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judorick
25 Feb 13 23:18
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Date Joined: 27 Nov 11
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The notes I present here are mainly for friends, family, some disabled people and racing enthusiast friends to enhance their enjoyment and to have some solid bets. Hope you find it a reasonable read and that I stick up a few winners. Here goes.
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2013 Cheltenham Festival Betting and Analysis 2013

No racing fan needs telling that the Cheltenham Festival is the most eagerly awaited 4 days in the racing calendar. It provides thrills and spills, stirs the emotions and indelible memories.

It also supplies some of the very best betting opportunities, with top quality horses trained to the minute, running for good prize money and lots of prestige, very strong betting markets and long established trends and form on which to base betting decisions.

A Few Words About The Approach Taken

Trends, ratings, performances, preparation and eliminations.

These are the terms I keep in mind when analysing races and at Cheltenham even more so. My first step in assessing any race for a bet is to create a short list, not by selecting the form horses, but by eliminating those that appear to be unlikely or atypical winners.  A fundamental approach, as a strategy to get an edge across the whole meeting, is to strictly dismiss horses that fail to meet 2 or more key trends,  as one strong negative is difficult to overcome but can and does happen from time to time, but rarely do horses facing 2 or more strong trends manage to win. If we can get the short list down to a manageable number then we can hopefully find some very strong bets. Of course, this is by no means fail safe and there will be surprising results, there always are and that is accepted as part of the strategy. Anyway I imagine it will all become apparent as it goes along. I spend plenty of time making judgement calls on the value of performances from ratings and in running comments and where that makes a difference to a betting decision I will say.

I could have written much more about each race and more detail about the trends, the runners and how I came to the betting decisions but if I did that this be far too long. Hopefully it will be enjoyable enough but the main thing is to make profit. Fingers crossed!

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By:
judorick
When: 25 Feb 13 23:20
2013 Champion Hurdle Analysis

The Champion Hurdle has a set of very strong trends that persist year on year and I will be applying them to eliminate the unlikely winners, to create a short list and then to choose some bets

Firstly, it has proven almost essential to have won your prep race prior to running in the Champion Hurdle and I will simply dismiss all those that did not manage this feat.

This leaves 6 horses but one at least will not turn up as he is running in the Arkle. The second key trend is to be older than 5 years old which rules out another. So the short list consists of:

Rock On Ruby
Zarkandar
Hurricane Fly
Peddlers Cross

As it stands, Peddlers Cross seems to be heading for the World Hurdle so he is passed over for consideration on this occasion leaving us with 3 very suitable candidates. Suitable because Festival winning form and Grade 1 winning form is essential for Champion Hurdlers and all three have it.

The current best prices are: Hurricane Fly 7/4, Zarkandar 5/1, Rock On Ruby 6/1

So how to choose between them. Well, of course, my instinct is to oppose the shortest priced one so I look for trends to support that decision. The first is that it is has proven extremely difficult for former Champions to regain the title after failing to defend. The last time it happened was in 1975 so, although Hurricane Fly is a very fine animal, I feel extremely comfortable taking him on. As it happens defending Champions don't have a bad record and Rock On Ruby will no doubt give it a very good crack. However, he has already been well beaten by Zarkandar this season yet is only a point bigger in the betting which seams strange.

Zarkandar has been a really good servant and I have followed from when he won the Adonis Hurdle on his jumping debut in what was the relatively fastest time run by any juvenile prior to the Triumph. He has won 7 of 9 hurdle starts, all of them in Graded races, and is unbeaten this season. I simply cannot desert him now. He's not a flashy horse that quickens clear on the bridle but he jumps slickly and carries momentum. I am hopeful of seeing him storm up the famous hill to claim glory.

Betting Advice:

Back Zarkandar 2pts ew @ 5/1 general NRNB if possible

Optional:

Back Rock On Ruby 1 point win @ 6/1 general NRNB
By:
judorick
When: 25 Feb 13 23:24
Cheltenham Gold Cup Analysis 2013

At this time the final line up of runners is not certain however it will hardly make much difference in the end so I am just going to continue.

I must say a word about both Bobs Worth and Silviniaco Conti because they are both in the top 3 in the betting and have been eliminated from consideration. They are both smart horses with Grade 1 winning form who look certain to stay. Bobs Worth has won an RSA Chase and a Hennessey, is trained by a top trainer and ridden by a top jockey so it will be no surprise if he wins. Silviniaco Conti is trained by Paul Nicholls and will be ridden by Ruby Walsh, a fearsome combination in the Gold Cup so equally he could win. However, both fall down on major trends and by my methods they cannot be supported. Just thought I would get that clear. I've added some detail at the end

Key Races: The last 13 Gold Cup winners all ran in either the King George or The Lexus Chase and, although that may not be surprising because those races attract the best horses, I am making the strategic decision that this years winner will also have run in one of those two races and am dismissing all that did not. This kind of brutal approach can easily be criticised I know but you have to have some way to decide between runners.

