TONY WARD offers his trends and selections for Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival 2011 – plus don’t miss his Paddock Tips live from The Festival on Twitter today….

1:30 – Stan James Supreme Novices Hurdle

The Supreme Novices Hurdle is the traditional Festival curtain-raiser. It is run over the Champion Hurdle course and distance of two miles and about half a furlong. It is open to novices aged four years old and upwards, and the total prize fund this year is £100,000.

 

Key Trends

  • 32 of the last 36 winners were aged 5 or 6
  • 10 out of the last 11 winners ran in the previous 45 days
  • 12 of the last 14 winners won last time out
  • 9 of the last 10 winners had a pre-race RPR of at least 132
  • 7 of the last 10 winners were Irish trained
  • 10 of the last 10 winners won at least 50% of hurdles starts
  • 8 of the last 19 renewals were won by horses with two or fewer runs over hurdles
  • Only 6 favourites have won have won in the last 31 runnings
  • No winning favourites in the last 6 renewals

The make up of this year’s renewal of the Supreme Novices Hurdle leaves 7 horses which fulfil most of the profiles. A strong recent trend surrounding the number of Irish-trained winners over the last ten years give us two each way opportunities:

Selections: Back Magen’s Star and Rathlin – each way

Recent Winners

Year     Horse                    Age       Trainer                        Odds

2010     Menorah                 5        P J Hobbs                      12/1

2009     Go Native               6        N Meade                        12/1

2008     Captain Cee Bee    7        E P Harty                       17/2

2007     Ebaziyan                6        W P Mullins                    40/1

2006     Noland                   5        P Nicholls                         6/1

2005     Arcalis                   5        J Howard Johnson         20/1

2004     Brave Inca            6        C Murphy                        7/2F

2003     Back In Front       6        E O’Grady                       3/1F

2002     Like-A-Butterfly    8        C Roche                          7/4F

2000     Sausalito Bay       6        N Meade                         14/1

1999     Hors La Loi III      4        M Pipe                              9/2

1998     French Ballerina  5        P Flynn                            10/1

1997     Shadow Leader   6        C Egerton                        5/1

1996     Indefence            5        J Pitman                          25/1

1995     Tourist Attraction   6     W Mullins                         25/1

1994     Arctic Kinsman    6        N Twiston-Davies          50/1

1993     Montelado           6         P J Flynn                        5/1

1992     Flown                  5        N J Henderson              13/2

1991     Destriero             5        A Geraghty                     6/1

1990     Forest Sun          5        G B Balding                    7/4F

1898     Sondrio               8        M C Pipe                         25/1

 


GUIDE TO THE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2011 – click here

 

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL – 15TH–18TH MARCH 2011

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2:05 – Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy

This is the Champion Chase for novices. It is run over two miles, and is open to horses aged five years old and upwards. The total prize fund is £130,000.

Key Trends

  • Last 3 winners were Irish bred
  • French bred horses have won 7 of the last 16 runnings from under 25% representation
  • 22 of the last 24 winners had finished first or second last time out
  • 22 of the last 23 winners had finished first or second in all completed chase starts
  • 10 of the last 11 winners were rated 142+ over hurdles
  • 13 winners since 1989 has a pre-race RPR of at least 143
  • 2 winning favourites since 1989, but 12 of the last 14 winners started 2nd, 3rd or 4th fav
  • Only 2 winners aged over 7 from 81 runners since 1989
  • Only 1 front running winner since 1980
  • No winner in the last 20 years have started at odds of over 11/1

The Arkle is a decent trends race. On all of the trends except the lack of winning favourites, Medermit scores very highly. If we include the favourite trend Captain Chris also comes into the reckoning.  However, Medermit put Captain Chris firmly in his place last time out in the Scilly Isles Novice Chase and I cannot see the form being turned round. On top of that, all of Alan King’s Festival winners over the past five years went off at under 10/1 and finished in the first 2 last time out, providing a winning strike rate of 36.4% with 8 winners from 22 runners.

Selection: Medermit – win only

Recent Winners

 

Year     Horse                            Age       Trainer                          Odds

2010     Sizing Europe                 8          Henry De Bromhead      6/1

2009     Forpadydeplasterer        7          T Cooper                        8/1

2008     Tidal Bay                         7          H Johnson                     6/1

2007     My Way de Solzen          7          A King                           7/2

2006     Voy Por Ustedes            5          A King                           15/2

2005     Contraband                     7          M Pipe                           7/1

2004     Well Chief                        5          M Pipe                           9/1

2003     Azertyuiop                      6          P Nicholls                      5/4F

2002     Moscow Flyer                 8          Mrs J Harrington          11/2

2000     Tiutchev                          7          N Henderson                  8/1

1999     Flagship Uberalles          4          P Nicholls                      11/1

1998     Champleve                     5          M Pipe                           13/2

1997     Or Royal                        6          M Pipe                           11/2

1996     Ventana Canyon            5          E O’Grady                      7/1

1995     Klairon Davis                  6          A Moore                         7/2

1994     Nakir                               6          S Christian                     9/1

1993     Travado                          7          N J Henderson                5/1

1992     Young Pokey                  7          O Sherwood                   4/1

1991     Remittance Man             7          N J Henderson                85/40F

1990     Comandante                   8          J T Gifford                     9/2

1989     Waterloo Boy                  6          D Nicholson                    20/1

 


