Cheltenham Festival 2013 - Day 2 Preview and SelectionsMarch 12th, 2013
John Oaksey National Hunt Chase
A point worth noting about this race is last year all the runners lost their next start,. Not surprising given it is a gruelling 4 miles. POSTIVES: Horses who run off a short break don't fare well, so our first trend is that all the winners in the last 15 renewals have had a break of 15 days or more, which is 21% better than expected. Finishing 1st or 2nd last time out is a positive with 11 of the last 15 winners doing just that. A strong angle is running in a non handicap novice event last time out and finishing in the first two home. This produced 9 winners from the 15 renewals, 51% better than the norm. Horses held up also perform well winning 27% more races than they should with 10 winners from the 15 renewals. TREND FITTERS: We have four qualifiers for this Back In Focus, Godsmejudge, Tofino Bay and Rival D'estruval. The stand-out qualifier is Back In Focus with Grade 1 Novice Chase form in the book and we wouldn't put anyone off a e/way bet on Tofino Bay.
Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle
Won by Simonsig last year and a race which is working out well with 13 winners and 13 placed runners since last year from just 56 runners. Once again not many valid trends to go on in the Neptune but we have a dual positive, which works well. POSTIVES: Runners who raced in a Class 1 race last time out have a solid looking record of 8 wins from 15 renewals, which is 38% above expectations. Couple this with a first 3 finish and although we lose 1 winner we take out a quarter of the runners and the percentage above expectation rises to 54% TREND FITTERS: The above positives give us four qualifiers, Pont Alexandre, Two Rockers, Tarquin Du Seuil and Rule The World. The front five in the betting have a decent record, which would rule out Two Rockers. Pont Alexandre is being touted as the Irish Banker this year but at 6/4 represents no value and German Bred horses have a poor record overall at the Festival with just 5 winners from 157 runners, for a poor 3% strike rate, which is 39% lower than expected. So we will take him on with the other two qualifiers Tarquin Du Seuil and Rule The World.
POSTIVES: Irish Breds have won 13 of the last 15 renewals, which is 34% better than expected. 7 year olds have won 11 of the 15 from 87 runners, which is 37% above expectations. 13 of the 15 winners have run in the last 56 days, that's 36% better than expected. 8 winners from 67 runners ran prominently when winning the RSA, 37% better than the norm. All 15 had finished in the 1st 3 last time out, which is 29% above expectations. 5 winners had previously won or placed at a past Festival, from just 27 runners. TREND FITTERS: The trends once again narrow the field to four runners, Boston Bob, Lord Windermere, Goulanes and Vintage Star. Vintage Star is the outsider of the field and doesn't have any realistic chance so can be easily ruled out. Goulanes doesn't have enough chasing experience, which leaves us with Boston Bob and Lord Windermere and we feel a win bet on Boston Bob and e/way on Lord Windemere is the play.
Queen Mother Champion Chase
A walk in the park for Sprinter Sacre? Very likely will be and should be wonderful to watch. A point to note about the Champion Chase. It works out very well for subsequent runs with 2 winners and 2 placed on their next start and 9 winners and 5 placed from just 29 runs since last year. POSTIVES: No outstanding positives here but lots of pointers. 9 of the last 15 winners had previously won or been placed in a past Festival race. 13 of the last 15 ran in a non handicap last time out. 12 of the last 15 ran in a Class 1 race last time out. 8 of the last 15 finished 1st last time out. 11 of the last 15 ran in a Grade 1 or 2 race last time out. TREND FITTERS: Sprinter Sacre, Sizing Europe and Wishfull Thinking qualify on all 5 trends. In reality it is not a race to get involved in, Sprinter Sacre should win and it would be great watch him do so.
A race with plenty of interesting trends and angles. POSTIVES: You don't necessarily need a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place finish last time out to do well in the Coral Cup, in fact 9 winners did win or place last time out and 6 didn't, and the one's that didn't represented more value winning 18% more races than expected. You would also think with the Coral Cup being a handicap that running in a handicap last time out would be the norm, well 7 winners ran in a handicap last time out but they won 12% less races than expected, while 8 ran in a non handicap, which was 24% better than expected. Other positives are horses having at least a months break win 20% more races than expected and horses beaten more than 5 lengths last time out win 15% more races than expected. NEGATIVES: A previous run at a past Cheltenham Festival is not a positive with only 4 winners from 171 runners, 31% lower than expectations. Only 1 winner from 54 runners carried 11st 4lbs or more TREND FITTERS: Taking into account all the positives and negatives we have the field narrowed down to three horses. Wyse Hill Teabags, Rattan and Owega Star. All are big prices and all worth e/way punts.
With only 8 renewals there are not too many valid trends, but we do have a few emerging trends to look at. POSTIVES: Fillies have won half of the renewals but from only 20 runners, which is miles above expectations but the sample size is low, yet still hard to ignore. 7 of the 8 winners ran in the last 28 days. 4 of the 8 winners were French Bred. 5 of the 8 winners won last time out. 7 of the 8 were beaten in their first two hurdles starts. Two trainers that are performing well in the race are David Pipe with 1 winner and 4 placed from 10 runners over the 8 renewals and Alan King with 5 placed from 16 runners. TREND FITTERS: From the trends we have two qualifiers, Saphir Du Rheu and Habesh (e/way).
Weatherby's Champion Bumper
A mention for horses running at the festival that ran in the previous years bumper. Last year there were 4 runners from the 2011 Champion Bumper, Cinders and Ashes won the Supreme and Felix Younger was 2nd in the Neptune. The other was Knight Pass who ran twice, pulling up and finishing 17th. POSTIVES: Irish Bred horse have won 12 of the last 15 renewals. 11 from 15 were in the top 6 in the betting. Willie Mullins has won 6 renewals from 44 runners. TREND FITTERS: Five horses fit the trends Union Dues, Briar Hill, Regal Encore, Golantilla and Sizing Tennessee. To narrow them down to just one we have a very solid trend. Willie Mullins record with horses on their second run for his stable have a record of 27 winners from 54 runners for a 50% strike rate. 40 of the 54 either won or placed, that's 74% strike rate. Union Dues is running for the 2nd time for Willie Mullins, this is our selection.