We have all the important statistics for day one of the Cheltenham festival, These are very important at a race track where course form is so vital.
SUPREME NOVICES HURDLE: 1:30pm
Using 20 years stats:
• All 20 winners had completed in all their starts:
Al Ferof and Sheer Genius are ruled out.
• All 20 winners had a top 4 placing last time out:
Far Away So Close, Sheer Genius, Spanish Treasure, Spirit Is Needed and Tillahow are all excluded.
• 18 from the last 20 each had @50%+ strike rate over hurdles and between 2-5 runs. As no horse had failed on both at the same time No Secrets and Megastar remain included.
Sam Winner is excluded
• 17 from the last 20 were never outside the top 4
No Secrets is excluded.
• 17 from the last 20 had run in January or February
Cue Card, Dunraven Storm, First Lieutenant, Marsh Warbler, No Secrets and Rathlin are all excluded at this point.
• 17 from the last 20 were aged 5 or 6
• 15 of the last 20 winners (8 of the last 10) had won on their most recent start.
Hidden Universe, Megastar, Rock On Ruby and Zaidpour are excluded.
With So Young heading to the Neptune, we are left with a final list of 5 qualifiers.
To narrow down further, Nicky Henderson has not had a winner in this race in 19 years. This may be his year, but from a stat point of view the following will be excluded: Gibb River, Spirit Son and Sprinter Sacre.
This leaves us with 2 decent e/w chances (should Magen’s Star take up this appointment rather than the Mares Hurdle later on in the day)
Magen’s Star @ 33/1
Recession Proof @ 10/1
With the exception of Captain Cee Bee, you have to go back to 1995 to find the last horse to fail on more than 1 of the stats highlighted above. With only failing 1 stat, the following is the list where I expect the winner to come from:
Rock On Ruby
THE ARKLE 2:05pm
Using 20 years stats:
• The biggest trend of all is all 20 winners were in the top 5 of the betting and had an sp of 11/1 or less
This leaves a shortlist of 5 and 3 extra should there be a gamble:
• All 20 winners had a top 3 finish in all completed starts
Mikael D’Haguenet is excluded.
• 19 of the last 20 winners had a top 3 finish on their most recent run
Rock Noir is excluded.
• 19 of the last winners had between 2 and 5 runs
Realt Dubh is excluded for having 6 runs.
• 18 of the last 20 winners had a 50%+ strike rate
Captain Chris is excluded
• 18 of the last 20 winners were aged between 5 and 7
Finian’s Rainbow and Dan Breen are excluded
• 17 of the last 20 winners had run in January or February
Ghizao is excluded.
This leave Medermit as the only qualifier. Another stat is having a hurdle rating of 142+ and Medermit fits this perfectly having the highest hurdler rating of the lot.
The one off putting stat is that favourites do not have the greatest record in the race, but with 3 horses between 3/1 and 7/2 this is the stat best ignored this year.
THE SPINAL RESEARCH HANDICAP CHASE 2:40pm
Even though this race has been around a while, there are not strongest of trends but there are a few to help point the way.
We will use 20 year stats to whittle this big field down.
• 17 of the last 20 winners were all aged between 7 and 10
• 17 of the last 20 winners were all rated 145 or less
• 17 of the last 20 winners all carried 11 stone or less.
To reinforce this trend, each of the last 10 winners fitted the above stats.
This narrows down the field to 11 runners.
Continuing with 10 year trends:
• 9 of the last 10 winners had a top 3 finish on their most recent run
We are left with 8 qualifiers.
The Rainbow Hunter
• 8 out of the last 10 winners had run no more than 4 times this season
Slippers Percy, Swing Bill, Adams Island, The Rainbow Hunter and Wolf Moon are all excluded.
• 8 out of the last 10 winners had been between 5/1 and 8/1
Frankie Anson and Definity are excluded at this point.
Taking connections into account and the fact that 5 of the last10 winners had previous festival form, Sunnyhillboy looks a decent bet here.
THE CHAMPION HURDLE 3:20pm
Using 20 years stats:
• All 20 winners had a top 3 finish on their most recent run
Barizan, Clerks Choice, Khyber Kim, Overturn and Salden Licht are excluded.
• 19 of the 20 winners had run in the same calendar year
Menorah is excluded
• 17 of the 20 runners had won lto, were aged between 6 and 8 or had a top 4 finish at a previous festival – 19 of the 20 winners had only failed on one of the 3 stats at any given time
Bygones Of Brid and Mille Chief are excluded.
Having a shortlist of 7, we will use 10 year trends to whittle this down.
• All of the last 10 winners had a top 4 finish at a previous festival
Hurricane Fly should be excluded, but not at this point, I will explain further down.
With the exception of Sublimity, 9 of the last 10 winners had either finished in the top 3 of the previous Champion Hurdle or had won a race at the previous festival.
As with Sublimity (4th in the Supreme) it might be mad to leave out Dunguib (3rd) and Oscar Whiskey (4th) from last years Supreme but from stats point we will continue regardless.
Dunguib, Oscar Whiskey and Alavian are excluded.
This leaves us with Peddlers Cross and A Thousand Stars.
A Thousand Stars did not win lto so we will exclude this one to have 2 selections.
With Overturn sure to set a decent pace we would be mad not to have an e/w bet on Peddlers Cross. Hurricane Fly should not be excluded either. Even though he did not have a top 4 finish at a previous festival, he did not run at a previous festival so it would be presumptuous to say he cant get involved.