Tag Archives: trends

The Grand National – Age Stats

When the Grand National comes around, trends and stats are used more than ever to analyse the big race (often viewed as an impossible puzzle). Rather than taking these at face value (eg, 8 of the last 10 winners were aged between 9 and 11), it’s worth taking a closer look at them:

10-Year Age Stats

10 Year Age

The grid above shows that all of the last 10 winners were aged between 8 and 11, as were 38 of the total 40 horses to which finished in the top 4. However, so were 84% of the total field. This suggests that this group of horses over-performed, if not by a huge amount. There was a significant underperformance from horses aged 7 or younger, despite this sample being relatively small. The slight underperformance from 10yo’s may suggest that we should focus on 8- and 9-year-olds, but the significant over-performance of 11yo’s would suggest otherwise.

The changes to the race in recent years are well documented, and it may be worth looking at the last 5 renewals to find out whether the trends are changing.

5-Year Age Stats

5 Year Age

3 of the last 5 winners were aged 8 or 9 – however, the other 2 were aged 11. Again, we see an underperformance from 10yo’s, but there is also an underperformance from the 9yo’s in the last 5 renewals. Some might argue that this shows a shift towards younger horses, but the 9% over-performance from 11yo’s (including 2 wins) suggests that this would be a knee-jerk reaction.

Conclusion

Horses aged younger than 8 or older than 11 have struggled to win the race –  although not a huge amount of them have run and it’s difficult to simply discard such runners on this basis.

Of the others, the best record has been that of 11yo’s, with 8yo’s also performing well. However, any useful trends should be backed up by logic and it’s hard to make a case for 11- and 8-year-olds performing well when 9- and 10-year-olds don’t.

Ascot Chase Trends Analysis

This year’s Ascot Chase is a fascinating renewal, with old favourite Cue Card, Gold Cup contender Coney Island and Ryanair Chase hopes Top Notch and Waiting Patiently among the field of 7. I’ve picked out 10 key trends for the race and ran this year’s runners past them to see which horses fit the ideal profile for an Ascot Chase winner.

Key Trends

  1. 10 of the last 10 winners had an official rating of 162 or more.
    These horses filled 74% of the total places (including 100% of the winners) from just 34% of the total field.
  2. 10 of the last 10 winners had at least placed in a grade 1.
    These horses filled 83% of the total places from 61% of the total field.
  3. 9 of the last 10 winners had previously won a grade 1.
    This narrows down the field well, as these horses filled 61% of the total places from 37% of the total field.
  4. 9 of the last 10 winners had won at least once in their last 3 starts.
    These horses filled 91% of the total places from just 69% of the total field.
  5. 9 of the last 10 winners finished in the top 6 last time out.
    These horses filled 87% of the total places (including 90% of the winners) from 78% of the total field.
  6. 8 of the last 10 winners had won 4 or more chases.
    These horses filled 83% of the total places from 64% of the total field.
  7. 8 of the last 10 winners had run between 2 and 4 times that season.
    These horses filled 83% of the total places from 67% of the total field.
  8. 8 of the last 10 winners had previously run in between 6 and 19 chases.
    These horses filled 91% of the total places from 81% of the total field.
  9. 7 of the last 10 winners had previously won at Ascot.
    These horses filled 52% of the total places (incluing 70% of the total winners) from 43% of the total field.
  10. 6 of the last 10 winners ran in the King George last time out.
    These horses filled 39% of the total places (including 60% of the winners) from just 16% of the total field.

This Year’s Runners

Horse 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total
Coney Island Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No 6
Cue Card Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No 7
Frodon Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No 5
Speredek No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No 6
Top Notch Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No 9
Traffic Fluide No Yes No No No No Yes Yes No Yes 4
Waiting Patiently Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No 5

So, the trends shortlist looks like this:

  1. Top Notch – 9
  2. Cue Card – 7

Top Notch

A quick look at Top Notch’s profile confirms that he’s a leading contender:

  • Overall Record: 19 runs – 10 wins – 3 places
  • 3-3-0 at Ascot
    Won a class 3 hurdle over 2 miles in January 2015
    Won a class 2 2m 5f chase in December 2016
    Won c grade 2 2m 5f chase here last November
  • He runs well with some sort of cut in the ground – 5-4-0 on good to soft and 9-5-2 on soft, compared to 3-0-1 on good ground. 2-1-0 on heavy.
  • The majority of his starts have been in small fields, but he has been fairly consistent in them (14-9-1 in fields of 7 or less, 5-1-2 in bigger fields).
  • He has a strong record in November (6-3-1), December (3-3-0), January (2-1-0) and February (3-3-0). This drops slightly in March (3-0-2) and April (1-0-0). 1-0-0 in October.
  • He has a particularly strong record at right-handed tracks (5-5-0), compared to 14-5-3 going left-handed.
  • He has a strong record on tracks described as having slight undulations (such as Ascot), with a record of 10-8-1. 4-1-0 on flat tracks and 5-1-2 at more undulating tracks.

