Cheltenham trends 2012: Day Four

It’s day four and by now, you’re either onto your twentieth bookmaker account, or you’re so rich you can’t be arsed betting any more, it’s for plebs. But it’s Gold Cup day and Kauto Star’s almost certain to go! Wahey! He’s already beaten Long Run twice this season and a third time would make Cheltenham the noisiest place in the land. What? It already is? It would be celebrated massively, though, and quite rightly.

The JCB Triumph Hurdle

Winners of their previous race feature prominently, especially if that race was within the last 45 days. At most 6 starts over hurdles is another pattern, and most winners have flat experience. We’re looking for a horse that was sired by a group 1 winner, so check out parentage if you’re stuck.

The bookmakers, once more, have got a good idea of who’s going to win the JCB, with the first four in the betting taking almost all of the spoils. A graded hurdle victory helps, as does a win in the Adonis Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle. In fact, any Novices’ Hurdle win is good, especially at Newbury.

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The Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle

Five year olds have a good record here, especially if they’re trained in Ireland, and especially if they’re trained by Paul Nicholls. Six and seven year olds can’t be discounted.

With a weight of at least 10-10, and a rating in the 130s, we’re looking for relatively new hurdlers - first or second season - with at least three starts this season. A place in the BoyleSports Hurdle or the Betfair Handicap Hurdle will also give you an indication here - but this is a tricky race to predict, so you might have to Dutch it.

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The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

Five, six and seven year olds dominate again, and we’re after a horse that’s won a graded hurdle, as well as a top 2 finish in his last start. Stamina will count so a win over 2m 5 furlongs counts for a lot, and a course winner will have an immediate advantage.

Once more, this is a race for the bookmakers, with the winner coming in more often than not at under 10/1. None of the winners of this race had any flat experience, and you should take a second look at Jonjo O’Neill’s entries.

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The Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup

Most of us will be lumping on Kauto Star, but let’s look at the trends anyway because they are pretty consistent. We’re looking for the bookmakers for inspiration - and their top 3 in the market generally always win it. Oh, the favourite usually does, too.

A win over three miles is essential, as is a Grade 1 victory. In fact, a top-3 finish at last year’s festival will also help. The top two in the King George often come out top, and a top 2 finish last time out also helps.

Age-wise, it’s 6 to 9 year olds who win the Gold Cup, and they’re generally bred in Ireland or France. Every winner of the last ten years had run in 2 to 5 chases in the season, and all horses but one had run 6 to 11 career chases. That one? Kauto Star.

So, really, it’s the favourites, trained in Britain, with only previous winners being able to break the trends.

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The Christie’s Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup

If under 6 or over 10, qualify them out, and we’re looking for a hosre that has been placed in the last 35 days. Longer odds horses tend to come out top in this race, which is run directly after the Gold Cup at the same course and distance.

It’s a far cry from the quality of the previous race, but it does require stamina - horses that have won over three miles get added to your shortlist, and those that have won a class 3 chase get an extra tick. Again, Paul Nicholls has a good record here.

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The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup

A Grade 3 Handicap chase closes the festival, and the bookies have got it right most years, despite last year’s 40/1 aberration.

The top winning weight was 11st, so look for lower than that, and look for ratings under 134. A top 3 finish within the last 45 days is a good start, and we’re looking for Cheltenham form - a win or a place will do. In fact, a run in last year’s equivalent gets your horse an extra little tick.

Irish-trained horses have a decent record, and a place in either the Carey Group or the Red Rum Handicap Chase will help big time.

Not an easy race, but if you stick to the lower end of the market, you’ll be able to shorten that list down considerably.

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published: 10th March 2012 by Free Bet Bookmaker


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Love your work Katie, I have seen your work in a few magazines beofre and you just keep getting better! I will also be in touch with a few pictures, I would really like you to do a piece of artwork of my dog



I might be beatnig a dead horse, but thank you for posting this!



All things coeddserni, this is a first class post



Thanks for helping me to see things in a diffnreet light.



So that’s the case? Quite a reoilatevn that is.



Every time I see this poster when on the esracatols on the Tube, I mutter “knob”.It’s the same with the bloke on the phone recycling advert (“Wonga!” OH SHUT UP ALREADY) - I’m sure these people are only trying to eke out a living, but there’s some immense cockitude going on there.