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Saturday TV Trends: 26th December 2015

A massive day on Boxing Day with eight domestic horse racing fixtures, but the festive highlight as racing resumes after a three day break is the King George VI Meeting at Kempton Park.

The King George VI  Chase is the featured race of the day as punters will look to get their Xmas expenses paid for – a race in recent years we’ve seen horse racing greats like Kauto Star, Long Run, Best Mate, Kicking King, One Man and, more recently, Silviniaco Conti, landing the prize.

We take a look at each race on the card and highlight the main stats – hopefully this will help you whittle down the fields and point you in the direction of a few winners.

tvtrends-300x73

 

12:50 - William Hill On Your Mobile Novices' Hurdle Race 2m

8/8 – Had raced in the last 7 weeks
7/8 - Aged 4 or 5 years-old
7/8 – Winning distance 3 lengths or more
7/8 – Favourites placed in the top 3
7/8 – Returned 7/2 or shorter in the betting
6/8 – Won just once over hurdles before
5/8 – Winning favourites
5/8 – Had won a NH Flat race before
3/8 – Ridden by Richard Johnson
2/8 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
2/8 – Ridden by Barry Geraghty
The average winning SP in the last 8 runnings is 10/3

1.25 - William Hill - Download The App Novices´ Limited Handicap Chase Cl3 2m4f110y CH4

11/11 – Aged 7 or younger
10/11 – Had won between 0-1 times over fences in the UK
9/11 – Placed 1st or 2nd last time out
9/11 – Raced within the last 5 weeks
7/11 – Placed favourites (1 joint)
6/11 – Officially rated between 119 and 125
6/11 – Carried 11-6 or more
6/11 – Winning distance – 6 lengths or more
6/11 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
4/11 – Won by a French bred horse
4/11 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
3/11 – Won last time out
2/11 – Ridden by Richard Johnson
2/11 – Raced at Kempton last time out

2.00 - Kauto Star Novices´ Chase (In memory of Nigel Clark) (formerly The Feltham Novices´ Chase) (Grade 1) Cl1 3m CH4

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12/12 – Placed in the top two last time out
12/12 – Raced within the last 6 weeks
10/12 – Won last time out
9/12 – Returned 5/2 or shorter in the betting
9/12 – Had won at least 2 times over fences in the UK
9/12 – French (5) or Irish (4) bred
9/12 – Winning distance – 3 lengths or more
8/12 – Aged 6 or younger
8/12 – Placed favourites
8/12 – Went onto run in that season’s RSA Chase (no winners)
7/12 – Winning favourites
6/12 – Aged 6 years-old
6/12 – Had won (chase) over at least 3m before
6/12 – Raced at Newbury last time out
2/12 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
2/12 – Trained by David Pipe
2/12 – Ridden by Ruby Walsh
2/12 – Ridden by Tom Scudamore
2/12 – Raced at Cheltenham last time out
1/12 – French trained
1/12 – Went onto run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup (One winner - Coneygree 2015)

Note: The 2005 running was staged at Sandown

2.35 - williamhill.com Christmas Hurdle (Grade 1) Cl1 2m CH4

11/13 – Raced within the last 6 weeks
11/13 – Had won at least 4 times over hurdles before
10/13 – Placed favourites
10/13 – Returned 11/4 or shorter in the betting
8/13 – Went onto run in the Champion Hurdle (Faughan (2015) only winner)
8/13 – Won last time out
7/13 – Irish trained
7/13 – Ran in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle last time out
7/13 – Went onto finish in the top 5 in the Champion Hurdle that season
6/13 – Had run over hurdles at Kempton before
6/13 – Winning favourites
5/13 – French bred
4/13 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
2/13 – Trained by Jonjo O’Neill
Note: The 2005 running was staged at Sandown
The 2010 renewal was run on 15th Jan 2011