GUIDE TO THE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2011 – click here

 


2:40 – Festival Handicap Chase

The Festival Handicap Trophy is the first big handicap of the meeting and is, therefore, a very popular betting heat. It is a Class A Grade 3 chase run over three miles and about half a furlong. It is open to horses aged five years old and upwards. The total prize fund is £75,000.

Key Trends

  • Only two favourite has won since 1977
  • No winner has carried 11 stone or more for 11 years
  • No winner rated over 150 in the last 28 years
  • 11yo and older horses are unplaced (0-34) since1997
  • Horses aged 7 to 10 have won the last 12 renewals
  • 10 of the last 11 winners have won over at least 3 miles
  • 9 of the last 11 winners were placed in the first three last time out
  • 9 of the last 11 winners had run no more than 11 times over fences
  • 9 of the last 11 winners had run no more than 4 times that season
  • 8 out of the last 10 winners were in the first four in the betting
  • 6 of the last 8 winners won their previous outing
  • 5 of N J Henderson’s last 10 runners have won or been placed

There are some interesting trends pointing towards another each way bet in the Festival Handicap Chase. Bearing in mind that Chief Dan George won at odds of 33/1 last year, if we overlook the SP trend then Wolf Moon looks to have a good chance. The going for the first day looks to be on the good side of soft and this will suit Wolf Moon. He has also won at Cheltenham before and is only carrying 10-0.

Selection: Wolf Moon – each way

Recent Winners

Year     Horse                            Age       Trainer              Odds

2010     Chief Dan George        10         James Moffatt     33/1

2009     Wichita Lineman            8          Jonjo O’Neill         5/1F

2008     An Accordion                 7          D Pipe                  7/1

2007     Joes Edge                    10         F Murphy             50/1

2006     Dun Doire                       7          A Martin               7/1

2005     Kelami                            7          F Doumen            8/1

2004     Fork Lightening              8          A King                  7/1

2003     Youlneverwalkalone       9          C Roche              7/1

2002     Frenchman’s Creek       8          H Morrison          8/1

2000     Marlborough                   8          N Henderson      11/2

1999     Betty’s Boy                    10         K Bailey               25/1

1998     Unguided Missile           10         G Richards         10/1

1997     Flyer’s Nap                    11         R Alner                20/1

1996     Maamur                           8         T Forster            13/2

1995     Rough Quest                   9         T Casey             16/1

1994     Antonin                            6          Mrs S Bramall     4/1F

 


GUIDE TO THE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2011 – click here

 


3:20 – Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

The Champion Hurdle is the highlight of day one of the Cheltenham Festival and the most prestigious hurdle race run all season. It is open to horses aged four years old and upwards, and carries a total prize fund of £370,000.

Key Trends

  • 23 of the last 27 winners won last time out
  • Only one 5yo has won since 1985
  • 15 of the last 19 winners had finished 1st or 2nd at the Cheltenham Festival before
  • 16 of the last 20 winners started in the first 5 in the betting
  • Only 3 winners over the age of 8 have won since 1951
  • 10 of the last 13 winners won a Grade 1 or Grade 2 that season
  • 10 of the last 13 winners won last time out

With the defection of Binocular, three horses fill all of the key trends in the Champion Hurdle. These are Menorah, Peddlers Cross and Dunguib. Having witnessed Dunguib’s run in the Supreme Novices Hurdle last season, I do not think that he has the finishing speed to go with Menorah and Peddlers Cross up the hill, so I would discount him.