This leaves these horses who remain entered in the race with best prices:

Long Run                7/1
First Lieutenant       14/1
Sir Des Champs       9/2
China Rock              66/1
Quito De La Roque  66/1
Captain Chris           20/1
Champion Court      66/1
The Giant Bolster     20/1

Won a Race, Ideally a Graded Chase in the Same Season:

It is has proved essential to have won a race in the same season, so First Lieutenant, China Rock, Champion Court and The Giant Bolster are all dismissed

Won a Chase At 3 miles:

It is a virtual requisite to have won a Chase at 3 miles and Captain Chris has failed to do this and is scratched from the list

This leaves a shot list of:

Long Run
Sir Des Champs
Quito De La Roque

Long Run is of course a two time King George winner and a former Gold Cup winner yet is still only 8 years old which is quite something. He stays very well and is from a powerful yard so 7/1 looks a fair price. It would not surprise should he win however he is attempting to achieve two feats that have both proven very difficult over a very long time. Firstly, he will be attempting to become only the second horse ever to regain the Gold Cup after failing to defend the previous season. Only Kauto Star has ever managed this feat which shows how very difficult it has been. Secondly, he was placed in last years race and I can only find two examples where a placed horse went on to win the following year (Kauto Star again and The Fellow). One strong negative is tough enough but two often proves impossible and this leads me to believe strongly that he will not be winning this time. I'm still deliberating on whether it is worth covering bets with him.

Quito De La Roque does not appear to be good enough on what he has done. He was beaten a long way in the Lexus but may not have been right, he has won his latest start easily from a subsequent winner, he has won in the UK and has won in Grade 1 company including on good ground. I'm not aware of his trainers intentions but if he were declared and was a big enough price it would be cheap enough to have a bet on him. The race has thrown up plenty of surprising winners over the years so it is unwise to blithely dismiss the big priced outsiders too soon.

Sir Des Champs hits every trend I can find and as far as I can tell has not a single negative to overcome. He is the current second favourite. He has won twice at the Festival, won a Grade 1 won chase at 3 miles, has no stamina doubts whatsoever and arrives on the back of a win. He is the only horse that fits the profile perfectly and is a confident selection and virtually my bet of the meeting.

Betting Advice:

Back Sir Des Champs 5 points win @ 9/2 NRNB

Optional:

Back Long Run 1 point win @ 13/2 general (7/1 in one place), although I am not doing so
Back Quito De La Roque 0.25 point each way once a confirmed runner 33/1 minimum


Further Notes on Bobs Worth & Silviniaco Conti

Bobs Worth won the 2012 RSA Chase and The Hennessey Chase at Newbury showing smart form that has been franked by the now injured Tidal Bay. However, he neither ran in the King George nor The Lexus and he has not had a run since winning his only start. These are two strong negatives and at best priced 3/1 he is easily passed over.

Silviniaco Conti is an improving high class chaser who has won his last 4 races including a Grade 1. However, he did not run in the KG or Lexus, he has never had a chase at Cheltenham and has never run at the Festival at all. Festival form is often crucial and experience of the Cheltenham fences and undulations is highly desirable. I just have to oppose him on those grounds. If he proves too good on the day then fair play but I am firmly against.

Hopefully, Sir Des Champs turns up fit and well, jumps slickly and bounds up the hill as he did in the Jewson last year. I can picture it now!
By:
judorick
When: 25 Feb 13 23:26
The Supreme Novices Hurdle Analysis 2013

The opening race of the meeting and usually a very fierce contest and this years race looks extremely high in quality. There is a large entry which needs whittling down to a manageable size; fortunately there are some reliable trends.

There has been a strong trend in recent years towards horses with more stamina that come from NH stock rather the flat bred types. The winners generally have won their last race, preferably both their last two starts, and have run over hurdles at least 3 times and had a prep race in the same calendar year.

The short list generated after applying these trends leaves not many to consider really (in no particular order). I have added those that pass the trends but have only raced twice over hurdles (noted with a 2) just to make sure I consider all angles. The winter was very wet and trainers understandably did not want to run their novices too often in testing going:

Melodic Rendezvous
My Tent Or Yours
Chatterbox (2)
Mozoltov (2)
Pique Sous (2)
Un Atout (2)

The Irish have a very reasonable strike rate in the race with 18 winners since 1977 and with Willie Mullins training 3 on my short list, plus Champagne Fever who just misses out, they have a tremendous chance of doing so again. He has won the race twice with outsiders and his runners are not easily dismissed. Of the 3 on the list I like Pique Sous the most as he was third in the Champion Bumper last year, a strong race for Supreme winners despite reversals in recent years, and he has been denied hurdling experience due to the going being too wet. They sent him for a flat race and he hacked up because there was no suitable going. I won't be surprised if he goes very close indeed and if the price is big enough he will be cheap enough to save on.

