Cheltenham Festival Review: Videos+Notes (complete)

complete… three videos + some notes/learning points for next year…

Below are my video reviews of the Cheltenham Festival followed by some notes that I plan to refer back to before next year’s feast…

Day 1 



Day 2 


Days 3+4 



In ‘note form’ –

  • When a big race ‘winning profile’ shortlist highlights 1-4 horses, never again leave a double figure priced one un-backed/tipped! (Flying Tiger,33s,shortlist of only 3 for Fred Winter. Backed/tipped the other two…urgh. Disgusting. I am just about over that now, nearly) 
  • Think about staking and use of EW bets, 1 point EW, or 1/2 EW, 1/2 win. This year I ‘tipped’ a decent number of placed horses that were backed win only. An increase in bank may need to be considered. In general I always want 1 point win on the bigger priced, confident, tips. 
  • Old Course – PACE- theory generally held up- in the bigger fields in general it paid to be on a horse more patiently ridden as they tend to go too fast in general and as they hurtle down the hill before swinging in for home, those near the front doing too much and having nothing left for the climb. Nothing is ever set in stone with pace though. And vice versa on the New Course, often payed to be ridden more handily. 
  • Class Class Class: Do allow some time for race analysis outside of the stats shortlists, with a specific focus on the top of the handicap and/or those horses with proven G1+2 winning form that could just outclass rivals. (Arctic Fire, top 2 in the weights 1-2 this year) 
  • The ‘Small field, deep ground novice’ profile… an eye on the handicappers that had been running in small field Graded novice races, and running ok, often in deep ground. Always bear in mind that they may improve massively now back in a handicap (could have been intentional) and in any case may now bounce off better ground and appreciate a race run at a proper gallop. These types could be well ahead of their mark. (Road To Respect- back to back wins for Gigginstown in that race- noted) In the case of Supasundae – he had decent Festival form to his name, with a cracking run in the Supreme which had worked out very well. 
  • Festival form often came to the fore again and again. Note those that had run OK here, pref the year before, mark those types up. 
  • Cross reference ‘winning profile’ shortlists with micro systems qualifiers more closely and take note of any that qualify on multiple angles (Un Temps Pour Tout) 
  • The Preview Circuit- take note of Jamie Codd’s thoughts (top judge/knows his onions) And at the Liverpool preview, take note of Andy Holding and his ‘on the clock’ performers- highlighted a couple of decent non handicap winners, inc Champion Hurdle winner who he was very keen on. 


That will be all for this review post. I will come back and have a flick through next year!



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3 Responses

  1. Evening Josh,

    Glad to see you’re well and truly over the Fred Winter

    Something I only just thought of but do you recon that Irish trainers are more willing to ruin their horses on soft/heavy ground which they know they will hate. Might explain why they are so well handicapped compared to their English counterparts. Phil Smith can only put them up so much. Obviously the article in GGG touched on the fact that the Irish numbers were greater this year but they still absolutely crucified us in the handicaps this year.


    1. Hi Nick,
      Haha, I an nearly over it! I shouldn’t be greedy

      Maybe – they don’t have much choice though it seems- you either don’t run them or run them in soft.

      Did you mean ‘run’ rather than ‘ruin’? … suspect pottering around in small novice/Graded races, even in ground they hate, wont do any damage. But getting proper decent ground much be a reason for drastic improvement. Of course, with chasers say, some get found out for lack of experience- esp in a big field- Diamond King suffered for that I think.

      Seems to be a patter though and we shall see what happens next year!

  2. From a punters point of view the racing on your side of the pond is in a far better state,the racing here is a real turn off,case of which gigginstown horse will win,in UK there is a fair degree of competition with the longstanding trainers not having a complete stranglehold,and the there are up and coming trainers like George,Fry,Pauling and O Brien taking their share,the smaller yards here have a choice of taking on the bigger guns here or plotting ones up for a big tilt in Cheltenham or Aintree

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