Using an elimination trends method there is one horse that stands out in terms of value for the Midlands National on Saturday. This method involves starting with strong trends and working your way down until you have eliminated all the runners that don't meet the strongest trends. The ones I looked at for this race are as follows -:
14/14 – Aged 9 or younger
13/14 – Had won between 1-4 times over fences before
12/14 – Carried 10-12 or less
12/14 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
11/14 – Won by an Irish bred horse
11/14 – Had raced within the last 8 weeks
10/14 – Carried 10-9 or less
10/14 – Had never run at Uttoxeter before
10/14 – Officially rated 133 or less
10/14 – Unplaced favourites
That gives us a strong trends selection in 40/1 shot THEMANFROM MINELLA which is worth an each-way wager. He looks a hit or miss horse with 2 wins and a 2nd but 3 PU's from his last 6 outings, however at the prices and with him having guaranteed winning form on heavy going, I'm prepared to take a chance at the prices.
The GeeGeez Pace angles for this race suggest that Mid-Division is where you want to be and looking at the recent trainer stats and jockey stats, I must admit to liking the chances of 25/1 shot PLUS JAMALS. The trainer has a 23% Win Strike-Rate over the last month with 45% of his runners hitting the frame. The 3lb claimer Ross Chapman has a 33% strike-rate and 48% place record with his rides. Throw in the 33% Win S/R of the sire Caballo Raptor with a 67% place record and we have ourselves a solid trainer/jockey/sire stat contender at a price.
All these stats and filters can be found on GeeGeez Gold.
Time and other work have really conspired against me this week. Cheltenham analysis is a full-time job and you need a lot of luck and time to do it justice. Thankfully, the flat season is just a few weeks away and is much more reliable and profitable for me over the years, can't wait to use the power of GeeGeez Gold to unlock some value bets in the big races for the 2018 flat season. However, there is still one day left of the festival, so let's see what we can find in < 10 mins!
1:30 TRIUMPH HURDLE – MR ADJUDICATOR 1pt e/w @ 8/1
2:10 COUNTY HURDLE – MOON RACER 1pt e/w @ 22/1
2:50 ALBERT BARTLETT – ENNISCOFFEY OSCAR 1pt e/w @ 22/1
3:30 GOLD CUP – DEFINITLY RED 1pt win @ 12/1, TOTAL RECALL 1pt e/w @ 22/1
4:10 FOXHUNTERS – ON THE FRINGE 1pt e/w @ 16/1
4:50 MARTIN PIPE – BRILLARE MOMENTO 1pt e/w @ 33/1 & BRAVE EAGLE 1pt e/w @ 40/1
5:30 GRAND ANNUAL – GARDE LA VICTOIRE 1pt e/w @ 25/1
I'll admit it, I have not looked at jumps racing at all this season, sometimes it is good to come in blind. All I have done is look at GeeGeez Gold, through a number of reports and stats to produce shortlists and look for value. Here are my thoughts, all stats and data courtesy of GeeGeez Gold.
1:30 Supreme Novice Hurdle – FIRST FLOW 1pt E/W @ 11/1
First Flow has won his last 2 races by an aggregate of 30 lengths!
Some things never change, a short-priced, strong-looking Willie Mullins contender with plenty of speed & stamina and ability to act in the heavy conditions that are looking likely for the opening day. GETABIRD looks a strong contender but I've seen plenty of them lose over the years so I'm going to go with a bit of value with FIRST FLOW each-way at 11/1. Now I do have a problem with the trainer/jockey record at the track over the last few years but this runner did step up markedly on his previous 2 wins when scoring impressively by 10 lengths last time out and both his wins have come in very heavy going, he also has a win in a 16-runner field so that is also a plus in his favour.
2:10 ARKLE TROPHY – SAINT CALVADOS 2pt WIN @ 3/1
Elan Definition : Enthusiastic vigor and liveliness!
Another Mullins Hotpot in FOOTPAD but there are a lot of positives about SAINT CALVADOS who has won all 3 of his chase starts, seemingly jumping very impressively along the way. I must admit the trainer is a new name to me, but he obviously would have learned from the best, having operated a satellite yard for Nicky Henderson for many years. I have never seen the in-running comment “jumped with elan” before so I'll take that as a positive sign that this chaser could be a bit special.