However, I am dismissing them all as the main selection for this race because of their lack of hurdling experience which could prove crucial. Having done that I must then make the same decision about Chatterbox who won a key trial race at Newbury but that was a very slowly run race and he just looks too immature for my liking.

This leaves me with the favourite, My Tent Or Yours, who hacked up in very impressive fashion in the Betfair Hurdle and who is as short as 7/2 with a run for the Champion (a bit strong in my opinion!) and Melodic Rendezvous who has won three important trial races in which previous Supreme winners have and is pretty battle hardened and experienced. His trainer is adamant that he will prove better still on good ground.

With the fav at 13/8 and Melodic Rendezvous available at 10/1 it does not take a genius to work out which one I am going to recommend especially considering 7 of the last 8 winners were from outside the top 3 in the betting.

On the day I will be paying close attention to the Willie Mullins runners, including paddock reports and market moves and may have a saver based on that however at this stage I am sticking with the solid credentials of Melodic Rendezvous:-

Betting Advice

Back Melodic Rendezvous  2 points ew @ 10/1 general NRNB if you can + ¼ odds
By:
judorick
When: 25 Feb 13 23:27
The RSA Steeple Chase Analysis 2013

The first thing to say about this race that the short price favourite, Dynaste, simply has to be opposed on the basis of the trends at his current 9/4. He has three major trends, each of which has been a virtual death knell to the chances of winning this race in the past, to overcome. He has not had a race in the same calendar year (which the last 49 winners all did), he had a second season over hurdles which none of the last 22 winners did and he won the Feltham Novices Chase (the last 18 to run in the RSA all got beaten).

If indeed Dynaste does not win, then there must be betting value in the remaining runners and I am very keen to find it. I start as ever with eliminations based on the strongest trends.

Firstly, any that failed to finish in the first two placings on their last start are statistically unlikely winners and they go first. Age is very important in this and older horses in particular do badly (there are only two entered this year) and at the other end only 3 horses under the age of seven have won this race since 1978. Five year olds used to get 10lb weight allowance but that was reduced to 2lbs and it is very tough for them to win. I will leave the 6 year olds in for now just in case but in all probability will dismiss them later.

Recent form is essential and any that have not had a run in 2013 also get the heave ho, as do any flat breds and any that have not reached the first two places in a Grade 2 chase or higher. Any that failed to complete last time are also unlikely to be in the shake up. Any that had more than one season as a hurdler also passed over.

Having done that, let's see who is left:

Aupcharlie               (likely non runner, goes to Jewson)
Back In Focus          (likely non runner, NH Chase)
Boston Bob
Goulanes
Hadrian's Approach
Rocky Creek             (likely misses the whole meeting)
Super Duty
Terminal

At this point I am going to dismiss the 6 year olds after all (Terminal is unlikely to run anyway), leaving me with this short list which I will now analyse:

Boston Bob
Goulanes
Super Duty

Goulanes is very promising but has had just the one start over fences and no horse has ever won the race with such a preparation. He won well from Super Duty and is exactly the right age but inexperience will almost certainly do for him.

Super Duty has every attribute for a winner of this race except maybe a touch of class. He is the right age, has had the right number of runs, jumps soundly and will certainly stay. He will be worth a bet at a very decent price.

However, Boston Bob is an entirely different proposition. He has two minor negatives which are that he is 8 years old rather than seven (I'm not going to hold this against him) and he has had only two chases which is less than normal as 3 runs or more seems ideal for experience reasons. There are, on the other hand, a whole series of positives.

For a start, he was a decent second Brindisi Breeze (sadly deceased) in last seasons Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle which has provided 3 of the last 4 winners. He also won the Dr P.J. Moriarty Novices Chase Grade 1 which is one of the key trials for the RSA with Cooldine, Weapons Amnesty and Bostons Angel all managing to do the double. Last years winner (Last Installment didn't make it to the race). He is also trained by Willie Mullins who has had 3 winners and two seconds in the race including Florida Pearl who also won after just two chases and winning the Moriarty.

Boston Bob represents massive each way value in my opinion, is sure to stay, trained by a master of the art of preparing a novice for this race and is available at 7/1 on Betfair.  If NRNB is required I believe 6/1 is available and I will be going maximum stakes each way.

