SATURDAY 14/1/17



LAST 18 RUNNINGS & 19 WINNERS (dead heat 2006)


Good guide with 7 favs, 1 second and 4 third favs winning (two thirds of the winners)

16 were from the first 6 in the betting

Winners at 22/1, 20/1 and 16/1 all the other 16  were returned 10/1 or less

The last 8 winners had SP's of 9/1 or less


ALL carried 10-00 to 11-7

17 carried 11-5 or less

16 carried 11-2 or lower

17 carried 10-3 +

Official Rating (OR)

ALL were rated 115 to 145

17 had an OR of 140 or less


6yo's have by far the best record in this with 11 winners from 75 runners (15%)

5yo's are clear next best with 4-39 (10%)

7yo' and 8yo's are 3-69 (4%) and 8yo's are 1-30 (3%)

No horse older than 8 won and only one above 7


16 ran between 2-7 times in the past year

ALL ran 5 times or less that season

1 fell and 1 pulled up last time. 14 of the remaining 17 finished in the first 6 last time

8 won their last race

Only 4 had already won over the distance or beyond

Only 10 had already run over 2m 3f or more

17 last ran 8-60 days ago

8 winners (including the last 3) were ridden by claiming jockeys


Paul Nicholls has won this twice. Both his runners are too high in the weights/OR for a typical winner of this


The trends narrow it down to 4:

Fav (good record), Doesyourdogbite, an unbeaten 5yo who, were he 6, would have the perfect profile

Current 10/1 sixth fav, Sam Red. A 6yo who, were he a last time winner, would also have a perfect profile

The 7yo last time out winner, Fountains Windfall, is another who, with a year less would have the perfect profile too. Currently 12/1, he would be the longest priced winner bar 3. On the upside, he is theonly one on the shortlist ridden by a claimer – David Noonan.

BENNY'S KING is the only one who meets what i would consider the three main criteria, a 6yo, who won last time and who is from the first 6 in the betting. But even this one isn't flawless as he carries less than 10-3 – though the last 2 winners carries 9-12 after alllowing for their jockey's claims.

This is tricky as none have a perfect profile. Any one of these four could win but i am going to plump for the last named each way as his only flaw (carrying less than 10-3) may well be part of the beginning of a new trend, given the last two winners.

BENNY'S KING at 8/1 with Paddy Power and Bevictor is the EACH WAY suggestion in an open race with a fair few trends contenders.













A great guide with 7 winning favs and 5 winning second favs

ALL the last 17 winners came from the first 5 in the betting

Winners at 11/1 & 9/1 but the other 15 were all returned 5/1 or less


All bar the only winning 4yo, Behrejan, carried 11-7

Official Rating (OR)

5 winners had an OR, of which the last 4 were rated 135 plus


16 were aged 5 to 7 with a single 4yo winning from just 8 to try

7yo's have the best strike rate with 2 winners from 7 runners (28%)

5yo's provided the most winners with 7-45 (16%) and 6yo's 5-38 (13%)


16 ran 6 times or less over the past year

16 ran 3 or less times that season (seasonal debutants won once from 10 tries)

16 finished in the first 2 last time (13 won)

7 had won over further than this 2 mile trip

16 had their last run between 8 and 60 days ago

11 last ran 16-30 days ago from just 50 to try – 22%. This is double the strike rate of the rest


Paul Nicholls has won this 4 times. His sole runner and fav, Capitaine, has a near perfect trends profile and is shortlisted.

MARTIN Pipe has won this twice over the period but Son David has yet to win it. David's runner is Celstial Path. Though 1 unraced over the sticks horse has won this, from 6 to try, at current odds of 14/1 this would be the longest priced winner in the race's history. That's if it runs, as there is,as yet, no jockey booked.

Harry Fry's yard is flying at present with 6 winners from 17 runners over the past fortnight. He runs Chalonnial who, at current odds of 7/1 would be the third longest priced winner of this race. Other than that, a near perfect profile.

Fergal O'Brien's horses are 4-12 at the course, over the last years, and 1-3 in hurdles. His Global Stage is out of it on the odds trends, at 25/1 and another unraced over hurdles and a second place finish last time.All far from ideal trends wise and passed over.