2:50 ULTIMA HANDICAP CHASE – COGRY & SHANTOU FLYER 1pt E/W @ 20/1
Horses For Courses – Another invaluable GeeGeez Gold Report!
4 horses here have a good record at the course – COGRY, VICENTE, SHANTOU FLYER and SINGLEFARMPAYMENT. I must admit I like the look of both COGRY and SHANTOU FLYER who are both priced at a generous looking 20/1 based on their course form and likely suitability to conditions. Cogry is especially interesting, having beaten Singlefarmpayment in October and with a 40% record on heavy going should relish the conditions. Twiston-Davies is in form and Jamie Bargary takes off a handy 3lb – the pair teamed up to land the Imperial Cup at the weekend. Shantou Flyer has no wins on heavy but he has run a couple of massive 2nd's in Grade 3 handicap chases at the course this year on heavy conditions and the first-time tongue tie and step up to 3 miles at the course could see him go very close. Let's hope I've picked the right two specialists!
3:30 CHAMPION HURDLE – MY TENT OR YOURS 1pt E/W @ 25/1
Check out that 85% place percentage over hurdles!
OK, so this is one favourite I don't feel comfortable opposing in BUVEUR D'AIR who should take all the beating but last year's 2nd looks a bit overpriced with question marks over a lot of the others in terms of class and going. MY TENT OR YOURS Cheltenham form reads 222221 and if we are looking for one to hit the frame or capitalise should anything else happen, it looks the most solid e/w contender at the prices, given that only Buveur D'Air prevented him from winning both the Champion and Aintree hurdle last season. How many other horses do you know that are 6/6 with hitting the frame at Cheltenham, often at the highest level? Faugheen is interesting in first-time cheekpieces also, especially given his previous festival form and raw ability, last 2 runs have looks dubious though.
4:10 MARES HURDLE – LA BAGUE AU ROI 1pt E/W @ 7/1
Check out those sire stats for Doctor Dino! Strong!
Yes, I'm taking on another heavy odds-on shot with an each-way poke. You don't get anywhere backing odds-on shots in heavy going over time, especially when it's really competitive over the toughest track on the planet. So, I've gone for the Greatrex/Johnson runner LA BAGUE AU ROI each-way at 13/2 who should be in the frame and again could capitalise if the favourite has an off-day. What I particularly like are the very strong sire stats, overall, over hurdles and over this kind of trip and age range. OK, this runner is responsible for 7 of those wins, but still…Warren Greatrex is also bang in form and has a particularly good record when teaming up with Richard Johnson, thanks to the Trainer/Jockey Combo report.
4:50 NH Challenge Cup – PYLONTHEPRESSURE 1pt E/W @ 18/1
Cannot argue with those trainer stats, recent & course form!
OK, so the words Amateur and Novice should really set off all the warning bells in your head that you might expect. Still, it's a Cheltenham race so we are really looking for a decent jockey and an in-form runner. I'm going for a small e/w bet on the Mullins/Katie Walsh runner PYLONTHEPRESSURE. She is one of the best jockeys in the field, bar the likes of Mr Codd on the favourite but again 11/2 doesn't interest me as much as 16/1 each-way for one of the least exposed runners in the field from a good stable. Not a race to go nuts in!
5:30 CLOSE BROTHERS NOVICE HC CHASE – LE ROCHER 1pt E/W @ 25/1
Solid Greens across the board for Le Rocher!
I LOVE the Instant Expert feature of GeeGeez Gold. I had little interest or shortlist contenders in this race so I basically just removed all horses that had no wins on heavy going and then looked at the data. For me LE ROCHER looks excellent value here with 5/7 wins on heavy, including a win here at Cheltenham, no problems with this class of race either. Has 3/5 places at this distance so the 1 win from 6 does not bother me, the other stats are solid and the price is right for an each-way play. Nick Williams also has a great record at the track over the last 5 years.
So, there you go – all these stats from GeeGeez Gold at a glance. Can highly recommend you signup for a 1-month try for just £1.