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  • This topic has 125 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 2 months ago by adminMike.
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    I have decided to kick this thread off today as one of the statisics that is often mentioned is that a high percentage of winners at the festival have usually had a run in the 45 days prior to there victory and of course today is I believe give or take a few hours 45 days before Gold Cup day.
    I hope to bring all the factors involved to date on this site into play in this thread from historcal race statistics through to speed ratings and will first put out a list of possible factors that anyone can add to dismiss or rate accordingly.

    As an example I will take the first race at the festival the Supreme Novice Hurdle and start by listing its historical statistics such as:
    19 of the last 24 winners had run in the last 45 days.
    19 of the last 22 winners had won last time out.
    13 of the last 15 winners had run over hurdles at least 4 times previously.
    15 of the last 17 winners were Irish trained runners.
    13 of the last 14 winners were either 5 or 6yo’s.
    No horse has ever won the race wearing headgear.
    (I will try to confirm the above statistics but they are taken from reputable sources).

    I will then be looking to create a list of the prime suspects from the ante post betting lists and break them down using the more obvious factors such as:
    Going (Cheltenham usually rides as good to soft) but obviously is one for later.
    Form (Including Key Race factors from which previous winners had won in).
    Course (Not many winners have not won or been placed here before).
    Trainer and Jockey Form (Both current form Cheltenham form and Festival form).
    Speed Ratings (A horse can be unbeaten but still never have run fast to win here).

    There will be plenty of other factors such as ability to handle the fences or the size of field etc etc and finally and more obviously the best way to lay your bets utilising non runner no bet or the extra markets.

    I will start this off soon enough by making or taking suggestions for the best races to cover but would like to mix them up to include the handicaps.


    Hi Mike,

    This should be a fascinating thread and it will be interesting to view your shortlists for each race that you analyse, as the approach is similar to that which I deploy, albeit I don’t tend to do much until the 5 day entries have been published.

    I hope you have plenty of time on your hands, as you may recall that during my time as an OLBG blogger, I produced trends based articles for all of the Grade 1 events, which seemed to take forever, as the figures often changed after each horse ran in it’s prep race.

    With regards to your use of trends, I hope you don’t mind me suggesting that it may be beneficial to use data from just the last 10 years, as I have found that using less data tends to improve the likelihood that the trends will identify the winner. The reason being that horse racing is by it’s very nature a dynamic sport, so changes to the sourcing of National Hunt horses, the racing calendar including the festival races and training methods can all impact on the profile of likely winners.

    I also found that only shortlisting horses that met all the trends significantly reduced the chance of including the eventual winner, as it was more normal for the victor to have met the majority of the trends, albeit no all of them.

    Using your stats for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the mathematical chance of the winner meeting all the trends is just 48.5%, which means that there is more chance of not including the winner in your shortlist than having it in there.

    To improve the chance of having the eventual winner in my shortlist, I used to score all of the last 10 winners against the trends and then make a judgement on what should be considered as the minimum score for candidates this year, which is rather time consuming.

    However, I have also had some success discarding from the shortlist all horses that failed any of the trends, but adding back any horse that has been tipped as ante post selections by any of the professional pundits who write for the Racing Post, Racing and Football Outlook, Weekender, or Timeform, on the basis that these guys have plenty of experience of analysing races and therefore should know what they are doing – it is part of their job!!

    As for target races, I would start with the Championship races where the ante post betting suggests that it is not a one horse event, so the Gold Cup, Ryanair Chase and Stayers’ Hurdle would be prime candidates.

    The open handicaps are also worth analysing, but entry volumes are usually so large that it is often better to wait until the 5 day entry stage – perhaps I am just getting lazy in my old age!!

    Good luck and I will try to join in when time permits.

    All the best.



    Hi Rob
    This is a long term project which I started last year when I was with OLBG Ireland and as I got lucky there by getting a couple of big priced winners home I have been itching to see if I could get lightning to strike There is a link to the post motrtem page of the old thread here:
    I am hoping this thread will actuate some wagers on some of the pre cheltenham races that involve those already declared and for sure will be time consuming but hopefully worth it.
    The secondary factor is that it will hopefully showcase the Speed Ratings and Key Race articles along the way. There will also be the opportunity to link this thread to some of your systems especially when we get a bit nearer the off and hopefully it should make compelling reading when we get to compare our results on the day.


    Hi Mike,

    Hopefully, you can build on your results of last year and I look forward to reading your thoughts over the next 6 weeks, or so.

    All the best.