The market has been a very good guide for this over the years. If our starting point is the first two (who have won 12 of the last 17 runnings) and5/1 or less (who have taken 15 runnings)  then it is between the Nicholls trained fav, CAPITAINE and second fav Finian's Oscar.

The latter is a winner of his only hurdle race, a 3K novice at Hereford over 2m5.5f on this ground (a win over further is a minor bonus). His speed rating of  just 39 for that  does put the performance in context though.

CAPITAINE, on the other hand, is well clear on the ratings having won a Grade 2 on his latest start over this trip, but on Good to Soft, at Ascot . This will be only his fourth run over hurdles, so, allowing for improvement, it is a little early to talk about ground preferences. However, his last run was his best on ground that the clock indicated  was either a very fast time on Good to Soft or a fastish time on Good.

His penultimate run was on proper Soft (clock said Heavy) going when a close second in a listed race at Haydock over the trip. Though the form of that race has not so far worked out,  (the winner hasn't turned out since but those behind have been well beaten in low grade races) it does show he handles a bog.

On the other side of the scales, i am sure Mr Nicholls knows what he is doing and wouldn't  be running his horse if he thought the ground would be a problem.

Both the front two are being well backed and Joe Tizzard says  Finian's Oscar is their best novice. The others are drifting.

Both yards have been dominating the big race days in recent weeks but, given the record of Nicholls runners in this race and the proven form, i am opting for CAPITAINE who Boylesports are offering a very generous 2/1 about as i write.







Relkeel Hurdle trends

SUNDAY 1/1/17





Fav has won 6 and the second fav 4

ALL came from first 5 in the betting

13 were from the first 3 in the market

Winners at 10/1 &  9/1, the rest were returned 13/2 or less

Official Rating

ALL were rated 125 – 167 (no clues here)


7yo's have the best strike rate with 3 wins from 11 runs (27%)

This is near twice the succes rate of 5 and 6yo's who are 3-26 (12%) and 3-23 (13%) respectively

No 8yo has won, though only 5 have tried


ALL ran 2-7 times in the preceding year

ALL ran 4 times or less that season (10 has just the one run)

11 finished in the first 5 in their last run

Last time fallers have a good record in this with 2 wins from 4 runs

12 had won over 2m1f +

11 had RAN over 2m 3.5f so form at the trip is a plus but not a necessity

Confirmed by the fact that only 2 had won over further

Only 4 were already distance winners

10 had run 31-60 days ago

All the rest are much of a much on that score

Only Oscar Whiskey (for Henderson) has won this more than once in 2011 & 2012


Nicky Henderson has saddled 3 of the last 6 winners in this


A few with good trends, but only one perfect one who is a 7yo with one run this season, finishing in the first 4, and from the first 3 in the betting – L'AMI SERGE, who has the benefit of being trained by recent farmer of this race, Nicky Henderson. Currently 5/1 with Paddy Power.





KING GEORGE race trends, trainer/jockey stats

MONDAY 26/12/16




Interesting Stat

8 times the winner was winning this race  for the second time or more . Only the great Kauto Star won it more than twice (5 times). Encouraging for Cue Card supporters but not so much for fans of Sivianaco Conti.


10 favourites won and 4 second favs (Kauto Star won as fav 4 times and second fav once)

First 3 in betting won 16

Other than a 25/1 winner, all the rest were returned 10/1 or less, 17 were 8/1 or shorter and 16 were 9/2 or lower.

Official Rating (OR)

14 had an OR. Of the rest, 3 were Irish and 1 French ( back in the days when foreign runners weren't given a UK rating) The 1997 winner, See More Business? is a puzzle as the Racing Post reports he won this with no official rating – even though he had run in three handicaps and won his last race (a handicap) off 157! Answers on a post card please.

Minimum rating 156, Teeton Mill way back in 1998

Other than Long Run's OR of 162 before his first win of two in 2011 (the 2010 race  was ran in January 2011) the rest were all rated 169+

9 of the last 10 winners were rated 173+

As far as i can ascertain, no novice has ever won this


7yo's best with 7-38 (18%) with 9yo's next best 5-33 (15%) then 6yo's 3-23 (13%)

8yo's have a relatively poor record with 2 wins from 50 runners (4%)

10yo's are 0-19 while 11yo's are 2-12 (17%) but Kauto's last win accounts for one of those


18 ran 3-8 times in the last year

15 ran 3-5 times in the last year

18 ran 1-4 times that season

17 finished in the first 3 last time

13 won LTO

16 won 3m+

18 RAN 3m+

18 had their last run 16-90 days ago


Paul Nicolls has won this 8 times,  and 7 of the  last 10, (Kauto Star accounts for 5 wins)

His yard is also in great form with 13 of his last 38 runners winning over the last two weeks.

