• Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Steeple Chase

    Irish trained nine favourites in the last 18, all bar Mount Ida were beaten.

    Irish trained five the last eight

    Only 2 of the last 19 won last time

    The last 17 raced at least twice that season

    8 of the last 11 wore some sort of headgear

    16 from the last 17 aged from 7 to 9 years

    12 of the last 16 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

    Six of the last seven went off at single figures

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

     

    PRE 2021

    Irish based amateurs won six of the last seven

    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 Rob James

    Summary

    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 13 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 at all that season. Has competed in at least a G3 in the last two seasons. 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 any recent moves to UK. Headgear wearing in vogue recently. Can be carnage here. Winning jockey a non-claiming amateur or from Elliott stable. The Doc 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)

    2021 ||| 312 ||| Mount Ida||| 7 ||| 11-9 ||| 142 ||| 3/1F |||Mrs D Foster(IRE) ||| J Kennedy ||| 2nd Thurles G2 M 2m 4f (50)

    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)

  • Evidence

    2021 - Jack Kennedy gets lost on Mount Ida, she wouldn't jump a fence for a circuit, stone last, touched 999/1. Then, in Jack's words, 'Two out, I got there too soon.' Hacks home from this season's Ladbroke Chase winner Cloudy Glen with the ever dependable Shantou Flyer back it third. Wherever G Elliott was at that moment, he must have been pleased. No amateur jockeys due to COVID Restrictions so I'm sure Jamie Codd wasn't. The third leg of ITV's Kevin Blake well touted Morning Show Thursday treble after Mrs Milner and The Shunter. Any wonder she started at 3/1 fav.

     

    2020 - '7lb claimers never win this race.' Well, Rob James has over 200 Irish p2p winners many of whom I have watched. He has ridden a lot of expensive thoroughbreds in 4 yr old maidens. 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 Elliott 'always the plan.' He was 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 was a long way back, then sped by them all. As soon as I uttered the words 'Well, Jamie is going to have difficulty winning from there,' I knew I was in trouble.

     

    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 a helluva training performance by D Pipe. Another fine 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 Shantou Flyer at 11yrs last year and Double Ross in 2018, 16 in total older than 10 yrs unplaced over the past seven years, including Measureofmydreams the 11yr old 3/1 fav in 2019. Madness. Shantou the only representative last year. 2020 The Young Master UR 4 out 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 nine 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 6 of those 21 winners have been seven yrs of age but all six of those have come since 2012 - Mount Ida, Milan Native, Any Second Now, Domesday Book, Spring Heeled, Same Difference, then Cloudy Lane '07. Last one before that was Ferdy Murphy's Stop the Waller in '96. How I remember, 'don't stop, Stop...keep going, Stop.' Almazhar Garde 7th last year, five other six yrs old ran down the field in the last three years including Champagne Platinum in 2020, N Henderson's 5/1Jt Fav with Doc on board. 2014 and 2013 the two seconds were Cause Of Causes (6 yrs) and Super Duty (7). No 6 yr old winner of this since 1971. Only runner in 2017 was the wonderfully exasperating Squouateur the 5/1 fav under Jamie Codd UR 'when making steady progress'.

     

    WEIGHT - Since 2009 all winners have carried 11st or more to victory after taking into account jockeys claim. Milan Native 11st 1 lb after Rob's useful 7lb taken off. 2013 Same Difference carried 11st after taking off Ryan Hatch's 7lbs. High Chimes in 2008 last one under 11st with 10 10.

     

    However this is now usually one of the most compressed handicaps in the Festival after the Nov h'cap chase. 11 of the last 12 were very compressed handicaps. Last year only two carried less than 11st. 2020 10lb covered the h'cap before jockeys' allowances, 2019 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. 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. Nothing below 137 in the last decade 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. The Honours Board above shows it. First six home last year all at least 140. In 2020 all placed horses 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 13 winners ran in a course h'cap chase at the INTERNATIONAL Meeting, four 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 six 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 13 hadn't been to the Festival before. Mount Ida 10th in the mares novice behind Concertista.

     

    PRICE - 7 winning favourites since 1977. Mount Ida first since Sunnyhillboy 2012, then there was Junior 2011, Cloudy Lane '07 and The Bushkeeper '02. Prices above in the Honours Board. The 1-2 in 2020 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. The favourite was due but you rarely have the Kim Muir/Mildmay fav double in the same year.

     

    This century 44 beaten favourites last time have gone to post including Cloth Cap last year unplaced. Two in 2019 also unplaced. Missed Approach at 8/1 in 2018 the only one to win. (hate that when that happens, spoiling my stat). Notable losers include Measureofmydreams (amazing SP at 3s for this), Squoateur (who was usually backed into favouritism everywhere), Champagne James in 2015, backed from 8s to 4s in the 15 minutes before the off.

