1.30 – Cheltenham – Wednesday 15th March 2023:
Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered As The Baring Bingham) (GBB Race) (Class 1)  (4yo+):
Distance: 2 miles 5 furlongs on the Old Course.
The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle is open to Novice Hurdlers of four years and upwards and is afforded Grade One status. It  has a habit of producing classier horses than either the Supreme or the Triumph with many of the winners already rated in the 150’s. Unlike the Supreme this race tends to be run at a steadier pace and suits speedier types who settle rather than stayers at the trip. It’s a race where those toward the fore of the market are the best angle into the race. This race has been an excellent trial for the Champion Hurdle. Given they tend to go relatively steady this race is not suited to keen types who are better off in the Supreme. A speedy type who has shown high class Novice form is the ideal type. 
Positive Trends to consider:
16 of the last 18 winners came from the top 4 in the betting
6 of the last 9 winners were unbeaten over hurdles
12 of the last 14 winners came from the top two-rated on BHA ratings
18 of the last 22 winners returned 17/2 or shorter
22 of the last 28 winners won last time out
27 of the last 28 winners finished 1st  or 2nd last time out
The Irish have won 13 of the last 20 renewals (8 of last 9)
Horses rated 150+ do well
11 of the last 14 winners had won a Graded Novice Hurdle
23 of the last 28 winners (including last 11) had won at least one bumper race
16 of the last 17 winners were aged 5 or 6 years-old
10 of the last 12 winners were aged 6
In the last 11 renewals Irish-trained horses have filled 21 of the 33 top 3 places
22 of the last 24 winners were NH bred
16 of the last 24 winners had won a graded race before
8 of the last 12 winners had won an Irish Point
Willie Mullins has won five renewals in the last 15 years
Gordon Elliott has won 2 of the last 5 renewals
Negative Trends to note:
Only 2 winners aged older than 6 has won since 1974
There has been only one four year old winner since 1991.
Horses aged 7 or older are 1 from 57 since 1988 but that was last year’s winner Sir Gerhard
Only two of the last 36 winners came from outside the top 5 in the betting
The last 19 Challow Hurdle winners have all been beaten
Ex-flat horses are 0 from 30 since 2005
After the victory by Marine Nationale yesterday, Good Land  has been heavily supported to make it a double for the yard. His victory in a Grade One at Leopardstown last time out warrants his place in this line up but the bare form leaves him with plenty to find with the principals in this race. That was his first excursion outside Maiden company on just his third start over hurdles so it would be unwise to dismiss him out of hand. His Trainer’s confidence may have the layers running for cover but he’s priced on the potential for better. Impaire Et Passe, the favourite, was the easy winner of the Grade two Moscow Flyer at Punchestown on just his second start over hurdles and has quickly risen to the top of the Novice ranks at the Willie Mullin’s yard. He steps up in trip but leaves the strong impression it will bring about further improvement. Gaelic Warrior comes here on the back of an easy win in handicap company and a tenuous line through Hey Johnny suggests he can get competitive with the favourite, even though jockey bookings suggest Impaire Et passe is the favoured of the two. Gaelic Warrior has a tendency to jump to his right, a trait he showed when relinquishing a winning opportunity in last season’s Boodles here. He is not bred to appreciate this marked step up in trip but he travels so well in his races he will give himself every chance of seeing it out. Champ Kiely is yet another representative of the Willie Mullins yard and he bounced back from a disappointment in the Grade One Royal Bond by winning from the front in the Grade One Lawlors last time out at Naas. He showed an admirable attitude in toughing out that race and he is not a horse to let loose on the front. His problem here is there are several who like to lead or race prominently and they could feasibly compromise each others chances. Hermes Allen is by far the best of the home contingent and this Irish Point winner has improved significantly from race to race in his three starts over hurdles. His easy win over You Wear It Well in the Grade One Challow at Kempton has been franked by the runner up who was a near eight length winner of a Grade two Novice since. He has proven his stamina and, although he probably needs to improve to beat his Irish opposition, that is not an impossibility after just three starts. He is versatile regarding ground conditions.
No selection.
2.10 – Cheltenham – Wednesday 15th March 2023:
Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (Registered As The Broadway Novices’ Chase) (GBB Race)  (Class 1) (5yo+):
Distance: Three miles 80 yards on the Old Course.