Other trainers have won more than once but he is the only one with a runner, the 10yo Silvianaco Conti, who, apart from the age negative, would be the only horse in the past 20 years, other than Kauto Star, to win it more than twice. A finish outside the first 3 last time is a negative too.

Nicky Henderson has a really good record at Kempton with  56 of the 191 runners he has sent, over the past 5 years, winning. Over the same period 19-58 of his chasers won. He runs Josses Hill, who looks a new horse this season and impressed me when winning the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon recently. But, on the trends, he has a mountain  to climb. Running off an OR of 158 he would be the second lowest rated winner over the period. You have to go back to 1998 to find a lower rated winner – Teeton Mill off 156.

He would also be only the second horse to win this  having not already run over 3 miles or more. Not for me trends-wise, but an improver.

Tom Scudamore is 16-46 for trainer Colin Tizzard and he stays loyal (unsuprisingly) to the horse that has given him 9 runners from 10 rides – including a Stayers Hurdle win at the Cheltenham festival last year every bit as impressive as any of Big Bucks' victories – Thistlecraft.

This horse could be anything.  Unlike fellow Stayers Hurdle star, Big Bucks,  he has taken to fences like a duck to water, easily winning his 3 novice chases so far, including an ultra impressive Grade 2 last time where he never came off the bridle to win 8 lengths.

However, he has major trends stats against him. I think i am right in saying that no novice has won this in the whole history of the race – certainly none in the period we are looking at. He has no OR and, though a relatively minor matter, he is an 8yo (poor record in this race).


The betting alone narrows this down to two runners with only two priced 10/1 or less,  as do the other trends referred to above.

CUE CARD has everything in his favour except the record of 10yo's – though, as explained above, this is a little misleading due to 2011 being a year where this race was run in January (because of the posptonement of December 2010) and the usual Boxing Day renewal.

If he runs to anywhere near the level of last years victory, he has only one to beat – Thistlecraft, who will find Cue Card has a much higher cruising speed than any chaser he has faced so far, in fact higher than any horse he has met, in my opinion. This race could make or break him.

Tizzard could have put him in the novice and he would have won with his head in his chest. But he made the brave (some might say unnecessarily risky) decison to step up a long way in class and take on the best.

I was going to say this will be the first time Thistlecraft will have jumped at speed but it is hard to see who will make the running. It may well be he has his own way up front and, allowed to dictate the pace and with his crusing speed, it would be a very interesting sprint to the line if both him and Cue Card are in contention turning  for home. He will need to jump at least two or three fences at speed, even then.

This is set to be a potential classic. However, being a trends blog, we have to choose one based on trends – CUE CARD presently 5/4 second fav with Ladbrokes but favourite with almost all other firms. Market confidence would be in his favour, trends-wise, too.

I take him to be the ninth horse in the last 20 years to win this more than once.


Tommy Whittle Chase – race trends & trainer stats

SAT 17/12/16




No great guide with just one fav winning but 3 second favs doing dispropotionately well with 3 wins

ALL winners were returned 12/1 or less and 10 at 10/1 or lower

7 came from the first 5 in the betting


ALL within weight band but 7 carried 11-4 or less

7 carried 10-2 plus

Official Rating

ALL within ratings bands but 8 were rated 122 plus

7 were rated 132 or less


8yo's have by far the best record with 6 wins from 32 runners (19%)

7 & 6yo's are a poor second with 2-21 (10%) and 1-13 (8%) respectively

None outside this age group have won and 9yo's or older are 0-28


8 had run 5 times or more in the past year

4 had run just once that season while the other 5 winners of this had run 3-6 times

Not a good race for those who had 2 runs that season with no winners  from 24 to try

8 posted a first 8 finish last time

7 had won over 2m 7.5f

8 had ran over 3m 1f

Only 1 had won over further

5 (from 18 to try) won 8-15 days ago

The other 4 (from 66 to try) ran 16-60 days ago


Malcolm Jefferson's  yard has been flying for a while. 4 of his 12 runners won in the last 14 days. His Trickaway has the positives of being current second fav, a win last time and the age of 8. On the down side he has only had 3 runs in the last year, has the 2 runs this season hoodoo and has never won beyond 2m 5.5f nor ran over 3m 1f.

