||| 6th Cl2 V. Ludorum Haydock (25)

    2013 ||| 01125||| Flaxen Flare ||| 10-7 ||| 127 ||| 25/1 ||| G Elliott (IRE) ||| D Condon ||| 5th G1 Spring Hdle Leop (32)

  • Evidence


    The Winners - This race began in 2005 with a 20/1 Irish winner, next a 40/1 shot of Charlie Egerton's which led from 4 out. Some sanity was regained with Gaspara, a Pipe trained 9/2 favourite. She came straight from winning the Imperial Cup and led here the whole way. Then Crack Away Jack with a lovely smooth Carberry ride, 'held up'. Silk Affair outstayed them all and Sanctuare the fav, in 2010, was an armchair ride for Ruby. In 2011 What A Charm had a Irish flat rating of 105 and wandered in here with a hurdle handicap of 115. Couldn't jump at all but with that Flat rating, didn't really need to. In 2012 N Henderson's 4 timer on the day was completed by Une Artiste, another 40/1 shot. The winner in 2013 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.


    In 2014 Hawk High 33s trained by Tim Easterby, was a rare and welcome Northern Trained festival winner and the first for Brian Hughes, the Champion Jockey. In 2015, Qualando at 25s, the Paul Nicholls third string beat the Paul Nicholls second string, the trainer's third winner of the day. Next, in 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, his own stable companion got a bit hampered at the last and may have won in another couple of strides.


    Flying Tiger in 2017 at 33s from the Nick Williams yard gives Richard Johnson his first Festival winner in three years. Noel Fehily on the fav Divin Bere did a fine job keeping it in prime position going round only to be nabbed on the run in by the then champion jockey. A horse with Tiger in its name had won the 4 miler the day before. That might have helped? In 2018 another unloved 33/1 shot, Veneer Of Charm (50s on machine) with a flat rating of 75, completed another on the day trainer treble in this race, this time for Gordon Elliott. Trends, you see, trends! In 2019 Joseph O'Brien, ably aided by Kevin Blake as his race planner, returns some sanity to finding winners in this with a well punted 7/2 favourite, Band Of Outlaws. Joseph's first outright Festival winner.


    In 2020, Aramax had been the rage for this since winning the same Naas Novice hurdle as Band Of Outlaws 12 months earlier. But not the rage on the day. Mr Nicholls probably talked Barry Geraghty onto Mick Pastor instead with the first time hood. First time hood in hurdles at the Cheltenham Festival? Does he not know? Aramax, 5/1 fav in places in the morning, available at 12s on the machine pre race, industry SP 15/2. Mark Walsh never had a moment's worry. Pipes get second with Night Edition. 2021 the madness returns with Jeff Kidder at 80s, the complete outsider of the field. Yes, sure, and there are still people tipping up horses for this in early January. See Upping The Ante.


    Last year pre race Brazil drifted from 8s to 18s on the machine and was broadsided early by Willie's 13/8 fav certainty, Gallic Warrior who hadn't been told that Cheltenham was left handed. Fine winning ride by Mark Walsh. Brazil had also come straight from winning that Naas Novice Hurdle. Sir Allen



    9 of the 18 winners won last time out (and also seven that finished second). But only four of the last 11. The last three came straight from Naas. 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. But not Veneer Of Charm. Last of seven finishers in a Navan rated novice. Both Flying Tiger and Une Artiste finished 4th in the G2 Adonis at Kempton last time out. Une Artiste and had previously won the Cl2 Victor Ludorum at Haydock. 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 £17k French hurdle. 'Rating of 133 looked kind' said Mr Nicholls. Sure did.


    ALREADY A HANDICAPPER? - Only Gaspara has come from the handicap hurdle route. Won Imperial Cup at Sandown 4 days before. One no hoper last year. Penalised runners are two winners from seven qualifiers. (Gaspara and Silk Affair). 2021 Balko Saint 11th only won to try since 2018.


    Diego du Charmil, What A Charm and Dabiroun in 2005 the only maidens to win. Gaelic Warrior was a maiden, raced only in France. Four others failed to make the first seven home. One unplaced in each of the previous two years. 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. Brazil won on his fourth attempt. But four from the last 12 winners won on 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. Aramax had 5 previous hurdle runs, winning second run, his last in France.


