The ITV cameras are doing overtime at the moment with the latest fixture being the New Year’s Day card at Cheltenham racecourse. Plenty to get excited about with four more LIVE races on ITV to take in including the Dipper Novices’ Chase and Relkeel Hurdle as we welcome 2020 in with a bang.
So, as always, we’ve got it all covered here at JUICESTORM with all the key trends, plus our verdict, on each of the LIVE ITV races – we’re confident these trends will point you in the direction of a few winners, or at least help narrow down some of the field to highlight the horses that fit the best profile of past winners – So, let’s get cracking!
Cheltenham Horse Racing Trends (RacingTV/ITV)
1.25 – Paddy Power Broken Resolutions Already Dipper Novices´ Chase (Grade 2) Cl1 2m4f166y ITV
17/17 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
17/17 – Raced within the last 6 weeks
16/17 – Returned 6/1 or shorter in the betting
15/17 – Went onto run in a Cheltenham Festival race (1 winner)
14/17 – Came from the top three in the betting
14/17 – Raced within the last 4 weeks
13/17 – Won between 1-2 times over fences before
13/17 – Had won over fences at 2m3f or further before
13/17 – Aged between 6-8 years-old
10/17 – Placed favourites
10/17 – Irish bred
9/17 – Won last time out
8/17 – Had won over hurdles at Cheltenham before
7/17 – Returned 5/4 or shorter in the betting
7/17 – Ran at either Sandown or Cheltenham last time out
7/17 – Winning favourites
7/17 – Aged 7 years-old
2/17 – Won by the Pipe stable
2/17 – Ridden by Barry Geraghty
1/17 – Went onto win the Arkle Chase (My Way De Solzen, 2007)
JUICESTORM VERDICT: It won’t be easy having to give 5lbs away to the others, but the Nicky Henderson-trained CHAMP still looks a solid call here. He’s now 2-from-2 over fences and is as short at 3/1 to land the RSA Chase at the Festival here in March. He’s tended to hit a bit of a flat spot in his races over fences but has finished off strongly to suggest the stiff hill over this 2m4f will fine, but stepping up in trip after this race looks on the cards. Of the rest, Midnight Shadow Champagne Court and Master Tommytucker can give the selection most to think about.
2.00 –Paddy Power Handicap Chase (Grade 3) Cl1 2m4f166y ITV
17/17 – Had run over fences at Cheltenham before
16/17 – Raced within the last 2 months
15/17 – Had won at least twice over fences before
15/17 – Either French (6) or Irish (9) bred
14/17 – Had won over 2m4f or further (fences) before
14/17 – Raced within the last 4 weeks
14/17 – Priced 9/1 or shorter in the betting
13/17 – Rated 138 or higher
12/17 – Aged 8 or older
11/17 – Carried 11-0 or less
11/17 – Unplaced last time out
11/17 – Went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival
10/17 – Had won over fences at Cheltenham before
9/17 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
9/17 – Unplaced favourites
9/17 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
5/17 – Winning favourites
3/17 – Won by the Nigel Twiston-Davies yard
1/17 – Went onto win the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival
Aso (3/1 fav) won the race in 2019
JUICESTORM VERDICT: Some familiar faces on show here. The Twiston-Davies yard have a fair record in the race so their Count Meribel is respected, but I just feel he’s got a bit to prove off his current mark – the yard also run Ballyhill, who could be dangerous off just 10-2 but does need to out some poor runs this season behind him. CD winner Mister Whitaker is another to note but does return from a 259 break so will need to be well tuned-up to return with a win in a race as competitive as this – it’s worth noting he’s got well fresh in the past though. Geraghty riding Ex Patriot catches the eye too and he was only 8 lengths behind Battleoverdoyen last time out at Punchestown, which looks solid form. Magic Saint was a nice winner last time and at just 6 years-old should have more to come, but is up 7lbs here. Saint Calvados is classy, but this step up in trip is an known. Kalashnikov will also be popular but is getting a bit of a reputation of being placed and not winning often now. He was chinned on the line last time too by OLDGRANGEWOOD (e/w) and it might be worth sticking with the Skelton horse again. Yes, he’s up 7lbs here but is still not badly treated having won off 3lbs higher over fences back in 2017. He stays further, but this 2m4f trip with the stiff finish and on this soft ground looks ideal and he’s fancied to go well again. The other that might be worth an interest is LALOR (e/w). This 8 year-old has lost his way a bit since showing promise as a hurdler a few seasons ago, but didn’t run too badly in the Haldon Gold Cup on his return in November. The step up in trip is a big unknown, but connections clearly feel it’s worth a crack and having won over fences here (2m) last season then we know the track is fine.
