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2021 Cheltenham Festival Trends: DAY ONE (Tues 16th March 2021)

Each day of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival our horse racing trends experts will give you all the quick-fire positive and negative stats for EVERY race. Apply these to the final cards and you will build up a picture and a profile of which horses have historically done the best in recent renewals.

We hope they help narrow down the fields and also help pin-point plenty of winners at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival for you!

The 'day one' feature is the Grade One Unibet Champion Hurdle - a race in which 31 of the last 37 winners won last time out.

 

Cheltenham Festival Trends

Tuesday 16th March (Old Course)   

 

1.20 - Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y ITV

 

2020 Winner: SHISHKIN 6/1
Trainer – Nicky Henderson
Jockey – Nico de Boinville

Pluses…..

  • 21 of the last 24 winners won their last race
  • 14 of the last 17 winners had raced in at least 4 hurdles races before
  • 9 of the last 11 winners came from the first 4 in the market
  • 8 of the last 9 winners have all won a graded novice hurdle before
  • 20 of the last 26 winners ran in the last 45 days
  • Irish-trained horses have won 16 of the last 29 runnings
  • 5 & 6 year-olds have the best record – winning 15 of the last 16 runnings
  • Willie Mullins has won the race 5 times since 2007 and for 4 of the last 8 years
  • 24 of the last 26 winners had raced that same calendar year
  • Owner Rich Ricci & trainer Willie Mullins have won 3 of the last 8 runnings (5 of the last 14)
  • 5 of the last 7 winners had been rated 153 or more
  • 8 of the last 9 winners had won a graded Novice Hurdle before
  • 7 of the last 8 winners returned a single-figure price
  • 8 of the last 12 winners were previous bumper winners

Negatives…..

  • Horses that FAILED to win last time out before coming here are just 3 from the last 24. In other words, look for horses that won last time out!
  • Since 1992 all horses (37) wearing head-gear have been beaten
  • We’ve seen just two ex-flat horses win since 2008
  • Just 2 of the last 18 winners came here unbeaten
  • Just 1 of the last 18 winners aged 7 or older
  • Just 1 outright winning favourite in the last 16 runnings
  • Betfair Hurdle winners are 0-from-7 in the last decade
  • Nicky Henderson is 2 from 39 since 1993 (Shishkin (2020) and Altior (2016) his two winners for this period)

 

1.55 - Sporting Life Arkle Novices' Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 199y ITV

2020 Winner: PUT THE KETTLE ON 16/1
Trainer – Henry De Bromhead
Jockey – Aidan Coleman

 

Pluses….

  • 13 of the last 16 winners had won (or been placed) at Cheltenham before
  • 15 of the last 21 winners had won a Grade 1 or 2 chase before
  • The last 11 winners won last time out (plus 16 of the last 20)
  • 19 of the last 21 winners returned 9/1 or shorter
  • 13 of the last 14 winners were aged 6 or 7 years-old
  • 14 of the last 18 winners had run 3 or 4 times over fences
  • 12 of the last 17 winners at run at the Cheltenham Festival previously
  • 11 of the last 20 winners were the top or second top-rated hurdler in the field
  • 7 of the last 9 winners were unbeaten over fences
  • Nicky Henderson has won the race 6 times
  • Willie Mullins has won 4 of the last 6 runnings (all French-bred)
  • 7 of the last 9 winners trained by Willie Mullins or Nicky Henderson

Negatives…..

  • Only 2 of the last 34 winners failed to win of finish second last time out
  • Just 3 of the last 30 winners started 11/1 or bigger in the betting
  • Only 3 of the last 29 winners were older than 7 years-old
  • The last horse aged 9 (or older) to win was in 1988
  • The last 28 ex-flat horses to run have all lost
  • Only 1 winner since 2000 won with headgear
  • 5 year-olds are 0-12 in the last 12 years
  • Douvan (2016) and Altior (2017) were the first Supreme Hurdle winners (prev season) that have followed-up in this race since 1965
  • Trainer Paul Nicholls has had 12 unplaced from his last 13 runners

 

Your first 30 days for just £1

 

2.30 - Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 1f ITV

2020 Winner: THE CONDITIONAL 15/2
Trainer – David Bridgewater
Jockey – Brendan Powell

 

Pluses….

  • 16 of the last 21 winners were officially rated 143 or less
  • 15 of the last 20 came from the top 4 in the betting
  • 17 of the last 21 winners returned 11/1 or shorter
  • 15 of the last 20 were novices or second season chasers
  • 7 of the last 13 winners were rated between 142-146 (6 between 142-145)
  • Horses rated 140+ have won 12 of the last 20 runnings
  • 9 of the last 18 won last time out
  • Horses that have run well in the race before have a good record
  • 3 of the last 11 winners ran in the Cleeve Hurdle that season
  • 8 of the last 9 winners wore headgear
  • 9 of the last 11 winners had run at Cheltenham that season
  • Jonjo O’Neill, Alan King, Nicky Henderson, Tony Martin & David Pipe are trainers to note
  • All winners since 2000 had won over 3m+ before
  • 5 of the last 6 winners ran at Cheltenham’s January meeting
  • 4 of the last 7 winners ran in the Ladbrokes Trophy that season
  • 10 of the last 12 winners had run at the Festival before

Negatives….