Selection: Back both Menorah and Peddlers Cross – win only

Recent Winners

Year     Horse                Age       Trainer                          Odds

2010     Binocular              6          N J Henderson             9/1

2009     Punjabi                 6          N J Henderson             22/1

2008     Katchit                  5          A King                           10/1

2007     Sublimity               7          John G Carr                 16/1

2006     Brave Inca            8          C Murphy                     7/4F

2005     Hardy Eustace     8          D Hughes                     7/1F

2004     Hardy Eustace     7          D Hughes                     33/1

2003     Rooster Booster   9          P Hobbs                       9/2

2002     Hors La Loi III       7          J Fanshawe                 10/1

2000     Istabraq                8          A O’Brien                      8/15F

1999     Istabraq                7          A O’Brien                      4/9F

1998     Istabraq                6          A O’Brien                      3/1F

1997     Make A Stand       6          M Pipe                          7/1

1996     Collier Bay            6          J Old                             9/1

1995     Alderbrook           6          K Bailey                         11/2

1994     Flakey Dove        8          R Price                           9/1

1993     Granville Again    7          M C Pipe                        13/2

1992     Royal Gait           9          J R Fanshawe                6/1

1991     Morley Street       7          G B Balding                    4/1F

1990     Kribensis             6          Sir Michael Stoute          95/40F

1989     Beech Road        7          G B Balding                    50/1

 


GUIDE TO THE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2011 – click here

 


4:00 – Glanfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase

The Cross Country Chase was the first of the new races to be added to the programme to create the new four day Festival. The 2011 renewal will be the 7th running of the race. It is run over three miles and seven furlongs of the Cross Country Course. It is open to horses aged five years old and upwards and has a total prize fund of £45,000.

Key Trends

  • 6 out of 6 winners were trained in Ireland
  • 6 out of 6 winners had won at least over 3 miles
  • 4 out of 6 winners won last time out

The cross country has only been run six times so the trends are not at all strong. However, using the three trends above as a filter we are left with just Garde Champetre, who won this race in 2008 and 2010.

Selection: Garde Champetre – win only

Recent Winners

Year     Horse                            Age       Trainer              Odds

2010     A New Story                   12          M Hourigan       25/1

2009     Garde Champetre          10          E Bolger            7/2

2008     Garde Champetre            9          E Bolger            4/1

2007     Heads Onthe Ground     10         E Bolger            5/2F

2006     Native Jack                     12         P Rothwell         7/2JF

2005     Spot Thedifference          12         E Bolger            4/1

 

 


GUIDE TO THE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2011

 

 


4:40 – David Nicholson Mares Hurdle

The David Nicholson Mares Hurdle is a Grade 2 hurdle run over run over two miles and about four and a half furlongs. It is open to mares only, aged five and above. The total prize fund for 2011 is £75,000.

Key Trends

As this is only the third year this race has been won there are no key trends although Quevega has won the last two renewals. 

Recent Winners

Year     Horse                            Age       Trainer              Odds

2010     Quevega                        6          W Mullins           6/4F

2009     Quevega                        5          W Mullins           2/1F

2008     Whiteoak                       5          D McCain Jnr      20/1


GUIDE TO THE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2011 – click here

 


5:15 – Centenary Novices Handicap Chase

The Centenary Novices Handicap Chase, formerly known as the Jewson Novices Handicap Hurdle, is a Class A listed chase run over two miles, four and a half furlongs. The race was renamed for the 2011 Festival after the introduction of the new Jewson Novices’ Chase to the Festival and is now restricted to novices rated 0-140. The total prize-pool for 2011 is £55,000.

Key Trends

  • 5 of the 6 winners had a pre race RPR of at least 133
  • All six winners finished in the first four in all completed starts over fences
  • All six winners had not won more than once over fences
  • All six winners finished first or second last time out

Again, this is one of the newer races with just six renewals to date. However, applying the above trends gives us three selections, Definity, Rougam and On Borrowed Wings. We can perhaps rule out Definity as Paul Nicholls has only had 1 winner on the Tuesday of the Festival in the last 5 years from 35 runners and only 2 winners from 42 runners that were aged 8 or older.

Selection: Rougham and On Borrowed Wings – each way

Recent Winners

Year     Horse                            Age       Trainer              Odds

2010     Copper Bleu                   8          P J Hobbs          12/1

2009     Chapoturgeon                 5          P F Nicholls        8/1

2008     Finger On the Pulse         7          Y J Taaffe          9/1

2007     L´Antartique                   7          F Murphy           20/1

2006     Reveillez                        7          J Fanshawe        9/2F

2005     King Harald                    7          M Bradstock       9/1

 


MORE BETTING TIPS FOR THE FESTIVAL:

 

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL – 15TH–18TH MARCH 2011

 Tony’s comments LIVE from the paddock on Twitter 

Follow eclipse_tweets or PaddockTips

 

 

GUIDE TO THE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2011 – click here

TONY WARD

“I live in the North of Cumbria near the Solway Coast. My wife and I own a smallholding where we keep our horses. I have been involved in racing for over 20 years – the highlight being when a 2yo I owned won first time out at Hamilton Park. I work full-time in the racing game spending my time writing, researching and on course as a paddock judge – you can learn more about a horse’s chances watching them in the pre-parade and parade rings than you might imagine.”

Read more of Tony’s trends at http://freelanceracingwriter.com/

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