Betting Advice:

Back Boston Bob 5 points ew @ 6/1 NRNB

Options

Back Super Duty 0.5 point each way @ 25/1 NRNB if possible
By:
harry callaghan
When: 25 Feb 13 23:35
hey judo applying the trends how did you come up with melodic please?? he is sired by where or when??
By:
harry callaghan
When: 25 Feb 13 23:40
don't have a problem with him as think he wants further but am of the opinion he has to be a horse who likes deep ground...have to say he isn't for me this fellow...what are 7 year olds record like in the supreme judo??
By:
gutfeeling
When: 25 Feb 13 23:45
Nice work Judorick,I'm with you on 3 of these races but the RSA does have me scratching my head,
Really like Back In Focus and will be disappointing if they don't run him as i think his overall form since going chasing looks as good as his better fancied stablemate(If not better tbh),
Best of luck and hope the hard work pays off.Happy
By:
judorick
When: 25 Feb 13 23:55
The short lists are created by eliminating those that fail the trends I have chosen to implement. So for instance in the Supreme I have dismissed all the flat bred types that actually ran on the flat. This could be wrong. Any of the methods I have chosen to eliminate runners might end up dismissing an eventual winner and that is just tough luck, I cannot at this stage back them all. I have not included all the work in the write ups because it would be long and boring. I have not taken any account of breeding other than flat bred or NH bred. One of the ways I've separated is on running in key trials.

I still have a load more races to complete obviously and I will post the write ups when I've done them.
By:
JOCI Club
When: 26 Feb 13 00:15
Good stuff so far.

In the Supreme, Melodic Rendezvous currently comes out 2nd best for me behind Champagne Fever, and it's only really his age (7) that knocks him out of one of the trends and stops him being joint top rated, so that's one definitely for the shortlist. Good form, and will be battling on at the finish.

Like the same as you in the RSA. Super Duty comes out very well on trends and at a big price and in the likely absence of Rocky Creek, Boston Bob is currently next best.

Gold Cup trends winner is Sir Des Champs. I have great respect for Silviniaco Conti (visually impressed), but no Cheltenham form. Long Run as former winner and KG winner deserves respect and should place. Despite the trends being against him, Bobs Worth's Cheltenham record, means that it would come as no surprise to me if he won. Tough on to make the final call on.
By:
harry callaghan
When: 26 Feb 13 08:18
fair play judo and some good write ups keep it up...as jonesy wrote in his book to me the other day may the trends be with you!!
By:
festivalfanatic
When: 26 Feb 13 08:44
Thanks very much for your hard work judo. Interesting and informative stuff.
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 26 Feb 13 08:51
well done judor for taking the time and effort in putting up these trends ,they make for interesting reading and a lot of good points and usefull strategys in breaking down the fields. good luck all .
By:
roobuck
When: 26 Feb 13 08:59
Yes agreed good work judo. What I like most is who you do it for - hope your friend you mentioned last year enjoys this year's racing.
By:
judorick
When: 26 Feb 13 09:45
as I said in the OP, I am doing the write ups for a bunch of people anyway, all I'm doing is copying and pasting my work into here so thanks for the kind words

thanks roobuck, yes it is written with that guy in mind to enhance his pleasure and to try and win him some dosh

I will stick up some more later
By:
judorick
When: 26 Feb 13 10:18
The Ryan Air Chase Analysis 2013

This race has strengthened and strengthened over it's 8 year history and the quality of the horses winning risen. The use of trends over such a short period may be fraught with danger due to the small sample size. However, many of the trends used are entirely consistent with finding strong candidates and the last few results have been very consistent. Hopefully it continues this year.

The first set of eliminations are on these trends:

course winner
grade 1 winner
placed in first 3 last time out (except if unplaced in King George)
rated at least 160 by the BHA

This leaves these on the short list:

Cue Card
Flight lieutenant
Menorah
Albertas Run
Riverside Theatre
Sizing Europe

Not too useful so far as they are all relatively fancied runners so I will have to apply some background knowledge, further trends and ratings to cut them down to a more manageable number.

The key race trials for the Ryan Air are the King George and the Ascot Chase. Flight Lieutenant, Menorah, Albertas Run, Sizing Europe all missed both races. Riverside Theatre ran 6th at Kempton on Boxing day but did not take in the Ascot chase this year (won it in 2012) and I have to say in both his Ryan Air win and Arkle run he has never looked happy on the course. It would be a training miracle for him to win in my opinion. It took an absolute belter of a ride to get him home last year and this looks stronger. I am against him.

Dear old Albertas Run, who has won this race twice himself and went extremely close to winning in 2012 too, would bring the house down if he were to win again. I am sure he will give a tremendous account yet again however at 12yo he is an extremely unlikely winner of any race at the Festival and he is passed over. I will though cheer like crazy if he beats the odds.

I will have to apply similar reasoning to Sizing Europe who has such a tremendous record at Cheltenham and will no doubt give a very bold showing. His age is firmly against him on purely statistical terms and I am dismissing him from consideration. However, he is a very classy horse, jumps well and likes the course and going so no surprise if he wins.

