Now that was a serious weekend of National Hunt racing!
BANG! Cheltenham’s Showcase meeting. WALLOP! Aintree’s Old Roan Chase day.
If that double dunter didn’t get you’re jumping juices flowing then I suggest you pack up your bags now and leave. Go on, get out!
Seriously though that was a brilliant weekend of the National Hunt stuff and you can just sense that the big guns are about to roll.
Indeed look at some of the horses entered this weekend coming…
MANY CLOUDS, CUE CARD, DYNASTE, ROCK ON RUBY, DON COSSACK, ROAD TO RICHES, SILVINIACO CONTI, SAPHIR DU RHEU, CONEYGREE!!
But that’s to come, first we need to wrap up the weekend just past…
What we learned from the weekend: 24th & 25th October…
1. Once again the Showcase meeting proved to be a tricky place for the older runners…
And by older runners I mean those aged nine and above.
Here are the stats for that age group at this years Showcase meeting…
0/20 | 0% S/R | -£20.00 BFLSP – Win & Place 1/20 | 5% S/R
On it’s own it could be a blip so lets look at the same age group and take in the past six Showcase meetings (2010-2015)…
3/131 | 2% S/R | -£105.79 BFLSP – Win & Place 22/131 | 17 % S/R
Not good for those ‘oldies’, not good at all.
I’m not saying to blanket ignore the 9yo+ runners but clearly you want plenty in your favour when looking to back one of the older generation at the meeting.
Certainly something to keep in mind for the 2016 Showcase…
The stats are very much pointing towards the Cheltenham Showcase meeting being one for the younger and more progressive of beasts.
2. Paul Nicholls has started to flex his guns…
It was only a matter of time before the dominating powerhouse that is the Paul Nicholls operation started to stamp their authority.
And what better place for the champion trainer to do that than at the first Cheltenham and Aintree meetings of the season.
Here are his stats from Friday, Saturday & Sunday…
5/10 | 50% S/R | +£20.57 BFLSP – Win & Place 6/10 | 60% S/R (73% above expectation)
Those 10 runners produced a form line of 231612P111.
Even for Nicholls himself those are impressive figures.
Rather worryingly for the rest of the training ranks was the fact that once again Nicholls bagged the major weekend race. This time his big race hero was Sound Investment at Aintree in the Old Roan Chase.
Last season Nicholls showed impressive dominance in the major weekend races and the early signs this season are that he plans to pick up exactly where he left off from last term.
As always though Nicholls doesn’t just have the top end of the tree cornered. The master of Ditcheat also has plenty strength in depth and it was one of his ‘lesser’ runners that caught my eye over the weekend.
On Sunday his MARRACUDJA fired in an impressive round of hurdling to land the 1m 7.5f Novices’ Hurdle at Wincanton, winning by a very easy 8L.
The 4yo was very smart and efficient at his obstacles and looked to be travelling well within himself for the majority of the contest. When asked to knuckle down between the last two flights he found more than enough, giving the impression there was plenty more gas still left in the tank. He looks to have the build and pedigree of a chaser and will be an exciting recruit to the larger obstacles when making the switch. Word is he had a breathing op in the off season and that clearly helped him considerably and the signs are this well bred/related youngster will be an interesting one to follow.
Nicholls has his string rolling already and he looks set for ANOTHER dominant season.
Whilst Nicholls has hit the ground running one of the other major players is yet to really get his yard to click…
3. The David Pipe yard hasn’t really sparked into life yet…
11 runners at the weekend but no winners to show for it.
Too small a period to make a concrete assessment, however, so lets look a bit deeper.
Here are the Pipe stats for the last 14 days…
2/30 | 7% S/R | -£23.63 BFLSp – Win & Place 9/30 | 30% S/R
And further still the Pipe stats for the past 30 days, including any flat runners…
4/55 | 7% S/R | -£43.66 BFLSP – Win & Place 16/55 | 29% S/R
Something to worry about?
To be fair I’m not sure it is.
Last October he recorded a 15% S/R and ‘only’ seven winners but followed that up with 17 winners in November, with a 22% S/R to back it up.
That suggests he isn’t too concerned by the early skirmishes of the jumping season and would rather look ahead to some of the better prizes that await in the coming months.
Don’t be put off by Pipe’s ‘quiet’ spell, he’s most likely just fine tuning his squad for bigger and better prizes.
Doors to NTF 2015/16 closing…
With the Charlie Hall Chase about to romp into view that also means the doors to the full NTF service are about to slam shut.
The race-guides have started in red-hot form, with the three races covered producing two trend-topping winners and another that missed out by half-a-length.
To make sure you don’t miss your slot on the service simply pop along to the following page…
I look forward to seeing you in the NTF members area as I continue to slice through the major races using my tried and tested Trends & Dosage approach.