Betfair Hurdle Review – The Stand-Out Stat

Kalashnikov put in a good performance to win the Betfair Hurdle on Saturday in tough conditions. It was undoubtedly one of the best renewals in recent memory in terms of the overall standard of the race. Interestingly, Kalashnikov was one of the horses to come out on top in our trends analysis ahead of the race. However, more interesting than his overall good performance on trends is one particular stat which was backed up by his win. This is most certainly worth noting ahead of next year’s race.

Trend number 9 in our analysis last Saturday concerned horses making their handicap debuts:

5 of the last 10 winners had never run in a handicap.
These 5 winners all came in the last 6 years. This is a significant over-performance, considering these horses made up just 13% of the total field in the last 10 years, but managed to fill 23% of the total places. In the last 5 years, they have over-performed even more significantly – 35% of the total places from 20% of the total field.”

Just 4 of the 24 horses to go to post in Saturday’s race fitted this trend – these were Kalashnikov (won), Moon Racer (11th), Lalor (13th) and Waterlord (pulled up). This means that 6 of the last 7 winners have fit this trend (as have 2 placed horses), despite only 28 runners in the last 7 years having fit the trend, from a total of 146 runners in the race.

In the last 7 years, 19% of the total field have fit this trend. However, these horses have managed to fill 32% of the total places, including 86% of the winners. 

In short, it’s definitely worth looking out for handicap debutantes in this race next February.

Betfair Hurdle Trends Analysis

I’ve singled out a number of key trends for the Betfair Hurdle and looked at which of this year’s runners fit the trends:

Key Trends

  1. 10 of the last 10 winners were aged between 4 and 6.
    These horses filled 77% of the total places from 63% of the total field.
  2. 10 of the last 10 winners carried 11-2 or less.
    These horses filled 85% of the total places (including 100% of the winners) from 80% of the total field.
  3. 5 of the last 10 winners were officially rated between 134 and 137.
    These horses filled 36% of the total places (including 50% of the total winners) from 23% of the total field. 3 of the last 5 winners have fit this trend, and if we focus on the last 5 years, these horses filled 40% of the total places from 26% of the total field.
  4. 9 of the last 10 winners finished in the top 3 on their last start.
    These horses filled 74% of the total places from 51% of the total field.
  5. 4 of the last 10 winners were dropping down in class.
    These horses filled 36% of the total places from 25% of the total field. This includes 3 of the last 4 winners and both of the last 2. If we focus on the last 5 years, we see that these horses filled 35% of the total places from 17% of the total field.
  6. 8 of the last 10 winners were bred in Ireland or the UK.
    These horses filled 64% of the total places from 61% of the total field.
  7. 10 of the last 10 winners had run in 16 or less National Hunt races.
    These horses filled 95% of the total places from 87% of the total field.
  8. 10 of the last 10 winners had run in 10 or less hurdles races.
    These horses filled 85% of the total places from 73% of the total field.
  9. 5 of the last 10 winners had never run in a handicap.
    These 5 winners all came in the last 6 years. This is a significant over-performance, considering these horses made up just 13% of the total field in the last 10 years, but managed to fill 23% of the total places. In the last 5 years, they have over-performed even more significantly – 35% of the total places from 20% of the total field.

This Year’s Runners

Horse 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
High Bridge No No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No 4
Jenkins Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No 5
Bleu Et Rouge No No No No No No Yes Yes No 2
Verdana Blue Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No 5
Charli Parcs Yes No No No No No Yes Yes No 3
Divin Bere Yes No No No No No Yes Yes No 3
Remiluc No No No Yes No No No No No 1
Moon Racer No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 5
Misterton No No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No 4
Kalashnikov Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 7
Project Bluebook Yes No No No No No No Yes No 2
Kayf Grace No No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No 4
Spiritofthegames Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No 5
Lough Derg Spirit Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No 7
Poppy Kay No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No 5
Lalor Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes 7
Knocknanuss No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No 6
Waterlord No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 7
William H Bonney No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No No 4
Irish Roe No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No 7
Silver Streak Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No 6
Nietzsche Yes Yes No No No Yes No Yes No 4
Coeur Blimey No Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes No 4
Zalvados Yes Yes No Yes No No No Yes No 4
Magic Dancer Yes Yes No No No Yes No No No 3
Maquisard Yes Yes No No No No No Yes No 3

So, the trends shortlist:

  1. Kalashnikov, Lough Derg Spirit, Lalor, Waterlord, Irish Roe – 7
  2. Knocknanuss, Silver Streak – 6

Gold Cup – Never This Century

Courtesy of Gaultstats.com, there are a list of 4 things that have not happened this century in a Gold Cup… this is a closer look at the stats behind them.

