Emerging Trends…

One of the interesting aspects of Trends Betting is how they can change over the years as trainers adopt new training techniques, the betting market adapts to certain trends and, most notably at the big Festivals like Cheltenham, the class of runner improves. This means we always have to be on the look out for trends which are developing and that haven't really been evident up to this point.

The problem with this is that we're usually basing these new trends on very small sample sizes and sometimes they fade out as quickly as they appear. It's a fine line between finding an emerging stat that can be used to exploit the market and one that proves itself later to be a statistical blip that leads you nowhere.

I've gone through 5 of the Festival Handicaps to highlight some 'new-ish' trends that look like they could help us to keep one step ahead of the crowd....


Here's a cracking emerging trend for all you stats fans.

5 of the last 9 winners of the Ultima Handicap were racing from a chase handicap rating that was 7lb or more lower than their hurdles rating. There were no qualifiers in 2017 so that particular trend is actually 5 wins from 8 years.

4 of those 5 winners were lightly raced chasers with 3-5-5-3 starts over fences. All 5 were aged 7 or 8yo.

So are there any such horses down to run this year? There is indeed, although he does have multiple entries at the meeting.

SNOW FALCON is an 8yo with 4 chase starts who is rated 8lb less over fences than he was over hurdles. If he goes for this race then he must have an outstanding chance on the trends. 16/1 available NRNB


10 of the last 13, including 5 of the last 7, winners were second season hurdlers (no first season novice has ever won the Coral Cup) with 7 of the last 9 winners coming from the top 8 in the weights.

11 of the last 13 winners had raced 9 times or less over hurdles (8/13 had raced 8 or 9 times)

All of the last 10 winners were aged 5-8

This all points to WILLIAM HENRY looking a big trends fit for Nicky Henderson. Available at 9/1 NRNB


The last 3 (and 4 of the last 6) winners of the Fred Winter had begun their hurdling career in France by the middle of the previous August.

We also know that 12 of the 13 winners of this race were sired by horses who won at Group 1 / Grade 1 level, 12 had run within the last 37 days, all were rated 134 or less and 11 had run 3-6 times over hurdles. 6 winners had run against their elders that Season. 4 of the last 7 winners had raced in Grade 1 or Grade 2 company.

MERCENAIRE is rated 1lb over the 134 ceiling but we can overlook that small discrepancy as he scores highly on the other trends. He finished 3rd in a Grade 1 hurdle, ran against his elders last time out and comes from last years winning stable of Nick Williams. 25/1 across the board NRNB


6 of the last 7 winners including the last 5 were rated in the 140's. 6 of the last 7 winners were 8yo+

6 of the last 12 winners of this race had contested the Grand Annual previously (it would have been 7 had Solar Impulse not been a non runner the year previous to his victory). 5 of those 6 winners had gone off a well fancied horse from the front three in the betting. 13 of the winners this century had run at the Festival before.

7 of the last 12 winners started the season on the same or higher rating that they ran off here. 11 of the last 17 winners were winning a handicap chase for the first time in their careers. Over the last 13 years, horses that had won a handicap chase that season are 0/106.

The interesting ones here are last years 3rd, Theinval, and 4th, Dandridge, who were sent off the joint fourth and the clear second favourite. The Nicky Henderson trained THEINVAL is now an 8yo without a handicap chase win, races off a mark 7lb lower than he started the Season on and hasn't won yet this season. He looks the pick of the pair at 11/1 NRNB with Coral


Irish Trained runners have won 8 of the last 11 renewals with Paul Nicholls and Dan Skelton, his former assistant trainer, winning the other 3. With the Irish doing so well in this race recently it's worth noting that 4 of the last winners had prepped in the Coral Handicap Hurdle (now run at the Dublin Festival in February). 

12 of the last 13 winners had begun their campaign by the end of the previous October with 5 of those having a Summer jumps campaign. 5 and 6yo's have dominated this century with the odd 8 or 9yo popping up every now and again. Handicap debutants are 0 from 67 since Thumbs Up won this on his first handicap run way back in 1993.

There is one horse that interests me but he is a long way down the list of runners and might not get into the race. The 5yo MAKITORIX ran 4th in the Coral Handicap and has been set some very stiff tasks in Graded company either side of that run. He's 40/1 with Bet365 NRNB and might be worth a few quid each way just in case he sneaks in.

Good luck,

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3 thoughts on “Emerging Trends…

  • Brilliant insight as ever Gavin – I appreciate all your hard labour, hopefully it is rewarded with a few winners from this lot. Also commiserations on withdrawal of Sceau Royal from the Arkle yesterday. Like many of your R66 Trends followers I was on at 25-1. Fingers crossed for the next 7 days! ATB

  • As usual you coming up NEW angles.
    My main concern at the moment is the going. I feel most of the festival will be run on soft perhaps heavy on the first day. Weather forecast is pointing that way.
    If that’s the case it’s unlikely that Lil Rockefeller will run. Otherwise a good amount of the early ante post bets that are left maybe okay.

    Best wishes and many thanks for posts.

  • Thanks Guys,

    We’ve had a terrible run of luck with the Ante-Post bets over the last week including Sceaux Royale and Willoughby Court both getting injured. Let’s hope that’s it for our Portfolio and the rest get to Cheltenham safe and sound.

    Can’t do anything about the weather except keep our fingers crossed for a dry week.
    I’m sure it won’t be worse than soft for the Tuesday at least.

    Best of luck,

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