     

    FORM - 18 from last 28 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 two of the last 12 had won a chase (other than a beginners or ungraded novice) that season. Mount Ida won a Clonmel Listed Nov over 2m 4f, Milan Native was a maiden. Only Mount Ida and Ballabriggs of the last 19 won last time out.

     

    13 from last 17 finished in first 3 in either of last two starts. Not four of the last ten.
     
    RP RATINGS - Apart from Any Second Now, Missed Approach, Cause of Causes and Sunnyhillboy, 10 from the last 14 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. Mount Ida's was last time out. Milan Native's best RPR two runs previous in Alloha's beginners chase win.
     

    HANDICAP LAST TIME? - The last three winners and Cause Of Causes, are the only ones of the last 26 winners to have 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 23 ran over at least 3 miles last time. Not Mount Ida, Milan Native, Domesday, nor Cause Of Causes.

     
    No French breds, fallers or unseats that season from any of the last 15 winners.
     
    Milan Native the first winner this century from the 27 handicap debutants. Mount Ida, another handicap debutante. Interesting...
     
    Milan Native and Mount Ida the first in 13 not to have run over 3 miles that season. And another one..

     

    Only 12 from last 25 had actually won a handicap chase (including seven of the last thirteen). None of the last four.
     

    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.

     

    13 from the last 16 no more than 11 runs over fences, but not Cause of Causes nor The Package. This was only Mount Ida's fourth chase. Last 18 winners at least two runs this season.

     

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

     

    10 of the last 22 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 the 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. The three 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.

     

    11 from last 14 competed in at least a G3 that season. Mount Ida at Thurles. Two others had won Cl2 handicap chases. Domesday 6th in Troytown. Missed Approach had been 6th in a Newbury Ladbroke. Exception to all was 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 19 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 six. No runner in last four 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. Mount Ida 50.

     

    N Henderson - Morning Vicar 8th last year. Nothing else recent. '90 Master Bob, ’02 The Bushkeeper 11st 2lb and ’05 Juveigneur 11st 7lbs both big weight carrying winners. 2020 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.

     

    IRISH TRAINED - Like them all, an improving record - A 1-6 from two last year, Milan Native led home a 1-4-6 from five runners 2020. 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 9 favourites in the past 19. All bar Mount Ida were 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.

     

    Mount Ida and Milan Native didn't but the previous three Irish trained all ran in the Paddy Power Chase finishing 5th, 14th and 13th respectively.

     

    Back to Irish trained. Five winners in the last eight. 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.

     

    Going back into history - In 2015, six Irish Trained ran finishing 2nd, 3rd and 5th. 2014 Irish Trained finished 1st, 2nd, 4th (Ballnaslow a rare place for W Mullins). 2013 four 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 five tried, finished 2nd, 4th and 5th. '11 Deal Done 3rd at 20s from 3 runners. '10 three tried, all unplaced. In' 09 best of Irish trio was Newbay Prop in 3rd, '08 three 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. (AND Mount Ida). Cullentra runners in the last 6 renewals finished 118003U1.

     

    W Mullins has yet to have a finisher in the first three. No runner last year. Cabaret Queen last to finish last year, Livelovelaugh 16s 12th in 2019. Doesn't run many in handicap chases and if Mount Ida, a G3 winning novice mare was trained at Closutton, you could have had 50s from me on her turning up in the Kim Muir.

     

    OTHER TRAINERS - Apart from Elliott, 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 particularly well here. Shantou Flyer 3rd last year his best finish from 23 runners. Two well down the field 2019/2020 Touch Kick 11/1, Coup De Pinceau 40s. Captain Bucks, Unioniste, Mon Parrain Just a Par all unpl in last six years. Two runs after this 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').

     

    Trevor Hemmings RIP owned 3 of the last 15 (and Cloudy Glen) but none of the last 11. Deise Aba 5th 2020, one of the few Hobbs horses to show in a good light that Festival. Touch Kick and Very First Time unpl previous two years

     

    CARNAGE - 11 non finishers last year but seven were PU. 2020 15 finished the race, but only three UR or F. Five 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. Last year 11 headgear wearers, 4 finished including 3rd and 4th., Neither of the two first timers completed. That's 8 from the last 11 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 in 2020, both unplaced. Last year Hote The Note, only one, 4th.

     

    CLAIMING JOCKEYS - Not relevant 2021 since the amateurs weren't allowed in.

     

    The 2020 big stats killer. Seven claiming amateurs 2020, 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 won 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. Derek 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 Encouaged by Alcohol.  A Cotswold condition very common at this time of year.