'There's no place like this on earth.' Ruby Walsh. 'This doesn't happen to people like us.' Maxine O'Sullivan. 'I wish I had the words,' Rachel Blackmore. 'One winner at Cheltenham is what it's all about,' Kim Bailey. National Hunt owners, trainers and jockeys dream about winning at this Festival. Being involved with a winner ensures an entry into the National Hunt Hall of Fame even if the race concerned may 'only' be the quirky Cross Country. Michael O'Leary 'It's a phenomenal destination. The experience of the four days is unbelievable.'
The higher the grade of race, the more likely that horses will repeat or improve on their last run. No higher grade than here. And since all concerned are doing their damnest to win, trends can emerge of those most likely (or not) to succeed.
'If (we) could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us.' - Samuel Taylor Coleridge
I first attended the Cheltenham Festival in 1985 and have been collecting stuff about it since. It's just marvellous. After doing this for 35 plus years, I find myself left with only two rules about Cheltenham Stats or Trends. They are 1. The beauty of any Cheltenham Stat lies solely in the eye of the beholder and 2. All of them will pass. It is only a matter of when. The former means that you decide what's relevant. If it has happened ten Festivals in a row, you might decide it's not going to happen this time. Fine. I have yet to find a rule book that demands how one should interpret Cheltenham Festival Trends. T'is your money and I won't get offended.
Festival Big Beast Trends get shot down most years. Be prepared for that. 2021- Mare wins Queen Mother. Never happened before. Sky Pirate won the Grand Annual having previously won two Handicap chases last season. Doesn't happen. Paul Kealy RP was banging on about that stat for weeks beforehand. 2020 - Saint Roi was the first since Thumbs Up in '93 to win a County Hurdle on a first ever handicap run. 2019 - Espoir D'Allen, an unconsidered five year old, strolled home in the Champion Hurdle. 2018 - don't get me started on Delta Work in the Pertemps..we'll not go on. But as one disappears, other 'rock solid' stats will take their place. Short priced Arkle favourites, anyone?
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 information and musings that don'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, Gault's Momentum Theory, Fate of the Favourites et al. It is hoped some year that this section may get shorter. Click on the links and share the concerns of family and friends as to how I spend six weeks at the start of every year. There's a quiz and other stuff, including a stats review of the 2021 and 2020 Festivals. The 'Which Bookmaker?' page can cause the odd annoyance to Twitter bookmaker representatives but you won't get the same anywhere else that needs sponsorship to survive.
It's my site, and my decision not to have any ads.
By 11am each Festival day my selections for that day will be at the top of this page. Feel free to disagree.
Feedback positive and constructive welcomed at https://twitter.com/gaultstats or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Reasonable theories will be researched. As I am old fashioned, I don't consider the Punchestown or Galway Festivals as being 'this season.' A big continued thank you to Ashleigh Watson at email@example.com for her work, without which, this wouldn't be here.
Good luck. I hope this tool brings you success, please don't forget to give. And let's not take it too seriously. It is meant to be fun.
As ever, a labour of love,
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.