Not for me as a trends selection.

Henry Daly is 2 from 7 the past fortnight and saddles the bottom weight, Kayfleur, who has a lot going for her but, again, stamina is the question mark with no win or run beyond 2m 5.5f.

She would also be the second lowest rated and second lowest weighted winner in 10 runnings.


Other than being the longest priced winner since the race started in 2005 (and this may be a blessing as this race looks as though it may produce  a possible turn up). COURTOWN OSCAR (currently 16/1 with Hills – Paddy Power were best priced 25/1 an hour or two ago and now go 12's!) ticks all the boxes. Not the ideal age but not from out of the age range either. Other than that, a near perfect trends profile.


MONDAY 26/12/16




Interesting Stat

8 times the winner was winning this race  for the second or more . Only the great Kauto Star won it more than twice (5 times) . Encouraging for Cue Card supporters but not so much for fans of Sivianaco Conti.


10 favs won and 4 second favs (Kauto Star won as fav 4 times and second fav once)

First 3 in betting won 16

Only 1 winner came from outside the first 5 in the market

Other than a 25/1 winner, all the rest were returned 10/1 or less, 17 were 8/1 or shorter and 16 were 9/2 or lower.

Official Rating (OR)

Minimum rating 156, Teeton Mill way back in 1998

Other than Long Run's OR of 162 before his first win of two in 2011 (the 2010 race run in January 2011) the rest were all rated 169+

9 of the last 10 winners were rated 173+


7yo's best with 7-38 (18%) with 9yo's next best 5-33 (15%) then 6yo's 3-23 (13%)

8yo's have a relatively poor record with 2 wins from 50 runners (4%)

10yo's are 0-19 while 11yo's are 2-12 (17%) but Kauto's last win accounts for one of those


18 ran 3-8 times in the last year

15 ran 3-5 times in the last year

18 ran 1-4 times that season

17 finished in the first 3 last time

13 won LTO

16 won 3m+

18 RAN 3m+

18 had their last run 16-90 days ago


Paul Nicolls has won this 8 times,  and 7 of the  last 10, (Kauto Star accounts for 5 wins)

Others have won more than once but he is the only one with horses declared for this with Dodging bullets, an 8yo who finished fourth last time, (not good trends), and the 10yo Silvianaco Conti who, apart from the age negative would be the only horse in the past 20 years, other than Kauto Star, to win it more than twice.


Looking at the first 3 in the betting and any others 10/1 or less.

A lot depends if Douvan runs. He is between 5/1 and 10/1 with four bookies while the rest offer no odds. If he does run, he would have to be the first horse to win this having never run beyond 2m1f. ALL the last 19 won over at least 2m5f.

Cue Card has the positives of being fav, going for his second win and a 3 run prep – having won last time, but is a 10yo, and even Kauto Star didn't win this as a 10yo (though he won the postponed 2010 renewal in January as an 11yo ). Best to look on the age stat as 2 winners from 31 runners aged 10 & 11 i think. Strong chance of a repeat win, though, trends-wise, 10 is  not ideal. Currently 6/4 Fav

Thistlecraft is the best priced 7/2 second fav but does Colin Tizzard want to risk the £1 million bonus? If this one was to beat Cue Card and then Cue Card won the Gold Cup, connections would be kicking themselves.

Having said that, if he doesn't run and Cue Card loses, he will forever wonder if Thistlecraft could have given him a King George winner. A problem, but what a good problem to have!

He is not a great choice from a trends point of view though. I can't remember the last novice to win this (though the same was said about Coneygree when he won the Gold Cup – start of a new trend?). Also 8yo's have a poor record in this.

Current 5/1, and drifting, third fav, Coneygree ticks all the  boxes but has had only one run over the last year.

The puzzle over the Mullins horses will be solved by the time this is udated. Alseur Lido was 10/1 yesterday (Weds 14/12/16) but is now quoted at 16/1. As an aside, Mullins hasn't won this race.