3.10 – William Hill King George VI Chase (Grade 1) Cl1 3m CH4

Past King George VI Chase Winners

2014 - Silviniaco Conti (15/8 fav)
2013 – Silviniaco Conti (7/2)
2012 – Long Run (15/8 fav)
2011 – Kauto Star (3/1)
2010 – Long Run (9/2)
2009 – Kauto Star (8/13 fav)
2008 – Kauto Star (10/11 fav)
2007 – Kauto Star (4/6 fav)
2006 – Kauto Star (8/13 fav)
2005 – Kicking King (11/8 fav)
2004 – Kicking King (3/1 fav)
2003 – Edredon Bleu (25/1)
2002 – Best Mate (11/8 fav)
Note: The 2005 renewal was staged at Sandown Park

King George VI Chase Trends

13/13 – Had won a Grade One chase before
13/13 – French (10) or Irish bred (3)
12/13 – Had raced within the last 5 weeks
12/13 – Placed favourites
12/13 – Finished in the top three last time out
11/13 – Officially rated 169 or higher
11/13 – Had won over 3m or further (fences) before
10/13 – Aged 8 or younger
10/13 – Had won a race over fences at Kempton before
9/13 – Winning favourites
8/13 – Won last time out
8/13 – Aged 6 or 7 years-old
8/13 – Ran in the Betfair Chase (Haydock) last time out
7/13 – Won by a previous winner of the race
7/13 – Trained by Paul Nicholls (9 times in all)
5/13 – Ridden by Ruby Walsh
2/13 – Ridden by Barry Geraghty
2/13 – Ridden by Noel Fehily
2/13 – Won by an Irish-based yard
The average winning SP in the last 13 years is 7/2

15:45 - William Hill World Darts Championship Handicap Hurdle Race 2m5f

8/8 – Won no more than 3 times (UK Hurdles)
7/8 – Aged 6 or younger
7/8 – Won between 0-2 times hurdles (UK)
6/8 – Returned 8/1 or shorter
6/8 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
5/8 – Ran 4 or less weeks ago
5/8 – Officially rated 120-128
5/8 – Aged 5 or 6 years-old
4/8 – Unplaced favourites
4/8 – Won last time out
4/8 – French bred
3/8 – Winning favourites
2/8 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
The average winning SP in the last 8 runnings is 8.3/1

 

Wetherby Horse Racing Trends (RUK/C4)

1.45 - 188Bet Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase (Grade 3) Cl1 3m45y CH4

8/8 – Didn’t win last time out
7/8 – Unplaced in their last race
7/8 – Aged 8 or younger
7/8 – Had won 3 or less times over fences (UK)
6/8 – Carried 11-0 or less in weight
6/8 – Aged 7 or 8 years-old
6/8 – Raced in the last 5 weeks
6/8 – Returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
5/8 – Had raced at Wetherby before
5/8 – Had won over 3m (chase) before
4/8 – Raced at either Haydock (2) or Aintree (2) last time out
4/8 – Irish bred
1/8 – Winning favourites
The average winning SP in the last 8 runnings is 10/1
Warren Greatrex’s Dolatulo won the race 12 months ago

 

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Kauto Star: An Old Man Remembers…

When Kauto met Kauto

When Kauto met Kauto

This article was written by geegeez member, Kev Lane, on the occasion of Kauto Star's fourth Betfair Chase, and is a fitting tribute to the horse, who sadly passed away on Tuesday.

The old man eased himself into his favourite armchair, scratched his head and rubbed his temples with his forefingers. He threw a small log onto the fire and watched as it was engulfed by the flames around it. He was in his eighties now but he still chopped a few small logs every day, as it stretched his muscles and got him out for some fresh air. It had been cold this November and he had needed his grandson to come around and chop the bigger logs up for him. The lad was enthusiastic and used the axe like he was trying to hit Graeme Swann over the pavilion roof.

“No, no, no,” said the old man on many occasions, “it’s all about rhythm, it should be an extension of your arm. Like this.” The old man motioned to the boy to show him how it was done. The lad was keen if a bit cheeky at times. He liked hearing stories from the past but once he said to his grandfather, “Why is it that the older a man gets, the faster he could run as a lad?” The old man smiled at that.

