Grand National

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02 Apr 14 09:06
Date Joined: 26 Oct 05
| Topic/replies: 2,625 | Blogger: shockster's blog
As people mention the Chelt Festival as a reason to NOT back horses, hear is an article from the NTF website by Ben Aitken. VERY INTERESTING.

Horses that ran at the Cheltenham Festival struggle to run their race when they come on to Aintree…
That is something you will probably hear quite a bit over the three days. Personally I don’t buy it.

The bare figures actually say…

Ran at the Cheltenham Festival last time out

70 winners from 691 runners | 10% S/R | +£138.97 BFLSP

Win & Place –188/691 | 27% S/R

Of the 126 winners at the past six Aintree Grand National Festivals 70 had their last start at the Cheltenham Festival. Yes there were a huge 691 of the Aintree runners that had their last run at Cheltenham but don’t be sucked into believing a run at the Cheltenham Festival is a negative. For sure, Cheltenham can leave its mark on some runners but they do convert at the expected rate at Aintree (in fact it is a smidge above expected) and it is best to ignore the ‘Cheltenham myth’ to a certain extent.

If we look a bit closer we can see that 41 of that 70 finished in the top three at the festival. If you had backed all 183 of these types over the past 6 seasons you would have returned a +£123.81 BFLSP.

Aintree is a well-established spring festival with an array of valuable and prestigious prizes on offer; it makes sense that trainers target the top races here. The season isn’t just simply about Cheltenham (despite what the media may have you believe) and **shock horror** there will have been some horses running at Prestbury Park with one (or both) eyes firmly on other targets. Some will in fact have been targeted at both meetings. Cheltenham can, and will, take a lot out of some horses and ‘leave its mark’ but to me that isn’t the real reason that some horses ‘flop’ when they come on to Aintree. The main reason for me is the difference in track configurations. The two tracks are very different in lay-out and some horses will simply act better around the hefty Cheltenham contours than the lighter Aintree ones, and vice-versa. To me it has a lot more to do with ability to handle the track than suffering from post-traumatic-Cheltenham-stress-fatigue (a known symptom for many punters, who let’s be honest are less robust than a thoroughbred machine…and I include myself in that!).

Beware of that Cheltenham myth!
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Report Ilnamar April 2, 2014 11:14 AM BST
an interesting read, thanks for posting
Report rogerthebutler April 2, 2014 11:44 AM BST
It's good to have the stats to hand on this one and as always is a question of having the above in the back of your mind, using your own judgement on how hard a race you think a horse had at Cheltenham (O'Faiolains Boy and Ballynagour at extermes of the spectrum in this respect) and looking at an individual horses record: does it go well with a recent run, does it have a high rating (speed , RPR, whatever you choose) with a recent run or a poor one etc.
Report ReaseHeath April 2, 2014 12:49 PM BST
yes - thank you, an interesting read.

OFB a tough one to call if he shows, lost one shoe, twisted another one, said by BJG not to be at his best and still won!

He could conceivably put up an even better show at Aintree - AFC did for the same trainer last year.

Would like to see how those stats pan out depending on whether there are 2 weeks (rare, I know), 3 weeks or 4 weeks between the two festivals.

All food for thought anyway - always pays not to be too dogmatic about such matters in this game I think.
Report rogerthebutler April 2, 2014 3:07 PM BST
Yeah that was my point (re not being dogmatic).

I used OFB as an example, purely because I thought he had one of the toughest races of the Festival in a race where mnany decent animals can get bottomed out. I don't know if he can bounce back and I wasn't aware of the other issues you mentioned.
Report bazzar April 2, 2014 3:25 PM BST
Reaseheath, how did you come by this info as regards shoes?
Report thehoffisback April 2, 2014 3:51 PM BST
i remember backing albertas run in the ryanir then follwing up at aintree 25-1 then 10-1 if i remember rightly so in some instances it is a myth
Report ReaseHeath April 2, 2014 4:45 PM BST
Reaseheath, how did you come by this info as regards shoes?

RaceForm Interactive - in the notes under the results.
Report bazzar April 2, 2014 7:38 PM BST
Thanks Reaseheath, had not used that particular site, will make
a point of updating from now on.
Report bazzar April 2, 2014 7:47 PM BST
Unable to find the Raceforminteractive site must be doing something wrong.
Report bazzar April 2, 2014 7:47 PM BST
Unable to find the Raceforminteractive site must be doing something wrong.
Report 1st time poster April 2, 2014 7:48 PM BST
looking at the 4 10 trainers taking part obviously thinks its carp,and those not turning up most think its carp, as its cut up badly
Report rogerthebutler April 2, 2014 9:29 PM BST
Raceform Interactive is a piece of subscription-only software.