    Hi Rob
    I will start off with a suggestion for the Supreme Novice Hurdle but only as an example of what I will be looking for over the next 45 days.
    Todays opener the 12.40 at Sandown has in it a Colin Tizzard horse by the name of Beaufort West who has shown little form to date and fits very few of the profile statistics however he already holds an entry in the Supreme and indeed is the only one in the field to do so (including the yards other runners).
    Now should he go on to win this and show some distinct improvement the odds of 100-1 ante post would surely be decimated within minutes of him crossing the line. I know I hold a unhealthy fascination with 100-1 shots but I hope this gives you an indication of the type of horse I am looking for over the next 40 days or so.
    As it stands he has been nibbled at this morning from the 5-1 on offer and may yet go off favourite so I believe the 100-1 ante post for the Supreme would be worth a punt.


    Hi Mike,

    BEAUFORT WEST ran quite well to finish runner up in the Sandown race, having been backed into favouritism, but I can’t see that form being good enough to be competitive in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

    As mentioned before, it is far too early for me to start thinking about a shortlist for the race, but I do have a few horses that have caught my eye, for one reason, or another.

    AL DANCER (10/1)

    ITCHY FEET (33/1)


    MISTER FISHER (10/1)

    However, there is plenty of time for things to change.

    All the best.



    Hi All
    As I have been thwarted several times due to non runners and abandoned meetings on the daily threads this seems an obvious time to post an update on this one.
    With regard to Beaufort West Rob I would have to agree he is not likley to trouble the market leaders on that run but it was a distinct improvement on his previous form and I believe he will be sent out again before the festival as he looked a work in progress rather than the finished article so I will not altogether give up on him just
    However the obvious question to put up at this early stage is who are likley to be the festival bankers. ? Altior is already 4-11 in places for the Champion chase and with Apples Jade now taking on Beveur D’Air in the Champion Hurdle is that race also sewn up to all intents and purposes.?
    I think you know that I have been a massive Apples Jade fan for some time now and was quite surprised when they delclared there intention to run her in the Champion Hurdle. However the question remians would you back a festival banker and would you take the odds on Altior.
    For my sins you know I will looking to bet without Altior and would never take an odds on punt for love nor money but that is probabaly why I will not retire
    I will be looking to cross the races off as they go non runner no bet so obviously apart from the two races mentioned there are also the Ryanair Chase The Stayers Hurdle and the Gold Cup to cross off the list.
    With regard to the Ryanair Chase the statistics are as follows:
    9/12 winners have been ages 7-9
    8/12 winners ran within the last 61 days
    11/12 winners had at least 2 previous runs at Cheltenham.
    10/12 winners have had a previous win at Cheltenham
    9/12 winners had at least 5 previous runs over 20/21 furlongs
    10/12 winners had at least 2 wins over that distance
    10/12 winners had at least 7 chase runs
    10/12 winners had at least 4 chase wins
    10/12 winners were rated 161 or higher
    11/12 winners had at least 1 win in a grade 1- 2 or 3 race
    9/12 winners had at least 1 win in a grade 1 race
    9/12 winners had at least 1 win that season
    I as you have already worked out will be looking for each way accumulators as opposed to short priced winners and I will put Aso up for this race.
    This Venetia Williams trained horse has been lightly raced this season after a long lay off running just the twice (winning both) handles any ground with cut in it can front run and was third in this race in 2017.
    The selection ticks most of the boxes and looks to have been laid out for another tilt at the race and is a decent looking 16-1 with nrnb in place.


    Hi Mike,

    I tend not to bet in every race at Cheltenham, in fact I was very selective last year and supported just 4 horses over the Festival (2 winners – SAMCRO and PRESENTING PERCY), although I suspect I will more active this time.

    If I have a bet in the Champion Chase, it is unlikely to be ALTIOR (albeit in my opinion odds on shots can sometimes offer value), so I will probably be looking to back something each way, or in the market without the favourite, depending on where the best value can be found.

    The Champion Hurdle is currently on my ‘Too Difficult Pile” on the basis that if BUVEUR D’AIR, APPLE’S JADE, LAURINA and SHARJAH all turn up, then it could prove to be one of the hottest renewals for some years. I will have another look once the 5 day entries have been published and again during the evening before the race.

    Finally, as you readers will be aware, I hold an each way ante post ticket at 20/1 on FRODON (adjusted RPR 180) and I still hope that connections will let him run in the RYANAIR CHASE, rather than the CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP. Whether FRODON runs, or not there is every possibility that this year’s renewal could be exceptionally strong, with the likes of MIN (aRPR 180), plus over a dozen entries with aRPRs in excess of 170, including ASO who just sneaks into this group with 170.

    I agree with you that ASO has each way claims, but then again so do plenty of the other entries at this stage and as a front runner his chance would be stronger if FRODON goes for the Gold Cup.

    All the best.



