horse racing

The 2013 Cheltenham Festival: The Fallout…

That’s it, it’s over! 4 days of high octane National Hunt action consigned to the form book and, for some, time to look forward to the 2014 renewal!

Personally I like to look back at the weeks proceedings now that the dust has begun to settle and see what comes to light from the various angles I look at and utilise.

Here are some of my thoughts, analysis and stats digging from the week that was Cheltenham 2013…

#Some of the figures sourced from the excellent Proform database – Figures from the 2007 – 2012 Festivals


NTF 2013 Cheltenham Festival: The Fallout…

Before I get stuck into the facts and figures it would be rude of me not to start with something that is personal to the Blog…

My word didn’t the boy Oscara do well…

I have no financial interest in this horse but I feel like I’ve been part of his journey for the past 18 months or so and boy didn’t he run his heart out in the World Hurdle!! Yes I’m talking about NTF’s adopted son OSCARA DARA who finished a gallant 6th in the World Hurdle on Thursday. This was his first attempt at 3 miles and his first run in Grade 1 company and he didn’t disgrace himself one little bit. I distinctly remember turning to Mrs NTF when they were at 3 out and saying “Bloody hell Oscara Dara’s still in there with a chance!” He never really made up much ground on the leaders from that point but he stuck to his guns and I’m sure he gave all connected with him a wonderful day. Well done Oscara, you did Phil and team proud 🙂


The older brigade struggled to land any sort of blow…

The festival isn’t a place for the older legs (10yo+) and yet again they returned a below par set of figures over the 4 days…

10yo+ runners at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival – 0/65 | 0% S/R | -£65.00 BFLSP – W&P 9/65 | 14% S/R

As a group they did marginally under-perform based on market expectations.

Yet again it was the younger legs that triumphed over the 4 days and it does again go to suggest that you want plenty in your favour before pitching in with the older brigade at the Festival.


Those German bred hurdlers failed to get on the scoresheet again…

(Ger) Bred Hurdlers at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival – 0/5 | 0% S/R | -£5.00 BFLSP – W&P 2/5 | 40% S/R

OK there were only a handful to have tried this year but significantly one of them was the red-hot favourite for the Neptune Novices Hurdle, PONT ALEXANDRE (6/4 Fav). That now stretches the record of German bred hurdlers at the Festival to 0/85 going back to the 2006 renewal.

Whether you think that is significant or not is entirely up to yourself, personally I think there is something to it although, unlike popular belief, I wouldn’t rule a horse out based on one stat. It is, however, something I would give serious consideration to when making my selections, there is clearly something about the Festival environment, ground, pace… that they don’t enjoy.


CUE CARD fulfilled his Dosage credentials in style…

Thankfully they made the correct decision to go for the Ryanair Chase, it has long looked the perfect race for him and he landed the pot in fine style. Hopefully they now keep him to similar trips and don’t try and go after the 3 mile prizes, in my opinion he just does not have the inherited stamina to trouble the top Grade 1 3 mile chasers.

My post on the subject back in September 2012 played out just as I hoped and I still stand by my observations…

>>>Can Cue Card step up and be king for a day?


Ruby seems to be ‘struggling’ over the larger obstacles…

Struggling is maybe not the correct word but he had 8 rides over fences last week and they finished PU, 4th, 4th, F, 6th, PU, F, PU! For a jockey of Ruby’s standards that’s well below par.

If we look at the form of his hurdle runners – 1st, 1st, 1st, 3rd, 18th, 20th, 18th, 8th, 2nd, 14th, 3rd – there really is no comparison. Interestingly the Win & Placed runners came from OUTWITH the handicaps with his handicap rides finishing 18th, 20th, 18th & 14th.

He also, of course, rode the winner of the bumper.