2.35 – Paddy Power 68 Sleeps To Cheltenham Handicap Hurdle Cl2 3m ITV
15/16 – Had raced within the last 4 weeks
13/16 – Aged between 5-7 years-old
13/16 – Had raced at Cheltenham before
12/16 – Had won a hurdles race over at least 2m4f before
11/16 – Had won at least twice over hurdles in the UK before
11/16 – Rated 130 or higher
11/16 – Unplaced last time out
10/16 – Carried 10-9 or more
9/16 – Went onto run in a race at that season’s Cheltenham Festival
9/16 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
8/16 – Unplaced favourites
8/16 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
6/16 – Had won over at least 3m (hurdles) before
6/16 – French bred
5/16 – Had won over hurdles at Cheltenham before
3/16 – Won last time out
3/16 – Winning favourites
2/16 – Won by the Pipe stable
1/16 – Won by a mare
1/15 – Went onto win the Stayers’ Hurdle later that season (Big Buck’s, 2009)
JUICESTORM VERDICT: Might Bite back over hurdles will be the big talking point here, but at the age of 11 and several dire runs recently then it’s hard to get too excited until we see some old sparkle back on the track. Henderson also runs course winner Beware The Bear who was a cracking fourth in the Ladbrokes Gold Trophy last time out over fences. He’s 3lbs lower over hurdles and at a course we know he likes is certainly one for the shortlist. The Jam Man has won it’s last four and looks a horse on the up – but is up another 16lbs here so a lot more is needed. Skandiburg, Rapper and Who’s My Jockey are all other recent winners to consider, but the two I like here are KILBRICKEN STORM (e/w) and GOODBYE DANCER (e/w). The last-named was a good CD winner here last time and despite this being a better race and up 6lbs for that win, connections offset some of that with jockey Connor Brace’s 3lb claim. Then Kilbricken Storm, who was the 2018 Albert Bartlett winner at the Festival, caught the eye in the same race Goodbye Dancer won last time. He travelled well for much of the race and only got tired in the closing stages. He’s 2lbs lower for that, but that run also came off a 251-day break and was also his first since a wind operation. That spin would have brought him on a lot and given him more confidence regarding his breathing – his mark of 143 is starting to look very attractive and while he had to carry 11-12 last time out, he gets in here with only 10-9 on his back thanks to the likes of Might Bite and Beware The Bear being in the race!
3.10 – Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle Cl2 2m4f110y ITV
13/15 – Went on run in a race at the Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
13/15 – Won by either a French (5) or Irish (8) bred
13/15 – Had raced within the last 6 weeks
12/15 – Had raced at Cheltenham before
10/15 – Priced 11/2 or shorter in the betting
10/15 – Had won at least 4 times over hurdles before
10/15 – Had won over at least 2m4f (hurdles) before
9/15 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
9/15 – Had won at Cheltenham before
8/15 – Went onto run in the Stayers’ Hurdle later that season
6/15 – Raced at Cheltenham last time out
6/15 – Winning favourites
6/15 – Won last time out
4/15 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
4/15 – Ridden by Barry Geraghty
2/15 – Trained by the Pipe stable
Midnight Shadow (8/1) won the race in 2019
JUICESTORM VERDICT: A nice renewal of the Relkeel Hurdle, despite there only being six runners. Trainer Nicky Henderson has a good recent record so his pair of William Henry, who landed the Coral Cup at the Festival last March, and Janika, who returns to hurdles look interesting. The former has had a wind op since it’s last run but is also the only CD winner in the field. However, he also has to give 4lbs away to most of the others and that won’t be easy – especially as his stablemate – JANIKA – is rated higher than him anyway. This 7 year-old is back over hurdles after some decent runs over fences (won Haldon Gold Cup), but his mark over the smaller obstacles is 8lbs lower. He’s only been out of the top three twice from 8 runs over hurdles and has run well at the track (fences) before – including when runner-up in the Plate here last March. Quel Destin needs to bounce back from a poor run in the Greatwood Hurdle last time and the step up in trip is an unknown. EMITOM is a hose going the right way and was only 3 lengths off Champ at Aintree last April. The drop back to 2m4f looks a good move and having won 3 of his 4 hurdles runs here looks to be more to come from him – he rates the danger to the selection. Summerville Boy and Roksana make up the field and are certainly no back-numbers on their best form but both need to bounce back from a fall and a fifth last time out.
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