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He looked into the dancing flames as the fire came to life, and the sharper, older memories came flooding back to him. He still had to pinch himself that it was late autumn 2041, a date that had seemed so far away when he was a younger man. A smile crossed his lips as he recalled that marvellous day thirty years ago. Was it really thirty years ago? It was at Haydock Park and the Lancashire course had never seen a day like it; racing had never seen a day like it. In one of the most competitive Betfair Chases for many a year, two past Gold Cup winners, Long Run and Kauto Star, went head to head with the previous season’s Hennessy winner, Diamond Harry; the previous months Charlie Hall Chase winner, Weird Al; and another progressive chaser in Time For Rupert, runner up in the Charlie Hall.

The memories of the race were still vivid but the old man wanted to savour each and every detail in his mind. There was the pre-race build up in the press with all of the trainers confident of a good run from their charges. Then there was the public, with divided opinions as to whether Kauto Star, by far and away the best chaser in a generation and possibly more but now eleven years old and rising twelve, should have been retired after a stirring performance in the Gold Cup but then failing to complete at Punchestown at the end of the previous season. And whether Long Run had improved over the summer and would justify not only his short price for this race but also his favouritism for the King George and the Gold Cup.

The old man smiled again as he remembered watching Kauto Star enter the parade ring to a loud cheering crowd and the waving of green, yellow and purple scarves. Was this judgement day for Kauto? Would a poor run see his retirement? The excitement built as race time approached and the horse looked well in himself.

He picked up the poker and jabbed at the charred billets, coaxing them back into life. Then he set his head back in the chair and closed his eyes. As the tapes went up Kauto was sent into an early lead, to roars from the crowd, but the finish was still three miles away and with the small matter of 18 fences to jump. From the very first, Kauto pinged the obstacles with an effortless elegance that belied his years, but was joined by Time For Rupert and then Diamond Harry. The race was run at a strong tempo and, after a circuit, Time For Rupert was starting to struggle.

The old man remembered thinking how well Kauto was going and could it, would it, be his day? Long Run was close up in third but making small mistakes that prevented him getting on terms. Rounding the final bend Kauto was the only horse left on the bridle with the rest of the field driven along. The crowd held its collective breath, not sure it could believe what it was witnessing. Four out and another good jump from Kauto but Long Run now moved into second place. Onlookers gawped open-mouthed as the Star breezed over the third from home with Long Run continuing to chase. Two out, and as there were signs of fatigue in the leader the old man remembered jumping up and down screaming at Ruby to urge him home.

Another fine jump at the last sealed it, Long Run bungling in second, and as Kauto Star lengthened up the run-in to score by a comfortable margin the crowd went into overdrive, well aware that they were witnessing something very, very special. When the enormity of the victory hit home, grown men had to bite their lips to control their emotions. As he walked into the winner’s enclosure the crowd roared the roof off the old stand and the cheers could be heard across the broad acres of Merseyside.

A tear escaped a closed eyelid and rolled down the old man’s cheek. As he wiped it away he recalled the volume of the crowd – Three Cheers for Kauto. Trainer Paul Nicholls was more animated than he had ever been and jockey Ruby Walsh wore a grin across his face that would have put the Cheshire Cat to shame. Such scenes, such elation, such joy. As the old man had got older it was the memories that kept him going. There were other horses and other great deeds that he would recall on other days, but none were more vivid in his mind than the day that the Star burned so brightly at Haydock all those years ago.

 

Sat TV Trends: 8th Dec 2012

Action over the GN fences this weekend

A great Saturday in prospect with the Becher Chase at Aintree and the Tingle Creek from Sandown to look forward to.... Read more

Cheltenham Festival Trainer Stats

Andy Newton gives you all the trainer stats that matter ahead of the 2012 Cheltenham Festival........ Read more

Trainer Stats: 8th March 2012

Have the Hobbs Horses Turned A Corner?