Vroum Vroum Mag was around the 8/1 mark yesterday, but is also 16/1 now.

We will see in the update, when the decs are out, (probably December 23rd – 24th at the latest).

CUE CARD looks likeliest to run and win but that is why he is 6/4 fav. I wouldn't be rushing to get on at that price ante post unless i thought Coneygree was going to drop out. Given the remarks of the Bradstocks re the going, that is a possibility.














SAT 9/12/16




Awful race for favs with just 1 winner and not much better for second favs (2 won)

Great race for third favs though with 6 winning

Two 22/1 shots won but all the rest were 16/1 or less and 13 returned 9/1 or less

16 former winners were from the first 9 in the betting with 13 coming from the first 6


Top two out  on the weights with all carrying 11-8 or less

Official Rating (OR)

ALL were rated 132 plus (which loses the bottom weight) and 16 had OR's of 155 or lower. So, as with the weights, we lose the top two.


In terms of runs to wins, 4yo's have the best record with 1-1

5yo's are 0-11

6 and 7 yo's are best with the former shading it with 5 wins from 37 runs (14%) against the latters 6-57 (11%)

8yo's have done ok with 5-61 (8%) but there is only one  representative of that age group tomorrrow

No horse, from 61 to try, has won this aged 9 or more


16 had run 4-9 times in the past year

16 had run 1-3 times that season

17 posted a first 5 finish last time

15 finished in the first 3 LTO

14 had won over 2m4f

ALL had run over two and a half miles

16 ran 60 days or less ago


 Paul Nicholls has won this 3 times and he runs two. Bouvreil is fav (not good) and  a 5yo who finished fifth last time. Not the worst of profiles but not the best either – especially if he is sent off fav.

His other runner is the only 4 yo in the race, Frodon who has raced too many times this season (4) and has a zero next to his last run. Neither of the Nicholls horses appeal on trends.

Henderson has also won this three times but his only runner, Full Shift , would be the lowest rated winner of this in 18 years and finished sixth last time.

Hobbs has won it twice but his Village Vic is top weight and would be the second highest rated winner of this in the last 18years. Also the age of 9 has to be overcome.

Tom George's yard is firing at the moment with 8 of his last 27 runners winning over the past 14 days. His Module would be the first 9yo, from 61 to previously try, to win this.


Some old friends on the list here that have run placed for us recently. If Kylemore Lough had a few less pounds to carry he would be very interesting.

However, strictly on trends, i have a shortlist of 3 in  card order:

Quite By Chance ran a storming race when being the only horse to get near (1.5L)  to subsequent narrowly beaten Tingle Creek second, Sire de Grugy, albeit getting more than a stone. My concern is that, although doing all his best work at the end, two miles four and a half at Cheltenham on Good ground (and it is on the fast side of Good according to todays times) would not be ideal.

Trends wise though, he has a near perfect profile. Only losing a year could improve it.

Aso ran fourth for us in what used to be the Paddy Power over C/D last time. That was his seasonal debut and he clouted the second last before staying on one paced. Usually comes on for debut and, though at a weight disadvantage with the second third and fifth (who all re-oppose tomorrow) could well improve past them.

Another who would prefer more cut, this one has a perfect trends fit, being a 6yo. Also current third fav which is a big trends plus

Thomas Brown is the final trends horse. Won well in a 25K Aintree handicap last time and won  a G2 over 3miles as a novice on Good ground last season. 0-7 beyond class 2 grade, so this is a step up in class but seasonal debut was an improved effort and who is to say he won't come on for that?  Another plus is his hurdles win here.

Trends wise, the same chance as Quite by Chance as his age of 7 is not quite ideal.

Strictly on trends, ASO is the pick in the hope he will handle the quickish ground.

Though i wouldn't be the least surprised if I don't again kick  myself for shortlisting, but opposing, a Tizzard horse! Quite by Chance has every chance if handling the ground too.

Thomas Brown looks an unexposed improver who will love the going.

So, you  have my selection, ASO (8/1 generally), but i think the other two are big dangers. This is a competitive race so small stakes – and do feel free to make you own final choice. This race looks tricky – but aren't they all?






