Plenty to look forward to this weekend as we’ve one of the jump season highlights this Saturday with Cheltenham’s final day of their December Meeting. A bumper day at Prestbury Park with the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup and the International Hurdle two of the highlights – the ITV cameras will be showing us four LIVE races from Prestbury Park.
The LIVE ITV action doesn’t end at Cheltenham though as they are also at Doncaster to take in three races so we’ll be praying the worst of the weather also bypasses them.
So, as always, we’ve got it all covered here on 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 going!
Cheltenham Horse Racing Trends (ITV/RacingTV)
1.55 – Caspian Caviar Gold Cup (Handicap Chase) (Grade 3) Cl1 2m5f ITV4
17/17 – Aged 8 or younger
15/17 – Ran within the last 5 weeks
14/17 – Had won over at least 2m4f (fences) before
13/17 – Had won between 2-4 times over fences before
13/17 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
13/17 – Went onto run at the Cheltenham Festival later that season (1 winner, Frodon – Ryanair Chase)
12/17 – Had raced at Cheltenham (fences) before (5 won)
12/17 – Returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
11/17 – Officially rated 142 or higher
11/17 – Aged 6 or 7 years-old
10/17 – Unplaced favourites
10/17 – French bred
8/17 – Carried 10-13 or more
7/17 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
7/17 – Ran in the BetVictor (Nov) Gold Cup last time out (1 won)
5/17 – Finished in the top 5 in the Bet Victor Gold Cup last time out
5/17 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
4/17 – Won last time out
3/17 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
2/17 – Went to an Irish-trained horse
1/17 – Winning favourites
The average winning SP in the last 17 runnings is 10/1
JUICESTORM VERDICT: Super-competitive renewal, but having trained five winners of this race – including 12 months ago – then I’m happy to side with the Paul Nicholls pair of SECRET INVESTOR and BRELAN D’AS. The last-named ran a blinder in the BetVictor Gold Cup here last month (2nd) and despite being raised 5lbs for that should be cherry-ripe for this. He won on his third run back last season and that came around this time of the year as well. Soft ground, the trip and the track are clearly all fine and Barry Geraghty sticks with him in the saddle too. Secret Investor is the other Nicholls runner and he ran well in a Grade Two at Down Royal last time out (2nd). He’s only had 6 runs over fences, but has finished in the top two in five of those. Yes, his lack of experience at the track (having first run) is a small worry, but he’s a solid jumper and no reason to think Cheltenham won’t suit. With only 6 career runs over fences he should have more in the locker too – Harry Cobden rides. Of the rest, Riders OntheStorm has been popular all week in the betting, but looks little value now, while top-weight Cepage is another to note being the top-rated in the field, but it won’t be easy lumping 11-12 round. At those at bigger prices, I think Good Man Pat can go well, plus Keeper Hill and Generous Day will be full of confidence after good wins last time out, albeit in slightly lesser races. Willie Mullins has a rare runner in the race – Robin Des Foret – but the final one that might be worth having a small interest in is LALOR (e/w). Yes, he’s not quite gone onto fulfil his potential he promised but the step up to 2m4f could be interesting and he’s got fair form here at Cheltenham – 3 runs, 1 win and a second. The cheekpieces are also on for the first time, which might help settle him better – we’ll see, but be could be the interesting one in the field.
