2018/03/13 12:24:23

Cheltenham Day 1 – 2018

Cheltenham Ruby offer

15:30 The Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1) (4yo+, Class 1, 2m 110y)

Run over two miles and about half a furlong on the Old Course at Cheltenham where it often pays to back something that gets in excess of 2 miles.

Those with previous festival form, have fared particularly well in the event. In addition, you often need a horse that stays further than two miles.

Dominated by the Irish since 1998 with 13 winners from the Emerald and winning the last 4 renewals with Annie Power, Faugheen, Jezki & Hurricane Fly.

Let’s check the stats and trends for this one….

  • Need to be proven beyond the bare 2 miles – it’s a fast run 2m 100yds
  • Fighting Fifth winners have filled the frame in four of the last six years
  • Other races to consider – Kempton’s Christmas Hurdle, Kingwell at Wincanton
  • Irish races – Red Mills Trial at Gowran or Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown
  • 21 of the last 31 winners finished in the first four at last season’s festival
  • Won LTO or placed in G1/2
  • 2 – 5 seasonal runs
  • Geldings
  • RPR 158+ LTO

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14:10 The Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase (Grade 1) (5yo+, 2m)

A fierce run 2 miler to follow the Supreme Novices that has been won by some top class chasers going on to become Champion Chase winners with the likes of; Moscow Flyer, Azertyioup, Voy Por Ustedes & Sprinter Sacre.

Could last year’s winner Douvan replicate those achievements later this week?

Let’s check the stats and trends for this one….

  • Class appears to count with short priced favourites scoring well (under 8/1 in market)
  • Age doesn’t appear to matter with 5 and 6 year olds dominating, mainly because that is the age range of entries
  • Days since last run: 60 – 90 days have had 11 wins/places in last 18 years
  • Last eighteen winners have proved themselves in an extended finish by winning at more than this 16f trip
  • Fourteen out of the last sixteen winners had a rating of 142 and over and five of these were the highest rated chaser in the race
  • 27 of the last 27 winners finished either first or second in the last race before the festival
  • Nine out of the last thirteen winners had either won or been placed at the Cheltenham Festival before, predominantly novice hurdles
  • Only three winners since 1976 did not have a prep run in the eight weeks leading up to the race
  • Only five favourites in the last 24 running’s of the Arkle have won the race
  • Ten of the last fifteen winners had won a novice chase by the first week in December
  • Trial pointers include the November Novices’ Chase, Henry VIII Novices’ Chase or Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase/ Irish Arkle and or Irish Racing Post Novice Chase
  • 2 to 4 chase runs this season
  • Never finished out of the first 2 over fences
  • RPR of 153+ on last 2 starts
  • Winner of a grade 1 or 2 chase
  • Rated 140+ over hurdles and finished in first 3 in a grade 1 or 2 hurdle


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14:50 The Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (5yo+, 3m 110y)

The Ultima Handicap Chase open to 5 year olds that often pre-empts a tilt at the Aintree Grand National next month. It’s the first handicap of the meeting and previous winners have a good record in this.

This hasn’t been a favourites paradise over the years with just two winning since 1977, though outsiders are a bit of a rarity with 12 winners from the last 16 been in the first four in the forecast.

Let’s check the stats and trends for this one….

  • Last 5 winners finished Top 5 in their last race and 16/19 finished top 6 LTO
  • 12 from 16 in top 4 betting forecast
  • Aged 7-9
  • Must have run at least 5 times over fence
  • 12 or fewer handicap chase runs
  • 6 or fewer runs at track
  • 3 or fewer chase runs at track
  • Had a run in the previous 16-45 day period
  • last 6 winners carried 11-07 or less from a rating below 148
  • Favours 142 – 149 or below – last above 150 was 1983
  • Must have had two or more runs this season and between 1 and 5 chase wins
  • 3 from last 6 winners ran in the Cleeve Hurdle
  • Trainer form: – Jonjo O’Neill: 3/17, 5 places, A King: 2/13, 3 places, P F Nicholls: 0/19, 4 places, N Henderson: 0/18, 6 places

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