Hennessy race trends and trainer stats

SAT 25/11/16




Good guide with 7 favs and 4 second favs obliging

Winners at 25/1 & 20/1 but the other 17 were all returned 16/1 or less

16 winners came from the first 7 in the betting, which corresponds to those priced 16/1 or less tomorrow


11-12 has been carried to victory 3 times, but the winner of one of the best Gold Cup's in living memory , Denman, was responsible for 2 of those.

The remaining 16 all carried 11-8 or less, which only gets rid of Smad Place who would be the only horse other than the great Denman to win this race more than once.


Offficial Handicap Rating (OR)

16 of the 19 winners had an OR of 140 or more as did ALL the last 15 winners. This knocks out the bottom two.

18 were rated no higher than 162 – exception was Denman (again!) who won off a whopping  OR of 174 – which, again, gets rid of the top weight.


Younger horses have done best, 7yo's marginally better with 9 wins from 103 runs (9%)

Next best are 6yo's with 4-48 (8%)

8yo's are no forlorn hope with 4-67 (6%)

The record of 9yo's is tricky as their record of 2-64, whilst only half as good as the younger horses, is half decent. However, those 2 winners were our old friend Denman's second win and King George winner, Teeton Mill – who  had a most unusual prep (made up mainly of hunter chases) for this.

No younger or older horse than the above  has won this and  i think it best to concentrate on 6-8yo's


18 had run 2-6 times in the last year

16 had either 1 run or  were seasonal debutants

16 finished in the first 3 last time

11 won LTO

17 had won over 3m +

ALL had ran over 3 miles half a furlong

12 winners from 215 runners (6%) last ran between 8-60 days ago

7 – 99 (7%) last ran within 121 – 365 days


Nicky Henderson has won this 3 times. The yard is also in form with 9  winners from 29 runners in the last 14 days. He runs three:

Former winner Trio D'Alene is  a 9yo who ran down the field in his last run

Same with Hadrian's Approach who would also be the lowest rated winner for 16 years if he won.

Vyto du Roc though, has a fine trends profile and is shortlisted

Paul Nicholls has won it 3 times too (twice with Denman). He has two runners, Saphir du Rheu  and Vicente. Both have  very good trends profiles (the latter a perfect one with a last time  win). Both are shortlilsted

The Pipe family  have won this twice and their sole representative is Un Temps Pour Tout, another with a perfect profile and shortlisted

Ben Pauling is 4/12 at Newbury over the last 5 seasons and 2/2 with his chasers. He runs Local Show whose only trends drawback is his seventh placed run last time


First, even though it has rained, the going, according to the times for the first three races today, would suggests GOOD TO FIRM going! One thing is for  sure, the  word "Soft" shouldn't be in any going description.

To return to trends. The following all have perfect or near perfect trends profiles:

UN TEMPS POUT TOUT can't be faulted and, with the last time win, is a perfect fit.

NATVIE RIVER ticks  all the boxes but a last time win would have put the icing on the cake


VICENTE is Nicholls' other runnner and is the only other one with a last time win. Drifted out to 20/1 now though, which is a concern.

VYTA DU ROC lacks the last time win, and, off a rating of 143 would be the lowest rated winner of this for 12 years

The last two named are my least confident trends candidates.

I don't think the ground will be perfect for UN TEMPS POUR TOUT but this winner of a £57K Cheltenham handicap on "Good to Soft" which was on the Good side should have the pace to handle it. As a last time winner he has to be the percentage  call.

My other selection is SAPHIR DE RHEU,  who has not lived up to expectations over fences so far but , having run sixth in this last year on Soft going, he ran a cracker last time over 3 miles on Good in a £56K Ascot handicap, finishing like a train and just missing out  by a short head on second. Tomorrow's ground and slightly longer trip should suit.

As a novice he won the G1 Mildmay Chase by 15l over 3m 1f on Good. His last run suggests he may be returning to that form and, though not one to plunge IN on, looks very well handicapped and wouldn't need to improve from his seasonal debut over this slightly longer trip, for his bang in form trainer.

So, my two against the field:

UN TEMPS POUR TOUT @ 8/1 generally

SAPHIR DU RHEU @ 9/1 with Hills









BETFAIR CHASE – Race Trends, trainer and jockey stats

SAT 19/11/16



All the stats are somewhat skewed by the great Kauto Star's record of 4 wIns in this from  his first win at 6 to his last aged 11. I will indicate when i think this is relevant.