With just days now till the tapes go up on the 2012 Cheltenham Festival see which trainers are heading to Prestbury Park in top form. Read more

Saturday TV Trends – 31st Dec

Sat TV Trends – 31st Dec

A Nice Card At Newbury This Saturday

As 2011 draws to a close this Saturday, Andy Newton gives you all the trends & stats that matter ahead of the LIVE C4 races at Newbury and Warwick. Read more

Trainer Stats: 29th Dec 2011

Henderson Sits On 82 Wins For The Season

As the year draws to a close Andy Newton highlights which trainers are heading into 2012 in good form Read more

Boxing Day TV Trends

Are You With Kauto or Long Run?

Did you know seven of the last 10 King George Chases went to the favourite? Andy Newton gives you all the stats that matter for the five LIVE Boxing Day races........ Read more

Trainer Stats 22nd Dec 2011

No racing after Thursday for three days, but with nine UK meetings on Boxing Day it could pay to know which trainers head into the festive period in form........... Read more

Free Handicap Chase System

Free handicap chase system

Free handicap chase system

The best betting systems are often based on contrarian logic or, at least, on opposing 'conventional wisdom'. Wikipedia describes it thus: Conventional wisdom (CW) is a term used to describe ideas or explanations that are generally accepted as true by the public or by experts in a field. Such ideas or explanations, though widely held, are unexamined.

Er, indeed.

In simple terms, good betting systems tend to pick up on illogical biases: misconceptions of the impact of a certain element or behaviour on the chance of a horse.

So it was that whilst watching the racing on Saturday afternoon I was struck with an idea. After my small interest 'action' bet on Cappa Bleu came off at 16/1, as he saw off Tamarinbleu on the run-in by a diminishing head, I noted that the pair of them had been off the track for a long time.

Specifically, Cappa Bleu was returning after exactly twenty months, having had his last start when pulling up in the 2010 Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival; and, Tamarinbleu was returning for a first run since the 2010 bet365 (formerly 'Whitbread') Chase at Sandown last April.

And I got to thinking that maybe there's a market bias around horses returning off a long layoff. It is often said that it takes 'a great training performance' to get a horse back after a break to win. Whilst, to some degree, that will be true, the market can underestimate the likelihood of a winning return. Or so I thought. So rather than be deliberately contrarian, or simply forget it and align with the conventional wisdom, I decided to run a few scenarios through a system analysis tool.

And the findings were interesting.

I set the 'long layoff' parameter as 500 days, and I focused only on horses running in UK National Hunt races with a chance, which I defined by their being priced at 16/1 or shorter.

The first thing I did was look at the performance of hurdlers and chasers respectively. I found that chasers won at a 17% clip and were highly profitable to follow under such conditions. By contrast, hurdlers only won 9% of such races and leaked cash if followed.

So I honed in on chasers, and looked at how a distinction between handicap and non-handicap chases fared. This time, the strike rates were reasonably similar, with non-handicap chase returners winning 16% of their starts, and handicappers 19% of theirs.

But there was a significant difference in the profitability of the two groups. Specifically, 55 from 344 non-handicap qualifiers won and in so doing recorded a small level stakes profit of 24.21 points (about 7% ROI).

Handicap chasers on the other hand won 51 of 262 races in the same time frame (from the start of 2008) and showed a whopping 131.28 points profit. That's an eye-watering 50% return on investment!

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But I'm greedy and I didn't want to stop there... so I looked at whether distance, ground or class were factors. Class was immaterial, although none of the seven Class 1 runners managed to win. That's too small a sample to be material so I'm happy to leave class out of the equation.

I was surprised that going had little bearing on performance, as I had perceived that those running on stamina-sapping heavy or soft ground would be found out for fitness. I was wrong. They do win at a slightly lower percentage, but still show a profit at industry SP. This is presumably because the market in general shares my (incorrect) presumption that bottomless going will inconvenience long layoff horses, and therefore sends them off at bigger prices than they ought to be, which in itself is interesting.

However, distance did have a bearing on performance, with those runners racing at up to and including three miles significantly outpointing their longer distance racing buddies. So I added in a criterion around race distance, and capped it at three miles.