Flight Lieutenant stays very well, is a Festival winner and loves good spring ground and he is a form danger. The trainer favours a crack at the Gold Cup but might not be given the choice by the owner, who by the way sponsors the race, and if turning up would have a major chance. The Irish have won the Cathcart (race replaced by the Ryan Air) and the Ryan Air once since 1973 so their record is very poor. This one could snap that but I don't like betting on such things happening.

Menorah did not run in the key trials but likes Cheltenham, has won a Grade 1 there and seems to have sorted himself out a bit. He has been beaten a long way (22 lengths and 34 lengths) on two occasions when racing against Cue Card and it would be a leap of faith to think he will reverse that form in a fierce race like this and I am not prepared to take such  risk.

And that leaves me only to consider Cue Card. Can he win this race? He is clear favourite so the betting market clearly thinks so and the stats show the betting market is a blooming good judge in this race. In the last 8 renewals, 13 of the 16 horses placed either first or second were first or second in the betting market too so that gives strong hope for Cue Card. He won the Ascot Chase (key trial) and was unplaced in the King George which is a key trial too (the non stayers from the King George have come on to win the Ryan Air several times). This will be his 4th Festival and he has run well at each even if he disappointed in the Supreme Novices. There are doubts about his stamina in some quarters but he was still in touch as they turned for home in the KG on unsuitably soft going and despite pulling hard after getting lit up. There is still some debate as to whether he runs in the QMCC or the Ryan Air but I can't really believe they will turn down the chance of winning a race for almost certain defeat at the hands of Sprinter Sacre.

I have already backed Cue Card in the ante post markets and again with VCBet on their offer so I am clearly keen for him to run and I think he will. For what it's worth, I do believe he has the potential to be a very smart horse indeed and he has only just started to fulfil that potential and I hope he continues that journey.

Ratings

I have done deep ratings analysis on the best performances of the runners in the race and estimated what I call their 'Peak Performance Potential'. This is a method I have used for many years which occasionally throws up an interesting angle. If you read my ramblings last year, you might remember me saying that Sprinter Sacre had a peak potential of 165 after just his debut run and then 175 after his win at Newbury. It has proven reliable over the years and I am very happy with it. These are the ratings I estimate the key runners are capable of at their best. Don't get hung up on the actual numbers, it's the margins that count here. The scale is not the same as BHA marks or RPRs

Cue Card 171
First Lieutenant 157
Menorah 152
Riverside Theatre 162
Sizing Europe 153
Albertas Run 161
Champion Court 150
China Rock 150
Finians Rainbow 159
Remainder
By:
shockster
When: 26 Feb 13 10:44
Great stuff Judo.  Well reasoned and researched.  I won't be backing all of these but respect the work behind the selections.  Cheers
By:
unclepuncle
When: 26 Feb 13 10:49
Great stuff Judo.
By:
judorick
When: 26 Feb 13 10:58
The Ryan Air Chase Analysis 2013

This race has strengthened and strengthened over it's 8 year history and the quality of the horses winning risen. The use of trends over such a short period may be fraught with danger due to the small sample size. However, many of the trends used are entirely consistent with finding strong candidates and the last few results have been very consistent. Hopefully it continues this year.

The first set of eliminations are on these trends:

course winner
grade 1 winner
placed in first 3 last time out (except if unplaced in King George)
rated at least 160 by the BHA

This leaves these on the short list:

Cue Card
Flight lieutenant
Menorah
Albertas Run
Riverside Theatre
Sizing Europe

Not too useful so far as they are all relatively fancied runners so I will have to apply some background knowledge, further trends and ratings to cut them down to a more manageable number.

The key race trials for the Ryan Air are the King George and the Ascot Chase. Flight Lieutenant, Menorah, Albertas Run, Sizing Europe all missed both races. Riverside Theatre ran 6th at Kempton on Boxing day but did not take in the Ascot chase this year (won it in 2012) and I have to say in both his Ryan Air win and Arkle run he has never looked happy on the course. It would be a training miracle for him to win in my opinion. It took an absolute belter of a ride to get him home last year and this looks stronger. I am against him.

Dear old Albertas Run, who has won this race twice himself and went extremely close to winning in 2012 too, would bring the house down if he were to win again. I am sure he will give a tremendous account yet again however at 12yo he is an extremely unlikely winner of any race at the Festival and he is passed over. I will though cheer like crazy if he beats the odds.

I will have to apply similar reasoning to Sizing Europe who has such a tremendous record at Cheltenham and will no doubt give a very bold showing. His age is firmly against him on purely statistical terms and I am dismissing him from consideration. However, he is a very classy horse, jumps well and likes the course and going so no surprise if he wins.

Flight Lieutenant stays very well, is a Festival winner and loves good spring ground and he is a form danger. The trainer favours a crack at the Gold Cup but might not be given the choice by the owner, who by the way sponsors the race, and if turning up would have a major chance. The Irish have won the Cathcart (race replaced by the Ryan Air) and the Ryan Air once since 1973 so their record is very poor. This one could snap that but I don't like betting on such things happening.