Fav won 4/11 ( 3 of which were Kauto)

3 second favs won and 2 third favs making it 9 wins for the first three in the betting

Other than Snoopy Loopy's shock 33/1 win over Kauto Star in 2008, all lther winners were returned 9/1 or less. This gets rid of Menorah and Vezeley for trends purposes

Official Rating (OR)

ALL had an OR of 157+ which disqualifies Seeyouatmidnight, trends-wise


11yo's are 1 from 3 in this but that one was Kauto! Another possible minus for Menorah

10yo's scored once from  5 runners but that winner was  the 33/1 shock – slight question marks against Cue Card and Silviniaco Conti.

9 yo's have the best record with 3 wins from 20 runners (15%) a plus for Coneygree

7yo's are next best with 2/17  – one was Kauto – or 12%, a slight plus for Irish Cavalier

8yo's have the worst record with 2-24 (8%) – even Kauto Star lost as an 8yo! Another blot on Seeyouatmidnight's trends CV


10 had run 3 to 5 times in the past year – a problem for Coneygree who is without a run since November 8th 2015, Cue Card (6 races), Irish Cavalier (7) and  Seeyouatmidnight (6)

10 had 2 runs or less that season – yet another minus for Seeyouatmidnight (i am going to look an idiot of that one wins!) and Menorah, with 3 runs this season each

9  had won over 3m1f plus, something Irish Cavalier and Seeyouatmidnight have not

8 ran 16-30 days ago and 3 last ran between 121 and 365 days ago which puts trends question marks against Coneygree 377 days off (none have tried to  win this after more than a yeras lay off) and Silviniaco Conti (14 days off – 3  have tried but none have won returning less than 16 days after their last run).


Paul Nicholls has won this 6 times. Four times with Kauto Star and twice with Silviniaco Conti who won this in 2012 and 2014 (7L second to 2013 and 2015 winner, Cue Card, last year)

He also has his yard in fine form with 19 of his 52 runners having won over the last two weeks.

His record at the course, with his chasers, is 11-24 (a very high strike rate of 7-18 without Kauto!)

Silvianaco Conti, therefore, must  be worth a second look. Other than the inconclusive matter of being a 10yo, the only major trends angle against him is his quick return after 14 days. Shortlisted.

Colin Tizzard has won this twice with Cue Card, another 10yo double winner of this. He was  a revelation when beating the Nicholls horse in this 7l last year, but he had just had the wind op that allowed him  to show, last season, for the first time, his full potential. He had a right to need the run trying to give 4lbs to Irish Cavalier last  time and going down by just over 3L.

The RPR he achieved there  was 13lbs lower than his Gold Cup and Aintree peaks last season and, having backed him last time, my first reaction was that maybe the old breathing problem has come back.

Purely on trends both the above  have chances, though if either win, they will be the only horse  other than the great Kauto Star to win it more than twice.

Sandy Thomson  has had 7 runnners and two winners the past fortnight. Amongst many other trends negatives he would be the lowest  ever (even than 33/1 shocker, Snoopy Loopy) to win this.

Noel Fehilly is 11/37 for Nicholls over the last two years.


There is no perfect trends horse here. Rather it is a question of weighing the number and importance of  the negatives.

If we look at just those in the first 3 of the betting and less than 9/1:

Seeyouatmidnight breaks almost every trends rule

Cue Card could improve the 8lbs  plus that will be the least  needed to win this. Then again, the old breathing problem may have returned. At 6/4 fav (not a great race for favs – 1/8 where Kato wasn't the winning fav!) not very tempting.

That leaves us with the two horses that offend only on what may be the least important factors – number of runs and days since last run.

CONEYGREE has been off more than a year and hence breaks the number of runs and days since win trends (though none have tried after a longer lay off than a year). But he is the class horse.To win a classy Gold Cup on only his second run out of novice company was an amazing feat. Richard Johnson must be praying that Hobbs will pull Menorah out, so he can ride him.

Has he got over his injury? Will he be 100%? I don't know but they have been very patient with him and he is 5/5 in chases (two of them G1's) and 4/4 on seasonal debuts. I would rather take 2/1 about his fitness than 6/4 about Cue Card buncing back.

The fly in the ointment could be Silvianaco Conti.His trainer alone showing up is enough to put the wind up the rest. The horse may be no back number either – though this will be his 25th chase.

