Cheltenham handicap winning trends?
Cheltenham Festival race guide – Handicap history
Of the last 64 Handicaps at the festival, 27 have been won by horses who were successful on their previous start. This statistic must come into the thoughts of all those punters trying to pick the winner of the eleven handicaps at the meeting in March. To put it as a percentage, horses who have won their previous outing have a 42% strike rate from the last 64 handicap contests and one should bear this is mind for this year’s festival.
The five handicap hurdles (Coral Cup, Fred Winter Juvenile, Pertemps Final, County Hurdle and Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys) are a great place to start when backing a horse with previous winning form. That’s because over 50% of those that have won these races over the last decade had been successful on their previous start. It can sometimes be difficult to give every runner in a large handicap field the time they deserve when it comes to analysing form. But by sticking to the general rule of backing horses that have won on their last outing one must hold every chance of being rewarded. One must ask the question – Can the horse build on its winning form and win a race like this?
If the answer is yes, and the credentials are there in black and white then the next handicap winner might just be one of those that had won last time out. But records are there to be broken and they are every year. And for this reason it would come as no surprise to see a horse with no great winning form win a handicap contest. But what we are trying to distinguish is the form and the facts and by backing a winner last time out, one might be in with a greater shout of collecting at the end of the race.
The Coral Cup and The Fred Winter are two of the races which have been dominated by winners who had won last time out. In fact from 2005-2010, nine of the last ten winners of both these events all had winning form before heading to the Cheltenham festival. This is a statistic that cannot be overlooked in 2011 and one which might just be further reinforced after the four-day period in March. With some of the handicap races being relatively new additions to the Cheltenham festival card, often there is precious little to go regarding form from the race the previous year. This is true of the Fred Winter Novices’ Handicap Hurdle, and although there’s not a lot to go on yet, that statistic keeps appearing – three of the past four winners of this race were successful last time out. So keep it at the forefront of ones mind and hopefully it will pave the way for a profitable 2011 Cheltenham festival!
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