Menorah did not run in the key trials but likes Cheltenham, has won a Grade 1 there and seems to have sorted himself out a bit. He has been beaten a long way (22 lengths and 34 lengths) on two occasions when racing against Cue Card and it would be a leap of faith to think he will reverse that form in a fierce race like this and I am not prepared to take such  risk.

And that leaves me only to consider Cue Card. Can he win this race? He is clear favourite so the betting market clearly thinks so and the stats show the betting market is a blooming good judge in this race. In the last 8 renewals, 13 of the 16 horses placed either first or second were first or second in the betting market too so that gives strong hope for Cue Card. He won the Ascot Chase (key trial) and was unplaced in the King George which is a key trial too (the non stayers from the King George have come on to win the Ryan Air several times). This will be his 4th Festival and he has run well at each even if he disappointed in the Supreme Novices. There are doubts about his stamina in some quarters but he was still in touch as they turned for home in the KG on unsuitably soft going and despite pulling hard after getting lit up. There is still some debate as to whether he runs in the QMCC or the Ryan Air but I can't really believe they will turn down the chance of winning a race for almost certain defeat at the hands of Sprinter Sacre.

I have already backed Cue Card in the ante post markets and again with VCBet on their offer so I am clearly keen for him to run and I think he will. For what it's worth, I do believe he has the potential to be a very smart horse indeed and he has only just started to fulfil that potential and I hope he continues that journey.

Ratings

I have done deep ratings analysis on the best performances of the runners in the race and estimated what I call their 'Peak Performance Potential'. This is a method I have used for many years which occasionally throws up an interesting angle. If you read my ramblings last year, you might remember me saying that Sprinter Sacre had a peak potential of 165 after just his debut run and then 175 after his win at Newbury. It has proven reliable over the years and I am very happy with it. These are the ratings I estimate the key runners are capable of at their best. Don't get hung up on the actual numbers, it's the margins that count here. The scale is not the same as BHA marks or RPRs

Cue Card 171
First Lieutenant 157
Menorah 152
Riverside Theatre 162
Sizing Europe 153
Albertas Run 161
Champion Court 150
China Rock 150
Finians Rainbow 159
Remainder
By:
judorick
When: 26 Feb 13 10:59
Betting Advice

Back Cue Card 5 points win @ 4/1 NRNB
By:
ADR_Brentford
When: 26 Feb 13 11:14
i hope you are right with these Judo.... apart from MR in the supreme (i have MTOY) you have picked all my selections in my super heinz.
By:
judorick
When: 26 Feb 13 11:47
The Triumph Hurdle Analysis 2013

The trends have shifted in this race over the last few years since the introduction of the Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle for 4yos. The key trends all seem to make perfect sense and it is quite easy to eliminate large numbers of entries that fail them.

Ratings have proven crucial in recent years and there are two strong trends. Any that raced on the flat need to have achieved an official rating of at least 80 and I've dismissed all those that don't meet this requirement. Secondly, high quality hurdles form is required and an Official mark of at least 140 is the bench mark. A recent run is absolutely essential and any that have not had a run within 60 days are dismissed..

Amazingly, after applying this to the entries list I am left with a short list comprising the front three in the betting market (Irish Saint also qualifies but trainer says he goes to Aintree next):

Our Conor
Far West
Rolling Star

I do have to give special mention to Kashmir Peak who would surely have hit the trends had he stood up last time out but he didn't. Trained by last years winning trainer, John Quinn, he looks capable of running well but the record of horses that failed to complete is abysmal so with two key trends to overcome he is passed over. He might spring a surprise though.

I also note Vasco Du Ronceray who will surely be reassessed at least a 140 horse after just being touched off in the Adonis the other day. He is trained by Nicky Henderson who has won the Triumph 5 times and he knows what he's doing. Horses beaten in the Adonis have no record of winning the Triumph and if Vasco does turn at the Festival up he might be found in the Fred Winter in which case I would be backing him there.

So, let's see about separating the 3 on the short list. Firstly, the Irish have a terrible record in the race with no winners from their last 55 runners which looks ominous for Our Conor. Winners of the Triumph that raced on the flat all ran over at least 12 furlongs which Our Conor did not and this second negative trend is enough for me to dismiss him this time especially in the face of the challenge coming from the two most successful yards in this race Henderson and Nicholls.

It is quite a call separating the two left on the my list. Both trainers must have some idea where they stand with each other as Rolling Star beat Irish Saint on his British debut (in a key trial too) and Irish Saint beat Vasco du Ronceray in the Adonis, whilst Far West beat River Maigue in a farcical race and beat Vasco 7 lengths on heavy going. I'm sure they know where they stand.

