Key to picking winners at the Cheltenham Festival
Article by Jasen Aitchison
Looking back at the 2010 Cheltenham festival to try and determine factors for picking winners, the standout statistic was the amount of winners who had won last time out. Horses that had successfully won races before the previous festival went on to win almost half of the all the races at the festival in 2010. From the five handicap hurdle races, horses that had at least one previous win under their belt have more than a 50% strike rate from statistics over the last decade. What does this mean for picking winners at the 2011 festival?
Regular bettors at the Cheltenham Festival will be aware ‘Cheltenham festival bankers’ don’t exist. However, picking horse in good form is often a profitable way to pick winners. Results from the previous year’s festival is a great place to start in determining form. A great example of this would be the Champion Hurdle, where twenty-two of the last twenty-six winners won last time out and sixteen of those had won at Cheltenham racecourse before. Horses that had finished first and second at the festival before also have excellent records in this race so it’s a great factor to examine when looking for winners. You’ll find all the Cheltenham betting tips for the 2011 Festival at Free Bet Finder.
Other races that are known to show the benefits of backing winners who won last time out are The Coral Cup and the Fred Winter. Nine out of the last ten winners of both these races won their previous race, an amazing statistic given how notoriously difficult these races are to win. Handicaps are usually the most difficult to predict and often see large priced winners, but a common factor is that it is handicappers that often string together a couple of wins. Shamayoun won the Fred Winter Novices’ Handicap Hurdle in 2006 at odds of 40/1, quite a price considering he had been successful on his last outing. It’s an important factor for punters not to be put off by the long odds of a fancied horse given the number of long odds winners at previous Cheltenham Festivals.
Another important Cheltenham statistic for picking winners is that three of the four championship race winners last year had won last time. Big Buck’s (World Hurdle), Big Zeb (Queen Mother Chase) and Binocular (Champion Hurdle) were all victorious in their final warm-up race before the festival, which correlated into winning form at the Festival. This is another statistic illustrating the importance of the previous race and if that was at Cheltenham, then even better because course form is another common factor for a profitable Cheltenham betting campaign.
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