The Brown Advisory Novice Chase (previously known until recently as the RSA Chase) is afforded Grade One status and is open to Novice Chasers of five years old and upwards. 
Positive Trends to consider:
5 of the last 14 winners ran in the Ladbrokes Novice Chase 
The last 21 winners had run in a Graded Novice Chase
15 of the last 16 winners finished 1st  or 2nd in a G1/G2 over fences
25 of the last 28 winners had only one previous season over hurdles
 7 year-olds have won 13 of the last 16 renewals (18 of last 23)
11 of the last 17 winners won last time out
7 of the last 13 winners were beaten on their chase debut
8 of the last 15 winners had won a bumper before
8 of the last 16 favourites were successful
The last 8 winners were rated 150+
10 of the last 11 winners returned single-figures in the betting
20 of the last 22 winners had run between 3-5 times over fences
Every winner since 1997 had their chase debut the previous year
Irish bred horses are 21 from the last 26
11 of the last 16 winners had won a Grade 1 or 2 Chase
7 of the last 14 winners were trained in Ireland
Trainers Nicky Henderson, Willie M ullins and Paul Nicholls often do well in the race (11 of the last 19 between them)
25 of the last 30 winners were novice hurdling the previous season
6 of the last 13 winners ran in the Albert Bartlett the previous season
54 of the last 56 winners had run in the same calendar year
12 of the last 16 winners had raced at the Festival the previous year
The last 8 winners came from the top 3 in the betting market
Negative Trends to note:
No winner since 1992 was aged 9 or older
Just 4 winners younger than 7 since 1978
Avoid horses that had 2 full seasons over hurdles prior
Just 2 of the last 23 winners had run less than 3 times over fences
No winners of the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase (Feltham, Kempton 26th  Dec) have won gone onto win this race
French bred horses are 1 from 39  in the last 16 years, but last year’s winner L’Homme Presse was a French-bred
The Tizzard yard are 0 from 10 over the last 11 years
Avoid unbeaten horses (only 3 of the last 23 winners)
Mares are currently 0 from 11 in the race
Horses in headgear have a poor record
Gerri Colombe  is unbeaten in seven starts (six under rules) and he showed his will to win in the Scilly Isles at Sandown last time out. The step up in trip looks likely to suit and, although he has plenty form in testing conditions, he has victories in both G/S and yielding ground. He has been well on top at the finish in his last two starts, both Grade One Novice Chases, and he has the physical scope for plenty of further improvement. He deserves his place at the head of the market. Last season’s Ballymore Novices’ winner, Sir Gerhard, is next in the market but he has only had one start over fences and it told us very little. His price is based on reputation rather than substance and he makes limited appeal. The Real Whacker was being considered for a tilt at the Gold Cup and this C/D winner has impressed with his jumping in winning both his Chases to date. He has won on both good and soft ground and, although nineteen pounds inferior to Sir Gerhard over hurdles, he has proven himself to be a much better Chaser. Thyme Hill  is a high class staying hurdler who has had his attentions switched to fences late in his racing career. He has won two his three starts over fences, including the Grade One Kauto Star at Kempton last time out, but he doesn’t look a natural Chaser. He jumped better at Kempton than he did in his first two starts but this is a deeper race and he will need to improve to beat the favourite. Galia Des Liteaux made an early mistake and lost her confidence when pulled up in the Kauto Star won by Thyme Hill but she ran out an easy winner on her other two starts over fences, including beating The Goffer by 31 lengths into third last time out at Warwick. That rival has franked the form since and she has stacks of potential to progress again. Her seven pounds Mares’ allowance brings her into the mix despite the poor record of Mares in this race. At a big price Thunder Rock makes some appeal. He has been crying out for a step up in trip and the slower pace may help him iron out some of the customary mistakes he can make. Combination of soft ground and the longer trip raises a question but his price compensates for that unknown somewhat.
Galia Des Liteaux. 1. pts e/w. Available at 14/1. (Skybet – 1/5 odds first 4)
Thunder Rock. 0.75 pts e/w. Available at 22/1. (Skybet – 1/5 odds first 4)
2.50 – Cheltenham – Wednesday 15th March 2023:
Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (GBB Race)  (Class 1) (4yo+):
Distance: 2 miles 5 furlongs on the Old Course.
