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The Cheltenham International Meeting on Saturday 16th December 2017 was a cracker so I am sharing a few important trends for three of the main races with a view to using them as pointers for races at the Cheltenham Festival.
2.00pm Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Grade 3 2m 5f
This race is often used as a prep race for the Ryanair Chase at the Festival. The race would almost certainly have been won by David Pipe’s Starchitect had the horse not fallen when 7 lengths up 3 out and was fatally injured.
This mishap allowed Guitar Pete to come home in front with Clan Des Obeaux 2nd and King’s Odyssey 3rd. None of these have an entry in the Ryanair although Paul Nicholl’s runner Le Prezien does and his long odds of 40/1 do not adequately reflect his chance.
The horse went off at 9/2 and was running a big race when he stumbled badly 3 out and lost his chance, coming in 8th of 10 runners.
Since 1997 the only winning favourite was Poquelin at 7/2 in 2009.
12 of the last 15 winners came from the top 6 in the betting while only 3 have won at double figure odds.
Trainers to follow are Nicky Henderson (3 winners), Paul Nichollls (3 winners) since 2002,
13 of the last 15 winners achieved a top 3 finish LTO while runners who failed to achieve a top 5 finish are 0-61 since 1997.
All but one had run 1-3 times that season while 10 of the last 15 had between 16-30 days before the race. Those making a seasonal appearance are 0-22.
6yo and 7yo horses have won 11 of the last 15 renewals and 6 of the last 7 were rated 143+
Secondly at the Cheltenham International Meeting we have:
3.10pm Unibet International Hurdle Grade 2 2m 1f
The race is one of the leading trials for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
The winner was Nicky Henderson’s My Tent Or Yours 5/1;
2nd was Nigel Twiston Davies’ The New One 5/2;
3rd was W P Mullins’ Melon 7/4f;
4th was Dan Skelton’s Ch’Tibello 15/2.
The chances of the favourite Buveur D’air 2/5 are obvious but offer little in the way of betting value so I would advise an each way bet on My Tent Or Yours.
And if you are not averse to multiples then a straight forecast Buveur D’air and My Tent Or Yours will help to ramp up the returns.
My Tent Or Yours 9/1; Melon is 12/1; Ch’Tibello is 25/1
Recent winners include The New One, Zarkander, Grandouet, Menorah and Binocular.
Often won by favourites as 10 of the last 13 winners have been priced 5/2 or less.
Favours 4yo or 5yo horses as 7 of the last 8 winners came from that age bracket.
Trainers who have won since 2000 include Nicky Henderson (4 winners), Philip Hobbs (3 winners), Paul Nichollls (2 winners), Nigel Twiston-Davies (2 winners). Only 2 Irish trainers have won since 2000; Noel Meades' Harchibald in 2005, Edward O’Grady's Back In Front in 2004.
The last 17 winners achieved a top 3 finish LTO; no more than 3 runs in the current season (16 of the last 17 winners); a break since last run of at least 15 days (0 winners from last 28)
Lastly at the Cheltenham International Meeting we have:
Relkeel Hurdle Grade 2 2m 4f 110y (now run on New Years Day)
Often used as a prep for the Sun Bets Stayer’s Hurdle
The winner in 2017 was Twiston Davies’ Wholestone 9/4J;
2nd was Nick Williams’ Agrapart 4/1 (who won the race in 2017);
3rd was Fergal O’Brien’s Colin’s Sister 9/4J.
Wholestone has an entry in the Sun Bets Stayer’s Hurdle Grade 1 3m price 12/1 at the Festival.
Colin’s Sister has an entry in the Sun Bets Stayer’s Hurdle 25/1 and also has an entry in the OLBG Mares Hurdle Grade 1 10/1.
Usually contested by only a few runners but looks set to be better represented this year with 8 runners declared.
Due to the paucity of runners it has usually been won by the favourite as 12 of the last 13 winners have come from the first 3 in the betting.
8 of the 13 had raced just once that season. 9 of the 13 winners had raced 16-30 days before this contest. Last years winner, More Of That went on to win the World Hurdle at Cheltenham.