  • Be a bit wary of horses carrying 11-04 or more in weight – 10 of the last 16 carried 10-12 or less, although the 2017 winner carried 11-12 & the 2019 winner won with 11-8. The 2020 winner, The Conditional, carried 10-6
  • Horses aged 11 or older are just 2 from 49 to even get placed
  • Be wary of Paul Nicholls-trained horses – he’s currently 0 from 23
  • Only 2 winners in the last 12 hadn’t raced at a previous Festival
  • Only 4 winners since 2000 have returned bigger than 11/1
  • The Irish have won just 2 of the last 52 runnings (since 1967)
  • Irish-trained runners are 0-26 in the last 14 runnings

 

 

3.05 - Unibet Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y ITV

 

2020 Winner: EPATANTE 2/1 fav
Trainer – Nicky Henderson
Jockey – Barry Geraghty

Pluses….

  • 31 of the last 37 won last time out
  • Horses unbeaten that season often do well (8 of last 10)
  • The Irish and Nicky Henderson have won 18 of the last 22 runnings between them
  • 9 of the last 12 winners came from the Henderson or Willie Mullins yards
  • The Irish have won 13 of the last 22 runnings
  • Owner JP McManus has won 6 of the last 11 (9 in total)
  • Trainer Willie Mullins has won 4 of the last 10 runnings
  • 26 of the last 31 winners were aged 6 or 7 years-old (10 of last 14)
  • 12 of the last 22 winners had won at the Festival before
  • 23 of the last 36 winners were placed in the first 4 at the previous season’s festival
  • The Fighting Fifth Hurdle is a good guide (4 winners, 4 places in last 13 runnings)
  • 14 of the last 25 winners started as flat horses
  • The last 6 winners were unbeaten that season
  • Look for horses that have raced at least once that calendar year
  • Trainer Nicky Henderson has won the race 8 times, including 3 of the last 4 years
  • 6 of the last 12 winners contested the Christmas Hurdle (Kempton)

Negatives….

  • Avoid horses that failed to finish in the top three last time out
  • 5 year-olds are just 2 from 105 since 1985, but the 2019 winner was a 5 year-old
  • Since 1927 we’ve only seen 2 winners aged 10 or older (0-29 in the last 38 runnings)
  • Just 1 of the last 14 winners had raced more than 12 times over hurdles
  • Christmas Hurdle (Kempton, 26th Dec) winners are just 4 from 30, but last year’s winner – Epatante – did the Christmas Hurdle/Champion Hurdle double.
  • Just 2 horses have regained the race since 1975
  • International Hurdle winners are 0-from-13 (last 17 runnings)
  • Only 2 of the last 22 winners hadn’t raced at the Festival before

Key Cheltenham Festival Champion Hurdle Betting Trends

 

17/18 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
16/18 – Had raced at Cheltenham before
16/18 – Aged 8 or younger
15/18 – Had raced within the last 7 weeks
15/18 – Rated 159 or higher
14/18 – Won last time out
13/18 – Had finished in the top 4 in a Cheltenham Festival race the season before
13/18 – Had won 6 or more times over hurdles before
12/18 – Placed favourites
11/18 – Aged 6 or 7 years-old
10/18 – Had won at Cheltenham before
10/18 – Irish-bred winners
10/18 – Irish trained winners
10/18 – Winning distance – 2 1/2 lengths or more
8/18 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
8/18 - Winning favourites (1 joint)
6/18 – Ran in the previous season’s Champion Hurdle
6/18 – Had won a race at the Cheltenham Festival the previous season
4/18 – Trained by Willie Mullins
5/18 – Trained by Nicky Henderson (has won the race 8 times in all)
The average winning SP in the last 18 runnings is 8/1

Other Champion Hurdle Stats:
5 year-olds are just 3 from 106 since 1985
31 of the last 37 winners won their previous race
23 of the last 35 winners were placed in the top 4 at the previous season’s Cheltenham Festival
22 of the last 25 winners had a race that calendar year (i.e we are looking for horses that have run in 2020)
27 of the last 30 winners hailed from the first 6 in the betting market
Just 4 of the last 30 Christmas Hurdle winners has gone onto win the Champion Hurdle that season
Irish-trained horses have won 13 of the last 22 renewals

 

Champion Hurdle – UK vs Ireland (Last 23 Years)

13/23 – Irish-trained winners
10/23 – British-trained winners

 

 

3.40 - Close Brothers David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 3f 200y ITV

2020 Winner: HONEYSUCKLE 9/4
Trainer – Henry De Bromhead
Jockey – Rachael Blackmore

 

Pluses….

