Cheltenham trends 2012: Day Two

Day 2, and an amateurs race kicks off the second day of the Cheltenham festival, and we’re looking for some Cheltenham trends to improve our chances when betting.

The Diamond Jubilee National Hunt Novices’ Chase

Well, where do we start? Changes to the rules in 2010 meant that better horses started to enter this race, and that skews our trends a little. However, we do know that every winner of this race had run between four and eight races since August, and all but one had been first or second in a 3 mile chase or longer. A run in the last 50 days is almost a pre-requisite trend, and strangely, a good record at Newbury is a good indicator.

Favourites don’t have a great record, just 2 in 10, and we’ve had winners of up to 33/1 in the last ten years. Equally, look for a horse that hasn’t run flat races. 7 and 8 year olds tend to do well, and another peculiar trend that won’t necessarily educate you pre-race is that the winners have almost always been held towards the back during the race. Good ground might turn that trend on its head, though.

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The Neptune Investment Management Novices Hurdle

A slightly longer race than the Supreme Novices, this has been a minefield for gamblers. The British have a terrible record, so look for the Irish and the French 5 and 6 year-olds, especially those who had run up to 6 hurdles races in the season, never finishing outside the top two.

You’re looking for evidence of stamina, with a win over 2m and 4 furlongs, and evidence of quality - so a win in a grade 1 or 2 hurdle.

Just like in the Arkle, you’re looking to the bookmakers to provide you with a guide to shortening your field down. The first five in the betting have totally dominated this race, and again, just like in the Arkle, the favourites suffer. 12/1 appears to be the maximum over the last ten years.

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The RSA Chase

We like this race because it’s a fantastic indicator of future glory. Stamina counts here, as it is run over 3 miles, and we’re also looking for a seven year old. Guess what, it’s the Irish and the French who win this - well, OK, mostly the Irish.

Previous winners have gone on to win the King George and the Gold Cup, so we’re looking for real quality. A top two finish last time out with a rating of 136 or higher is essential, and a run in the last 50 days is also required. Look for evidence of stamina, so a win over 2 miles and 5 furlongs, with evidence of quality - a place in a grade 1 or 2 chase will suffice. In fact, in chases, don’t pick a horse that has been outside the top 3 in any race.

Like we say - this one is relatively easy to shorten down - Irish, with stamina, with a bit of quality.

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The Queen Mother Champion Chase

Yawn - the French and the Irish, yadiyadiya. Then again, most horses in the Queen Mother are French or Irish, so it’s hardly unusual that the Irish took all four places last year.

That most common of Cheltenham trends, the win last time out, is essential, and lightly raced horses tend to do better. A maximum of four races all season will do. A grade 1 win is a pre-requisite, and being a course winner helps.

Five to seven year olds have a good record, but Irish eight-year-olds do well, and we’re also looking for a horse at a certain stage in his racing career - 2nd or 3rd season of chasing. Previous winners came from the Arkle or the previous season’s Queen Mother, and the Tingle Creek race is another indicator of potential here. Paul Nicholls has a great record in this race.

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The Coral Cup

A Grade 3 race run over 2 miles 5 furlongs, and trends will help you here because it’s never easy to pick the winner of this one. The bookies haven’t got a good handle on this race - the odds of recent winners don’t provide any sort of guide although favourites don’t tend to win.

Look for a 5 to 7 year old horse with a minimum weight of 10-10, who won last time out. At least one win in the season is required, and evidence of some stamina is required with a win over 2 miles earned by all previous winners.

We’re looking for a horse in his second season of hurdling, so no more than 4 handicap hurdles appears to be a general trend across all of our last ten winners.

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The Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

Four-year-olds win this race because - well - because it’s a race for four-year-olds. Easy trend, that one, and doesn’t shorten down your field much. However, it appears that a minimum weight of 11 stone is required, and French or Irish horses have dominated the seven years of the Juvenile Handicap.

Breeding counts - look for quality parentage, and then look for ratings of over 124.

Again, a win last time out is a pre-requisite (Cheltenham’s favourite trend), and a good record at Taunton and Sandown appears to point towards a winner here. Another trend is form on the flat.

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published: 10th March 2012 by Free Bet Bookmaker


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