This isn’t a new ‘phenomenon’ either. Take a look at his record at the last 5 festivals…

Ruby Walsh record at the Festival (09 – 13) Hurdles – 17/53 | 32% S/R | +£36.25 BFLSP – W&P 27/53 | 51% S/R

Ruby Walsh record at the Festival (09 – 13) Chases -3/43 | 7% S/R | -£35.08 BFLSP – W&P 7/43 | 16% S/R

Ruby Walsh record at the Festival (09 – 13) Bumpers – 1/5 | 25% S/R | +£23.39 BFLSP – W&P 3/5 | 60% S/R

Has he just not had the ammo over fences recently? Is there more to it? At the very least it makes for interesting reading and something to ponder over…


Bryan Cooper is a young man we should all have on our radar…

With 3 wins and 3 placed efforts from 9 rides it’s safe to say young Cooper made sure we all knew who he was by the end of the week. There is more to it that just the bare facts though, he also showed us that as a rider he is extremely adaptable…

Benefficient – Ridden from the front and got him back past 2 class horses when headed.

Our Conor – Sat comfortably in behind a fast pace and made his move at the right time on a very classy horse.

Ted Veale – Sat out the back of a 28 runner field, cruised through from the back at the right time and pounced at the last.

Three very different rides but the same outcome; victory. Looking closer at his other 6 rides for the week White Star Line traded at 1.55 in-running (sp 15.50) before finishing 3rd, Lyreen Legend traded at 2.06 in-running (sp 13.24) before finishing 2nd, First Lieutenant traded at 1.41 in-running (sp 3.15) before finishing 2nd and Bog Warrior traded at 2.10 in-running (sp 11.00) before finishing 5th. In fact ALL 6 of his mounts that didn’t win at some point traded at least half the odds of their starting price in-running. This is one stylish and cool young rider and we are sure to see plenty more of him in the year,s to come.


Do you want download my exclusive 2013/14 NTF Cheltenham Guide? It has 4 beaten runners from the 2013 festival that I think will make an impact at the 2014 festival. Head over to the following page – 



Another ‘Dosage weak’ contender bit the dust in the Gold Cup…

Those of you that will have downloaded any of my free Gold Cup guides or Dosage guides will know Dosage weak runners in the Gold Cup (those with less 8 points in their profile) have a poor record – in fact the last winner to fit this profile was Nortons Coin (100-1)! This year Silviniaco Conti tried to defy that stat and to be fair to him he gave it his best shot, however, the jumping gear failed 3 out and that was the end of that. Would he have won if he stood up? Impossible to say but I have my doubts and although it wasn’t his Dosage figures that beat him it is another ‘Dosage Weak’ beaten runner to add to the list.


Runners that had their festival prep at Sandown drew a blank…

That’s not just Imperial Cup weekend by the way, I mean any runner who’s last start before the festival came at any Sandown Park meeting. Take a look at the figures…

2013 Cheltenham Festival runners that had last start at Sandown – 0/24 | 0% S/R | -£24.00 BFLSP – W&P 1/24 | 4% S/R

On it’s own that maybe isn’t too significant but if we look back at the previous 5 festivals and apply the same filter we get the following –

09-13 Cheltenham Festival runners that had last start at Sandown – 2/135 | 1.5% S/R | -£85.01 BFLSP – W&P 17/135 | 12.5% S/R

So this year wasn’t a blip and they have been under-performing in the past few season’s at the Festival. Well worthy of keeping these figures in mind…


Bobs Worth spat in the face of the King George/Lexus runners…

As regular readers know I’m a big fan of the King George/Lexus/Gold Cup angle (with good reason as well), Bobs Worth, however, couldn’t give a monkeys about it! I’ll be honest I thought his goose was cooked as they turned for home…Bobs Worth clearly had different ideas however! He is a well deserved winner of the race and although using my own methods I couldn’t have him (he was strong on Dosage but not nearly as strong on the trends) I do rate him as a top class Grade 1 animal. His preparation next year for his defence will be interesting; will they take in the King George or the Lexus Chase?