  • Follow Irish-trained mares (11 of last 13)
  • The favourite (or 2nd fav) have won 11 of the last 13 runnings
  • 7 of the last 13 favourites have won
  • 12 of the last 13 winners had won over at least 2m4f
  • Willie Mullins have trained 9 of the last 12 winners
  • Look for Willie Mullins, Nicky Henderson, Paul Nolan & Alan King runners
  • Novices generally do well
  • 10 of the last 13 winners had won a Grade 1 or 2 before
  • 6 of the last 9 winners had won over 2m6f+ before
  • Horses that began their careers in bumpers have done well
  • Respect French-bred mares – won 9 renewals
  • 11 of the last 13 winners returned 6/1 or shorter
  • 11 of the last 13 winners had won (or placed) in a graded race against the males

Negatives….

  • Avoid front-runners
  • British-bred mares are currently 1-80
  • All 28 runners to wear headgear have been beaten (just 1 placed)
  • Be wary of Paul Nicholls, Philip Hobbs and Noel Meade runners
  • Benie De Deaux is the only ex-flat horse to win the race

 

 

4.15 - Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle (Handicap Hurdle) 2m 87y) ITV

2020 Winner: ARAMAX 15/2
Trainer – Gordon Elliott
Jockey – Mark Walsh

Pluses….

  • 10 of the last 16 winners had run just 3 times over hurdles before
  • French bred horses have a good record
  • 9 of the last 16 winners started their careers in France
  • Respect Fillies
  • 8 of the last 16 winners won last time out
  • 7 of the last 10 winners all came from the bottom half of the weights/handicap
  • 11 of the last 16 had run in the last 25 days
  • David Pipe, Paul Nicholls, Gordon Elliot and Alan King-trained horses often do well
  • 6 of the last 9 winners returned between 25/1 and 40/1
  • 10 of the last 16 winners returned a double-figure price
  • Respect horses wearing headgear
  • 12 of the last 16 winners were rated between 124-134
  • 8 of the last 13 winners were British-trained
  • Trainer Paul Nicholls has won 3 of the last 11 runnings
  • 11 of the last 16 winners had won no more than once over hurdles

 

Negatives….

  • Just 1 recent winner had last raced in January or further back
  • Trainers Willie Mullins, Philip Hobbs and Venetia Williams are 0 from 33 between them
  • Just 2 of the last 16 winners rated 135+
  • Horses bred in Britain are 0-54 (last 12 years)
  • Willie Mullins runners are 0 from 14 (just 1 placed in top 5 too)
  • Only 3 winners had run in a handicap hurdle before
  • No winner had raced at Cheltenham before
  • Horses with 2+ wins over hurdles are 1 from the last 11 years
  • British-bred runners are currently 0-51

 

4.50 - Sam Vesty National Hunt Chase (Amateur Riders' Novices' Chase) (Grade 2) 3m 5f 201y RTV

 

2020 Winner: RAVENHILL 12/1
Trainer – Gordon Elliott
Jockey – Jamie Codd

 

Pluses…..

  • 11 of the last 19 winners finished 1st or 2nd last time out
  • 10 of the last 15 winners were aged 7 or 8 years-old
  • Favourites have won 3 of the last 11 runnings
  • 4 of the last 10 winners were top-rated
  • 9 of the last 11 winners had run in a Graded Novice chase
  • 5 of the last 10 winners had run in a Grade One Novice Chase that season
  • 7 of the last 14 had run in a chase at Cheltenham before that season
  • 7 of the last 11 winners had run at a previous Cheltenham Festival
  • 7 of the last 10 winners returned a single-figure price
  • Note horses wearing headgear
  • 7 of the last 10 winners were rated 145 (or more)
  • Look out for JP McManus-owned runners (6 winners)
  • Jonjo O’Neill has trained 6 winners in the race (5-from-21)
  • Jockey Derek O’Connor has 2 wins / 4 places (from 15 rides)
  • Derek O’Connor, Jamie Codd & Patrick Mullins have won 7 of the last 10 (3, Codd, 2 Mullins, 2 O’Connor)
  • Jockey Jamie Codd has won 3 of the last 6
  • Gordon Elliott has won the race 4 times from just 8 runners

Negatives….

  • 5 and 6 year-olds are just 2 from 80 since 1989
  • Trainer Paul Nicholls has NEVER won this race - he’s currently 0 from 18
  • Trainer Nicky Henderson has NEVER won this race
  • Horses with less than 3 chase starts don’t fare well
  • Horses rated in the 130’s have a poor record (1 from 9)
  • Just 2 winners in the last 13 returned bigger than 12/1