2.30 – Albert Bartlett Novices´ Hurdle (Registered as The Bristol Novices´ Hurdle) (Grade 2) Cl1 3m ITV4
15/15 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
14/15 – Raced within the last 6 weeks
13/15 – Had won between 1-2 times over hurdles before
13/15 – Returned 4/1 or shorter in the betting
13/15 – Aged 6 or younger
13/15 – Winning distance 1 ¼ lengths or more
12/15 – Placed favourites
12/15 – Went on run in the Albert Bartlett (3 won) at the Cheltenham Festival
10/15 – Winning favourite (1 co, 1 joint)
9/15 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
9/15 – Returned 2/1 or shorter in the betting
9/15 – Won last time out
9/15 – Went onto finish in the top 4 in a Cheltenham Festival race that season
9/15 – Irish bred
8/15 – Had won at Cheltenham before
8/15 – Won over 3m (hurdles) before
2/15 – Trained by Jonjo O’Neill
2/15 – Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies
9 of the last 10 winners returned 3/1 or shorter in the betting
JUICESTORM VERDICT: Course winner – Champagne Well – can make it’s presence felt, plus the Henderson 10 year-old Valtor is showing no signs of old age yet after a good win at Ascot last month. He’s the top-rated in the field and has to be respected – Henderson could run Igor too. If running, the Paul Nicholls-trained Saint Xavier also looks interesting on what would be the horse’s first run for the yard after coming over from France – the betting will be our best guide here. The Mulcair won well at Southwell last time but didn’t seem to beat much and this will be harder, so the call here is for the Jamie Snowden runner – KILTEALY BRIGGS – to continue it’s upward curve. Yes, he beat very little at Hexham last time out, but did it very well in the end and is clearly held in high regard to be pitched here. The longer trip could also eke out a bit more and should the ground get any worse he’s proven with plenty of give.
3.05 – Unibet International Hurdle (Grade 2) Cl1 2m1f ITV4
17/17 – Raced over hurdles at Cheltenham previously
15/17 – Placed in the top 3 in their latest race
15/17 – Raced within the last 6 weeks
14/17 – Won over 2m1f+ (hurdles) previously
14/17 – Won 4 or more times over hurdles previously
13/17 – Won by a horse aged 7 years-old or younger
13/17 – Ran in the Champion Hurdle later that season (5 placed)
12/17 – Favourites placed
11/17 – Won their latest race
11/17 – Favourites that won (1 joint)
11/17 – Priced 5/2 or shorter
11/17 – Won over hurdles at Cheltenham previously
9/17 – Won by a horse aged either 4 or 5 years-old
9/17 – Rated 162 or higher
7/17 – Winning distance: 4+ lengths
6/17 – Won the Greatwood Hurdle (Cheltenham) last time out
4/17 – Won by a French-bred horse
4/17 – Ridden by jockey Richard Johnson
4/17 – Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies
4/17 – Won by trainer Nicky Henderson
3/17 – Trained by Philip Hobbs
3/17 – Ridden by jockey Sam Twiston-Davies
3/17 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
3/17 – Won the Betfair Hurdle last time out
3/17 – Won by an Irish-trained horse
1/17 – Won the Champion Hurdle later that season (Rooster Booster 2002)
JUICESTORM VERDICT: The likes of Elixir De Nutz, Call Me Lord, who is actually the top-rated in the field, Monsieur Lecoq and previous Festival winner – Ch’tibello – can go well, but this race revolves around last season’s Triumph Hurdle hero – PENTLAND HILLS. This Nicky Henderson runner is 3-from-3 over hurdles and rounded off last term with a cracking win at Aintree – beating Fakir D’oudairies. He’s sure to be well tuned-up for this but won first time back last season so the break isn’t a big concern. He’s around 7/1 for the Champion Hurdle – so you feel he’d need to take this if he’s looking to head to that opening day Festival showpiece. Le Patriote is another to consider of the bigger-priced ones, but the danger can come from BALLYANDY (e/w) – if running. The Nigel Twiston-Davies yard have a solid record in this race and it’s interesting that connections are dropping him back in trip. He stays further than this 2m1f trip, while his overall Cheltenham record is good, with two wins, plus four top three finishes from 8 runs here.
3.40 – OLBG Mares’ Handicap Hurdle Cl2 (4yo+) 2m4 1/2f ITV4
Just previous runnings
All four winners returned 4/1 or shorter in the betting
2/4 – winners carried 10-11 in weight
2/4 – winners aged 7 or 8 years-old
1 winning favourite (joint)
Trainers, Dan Skelton, Noel Williams (2), Anthony Honeyball have won the race in the past
JUICESTORM VERDICT: If running, the Henderson-trained Dame De Compagnie will be hard to beat. She’s one of just two proven CD winners in the field and ran a blinder to be 5th on her return run in the Greatwood Hurdle here last month. That came off a 577-day break so we can expect that to have blow the cobwebs away too. INDEFATIGABLE (e/w) is the other CD winner in the line-up, but she’s also got 11-10 to carry and that won’t be easy. She ran Lady Buttons close last time and that form would see her go close here. The longer trip will suit and she’s the top-rated in the field. Carrolls Milan, Mega Yeats and Queens Cave are others that can make their presence felt, but MISTY BLOOM (e/w) is the other of interest. She’s won two of her last three and was an impressive 6 length winner at Wincanton last time out. This will require more but the Emma Lavelle yard are going well and she looks a hurdler on the up.
