World Hurdle Trends – Cheltenham 2015
With the World Hurdle being won by the likes of Inglis Drever and Big Bucks during the last 10 years – a period in which they accounted for seven victories…
…this 3m event is on the lookout for another popular champion to come and make the race their own – the question is: who could it be?
With the aforementioned Inglis Drever and Big Bucks both popular winning types in the last years, it may not come as a surprise to learn that runners at the short end of the market emerged best. Indeed, of the last 10 World Hurdle winners, all bar Solwhit in 2013 returned 8/1 or shorter, leaving those at bigger odds finding the bullseye at just 1-106 (1%).
Age & Experience
Although the majority of representatives in this event came from the 6-9yo bracket, it was indeed that group who accounted for each of the last 10 winners, in the process counting against 22 losers of other age-groups, including the 11yo, Big Bucks, who was unplaced at 7/2 in 2014.
The official ratings proved another reliable source of finding the World Hurdle winner, as those rated 157 or higher triumphed on nine occasions for a strike-rate of 14%, compared to those rated lower (or with no rating) at a disappointing 1-73 (1%).
It’s also worth noting nine winners were either French or British-bred (13%), a statistic which counted heavily against Irish-bred runners who found just the one winner in More Of That last year, at a rate of 1-60 (2%).
One of the key stats surrounding the ideal profile of past winners was that each tasted success during their last three runs, something 55 losers since 2005 in this race failed to achieve.
On a similar note, all bar one winner visited the winner’s enclosure at the last time of asking (20%), while those that met with defeat were 1-93 (1%) here.
On the subject of winning form, each World Hurdle victor won 51% or more of their career hurdle runs, a tidy record which certainly helped eliminate a number of runners down the years, as those with a lower career strike-rate were 0-97.
Trainers & Jockeys
Four victories for Big Bucks saw his trainer, Paul Nicholls, pick up the trophy on each occasion, along with his jockey, Ruby Walsh, while Barry Geraghty and Jonjo O’Neill teamed up to land a second World Hurdle 12 months ago, 10 years after they combined with Iris’s Gift in 2004.
Trends Summary (British & Irish form only)
Of the last 10 World Hurdle winners…
10 were 6-9yo’s – others were 0-22
10 won during their last three runs – others were 0-55
10 won 51% or more of their career hurdle runs – others were 0-97
9 won last time out (20%) – others were 1-93 (1%)
9 returned 8/1 or shorter (28%) – others were 1-106 (1%)
9 were officially rated 157 or higher (14%) – others were 1-73 (1%)
9 were French or British-bred (13%) – Irish-breds were just 1-60 (2%)