    Hi Rob
    I do not usually hit every Cheltenham Festival race usually just the handicaps but I will attempt to cover as many as I can on this thread and follow up on yesterdays post with the stats and a selection for the Stayers Hurdle:
    9/12 winners were aged between 6 and 8
    8/12 winners were in the top 3 in the betting
    8/12 winners had won last time out
    8/12 winners had their last run with 55 days
    12/12 winners had at least 1 previous run at Cheltenham
    9/12 winners had at least 1 previous win at Cheltenham
    9/12 winners had at least 2 runs over three miles
    8/12 winners had at least 2 wins over the same distance
    11/12 winners had at least 9 previous runs over hurdles
    11/12 winners had at least 4 previous wins over hurdles
    10/12 winners were rated 158 or higher
    9/12 winners had at least 1 previous grade 1 win
    11/12 winners had at least 1 previous grade 2 win
    11/12 winners had at least 2 runs that season
    11/12 winners had at least 1 win that season

    Also of some relevance whilst 16 of the 21 winners have been British trained Big Bucks accounted for a lot of those when dominating the race in consecutive years and Willie Mullins has now trained the last two winners and has started to buck the trend.
    Phew that’s a lot of information (most of it verified).
    Whilst it is difficult to see past Paisley Park and obviously Apples Jade and Penhill if they run.? The idea was to come up with an each way shout for the accumulator and I will go with Willie Mullins Bapaume still available at 25-1 and although you would have to include his French form to tick some of the statistics this one looks to have been laid out for the race and at only six years old is likley to still have something up his sleeve.
    This makes two selections from this thread which I will add onto the Ante Post thread later in the week.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by adminMike.

    Right on to the big one the Gold Cup and I will start again with the statistics.
    11/12 winners were aged between 7-9
    8/12 winners were top 3 in the betting
    10/12 winners won on their previous run before Cheltenham
    12/12 winners had a previous Cheltenham run
    10/12 winners had at least 2 runs over 3 miles or further.
    12/12 winners had at least 1 previous win over 3 miles or further
    10/12 winners had at least 8 previous chase runs
    12/12 had at least 2 previous chase wins
    10/12 winners were rated 166 or higher
    12/12 winners had won at least 1 Grade 1 race
    9/12 winners had won at least 1 Grade 2 race
    11/12 winners had run at least twice that season
    10/12 had at least 1 win that season
    This is going to be tricky as to get a decent price for an each way shout I am having to rely on the Nicky Hendersons ability to fathom out the problem with Might Bite however having had a wind op the signs are promisisng and at 14-1 nrnb should things not pan out and he is withdrawn it is a shot to nothing.
    The yard by all accounts have a 40% strike rate with there horses after such ops and this one was a good horse in the first place so on this occasion although it bucks the seasonal win statistic etc its fingers crossed that the horse gets the go ahead to run.


    As I have a day off I will add in the Champion Chase so as to try and finish the first each way accumulator for the nrnb selections by the end of the week.
    The statistics are as follows but it is more a case of for what they are worth as opposing Altior looks to be a fools errand but bear in mind we are looking for that each way option and should the favourite drop out or suffer a mishap the gods of racing may yet smile upon us.
    9/12 winners were aged between 7 and 10
    9/12 winners were in the top 3 in the betting
    8/12 winners won on their previous run before Cheltenham
    11/12 winners ran within the last 53 days
    11/12 winners had a previous run at Cheltenham
    7/12 winners had a previous win at Cheltenham
    10/12 winners had at least 9 previous runs over 15-17 furlongs
    10/12 winners had at least 6 wins over 15-17 furlongs
    12/12 winners had at least 7 chase runs under ther belt
    11/12 winners had at least 5 chase wins to there name
    10/12 winners were rated 164 or higher
    11/12 winners had at least 1 grade 1 win
    12/12 winners had at least 1 grade 2 win
    11/12 winners had at least 2 runs that season
    11/12 winners had at least 1 win that season
    The selection here is Sceau Royal and is more of a tactical option in that the field could well cut up due to owners not wishing to take on Altior whereas having missed a shot at the Arkle last year I can see Alan King and the horses connections being keen to run him this year. This has been the plan to date and although he was well and truly trounced by Altior in December I believe that run was too bad to be true and I think he will turn up on the day with place money or better in mind.
    The 16-1 on offer with nrnb would obviously shorten up should the field cut up and makes for my fourth nrnb bet for the thread which will be finalised after I desect the Champion Hurdle (hopefully tomorrow morning).

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by adminMike.

    Hi Mike,

    You have certainly been busy today and have identified some interesting selections in the 3 Championship race you have analysed.

    BAPAUME is relatively unexposed at the trip for the Stayers’ Hurdle and his effort behind the current Gold Cup favourite PRESENTING PERCY last time was encouraging.

    I would be surprised if APPLE’S JADE ends up running in this race, but as you say PAISLEY PARK is likely to be a tough rival and fully deserves to be favourite, whilst PENHILL, if he turns up, even without a prep run will be a dangerous opponent, based on his 2 Grade 1 wins over course and distance.

