5 Things You Didn’t Know About Cheltenham

by ANNIE DALE With the advancement in technology, we are now able to track even the most unthinkable stats when it comes to online sports betting. A perfect example is the Cheltenham Festival, one of the biggest events in the racing calendar this year and we are just one month away from the official opening on 13 March. It is no doubt that the festival brings with it some intriguing stats, however there are five things that you may not know about the event. Let’s dive straight into it.

The Golden Oldies Don’t Always Win

You may think that the Golden Oldies are the way to go when it comes to the Cheltenham Festival. In other sporting fields, you may not be wrong as the top guns indeed get better with age. However, a look at stats over the past 30+ years shows us that this rule does not apply to horseracing.

In the past 452 Cheltenham races spread across all events, only 11 horses over 10 years old have won their races. Two of the recent winners in this category are Cool Dawn (1998) and Cool Ground (1992). Even if your top horse puts in stellar performances, you have to practise extreme caution with your money as history has a tendency of repeating itself.

A Second-Year Blessing

Evidence has suggested that horses that switch trainers going into their second year of the Cheltenham Festival have a 70% chance of winning. Of the past 130 events, only ten second year horses that came with a new trainer, won. This resulted in a 7.7% SR, while almost half of them finished in the ‘Place’ positions.

If you’re keen to keep an eye on this year’s second year blessings, there were a number of first-timers present at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival competing in the following categories; Supreme Novices Hurdle, Neptune Novices Hurdle, and JLT Novices Chase, among others. A study of horses in these events can reveal more and you may stand to benefit from the high 70% probability of second-year horses winning at the Festival.

Ascot Hoodoo

Statistics show that horses racing at Ascot in their last competitive race before the Cheltenham Festival perform poorly. Among the last 341 runners to do so, only 16 managed to win their races thus far. The Ascot event may be thrilling, but if the biggest price is the Cheltenham Festival, then it might not be all gloom and doom to dodge the Ascot event.

The Lucky Three

The only reason the three sires are deemed ‘lucky’ is due to the fact that no scientific studies have proven if the impressive performances of their offspring is as a result of the sires passing genes to their young. Offspring from Oscar, Accordion, and Presenting perform better than any other sires. In terms of results, we can see this as true as Oscar’s offspring won 61% more races than expected. On the other hand, Accordion’s offspring is projected to win 48% more. Lastly, Presenting pack is said to bag 29% more races than anticipated.

More Wine Please!

A topic well worth mentioning and perhaps not related to horses, jockeys or performances, is the complimentary entertainment at the event this year. It is no doubt that the Cheltenham Festival is one of those events that is high on the elite radar as opposed to many other sporting events. As such, tons of spectators are looking forward to wining and dining in style as they cheer on their favourites. An interesting fact to note is that in the first week of the Cheltenham Festival, participants consumed over 120 000 bottles of wine, which far exceeds the average consumption in countries like Pakistan, Mauritania, Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Indonesia, Brunei, and Eritrea in one year!

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