Cheltenham Trends 2018
Some people will follow the money, others will go with their own personal favourites and there’ll be some who just like the name.
Whatever your method of finding winners at the Cheltenham Festival it is each to their own but for those who like to follow some trends we looked back on the history of one of the more popular betting races each day since 2000.
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
Best Age – 5 or 6, just Like A Butterfly (2002) and Captain Cee Bee (2008) have won the Festival opener and not been 5 or 6.
Irish Trained – 11 of the 17 winners since 2000 have been Irish trained. Willie Mullins winning the race four times and three in a row between 2013-2015.
Recent Winner – 14 of the last 17 winners won their previous race before the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
Consistent – Nine of the last 10 winners had won half or more of their career starts over hurdles.
Handicap Negative – My Tent Or Yours, who was second in 2013, was the only horse to finish in the top three of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle since then to have ran in a handicap on his last start. Not a great omen for leading fancy Kalashnikov
Value – Just five favourites have won the race since 2000, all of which were Irish trained. Like A Butterfly, Back In Front (2003), Brave Inca (2004), Vautour (2014) and Douvan (2015). Eight winners in that time returned double figures. Ebaziyan (2007) winning at 40/1 for Willie Mullins and Labaik scoring last year for Gordon Elliott.
Trendy Bet – First Flow isn’t Irish trained which is negative, but he won last time out in a graded race, is six years old and double figures in the betting.
Outsider – Just three favourites have won the Champion Bumper since 2000. Only four horses heading the market have won the race since it began in 1992.
For Export – 17 of the Champion Bumper winners since 1992 have been Irish trained, eight of those by Willie Mullins.
Aging – Cue Card in 2010 was the most recent of just three four-year-olds to win the race. A possible negative for the well fancied Acey Milan.
Experience – Joe Cullen (2000), Cousin Vinny (2008) and Cue Card were the only three horses since 2000 to win the Champion Bumper on just their second start. Only five winners since 2000 had raced less than three times (including point-to-points) before winning the Champion Bumper.
Winning – Liberman (2003) is the only horse to win the Champion Bumper since 2000 having not won his most recent race. A negative stat for the well fancied Rhinestone.
Trendy Bet – Blackbow, Carefully Selected and Felix Desjy are the three Irish-trained horses that come out best on the trends. Gordon Elliott (Felix Desjy) won the race last year but Willie’s record in the race is incredible. On the basis that Blackbow is likely favourite Carefully Selected would be the trend pick.
All Ages – Not quite all ages but 6-8-year-olds have dominated the race since 1990 with Inglis Drever (2008), Big Buck’s (2012) and Solwhit (2013) the three nine-year-olds to triumph.
Surprise – Thistlecrack (2016) and Baracouda’s first victory in 2002 were the only occasions that a favourite won having not won the race the previous year.
Staying Put – Solwhit and Nichols Canyon (2017) are the only Irish-trained winners of the race since 2000.
Fresh – Since 2000 only Cole Harden (2015) and Inglis Drever (2005 & 2007) had run more than three times in the same season prior to winning the Stayers Hurdle. Maybe a possible negative for Yanworth.
Knowledge – Eight of the last 10 winners had previously run at the Cheltenham Festival. Supasundae won here last year and Sam Spinner never ran at The Festival.
Trendy Bet – The record of English trained winners with the trends might point to Sam Spinner but Supasundae being an eight-year-old, who previously ran at the meeting, and the fact that he has won on the course when Sam Spinner was beaten on his only Cheltenham start, would make Jessica Harrington’s charge the one to give the nod to here.
Class – Every Gold Cup winner since 2000 was a previous Grade 1 winner over fences. A possible negative for the Willie Mullins-trained pair of Killultagh Vic and Total Recall.
Fancied – There have only been seven favourites to win the Gold Cup since 2000 but Lord Windermere (2014) is the only winner to have returned double figures (20/1) in that period.
Form – 15 of the last 17 winners of the Gold Cup had won a chase in the same season, which has not been the case for the supplemented American, the Willie Mullins duo of Djakadam and Killultagh Vic or last years runner-up Minella Rocco.
Unexposed – Second season chasers have a good record in the race.
Stayer – Previous success in a chase over 3m or further looks vital. 15 of the last 17 winners had all done so.
Trendy Bet – Trends don’t factor in quirks so Might Bite probably comes out best of all here. He has come to the Gold Cup via the King George which is another positive, is a Grade 1 winner over 3m at Cheltenham, he’s short in the betting and is a nine-year-old second season chaser who has won his two outings this season. Usually you can’t ask for more than that.