5 Things you didn’t know about the Long Walk Hurdle (Ascot)

December 21th, 2013

The Long Walk Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race in Great Britain which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at Ascot over a distance of about 3 miles and 1 furlong.

Attaglance upset the Proform mince pie plans for Christmas last week. We suspect the dark hand of the gambling gods who like Ebenezer Scrooge are cold-hearted misers with nothing but contempt for us poor punters.

Let’s see if the Proform Ghost of Christmas present can predict the winner of the Long Walk Hurdle. 


5 Things you didn’t know about the Long Walk Hurdle (Ascot)

1. Viva La France la deuxième partie

Sacrebleu! The Entente cordiale between Britain and France was under serious threat last week with no French bred winner of the Stewart Family Thank You Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

Well The French have marshalled their battalions in preparation for an assault on this race!

With 12 winners from a population of 27 runners (32% win strike rate) in recent years, French bred horses running in the Long Walk perform 43% better than expected. Laissez le combat commence!

Contenders: Reve de Sivola 

2. Slow Coaches

When researching historical pace results of hurdle races at Ascot, our data suggests a negative bias toward horses that like to run toward the back of the herd.

In the Long Walk Hurdle, the same trait applies with horses that like to run “held up” only winning 5 races from a population of 47 with this trait.

With a performance approx. 40% below what we would expect, we’ve eliminated horses in the Long Walk that have a “held up” pace profile from consideration leaving the following short list of horses which like to run prominently.

Contenders: Time For Rupert, Reve De Sivola, At Fishers Cross 

3. Sneak Preview

The National Hunt season is in full swing therefore, the majority of horses entered in the Long Walk have had a chance to blow away the cobwebs in a recent run/course outing. Our analysis indicates that horses that have had 1 run in the last 3 months have won the Long Walk on 13 occasions from a population of 44 runners.

With a 29% strike race (31% better than expected) scrutinise horses which have been given only one pipe opening warm up in preparation for the Long Walk.

Contenders: At Fishers Cross, Reve De Sivola

4. Horses for Grade 1 Courses

Not profitable when taken in isolation however, it’s hard to overlook the fact that the majority of Long Walk Hurdle winners all had recent runs at the grade 1 courses of Newbury, Ascot, Cheltenham and Haydock. Runners with recent runs at Newbury top the statistical list with 9 winners from a population of 43 runners. An 11% better than expected performance. Contenders: At Fishers Cross, Reve de Sivola, Salubrious [divider]

5. Rug Rats

Typically in hurdle races, 5 and 6 year olds tend to win the majority of these race. In the Long Walk, statistically 5yo’s have a 63% better than expected performance (4 wins from a total of 22 runners).

Contenders: No qualifiers

Conclusion This looks like a smash and grab job for At Fishers Cross. At likely short odds at the off, we’ll leave those that consider At Fishers Cross’s price value while we tour the supermarkets for value mince pies.