Those rules, simple as they are, produced a profit of 141.95 points from just 200 bets. Here's the system in its entirety:

- UK only handicap chases
- Off the track for at least 500 days
- 16/1 or shorter in the betting
- Three miles or less for the race distance

So, thank you Cappa Bleu for the win on Saturday. And, more importantly, for highlighting this very interesting angle.

********

Now then, I've never done this before so forgive this slight deviation from the norm. But for a few weeks now, I've had a visitor staying. To be honest, it's quite uncomfortable having him around. Irritating even.He's always in my face. Or, more precisely, on my face.

Yes, I've been growing (or trying to grow) facial hair in the name of the wonderfully conceived 'Movember'.

If you've never heard of this, it's a charity effort which supports men's health areas such as prostate and testicular cancer research, and I applaud it for bringing such matters to the fore. (We men tend generally to shrug, and say we're fine, even when we've severed a limb!)

Now, at this point, I wish I'd be able to show you some hugely impressive 'El Gringo' face furniture, but alas life dealt me the wonderful card of not having to shave too often, even now I'm into my fifth decade! So it's been a bit of a struggle to achieve the requisite fluff, and I ask you to sympathise with my mediocre mo-age. It's the best I can do... At least there's another nine days to go, so I might make it to partial Freddie Mercury status by then...!

In any case, if you'd like to see just how ridiculous I look (no disrespect to moustache wearers - they suit a lot of people very well. Just not me), then click the link below. If you'd like to contribute a penny or two to a very worthy cause and in some small way legitimize my month of looking even more like an idiot than normal, then that would be hugely appreciated by future cancer sufferers. [Sorry, but that is the grim reality here, despite the fun angle].

Here's Matt's Moderate Mo, and a place to donate to a very worthy cause.

Thanks a million in advance to any reader(s) who support this.

********

Finally, congratulations to connections of the simply magnificent Kauto Star, who de-mo-lished (geddit?!) a very classy field in the Betfair Chase on Saturday. It was a serious throwback to his glory days and, whilst I'd have difficulty envisaging Long Run jumping so poorly next time in the King George and therefore Kauto beating him there (or anywhere else), this was a remarkable performance in its own right.

It was his fourth Betfair Chase, which can be added to his already glistening and illustrious roll of wins. As well as those four, he also has a quartet of King George wins, two Gold Cup wins (plus a second and a third), and two Tingle Creeks. In total, he's bagged £2,272,891 in prize money, which is also astonishing.

And here's a picture of the old boy back in his box yesterday morning...

Kauto 'you are a' Star

Kauto 'you are a' Star

Also, if you missed the race, you can watch some wonderfully amateur footage of the end of it here:

********

If that doesn't warm the old cockles on a cold Monday morning, I don't know what will. Actually, how about a Champion Hurdle preview? I'll be looking forward to the first of the Cheltenham Festival 'big ones' tomorrow.

For now though, do please laugh at my preposterous face furniture (Mrs Matt's dad remarked he was surprised as he didn't think anything grew in the shade..!), and if you can spare a couple of pennies, so much the better. Thank you very much if you do. Here's the link again:

Here's Matt's Moderate Mo, and a place to donate to a very worthy cause.

ttfn,
Matt

Saturday TV Trends

Did you know that Barry Geraghty has a 48% strike-rate when riding over fences at Ascot? – Andy Newton looks at all the Saturday C4 races from a trends angle. Read more

Trainer Stats – 17th Nov

As we head into another huge weekend of NH action Andy Newton gives you the trainers to note, while there’s a Gold Cup winning handler that’s now  46 days without a winner....... Read more

Trainer Stats – 3rd Nov

See which trainers are heading into this weekend at the top of their game as Andy Newton picks out eight handlers that have caught his eye in recent days, while there’s a big NH yard that are now almost a month without a win.............. Read more

Trainer Trends – 13th Oct

 

Henry Cecil

A huge weekend ahead with the UK’s richest ever race day at Ascot, while Cheltenham stages their first NH fixture of the season – but which trainers are heading there at the top of their game? Read more