A P McCoy finished with a flourish…

…but then again he usually does. Plenty was being made about the champ not having a winner as we entered the final day and then BANG! 2 winners and a 2nd in the Gold Cup and normal service is resumed. Take a look at the following…

McCoy 2013 figures Tues & Wed – 0/9 | 0% S/R | -£9.00 BFLSP – W&P 2/9 | 22% S/R

McCoy 2013 figures Thurs & Fri – 2/9 | 22% S/R | -£2.22 BFLSP – W&P 4/9 | 44% S/R

The thing is this isn’t a new phenomenon. Look at the same stats for the past 5 festivals…

McCoy figures Tues & Wed – 2/45 | 4% S/R | -£26.40 BFLSP – W&P 15/45 | 33% S/R

McCoy figures Thurs & Fri – 7/41 | 17% S/R | +£45.23 BFLSP – W&P 16/41 | 39% S/R

Is the difference purely down to his style of riding being more suited to the New course than the Old course? From the figures we have he is actually slightly under-performing on the first 2 days and over-performing on the last 2 days. Is there another factor to it? Is it maybe just the connections that he rides for have horses that are more suited to the races on the 3rd and 4th days? A mix of the 2 maybe? Something different? I wouldn’t say there is anything conclusive from the above figures but again it’s something to keep in mind.

So what were your highlights of the 2013 Festival?

What was the most striking performance for you that left you wanting more?

Which runner disappointed you the most?

Let me know you Festival thoughts in the Comments box below .

Free NTF Cheltenham Guide: 2013/14…

I have compiled an exclusive FREE NTF guide looking at 4 beaten horses from the 2013 Cheltenham festival that I think could be major players at the 2014 Cheltenham festival.

To get your hands on this exclusive guide simply fill in your details in the box at the top of this post or go to the following page –


Download the ‘NTF 4 to follow from the Festival’ guide TODAY!

Ben (NTF)

10 responses to “The 2013 Cheltenham Festival: The Fallout…”

  1. Just for information re Bryan Cooper, Bog Warrior fractured a leg sometime during the race, it’s not a fatal injury but he likely to be out for a year

    • Hi Steve

      I didn’t actually know that. That is a blow for the horse and connections, thought Cooper gave him a fantastic ride, possibly even placed him better than the horses ability suggested.

      Thanks for the info.

      Ben (NTF)

  2. Just wanted to say well done for continuing to supply this fantastic load of info to betting novices such as myself. You certainly made Cheltenham a much more enjoyable experience and from a personal point of view I now view stats and trends as animportant part of my betting make-up. That’s down to people such as yourself. Thanks!

    • Hi Alex

      Thanks for your comment and great that my posts have had an influence on your own betting and made Cheltenham and even MORE enjoyable experience for you, always great to hear that.

      Many thanks – Ben (NTF)

  3. hi Ben,

    a great Cheltenham festival, with your info/selections combined with a few other sources I managed to plunder about 20 points from the bookies which while not spectacular I was more than happy with!

    Champagne Fever was a highlight (and with hindsight i should have stopped there as proceed to spend rest of festival eating away at profits!) used betvictors £50 money back offer to full effect. my confidence was boosted by ted walsh on the morning line, who commented on MTOYs breeding and said due to his sire, he could well be a ‘bridle’ horse who may struggle to pass rival up the hill – and that is exactly what happened! Small EW bet on Carrick Boy was another and i was pleased to see the Twiston-davis team on form – New One was very impressive.

    preparing myself for Aintree now which in my adopted liverpool is my home track, cant wait! and look forward to even more great analysis from yourself!

    keep up the great work, this site such a wealth of information.

    • Hi Josh

      20 points is great! It’s a tough 4 days and that is a tasty haul.

      Champagne Fever was a great way to start the Festival, fantastic ride from Ruby and played out just how I (and Ted Walsh) expected 🙂

      Glad you are enjoying the analysis and are utilizing it to your advantage.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

  4. A big thanks for providing a lot of useful and profitable info. as regards THE CHELT.FEST. VERY WELL DONE!!

    • Hi Tony

      Thanks for your comment and fantastic to hear you find the info on NTF useful and (most importantly) profitable.

      Plenty more to follow through the year.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

  5. thanks for your stats which i added to my own during the festival. only one stat let me down and that was the first time headgear which had a previous strike rate of 3% or something like that and there were I think 4 winners this year. So that stat is now being consigned to the bin. Keep up the good work and if you have anything for the upcoming aintree festival I would be pleased to recieve that as the trends are not as strong as the cheletneham stats. Thnak you. JOhn used

    • Hi John

      Thanks for the comment. Yes the 1st time headgear stat was smashed out of the water in style this year!

      Should be an Aintree guide in the pipeline soon mate.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

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