Well there is a buzz in the air as the greatest racing festival in the world is just around the corner. Yes, Cheltenham, how it brightens up the gloom of a long dull winter!
Over the years we have had some festivals to remember and here at Unity Racing Club have hit some huge priced winners along the way – prices up to 25/1! That being said you cannot live on past glories and what counts is putting in the work to find those festival winners!
The first thing I would say is the markets are not your friend come festival day. There will be a decent amount of value around as mug punters’ money will be down in droves, this money usually falls on the most publicised horses with little value to be had with a number of these. Why? Because everyone knows about them! If a horse is well touted in the right places then the price you can take will be much shorter than the implied odds of winning thus making anyone backing these types a mug. Even if the horse wins win it is still the wrong bet to make – the bookmakers are too savvy for you to make money on the obvious horses.
It’s a little early for us to be making decisions about which horses to back and the one thing we don’t like to do is to make ante post bets – I would rather wait until the day, or the day before, to ensure we are on a horse that is well on the day and we want to be on at a price higher than our perceived winning chance of winning.
That being said, I am going to go through some stats with you for the festival with the hope that you can use this information to find your own festival winners.
Free Gold Cup preview from Unity Racing Club
Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase
Grade 1 (CLASS 1) (5yo+) 3m2f110y
➢ The Blue Riband event of the festival
➢ First up get rid of the ‘No Hopers’
➢ Horses aged 11 and over have not won this race since 1969.
➢ Horses aged 10 or more have a 1-95 record since 1993, although last year we were on the 2nd horse home a 10 year old on his own e/w @ 22/1. This horse was actually a very late foal and really only nine in real terms, also it was kept from the racecourse until it was 6 years old so it didn’t have many miles on the clock. If it runs this year and wins it will bust the 11 year old stat despite being only 10 however the bigger concern would be the 17 chase starts which isn’t ideal. If any horse can beat these stats I would say it is this one because of the special circumstances – not an easy task though.
➢ The last 23 winners had a Racing Post Rating of 155 + last time out that means you need to have some back class
➢ Recent Gold Cup winners had the following Chase starts: 5 8 9 9 20 8 10 11 12 9 6 10 13 12 7 10 11 11 9 Chases
So we are really looking for 13 or under chase starts, ideally a minimum of 8, which is the right mix of experience and progression. Ideally we now want to see some Cheltenham form, experience of these fences and that hill is critical of course. There are horses that win here first time up but it’s more likely that the winner will have run well here in the past. What I also want to see is for the last couple of runs the horse has improved with each run with speed ratings, time-form ratings and racing post ratings.
One thing these stats do point out is that as a 9 year old with 17 chase starts, I would rather be against Silviniaco Conti @ 10/3 3/1 as it is just simply too short – only 1 of the last 19 winners had more chase starts and what this says to me is that this horse isn’t getting any better now and may well be vulnerable to an improving slightly younger type. Backing horses with this profile will send you broke in the long run!
That being said, the Top 3 in the betting tend to do well and 13 of the last 14 winners came from the Top 3 in the betting at the off time.
To summarise, we are looking for a horse:
• Aged 7-9
• With between 8-13 chase starts in the Top 3 of the betting
• With racing post rating of 155 or higher
• Win from earlier in the season
• Cheltenham form ideally winning or finishing 2nd
• Winner of a grade 1
• Rated above 165 bhr
Road to riches @ 8/1 e/w would be the selection at this point. Only worry is the lack of Cheltenham form.
This Article comes courtesy of Unity Racing Club – You can learn more about their Daily Tipping Service by Clicking HERE