In this month’s article I have looked at The Cheltenham Festival. Below you can find a few micro angles and pointers, firstly for ‘the big beasts’ in the training ranks, and two high profile owners. My 2020 Festival Trainer Micros pulled in around +27 points BFSP and with any luck the three below will add to those profits.
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For now, let’s crack on…
The Cheltenham Festival 2021
(stats look at the previous 12 Festivals unless stated)
Those trainers with 20 or more winners >>>
The four ‘big beasts’ have won 155 of the 327 races in the period, 47% or so, from 26% of runners.
Just looking at the last three Festivals, just three trainers are responsible for 46 of the 84 winners, 55% of race winners, from 28% of runners…
- Gordon Elliot: 18/118, 47p, +65 BFSP
- Willie Mullins: 18/117, 51p, +100 BFSP
- Nicky Henderson: 10/101, 27p, +28 BFSP
For now I will just focus on those three above, for the previous 3 Festivals and highlight a micro angle or two…
- Race Type: Novice Chase, Handicap Chase, Handicap Hurdle
- Elliot had 1 or 2 runners in the race only
33 bets (23 races) / 10 wins / 17 places (inc wins) / +68 SP / +95 BFSP / AE 2.44
- Horse age 4 or 5
- Horse career wins: 1 or 2
21 bets (13 races) / 6 wins / 11 places (inc wins) / +90 SP / +141 BFSP / AE 2.82
- Race Type: NOT Novice Hurdles
- Horse Runs Prev 90 Days: 1 only
26 bets (22 races) / 7 wins / 14 places (inc wins) / +51 SP / +90 BFSP / AE 2.42
The last couple of seasons could indicate a more concerted effort by JP McManus and his team to target and plunder Festival Handicaps.
In handicaps at the last two Festivals, he’s now 7/42, 10p, +19 BFSP (24% place SR)
In the six seasons before that in Festival handicaps JP was 3/129, 27p (21% place SR)
Looking at the last two Festivals and some handicap pointers…
- All handicaps / aged 8 or younger … 7/31, 10p +29
- Handicap hurdles / aged 8 or younger… 6/20, 7p, +32 BFSP
- All handicappers / 0-1 career win (in UK/Ire)… 4/8,4p, +29 BFSP (all in hcp hurdles).
While JP has had a couple of good years with his handicappers, the same cannot be said for Gigginstown. Whether that’s a result of the operation slowly winding down, I’m not sure. Or again, just the cyclical nature of racing and the Festival.
Looking again at handicaps, at the last two Festivals they’re 1/30, 9p, -20
In the five seasons before that they were: 8/36, 11p, +104 BFSP
However, their placed stats have remained consistent so maybe they’ll have more luck this year.
Going back to the 2014 Festival, all handicap winners have been sent off at 16/1 or shorter SP: 9/46, 19p, +103 BFSP
In handicap chases: 5/14, 7p, +81 BFSP (inc 1/4,2p +7 last year)
Hopefully there’s something above that helps you land on a winner or two at Cheltenham this year. Elliot, Mullins and Henderson won’t always dominate, but I can’t think of a logical reason for why they won’t in the next few seasons.
Arguably you could just focus on their runners as a ‘way in’ and if you can’t make a case for a horse, move on to the next race. For all that Nicholls, Henry De Bromhead, Joseph O’Brien and a few others are always worth attention also.
Happy Punting, Josh
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