Blew up last time in Ireland when beaten 11lengths by Valseur Lido and usually improves plenty for his first run. Pulled up in the Grand National in his last race last season but that told us nothing. In the race previous to the National, he slammed Dynaste 20L in a G1 on Soft and achieved an RPR just 1lb below his King George winning best in the process.

Even at his best, i doubt he would beat a 100% Coneygree , but IF he returns to the form of three races ago and IF their are any chinks in Coneygree, it could be this horse that takes advantage tomorrow. 7/1 fourth ( a negative) fav at the moment, i would be tempted to go each way if there were an extra runner!

You won't get rich backing the 2/1 CONEYGREE but he looks banker material if back to near his best. If he isn't, 7/1 Silviniaco Conti can profit.




SAT 12/11/16


CHL 2.25



Winners at 33/1 and 20/1 but 18 winners came from the first 8 in the betting

17 were returned 16/1 or less

Favs won 6, second favs twice and third favs x 4


ALL in range BUT:

16 carried 11-4 or lower (this knocks the top 9 out)

15 were weighted 10-5 plus (which puts the bottom two out)

Official Handicap Rating (OR)

ALL rated 138 or more (further reason to pick on the bottom two) and 17 were rated 139 plus (bottom 3 are now out). This almost perfectly tallies with the weights trends – always a good sign!

18 were rated 154 or less and seventeen 151- which, again, tallies almost perfectly with the weights trends


A race for the younger horses. 7yo's have done marginally best with 8 winners from 83 runners (10%). 5 & 6yo's have scored 2-22 (9%) & 4-47 (9%) respectively.

No horse aged 10 or older has won over the period.

8yo's are next worse with 3-77 (4%) and 9yo's scored 2-42 (5%)


17 had run between 4 and 8 times in the past year

None had more than 2 runs that season

16 finished in the first 6 in their last run

8 won and 3 finished second last time

ALL won over 2m 3.5F plus

17 had already won over two and a half miles or further

ALL had RUN over 2m 5F or more

ALL ran either in the last 30 days  or between 90 – 365 days ago


Martin Pipe used to farm this race and the Pipe family have won this 7 times – though only one of those victories was under David. He runs the 10yo top weight,  Ballynagour. Those two factors alone disqualify him on trends

Paul Nicholls has won this twice and those two wins came in the last 4 years. He  has 4 entrants:

Art Mauresque is too high in  the weights and OR's for a typical winner. He would beat the weight carrying record over the last 20 years and be  the second highest rated over that same period, if he won.

Bouvreuil is not from the first 8 in the betting

Second fav Frodon has had 3 runs (one too many) this season

As de Mee is his best chance on stats and is shortlisted

Jonjo O'Neil has won this twice and his sole runner just sneaks in at the top of the weight and ratings band. Only twice though, has a horse rated more than 154  won this and 8yo's have the worst record, other than 10yo's and older, in this race. On those grounds, i will pass on the fav, More Of That.

Tom George has his yard firing on all cylinders with 7 winners from 23 runners over the past fortnight. His 6yo Double Shuffle would have a good trends profile but for the fact that no horse had last run between 31 and 59 days ago – this horse has had 34 days off

Johnny Farrelly  is 3/9 over the last 14 days and he sends out Stilletto who, as a 7yo with a  perfect profile is shortlisted.

Rebecca Curtis's runners are almost unstoppable at the moment with 6 of her last 14 winning. This makes me think twice about passing over her Vintage Vinnie who falls down on having had 3 runs this season and would be the lowest rated winner of this in 20 years.


Taking  the  first 8 in the betting, all priced 16/1 or less (as were 17 of the last 19 winners) and applying all the trends filters above gives  us  a shortlist of 4:

On account of his age of 7, the, marginally, most perfect trends fit is the 14/1 shot STILLETTO

However, percentage wise, 6yo's are not too far behind and 9/1 third fav, AS DE MEE, especially given the Nicholls yard form and  good recent record in this race, is as near as damn it as good a stats fit as the above.

Venitia Williams sole runner is  another  with a perfect  trends profile and 16/1 ASO makes up my trio of trends selections.

It would be remiss of me not to mention that the 9yo Buywise has everything but his age  going for him.









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