Basically, a huge form database going back 10-plus years, but you've got to lay out upwards of £40 a month to get access.
Report bazzar April 2, 2014 10:21 PM BST
Thanks roger, that lets me out.
Report bazzar April 2, 2014 10:21 PM BST
Thanks roger, that lets me out.
Report ZEALOT April 3, 2014 6:38 PM BST
Basically, a huge form database going back 10-plus years, but you've got to lay out upwards of £40 a month to get access.

Why pay that much for this ?
Report ReaseHeath April 3, 2014 9:40 PM BST
As I paid for it, I'll answer as best I can.

I actually paid £99 for rest of NH season from beginning of Jan so substantially less than £40 per month though a regular subscription costs around that.

Without going into too much detail, the database is user friendly, it allows me to use a framework/structure to analyze a race from multiple dimensions - that sounds a bit pretentious, what I really mean is that (imo) it makes it easier to identify when a horse has it's optimum conditions and is therefore likely to perform at is best.

It also helps me find information that is n't necessarily widely known like OFB's shoes!

I've never subscribed to Racing Post Members club but I prefer the RI format to what's available in the paper (though in fairness, there's some good free stuff available on the RP site).

I'm interested in all sources of information (like the article at the start of the thread), so if anybody has any recommendations would be gratefully received.

OFB's shoes could be a red herring of course, might mean he had an even harder race than we originally thought but I like horses who have an excuse when they win! We'll find out tomorrow, I like Many Clouds at the prices tomorrow but OFB better as a long term prospect.

Anyway, four winners who ran at Cheltenham  today, of which three finished in the first three there so a boost for the original article.
Report Desmond Orchard April 4, 2014 6:42 PM BST
Josses Hill, Holywell & Ma Fill win today with Caid Du Berlais chinned on the line, you picked the right year to point out this system! Well done.
Report shockster April 5, 2014 6:04 PM BST
4 more winners today from the festival.  Remember for next year.
Report ReaseHeath April 5, 2014 6:34 PM BST
yep, three of which finished in top 3 at Cheltenham (the other finished 4th).

Also, three Cheltenham Festival handicap winners stepped up in class to win Grade 1 novice events at Aintree.
Report marychain1 April 5, 2014 9:33 PM BST
Yes - Holywell, Whisper & Lac Fontana all stepped up. I didn't fancy any of them.
Report ZEALOT April 5, 2014 9:46 PM BST
ma feluille was a cert after holywell hacked up off a 12lb higher mark . especially down in trip
Report ReaseHeath April 5, 2014 9:49 PM BST
I did n't fancy any of the handicap winners stepping up either - well, I thought Lac Fontana might win but I did n't back him.
Report Andyrew March 18, 2015 12:24 PM GMT
The first thing to do is comcentrate on horses that finished in the first 6 in respective races at the Cheltenham Festival. That narrows runners down a fair bit. The next thing is to check the Topspeed ratings at the festival. This should narrow your selections down to two or 3 max per race, even the grand national.
Report BarryM March 19, 2015 7:25 PM GMT
I think there's something very important that hasn't been mentioned yet. This year, there are 4 weeks between Cheltenham and Aintree - for most of the past 30 years it has been 2 or 3. That's going to greatly improve horses chances of reproducing their best form.

The tracks are chalk and cheese though, especially the chase tracks. The hurdles track at Aintree is on the outside of the chase track and much more galloping than many people give it credit for. The Mildmay chase course it like a left handed Kempton, only with much tougher fences.
Report shockster April 7, 2015 12:12 PM BST
Worth remembering the opening post. Good info.
Report Mully April 7, 2015 12:59 PM BST
Ben (NTF) is a good friend of mine and knows his onions. However, I personally think you have to be selective with your Cheltenham runners at Aintree. I would say that over the past 22 years being against a high percentage of them has served me much better than backing them.
Report shockster April 7, 2015 1:50 PM BST
Absolutely Mully, just pointing out that it is unwise to dismiss Cheltenham runners just because they ran for their lives at the Festival.  Some will surely disappoint though.
Report Mully April 7, 2015 6:48 PM BST
Exactly, some people can run marathons every other day whereas most of us struggle to run for the bus Laugh
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