Cheltenham trends 2012: Day Three

Day 3, and we don’t really have enough trends to analyse the first race of the day, so it’s straight to the second race, the Pertemps Final.

Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle

Long-odds fanciers take note - the Pertemps Final has been won by horses of 10/1 or longer over the last ten years, and very often, the horse did not win last time out. In many cases, it wasn’t even placed. With a recent run within the last 50 days, and a weight lower than 10-10, it’s 6 to 9 year olds who tend to do well, and we’re looking for those with some stamina - a win over 3 miles is a pre-requisite.

This is actually a poor cousin of the World Hurdle, so many of the horses here will be poor cousins of the World Hurdle, at least in theory. Ratings as low as 129 can win it.

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The Ryanair Chase

If running true to its name, the Ryanair Chase would be charging the jockeys for the privilege of a seat. It’s a decent race nowadays with some quality horses who have previous Cheltenham form, so for such a young race, it’s grown in stature quickly.

The Irish and the French have dominated, winning every race since its induction in 2005, but then again - every horse is either Irish or French. Well, almost. Course and distance does help here - every winner of the Ryanair Chase had won at Cheltenham, and five of them over this distance.

All previous winners had won a Grade 1, 2 or 3 race, and a place in either the Paddy Power or December Gold Cup is a good indicator. Again, it’s stamina that matters - a win over 2miles 5 furlongs is essential.

If quality and stamina count so much, then it’s little surprise that the bookies have got a good handle on the Ryanair. All but one winner since its inception have been from the top three of the markets, at 6/1 or lower. Only Alberta’s Run in 2010 broke that rule, coming in at 14/1. Favourites, however, haven’t struck lucky, so look at second and third in the markets and you may already have your winner. King George runners have a good record, as do winners of the Spinal Research or Paddy Power. Indeed, last year’s places are also a guide.

Finally, look at ratings (RPR) of 152 and above, and you probably have your horse.

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The Ladbrokes World Hurdle

Everyone’s trying to avoid Big Buck’s, as he looks to win the World Hurdle for the fourth time. This could make him the best staying hurdler of all time, which would make it a historic World Hurdle. History is on his side, as the only 9 year olds to have won it were previous winners. Six to eight year olds usually have it sewn up.

Finally, we’ve found a race where the Irish don’t do too well. The French have won 6 of the last 10 races, despite having just 30% of the total number of runners, which is astonishing. They get plenty of places, too, so if you’re going each-way, go French-bred.

Course and distance wins are handy, and wins over 3 miles are proof that they can handle this test. A Grade 1 hurdle again, is essential, preferably within the season, and Cheltenham experience really does count. Every winner in the last ten years had been either first or second in EVERY hurdles race that season, with between 8 and 23 starts over hurdles in total, and at most four races that particular season.

Bookmakers know what’s going on, and the longest price we’ve seen in the last ten years was ten years ago, 8/1. This is a race that’s all about the classiest horse in the field. Surprises rarely happen here.

Some other races to look out for: The Long Distance and the Long Walk Hurdle - find your winner there.

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The Byrne Group Plate

Back down to Grade 3 here, and a shorter race at 2 miles 5 furlongs. That’s the only short thing about it - the last ten winners all came in at 12/1 or longer, including some shockers at 66/1, 25/1, dare I go on? Favourites are handy for a place, but that’s all.

So - if the French win, they’re generally between 5 and 8, but if the Brits or the Irish win, they’re generally between 8 and 11 years old. The maximum weight for any winner in the last ten years is 10-9.

You have to look for jockeys who are claiming an allowance in this one - they have an amazingly good record considering the small number entering. If you find one, look at the other trends and see if he fits the bill.

We need some stamina, so a distance victory is a pre-requisite, and we need a little bit of class - so a place in a Graded chase will do. Some kind of Cheltenham form would be nice - a win or a place, and we’re looking for Nicky Henderson and Venetia Williams-trained horses too.

Two races to look at for your winner: The Murphy Group Plate and the William Hill Home of Betting Handicap Chase. Any horse that was placed should be on your shortlist, if they meet the other trends. Equally, a start in the last 40 days, and preferably a place, will shorten down your list even further.

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Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup

A handicap race for amateurs, that provides some long-odds victories for 8 or 9 year olds carrying 10-10 or greater. The top weight has won two of the last three renewals of the Kim Muir, making it one for the heavy boys.

What we’re looking for is a horse that has been recently placed over 3 miles or greater, in a class 3 or better handicap chase over fences. Unlike the previous race, jockeys with a claim have a poor record, so try to avoid them.

A win over three miles is a pre-requisite, so check for stamina.

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published: 10th March 2012 by Free Bet Bookmaker

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