    I already have an each way ante post ticket for SUPASUNDAE, who I would hope will run in this race, as his efforts over shorter this season suggest in my opinion that this is his best chance of collecting some prize money at the Festival.

    I have no thoughts regarding the Gold Cup at present, other than I hope FRODON does not run and takes his chance in the Ryanair.

    I can fully appreciate your thoughts regarding the possible improvement linked to the recent wind operation that MIGHT BITE has undergone and the 14/1 on offer would appear very generous if he did return to last year’s level of form.

    That said, I have never warmed to MIGHT BITE and have always tried to oppose him with an each way selection in the past, so will not be considering him as a bet in this race.

    You didn’t mention SCEAU ROYAL by name in your post, but I presume from what you have mentioned that he is your selection for the Champion Chase. He appears to have little chance against ALTIOR and has a bit to find with a number of the other entries, but as you rightly said, how many of them will turn up.

    Perhaps I am barking up the wrong tree and I appreciate that SCEAU ROYAL has encountered a number of training problems in the past, so it may just be coincidence, but virtually all of his victories and his best efforts have been achieved before the end of January, which in my opinion is enough to put me off backing him in March.

    Despite my concerns, I hope you enjoy some success with these selections.

    All the best.



    Hi Rob
    Oops.. I have managed to edit the Champion Chase post as it was Sceau Royal that was getting the kiss of death from me on this
    As for the selections to date all of the above are not expected to win but I believe have value as an each way shout especially when used in the type of bet I do at Cheltenham which I hope will become apparant in due course (maybe by tonight). ?
    I will now attempt the Champion Hurdle and start with the statistics which are as follows:
    10/12 winners were aged between 6 and 8
    11/12 winners finished in the frame last time out
    9/12 won on their last time out
    9/12 ran within the last 51 days
    11/12 winners had at least 1 previous run at Cheltenham
    10/12 winners had at least 7 runs at the 2 mile mark
    10/12 had at least 5 wins around the 2 mile mark
    9/12 winners had at least 8 previous runs over hurdles
    9/12 had at least 5 wins over hurdles
    9/12 winners were rated 163 or higher
    10/12 winners had at least 1 previous grade 1 win
    10/12 winners had at least 2 runs that season
    12/12 had at least 1 win that season
    This was by far the most difficult race as I can see there being no room for maneuver with Apples Jade (who I have been a big fan of for some time) Buveur D’Air and Laurina likely to fill the places and probably in that order. However the idea was to come up a sporting each way alternative and I have come up with Sharjah who fits the profile and appears to have more scope for improvement than the others and is showing it of late.
    The 10-1 still showing is not ideal but will have to do as any Ricci/Mullins horse is unlikely to be a drifter.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by adminMike.

    Having re-checked the possibilities available and bearing in mind I am primarily looking at place options bet365 at non runner no bet 1/4 odds on all the above selections would look the obvious choice.
    Therefore for this thread I am putting up a the following as my first Cheltenahm accumulator using the following prices as listed in todays lunchtime markets.
    Champion Hurdle Sharjah 9-1
    Champion Chase Sceau Royal 14-1
    Ryanair Chase Aso 16-1
    Stayers Hurdle Bapaume 20-1
    Gold Cup Might Bite 14-1
    I am suggesting 10x 1 point each way doubles and 1 point each way accumulator which means that should any two of the above get placed you would recieve the majority of your outlay back (if not make a small return) dependent on the price of the placed horses.
    However should more than two get placed you are already into a decent profit and for the curious dreamers such as myself should all five just get placed the total return would be +1974.38 points. I am talking place options here as this is most likely the best case scenario but for those wishing to check out the win options there is a link to a good bet return calculator in the Reference & Help section listed at the top of the main page under the sub heading of Useful Links.


    Hi Mike,

    I like your betting strategy and staking plan, as stake returned for just 2 places and profit if selections are more successful is a good position to be in.

    If you rate SHARJAH as an each way selection in the Champion Hurdle, then you might wish to consider LEONCAVALLO in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday, if racing is allowed to resume after the Equine Flu scare.

    LEONCAVALLO finished 3rd in the Galway Hurdle and that effort has been franked as follows:

    Sharjah (Won) – OR now 17 lbs higher after 2 Grade 1 victories.

    Bedrock (4th) – OR now 13 lbs higher after victories at G3 and G2 level.

    Le Richebourg (5th) – has subsequently won 2 Grade 1 Novice Chases and OR over fences now 19 lbs higher than his hurdle mark.

    LEONCAVALLO’s OR is now 3 lbs higher, but booking of 5lb Claimer for Saturday negates that rise, which suggests that he should be of interest from a purely handicapping perspective at around 14/1 for the Betfair Hurdle.

    All the best.


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