Doncaster Horse Racing Trends (ITV4/ATR)
2.10 – bet365 December Novices´ Chase (Grade 2) Cl1 3m ITV4
9/9 – Placed 1st or 2nd last time out
8/9 – Won between 0-2 times over fences
8/9 – Had raced in the last 4 weeks
7/9 – Priced 5/2 or shorter in the betting
7/9 – French (2) or Irish (5) bred
6/9 – Aged 5 or 6 years-old
6/9 – Placed favourites
5/9 – Winning favourites
4/9 – Won last time out
3/9 – Ran at Haydock last time out
3 of the last 6 runnings have been won by trainer Paul Nicholls
Note: from 2013 back the race was run at Lingfield Park
JUICESTORM VERDICT: This looks a straight shootout between Windsor Avenue and SAM SPINNER, with preference for the later. Windsor Avenue has still done little wrong in winning both starts over fences and was very impressive last time at Carlisle – winning by 12 lengths – but the extra half a mile will pose a few questions. However, I’ve been impressive with the Sam Spinner, who is also 2-from-2 over fences and having won already over this 3m trip, then that looks key to be and the deciding factor. He looks a decent stayer in the making and the long Donny straight should be right up his street.
2.45 – Bet365 Summit Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) (3yo) Cl1 2m110y ITV4
9/9 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
8/9 – Carried 11-2 or more in weight
8/9 – Favourites placed in the top 3
7/9 – Had won just once before over hurdles
7/9 – Irish (3) or French (4) bred
7/9 – Raced in the last 5 weeks
6/9 – Won last time out
4/9 – Winning favourites
2/9 – Ran at Market Rasen last time out
2/9 – Trained by John Quinn
2/9 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
Peace and Co won the race in 2014 and went onto with the Triumph Hurdle
JUICESTORM VERDICT: If running, the Nicky Henderson entry – Tombee Du Ciel – will be popular in a race the yard have done well in over the years – winning it in 2017 and 2014, both for this owner too. Goobinator won well on hurdles debut at Wetherby too and looks above average for the Donald McCain team, but the call here is PASEO (e/w). This Oliver Sherwood yard are going very well at the moment and this 3 year-old improved again last time to win at Fontwell and looks the type to have more to come. He stays further than this, which might help in conditions, and with only three runs over hurdles will certainly have more.
3.20 – bet365 Handicap Chase (4 yo+) Cl2 3m ITV4
9/10 – Had raced in the last 6 weeks
9/10 – Aged 8 or younger
9/10 – Had won no more than 2 times over fences
8/10 – Returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
7/10 – Carried 10-10 or more in weight
7/10 – Unplaced last time out
7/10 – Irish bred
6/10 – Aged 7 years-old
6/10 – Had won over 3m+ (fences) before
6/10 – Ran at Doncaster before
2/10 – Trained by Emma Lavelle
2/10 – Winning favourites
3 of the last 5 winners were all rated 139
JUICESTORM VERDICT: With 6 of the last 10 winners aged 7 years-old then the Jonjo O’Neill runner – Cloth Cap – gets the nod here. He will be a lot fitter for runs at Chepstow and Ascot this season and last season’s Scottish National third will have the plenty of stamina over this 3m trip and if the ground dries out a tad that will help his cause too. But the pick here is MY OLD GOLD, for the Nicky Richards yard. This 9 year-old ran a blinder to be beaten only 14 lengths behind Lostintranslation at Carlisle last time. The winner has since franked the form and is one of the leading fancies for the King George on Boxing Day, so that run has a solid look to it. He’s also won over this 3m trip and that outing should also have brought him on.
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