The Cheltenham Festival kicks off on Tuesday 11th March with the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, a grade 1 over 2M 110 yards. This race has been very good to the Irish in recent years with 9 of the last 15 winners being trained in Ireland.
Below we take a look at the trends for the past 10 years:
No strong trends on ages, 9 of the last 10 winners were aged 5 or 6, but those age groups represented 84.5% of the total runners. The last 2 winners aged older than 6 were trained in Ireland and owned by J P McManus.
Mares (0-1-6) have gained 1 place from 6 runners in last 10 years. Like A Butterfly in 2002 was last female winner, and both female hurdlers to make the frame since 2000 had won a grade 1 or 2 hurdle.
9 of 10 winners ran in the past 55 days
8 of 10 winners won last time out (2 exceptions placed)
8 of 10 winners (last 6) posted an RPR of 137+ last time out
10 of 10 winners had run 2 to 4 times over hurdles since August
10 of 10 winners won at least half their hurdle starts that season
9 of 10 winners had not finished worst that 3rd in completed hurdles races that season (exception was 4th in the grade 1 Christmas Hurdle)
6 of 10 winners had finished in the first 4 in a grade 1 hurdle
8 of 10 winners had won a bumper (other 2 were flat bred rated 86+ on the level)
2 of 10 winners had won at Cheltenham (6 others were having first course start & other two finished 5th & 2nd in previous Champion Bumper)
Deloitte Novices Hurdle winner (Vautour): 131 (2-1-3)
Rossington Main Novice Hurdle winner (Zamdy Man): 31 (1-1-2)
British Stallion Studs EBF NH Novices' Hurdle winner (Ballyalton): 610U2 (1-1-5)
Champion Bumper winner (Briar Hill): 75341 (1-1-5)
Tolworth Hurdle winner (Royal Boy): 01 (1-0-2)
I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Novice Hurdle winner (Wicklow Brave): 81 (1-0-2)
Punchestown Champion Bumper winner (The Liquidator): 501 (1-0-3)
Royal Bond Novice Hurdle winner (The Tullow Tank): 200373 (0-3-6)
Betfair Hurdle winner (Splash Of Ginge): 252 (0-2-3)
Jack Dee Here On 31st October Maiden Hurdle winner (Lac Fontana): 3 (0-1-1)
Future Champions Novice Hurdle winner (The Tullow Tank): U03 (0-1-3)
GL Events Owen Brown Novices' Hurdle winner (Zamdy Man): 0P2 (0-1-3)
Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle winner (Vautour): 803 (0-1-3)
Kennel Gate Novices' Hurdle winner (Irving): P925 (0-1-4)
Tony Jones 60th Birthday Bash Maiden Hurdle winner (Josses Hill): 40 (0-0-2)
Bookmakers Bar At Bewleys Hotel Leopardstown Maiden Hurdle winner (Clondaw Court): 85 (0-0-2)
William Hill - On Your Mobile Novices' Hurdle winner (Sea Lord): 090 (0-0-3)
bet365 Novices' Hurdle winner (Volnay De Thaix): 0065 (0-0-4)
Thorntons Recycling Maiden Hurdle winner (Western Boy): 5000 (0-0-4)
Paddy Power Maiden Hurdle winner (Double Irish): 6940 (0-0-4)
Sharp Novices' Hurdle winner (The Liquidator): 00409 (0-0-5)
3 of 10 winners (last 3) ran in previous year's Cheltenham Champion Bumper, finishing 251
2 of 5 British-trained winners ran in Cash Out Your Saturday Multiples With Betfair last time, finishing 31
2 of 5 British-trained winners ran in British Stallion Studs EBF NH Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham, finishing 1F
2 of 5 British-trained winners ran in previous season's John Smith's Bumper, finishing 90
2 of 5 Irish-trained winners ran in Deloitte Novice Hurdle last time, finishing 11
Irish-trained horses (5-5-61) have taken 5 of the last 10 renewals.
Paul Nicholls (2-1-12) has trained the winner twice in past 10 years, if you only count his runners which were sent off at 10/1 or shorter, he’s had 2 winners and 1 second from 5 runners.
Willie Mullins (2-0-15) trained the winner in 2007 & 2013.
Philip Hobbs (1-1-8), Noel Meade (1-1-8) and Donald McCain (1-0-2) have all saddled the winner in past 5 years.
Nicky Henderson (0-7-16) has seen 7 of his 16 runners make the frame.
Recent trend has been towards longer prices with 6 of the last 9 winners going off 10/1 or bigger, including a 40/1 winner.
Favourites (2-3-12) have won just 1 of the last 10 giving a level stakes loss of 5.50. You have to go back to 2004 for last winning favourite.
Based on the trends from the past 10 years you are looking for a horse:
- Won last time out in the past 55 days
- Posted an RPR of 137+ last time
- Run in 2 to 4 hurdles this season and won at least half those starts
- Never finished outside first 3 over hurdles
- Finished in the first 4 in a grade 1 hurdle
- Won a bumper or rated 86+ on the flat
- Finished in first 5 in 2013 Champion Bumper
- Deloitte Novice Hurdle winners do well
- Trained by Paul Nicholls, Philip Hobbs, Nicky Henderson or in Ireland