    BEATEN FAVOURITE LAST TIME - Five tried over the past four renewals, none better than 6th. 53 beaten favourites (BFs) last time out in GB or IRE have tried to win this. None have succeeded. Only Diego Du Charmil a BF in France last time. 2018 Style De Garde 12s did finish second for N Henderson.


    FILLIES? - No fillies have won any of the last ten. However 4 of the last 16 winners have been fillies from only 21 runners in total (10 ran since the last to succeed, no finisher better than 7th. Mares Novice hurdle on Thursday taking them now.


    4 of the last 16 beat older horses on their latest start. Three others had also already run against elders including Veneer Of Charm.


    FLAT RATINGS - Top rated horse on the flat has won three and been second in another. Hasn't worked in the last six years. Brazil was the third top rated Flat on 86, behind Prairie Dancer 86 (8th) and Too Friendly 85 (5th). 2021 Coltor 5th and Druids Altar 15th both Flat rated 86. 2020 Theatre of War (85) 20/1 finished 7th. In 2019 Lethal Steps (102) 9/1 trained by G Elliott and ridden by D Russell finished 19th and last. Second top flat rated was Band Of Outlaws on (93).


    13 of the 18 ran in the previous 33 days. Brazil 31 days, Jeff Kidder 80, Aramax 33, Band Of Outlaws 32, Veneer Of Charm 53, Flying Tiger 18, Diego 133 days, Qualando 19, Hawk High 25.


    9 of 18 were French bred or imports. 9 weren't. Brazil IRE, Jeff Kidder IRE, Aramax GER .


    Four of the last six numbered in single figures on racecard. Brazil 3, Jeff Kidder 21. Other one was numbered 12.


    No winner had run at Cheltenham before. Night Edition 2nd 2021, had been 2nd in January.


    No winner that started its career under National Hunt rules did so in Britain or Ireland. All in France. A nicely thought out stat from Matt Tombs when he wrote the Cheltenham Festival Guide.


    The first four winners and then, Flying Tiger and the three Naas Hurdle winners came from the top third of the handicap. Other ten didn't. 14 of the 18 winners were rated between 124 and 134. Not Brazil 139, Aramax 138, Band Of Outlaws 139 nor What A Charm 115. Flying Tiger had been the highest rated to win this of 134. Veneer was 129. Handicap can be now compressed as everyone fights to get in. 2021 141-123 (perhaps COVID affected), 2020 140 - 129, 2019, 141 - 129, 2018 139 - 126. But do tend to be rated 129/130 to guarantee a run.


    Easier to say that the last nine winners rated between 125 and 139. Unlikely to help much.


    TIMES - Brazil 4 09 Naas in soft, Jeff Kidder probably did 4 12 when last of seven at Leopardstown, Aramax 3 55 at Naas, Band Of Outlaws had done 3 52 for 2m on good ground and 4 09 for soft/heavy. Veneer of Charm, Flying Tiger, Hawk High, Flaxen Flare, Gaspara, Shamayoun and Crack Away had winning times in 2 miles in soft under 4 16. Both Dabiroun and What A Charm who had been placed in Listed flat on soft ground.


    11 of the 18 winners had only ran the prerequisite three times over hurdles. In order to get a handicap mark. 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. Aramax 5 runs, three in Ireland. Brazil and Jeff Kidder both had four hurdle runs


    BETTINGS STATS ON THE FRED WINTER - In the last nine years only 19 in total from the first six home have been under 16/1. That's 19 from a possible 54. 15 of those 19 have come from the last four renewals. In 2014 Katgary (P Nicholls trained and unlucky here) in 2nd only one in the first 11 home under 16/1. However the favourite has been placed in eight of the last 13, Last 10 winners priced 10/1, 80/1, 15/2, 7/2F 33s, 33s, 13/2, 25s, 33s, 25s, 40s. You usually get six places in this race.


    G Elliott - Three winners in the past ten. In the past 11 yrs has run 22 in total. Five last year, best was 7th. As well as his winners, Saint D'Oroux 3rd Recent Revelations 4th 2020, Coko Beach 2nd 2019 all returned at 14/1. Two others placed, Campeador fell at the last 2016 when all over them (pocket talking). For £1 level stakes Gordon is £46.50 ahead in the last 12 years. Mrs Foster ran two in 2020, both unplaced.