1)    No Horse Has Won the Gold Cup Having Been Beaten Favourite Last Time Out

The last horse to win the Gold Cup having been a beaten favourite on their last start was Cool Dawn back in 1998. Since the turn of the century, 37 have tried and none have succeeded.

Year Runners Wins W% Places P% W/P W/P%
2017 2 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
2016 1 0 0% 1 100% 1 100%
2015 2 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
2012 3 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
2011 4 0 0% 2 50% 2 50%
2010 2 0 0% 1 50% 1 50%
2009 3 0 0% 1 33% 1 33%
2007 2 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
2006 4 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
2005 6 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
2004 3 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
2003 2 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
2002 2 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
2000 1 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%

37 isn’t an absolutely massive number and does include a number of outsiders. However, I wanted to have a look at how many of these horses were relatively well fancied for the race. 13 of these horses had starting prices of 12/1 or shorter, and they are listed below:

Year Horse Odds Finishing Position
2017 Djakadam 3/1 4th
2016 Djakadam 9/2 2nd
2011 Kauto Star 5/1 3rd
2011 Denman 8/1 2nd
2010 Denman 4/1 2nd
2009 Denman 7/1 2nd
2005 Celestial Gold 9/2 7th
2005 Strong Flow 5/1 6th
2005 Beef Or Salmon 5/1 PU
2004 Keen Leader 10/1 6th
2004 Therealbandit 15/2 7th
2003 Hussard Collonges 8/1 PU
2002 Florida Pearl 10/1 11th

5 places from 13 horses is a worse place rate (38%) when compared to all horses running in the Gold Cup at odds of 12/1 or less (a 45% place rate from 51 runners in the last 10 years).

Overall, this has to be considered a negative for the Gold Cup. These horses also performed worse than would be expected of them in terms of the places they filled – they filled 10% of the total places on offer from 16% of the total field.

2)    No Horse Aged 10 Years or Older Has Won the Gold Cup

Again, the las horse to buck this trend was Cool Dawn in 1998, a rather untypical winner at 25/1. Since the turn of the century, however, 67 horses have run in the Gold Cup at an age older than 9, and none have managed to win. Those at short prices are listed below:

Year Horse Odds Position
2000 See More Business 9/4 4th
2002 Looks Like Trouble 9/2 13th
2006 Beef Or Salmon 4/1 11th
2010 Denman 4/1 2nd
2010 Kauto Star 8/11 Fell
2011 Imperial Commander 4/1 PU
2011 Kauto Star 5/1 3rd
2012 Kauto Star 3/1 PU
2016 Cue Card 5/2 Fell
2017 Cue Card 9/2 Fell

There are some memorable and surprise losses included in the list, with Kauto Star and Denman featuring again, along with some other veterans such as Beef Or Salmon and more recent stars such as Cue Card.

It’s fair to say that these horses went into the race with solid chances and disappointed. When we look at all 67 older Gold Cup runners since the turn of the century, we see a similarly unimpressive result:

Runners Wins W% Places P% W/P W/P%
67 0 0% 7 10% 7 10%

7 places from 67 runners is hardly too promising when we consider that these horses made up 28% of the total field but managed to fill just 15% of the places. It looks like horses aged older than 9 are worth avoiding in the Gold Cup.

3)    No Horse Has Won the Gold Cup for the First Time Having Previously Been Beaten in the Race

For this statistic, we’re discounting horses which ran in the Gold Cup and won it on their first run before returning to the race again. If we look at just runs this century which were horse’s 2nd/3rd/4th/5th Gold Cup starts (no horse has run in it this century for a sixth time), we see the following figures:

Runs Wins W% Places P% W/P W/P%
68 0 0% 9 13% 9 13%

That’s no wins from 68 attempts, a startlingly low figure. The place record may not look terrible, but in terms of filling the places, these horses performed considerably worse than have been expected of them (19% of the total places from 29% of the total field). Therefore, it’s best to steer clear of horses which have previously been beaten in the race.

Full details of these horses can be seen here.

4)    No Horse Has Won the Gold Cup Having Raced on Heavy Ground That Season

This is a very difficult one to find the correct stat for, with a 0/79 strike rate commonly cited. Taking into account only runs in the UK or Ireland, I came up with the following stats:

Runners Wins W% Places P% W/P W/P%
70 0 0 13 19% 13 19%

The vast majority of these were outsiders with big starting prices, but 0 wins from 70 runners is still fairly worrying, particularly considering that we’re talking about almost a third of the total Gold Cup field since the turn of the century. The place record isn’t nearly as bad (a 19% strike rate with these horses filling 27% of the total places on offer from 30% of the total field) which would make me less worried about this stat. However, we will be wary of horses which ran on heavy this season.