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Let’s start by looking at what the stats tell us:

• There have been 11 running’s of the race and 7 have been won by a 7-year-old
• Willie Mullins has won 4 of the 11 renewals
• All 11 winners had run at the festival before
• The Handicapper has allotted an average rating of 160 to the last 5 winners
• The last 5 winners have made an average of 3 starts over fences prior to winning this
• Samcro (2020) is the only horse older than 7 to win the race

Finding the Winner:

Prior to the 2021 running of this race, it had been a very good race for Punters, with the 10 winners of the race all returning a single figure premium on the Tote and the Big yards generally dominating the race. In fact, Willie Mullins (4), Gordon Elliott (3) and Nicky Henderson have won most of them since the races’ inception in 2011. Last years’ race does throw the stats slightly, with Chantry House returning £11.10, but that does not reflect that the fact that the very short-priced Envoi Allen fell early in the race. Previous experience of the Cheltenham festival is essential, and the ratings would suggest that you need to run to a mark of 160 to land the prize. Clearly this race will depend on where Galopin des Champs (6) is sent, but if he does come here instead of the Brown Advisory, then both he and Bob Olinger (7) would fit the bill and they both look to be some way clear of L’Homme Presse, who lacks the necessary festival experience, although he has won over the course and distance.

Place Markets:

Much like some of the other Novice races at the festival, when the cream rises to the top it can be hard to find an angle into the each-way markets. If we assume that the 2021 running was an anomaly, then there haven’t been too many large returns in the place markets. Part of the reason for that tends to be the makeup of the race, as it has developed into the classier of the 4 Novice chases at the festival, with the better horses using this as a steppingstone as they move up in trip over fences. Whilst we don’t yet know the final makeup of this year’s field, if Bob Olinger, Galopin des Champs and L’Homme Presse do take their chances, it doesn’t leave a great deal of room for anything else to reach the 1,2,3.

Exotics

Unsurprisingly, the 2021 running yielded an Exacta of £110.50 and a Trifecta of £832.10, with plenty of combinations going down when Envoi Allen came down on the first circuit. Whilst at this stage History may seem unlikely to repeat itself, it is possible to earn a significant return from these markets even if the betting gets things right. In 2020, Samcro beat Melon and Faugheen, a Gordon Elliott trained winner in front of 2 Willie Mullins horses, all of which had festival form on their CVs. That wasn’t the most impossible result to imagine, yet the Trifecta returned £258.70 to a £1 stake. A year before in 2019, Defi Du Seuil and Lostintranslation renewed their rivalry for a 3rd time and pulled clear of Mengli Khan in 3rd . That represented a 1,2 for the market, yet still yielded £10.80 on the exacta and £151.80 on the Trifecta. A close examination of the form for this year’s renewal will probably lead you to the conclusion that the market has things about right, so the combination exacta and trifecta could prove to be the better way to play this race.


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