What do you look for when picking a horse during the Cheltenham festival?

mantistoboggan
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What do you look for when picking a horse during the Cheltenham festival?

Postby mantistoboggan » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:27 pm

Do you look at the trends from previous runnings of the race?

Cheltenham Festival form? Has the horse handled the occasion well previously and ran a solid race?

Cheltenham course form in general?

Record on distance/going?

Speed ratings?

Trainer form? Trainer Course form?

Same as above for jockey?

Other?

List me the first 3 angles you look for in order of most important. Will be interesting to see what regularly appears on people's lists.

For me it would probably be;

1) Cheltenham Festival Form/course form
2) A look at the form of the horse's recent performances
3) Trends

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Re: What do you look for when picking a horse during the Cheltenham festival?

Postby PompeyJim » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:42 pm

Great thread, mine would be -

1 - Previous Cheltenham Festival when looking at most of the races, some not so important like the Albert Bartlett in my view. More important for me is for the horse to have the temperament to handle the big occasion and to have shown previous decent form in sizeable fields (it may be use to running at dawdle pace against half a dozen runners most of the time etc..)

2 - Ability to handle the ground and distance, you would hope this is a given with runners at the festival particularly when looking at the distance it's running over so more important for me is previous evidence it will act on the going.

3 - Trends to point me in the right direction but I'm not put off too much if a strong fancy may fall short on one or two aspects as I think generally trends evolve with time and one selection you fancy strongly may not be the best candidate trend wise but also may turn out to be a winner that changes the angle for the future.


Great thread, interested to hear other members approach.

Good luck everyone at the festival.
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Re: What do you look for when picking a horse during the Cheltenham festival?

Postby Gman84 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:59 pm

I think in the Grade 1's and the like any previous festival form is always a positive. I think the going always has to come into play regardless of where the racing is.

In the handicaps, I'll be interested to see which horses get a claimer thrown on. Always interesting to see trainers try to get a weight edge if they feel their horse is quite well handicapped but want to get that little extra boost for it. I'll be working through the handicaps the next few days now we have thw weights.
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Re: What do you look for when picking a horse during the Cheltenham festival?

Postby Shrews » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:26 pm

My first port of call is to narrow down the fields using
1. Trainer stats - which trainers do well in each race. It's surprising how many races Mullins, Nicholls, Henderson statistically do well in and how many they don't. You can almost put a line straight through many of the trainers and take the hit if they do well. They rarely do.

2. Trends - narrow the fields down further using trends. Personally I only use 10/10, 9/10 and 8/10 trends.

The second thing I then do is analyse the short list in the usual way (Going, Distance, Festival form, other Cheltenham form etc.)

To make a final decision I will look at the jockeys riding and use the jockey stats from previous festivals in the same way as the trainer stats. Sometimes, the strength of these are so strong it will bring other horses back into contention!

Usually, I end up with two horses in most races, but there's no point going against the bankers so tend to just put them in an any 4 from 6 type accumulator

From there it's about plotting all those selections into various Lucky 15's and hope I get all four horses up on one of them!

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Re: What do you look for when picking a horse during the Cheltenham festival?

Postby toadie21 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:53 pm

1. Trends.
I use to be massive on the trends side but am a bit more flexible nowadays. But it’s still my initial go to and a selection would have to tick a couple of the trend boxes.
2. Trainer/Jockey stats.
Pinpoint trainers with good course form and good form at the festival. Keep an eye out for jockeys who have tasted festival success.
3. Houses for courses.
A lot has happened between now and last years festival so I will be rewatching last seasons races to get that form fresh in my mind.
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