I on the other hand can only make a judgement call and overall Rolling Star makes more appeal. Trained by the most successful trainer in the race, raced over 12 furlongs on the flat, unbeaten over hurdles and a course and distance winner. I also have serious doubts about Far West acting on what could be quite fast going come the Friday of the meeting and that just sways me. I also do not like his speed rating profile and all of this put together sways me towards Rolling Star. I find it highly unlikely he will not reach the first three placings

Betting Advice

Back Rolling Star 2.5 points each way @ 5/1 general
By:
unclepuncle
When: 26 Feb 13 12:54
Once I've got your Neptune Hurdle and World Hurdle selections (not bothered about Arkle and QM) I'll be doing a decent multiple on your selections.Grin
By:
judorick
When: 26 Feb 13 13:12
Neptune up next uncle just finalising now
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 26 Feb 13 13:21
judo does unioniste fail on the 5yo stat only ?
By:
judorick
When: 26 Feb 13 13:27
That is the main reason on trends but my Peak Performance Rating is poor for him and on a downward trend so putting the two together I was against him myself. He could prove me 100% wrong of course but it is very tough for a 5yo to win this race.
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 26 Feb 13 13:34
cheers judo yes very hard for a 5yo to win this race but i think this one could be the exception to the rule if he is still 10s  with the books when the nrnb comes in ,will go in again
By:
judorick
When: 26 Feb 13 13:49
The Neptune Novices Hurdle Analysis 2013

A very high class race dominated over the years by NH bred types that have been running well in the top Graded races of the season. The Irish do well and it is their second most successful race of the meeting behind the Supreme.

I will start by eliminating horses on a few very strong trends. Any that fail any of these tests are dismissed:

5 or 6 years old
NH bred
ran in a pattern race over hurdles
first two finish last time out (only 1 winner in 30 years failed this test)

The Challow Hurdle ran at Newbury is the only Grade 1 hurdle run at this distance in the UK yet in 13 attempts the winner of that race has failed to go onto win the Neptune and that means I must dismiss Taquin Du Seuil who will be he 14th to attempt the double.

The betting market has been extremely successful with 25 of 27 winners being in the first 5 and I will focus on them. The short list generated by this leaves just these:

Pont Alexandre
Puffin Billy
Rule The World
The New One

There are one or two on the back up list who currently don't get in now but might do once running plans are clear. I have already dismissed a few who have had their targets stated as other races (for now, that could change). Just need to stay aware in case they switch.

These are 4 of the first 5 in the betting so how to decide between these runners? Well, first of all  the whole point of the approach is to find rock solid bets which promise a high chance that the selection will run their race. Puffin Billy was reported as lame on his last start and the bubble seemed to have burst because he had looked like a potential superstar prior to that mishap. I can't support him after that.

Rule The World ran a visually impressive race when smashing Minsk and recorded and quick time and looks a potentially very smart horse in the making. He very well could win this race but is described as a baby and immature by his trainer and that is not a description that I think many Neptune winners will have been given. Again, I am not supporting him but I do expect him to run a big race.

So that leaves me with Pont Alexandre and The New One to choose between and they are 1st and 2nd in the market. Trained by previous winning trainers, with ideal profiles and big ratings to back them up it is hard to separate them. Pont Alexandre won the best Irish trial easily in a quick time, is unbeaten and a very exciting prospect. The New One has run in all the best trials in the UK and was in the first 6 places in the Champion Bumper (a trend which has provided the winner before).

I note there is strong market confidence behind Pont Alexandre and he may be considered an 'Irish Banker'. However, I am looking for a bet in the race not the most likely winner and I made several observations about The New One when doing my ratings analysis. Firstly, he achieved his highest rating on my numbers when running on good to soft over course and distance and has not had that going since. I strongly believe he is going to run much bigger numbers than of late back on quicker going and see him as extremely hard to keep out of the frame so he will be the selection at the bigger price.

Betting Advice

Back  The New One  2 points each way @ 4/1 NRNB ¼ odds
By:
judorick
When: 26 Feb 13 13:52
Fair enough Foyles, I've made it clear I am not making exceptions myself unless there is an exceptional reason to do so. For me that would be a performance with a massive rating that indicates they have plenty in hand. Those are very rare I can tell you. Good luck.
By:
bluebirdfan
When: 26 Feb 13 14:47
Where is the New One 4/1 NRNB?
By:
judorick
When: 26 Feb 13 16:34
Bet with Victor NRNB 4/1 TNO
By:
colupaul
When: 26 Feb 13 16:48
With 2 weeks to go what an excellent thread judorick... well done.

Hope the Fest proves highly profitable to you... cheers.
By:
judorick
When: 26 Feb 13 17:47
The World Hurdle Analysis 2013

A very tough race to assess indeed with 4 time reigning champ Big Buck's missing through injury. What that does do is give us a race where the favourite is going to be 7/2 or so and that makes it of interest for punting purposes so I will have a go in the hope of finding an angle.