    D Pipe has had a winner, three seconds, a third and a fourth so far from a total of 16 runners. Gaspara and Ashkazar (2nd) came directly from the Imperial Cup at Sandown the Saturday before. Kazilian 4th 2012. Night Edition his first placed from four runners in total over the past decade. Changed times indeed.

    P Nicholls has run 23 French breds in this. 3 winners (in the last 10) and 8 placed. Bel Ex One (IRE) 3rd last year at 28s, Houx Gris 4th 2021 11/2. Six others unplaced between the last five years.


    W Mullins - 0 from 18 runners though both Gaelic Warrior Saint Sam 2nd 2021 when favs, Ceil De Neige 3rd in 2019 and Voix Du Reve unlucky in 2016, Venetia Williams 0 from 9 and Philip Hobbs 0 from 10. N Henderson is 0 from 8 since Une Artiste's 40/1 shock in 2012. His losers since include three favs under 5/1 and three 8/1 shots. They're overbet but he's still in front.


    Brazil was right up with the pace from the start but seven other Irish trained winners at 80/1 15/2, 7/2 fav, 33s 25s, 9s and 20s, all 'mid div' or 'held up'. Four of the eight Irish trained winners had contested a G1 or G2 race last time. But only Jeff Kidder of the last five.


    Only 5 of the 42 horses rated 120 or less were placed. 1st and 3rd 2011 from 10 runners. Lowest rating in the last four years has been 122, 123, 129, 124


    JOCKEYS - No conditional jockey has won any of the last ten. Three conditionals have won. Nina on Dabiroun when she was claiming 5lb (second female rider to be successful at the Festival in non amateur races), Andrew Glassonbury on Gaspara and, Jeremiah McGrath on Une Artiste also both claiming (5). First four home last year was Walsh, Townend, Cobden and Cooper. In 2021 it went Flanagan, Townend, Brennan and Cobden respectively. Seven conditionals unplaced over the past three years.


    BLINKERS CHEEKPIECES etc - Four winners in the 18 races, Hawk High, Flaxen Flare, What a Charm, and Shamayoun. None since 2014. All had worn them before but it was Flaxen Flare's first try with them over hurdles. Eight last year, best third in first time blinkers. Eight more in 2021, best 9'2 fav in 2nd. Six headgear wearers 2020, best finisher in 9th. Four had a go in 2019, best finisher in 6th. 5 headgear wearers in each of the previous two years, best 2018 Style De Garde 2nd. In 2017 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 the winner.


    HOODS - In seven of the last ten, a horse wearing a hood has finished in the first five home. Didn't work last year. Saint Sam, in 2021, in first time. Four in 2020, didn't work. In 2019, the only qualifier (in whom I had placed my hopes) was given a pointless scalded cat ride by Darryl in Green. 'Raced keenly, led to three out, stopped.' Andrew Mount 'First time hoods in Festival hurdles don't win.'


    I digress. Over dinner on the Saturday before the 2020 Festival I was excitedly explaining this hood stat to my wife Sheelah, going into depth as to how it might calm a young hurdler. She replied 'I'm thinking of putting one over your head to see if it works.' Serves me right.


    THE LETTER A. IT'S BACK IN VOGUE!! - Thanx to BrAzil, ArAmax and BAnd of Outlaws, 12 of the 18 winners had the letter A in the first three letters of their names. Aramax was the first winner whose name started with the letter A. Two others, Silk Affair and Une Artiste have 'A' at the start of the second word of their name. In 2016 this theory didn't work from the 7 qualifiers. I am claiming that year a moral victory as CAmpeador was 'mounting a strong challenge' under B Geraghty before crumpling at the last. Can't even claim a moral victory in 2017 or 2018. Best finisher 2017 was DiAblo De Sivola in 5th (Mind you, I've heard some say he was unlucky). 2018 best was PAdleyourowncanoe 4th. Last year Jeff Kidder buried my 'A' stat but SAint Sam wasn't far away. Also three winners in the past 12 have been called Veneer Of CHARM, Diego du CHARMil and What A CHARM. You people laugh at me but spooky, or what? (Remember, this is a 20 odd runner, 4 yr old handicap hurdle, full of plots. Let's not go mad with the old stats, eh?). Sir Allen