This is not the strongest race for trends but looking at the history of the race I have applied the following to the field for the elimination process:-

Ran at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival
Ran in the Long Walk, Cleeve or Long Distance Hurdles
Never ran in the Champion Hurdle
top 4 finish lto
6 to 8 years old
not a habitual front runner
French bred
if it ran in last years race, top 3 finish or no bet

After applying this to the field the short list is just 3 horses! And two of them I believe may very well not run in here:

Smad Place
Kentford Grey Lady (likely to run in the OLBG Mares race)
Prospect Wells (may not even run at the Festival, definitely considered if running)

There is a stat that Smad Place misses which is 'from the first 5 in the betting' but as he is the only likely runner that makes my short list then he is going to be the selection. He was third in the World Hurdle in 2012, behind the mighty Big Buck's, as a 5 year old which was some performance because that age group has a terrible record. Now however, he is 6 years old and that age group has the best record of any. He ran in the key trial the Long Walk Hurdle where he was second on his final start, he's French bred and not an habitual front runner. I feel sure he will run very well.

He may have preferred another prep run to put him spot and if that turns out to be his downfall I will be planning to punt him again at Aintree where he ran very well until falling last year. Indeed the Aintree race may be his trainer's ultimate objective. In the meantime though, I'm sure they are hopeful at least that he will run very well at Cheltenham.

Other notable runners not on the short list:

Reve De Sivola has won won two key trial races this season and is an out and out stayer. However, he missed the Festival last year, has a strong preference for soft going and is an habitual front runner (although he may not lead this time). He just held on from Oscar Whisky in the Cleeve Hurdle. If any runner is going to defy stats it may be him and he could be a saver bet if you like.

Oscar Whisky ran fifth in the World Hurdle last year and was reported as a non stayer by his trainer. There are horrible stats about being unplaced in the WH the previous year and having run in the Champion Hurdle so at 7/2 he is passed over. He is a classy sort of course but his seasonal objective is the Aintree Hurdle where he is going for a three timer.

Betting Advice

Back Smad Place 1 point each way @ 16/1 NRNB VCBet or 20/1 ante post Lads
By:
judorick
When: 26 Feb 13 17:56
Well that's a third of the races done. Phew! The handicaps take a lot longer to do and I really need to see the weights so I will be doing them closer to if not during the meeting. Jewson, Arkle, NH Chase under the radar next.
By:
its a brent thing
When: 26 Feb 13 18:44
Fair play Judo. I may agree or disagree with your selections but the amount of work you've put into these write-ups is commendable. Good stuff!
By:
Stake & Chips
When: 26 Feb 13 18:51
Nice won,judorick. Awesome effort.
By:
SN02
When: 26 Feb 13 18:53
Thanks for the posts judorick - enjoyed them and backed the majority so hope your right !
By:
Navel-Gazer
When: 26 Feb 13 19:08
JR - some excellent work you've put in there squire, but I have to say there are some stats I HATE, even though they're often bang on the money.

For example...Captain Chris would've fitted the bill for you if he hadn't been nailed in the last strides by Long Run at Kempton, yet everyone's aware of his preference for a RH track despite winning The Arkle at this venue.

Nevertheless, fair play to you and I'm glad to see that QDLR is worthy of inclusion, even though I don't see how being pulled up in The Lexus 'qualifies' him in meeting the criteria.

In my view, that's where some stats are meaningless, though as I did say, ultimately they're often confirmed.

Good luck at The Festival as the work you put in deserves its rewards Wink



PS - a couple of rags I'll be keeping an eye on are Kazlian & Hey Big Spender;

Kazlian looks typical 'shock material' for connections after two pre-Xmas disappointments on tough going in very competitive events, whilst the recent uninspiring form of Hey Big Spender has resulted in an attractive mark of 145, and I have a sneaky suspicion he'll show a great deal more in a strongly run handicap on better ground.
By:
judorick
When: 26 Feb 13 19:16
Cheers fellas, no pretensions that this is in anyway comprehensive. It's an approach designed to get any edge. Someone said to me the other day that 'you're just selecting the ones at the front of the market' which I think is looking at it the wrong way round. The ones at the front of the market are there because punters know they are often the types which fit the profile of a typical winner. Market still gets it wrong though as Grands Crus showed last year.

As I said earlier, I do this work anyway for my circle of friends etc (and their friends and their friends etc) so I'm just copying nd pasting it into this thread. They will get it all in one document when it's finished! Laugh
By:
Haemolysis
When: 26 Feb 13 19:23
Really good stuff Judo - full marks to you. I'm right with you on the trends thing and as such, you have selected some that I have already backed. Best of luck and thanks.
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