The Coral Cup is a Grade Three handicap run over 21 furlongs and is open to horses four years and upwards.  This is fiendishly competitive and, with a field of 26, there are likely to be more than a few hard luck stories. This is becoming a classy handicap favouring the better horses toward the top of the handicap and, with no upper limit applied to ratings, those at the top of the weights regularly have a mark in the 150’s.  Winners more often than not come here in good form. In common with many Festival handicaps the mark required to get into the race is stiff nowadays, being mid to late 130’s in recent seasons. To win this race a horse must have good tactical speed to hold a position and an ability to stay the trip to enable it to get home up the hill. Lightly raced hurdlers have a very good record in the race so unexposed runners with the potential to progress beyond handicaps are the ones to loo out for. 
Positive Trends to consider:
12 of the last 18 were 2nd  season hurdlers
18 of the last 22 winners raced less than 10 times over hurdles
10 of the last 13 winners had run at the Festival before (8 had top 4 finish)
10 of the last 14 winners hailed from the top 8 horses in the weights
9 of the last 14 winners were rated in the 140’s
14 of the last 23 winners aged 6 or 7
9 of the last 13 winners didn’t win last time out
12 of the last 17 winners hailed form the top 7 in the betting
21 of the last 28 winners won earlier that season
Respect JP McManus-owned runners
Respect trainers Nicky Henderson & Gordon Elliott (7 wins in last 13 years)
10 of the last 21 winners were French-Bred
15 of the last 29 won last time out
Respect Irish-trained runners (7 of the last 14)
Look for horses that had raced 4 or less times that season (12 of last 14 winners)
15 of the last 18 winners had run 32 days or longer ago 
Trainer Gordon Elliott is 3 from 12
5 year-olds do well from the small % that have run (win and place)
The last 4 winners wore headgear
Negative Trends to note:
Just one winning favourite in the last 19 years (2020)
Only 4 winners since 2000 had run in 10+ hurdles races
Horses aged 10+ are just 3 from 308 to even place since 1999
Just 5 winners since 2000 aged 8+
Horses rated 150+ don’t have an overall great record, although the 2019 winner was rated 151 and 2020 winner was 152
Willie Mullins won the race in 2018 and had the second in 2019, but overall has a bad record – 47 runners – just two placed inside the top 2 (1 from 44 since 2010)
We will restrict analysis in this race to those we are supporting.
HMS Seahorse  has experience of this Festival having been beaten just over three lengths in the Boodles over an extended two miles here last season. Gelded in January and, stepped up to an extended 20 furlongs for the first time at Navan the same month, he ran a clear lifetime best in winning going away. This slightly stiffer test is likely to suit and he could have more to offer, even form this eleven pound higher mark. Versatile regarding ground conditions, he has been given a short break in preparation for this. Hails from an in-form yard whose representative wasn’t beaten far in sixth in the Boodles yesterday.  
Good Risk At All  headed the market for this race last season but failed as first reserve to get in. Ensured his place in this season’s field by winning easily at Carlisle last October and, although well beaten the following month in a Grade Three handicap at Haydock, he raced too keenly over three miles and didn’t get home. Has been kept back for this since but won’t want the ground to dry out to much. Has a progressive profile and open to further progression after just seven starts over fences.  
HMS Seahorse. 1.5 pts e/w. Available at 17/2. (Betway – 1/5 odds first 7, BOG)
Good Risk At All. 1 pt e/w. Available at 14/1. (Generally available – 1/5 odds first 7, BOG)
3.30 – Cheltenham – Wednesday 15th March 2023:
Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race) (Class 1)  (5yo+):
Distance: Two miles on the Old Course.
The highlight of day two, the Queen Mother Champion Chase is a Grade One Chase run over two miles and is open to horses five years and upwards who have been allocated a mark of  130 or above by the BHA Handicapper. It is the ultimate test of jumping at top speed. Having the speed to go the gallop and the ability to quicken off that gallop in the latter stages are just two of the important assets required to win this race. Bold jumping at speed with very little or no error is just as important. It’s a myth that this race is won by 20 furlong horses, true 20 furlong horses are unlikely to be able to lay up with the pace of genuine two milers.
Positive Trends to consider:
13 of the last 22 winners ran in the Tingle Creek Chase that season
4 of the last 10 winners won the Clarence House Chase (Ascot) that season
24 of the last 38 had won at the Festival before
Paul Nicholls & Nicky Henderson have won 11 of the last 23 between them
Nicky Henderson has won 5 of the last 11
28 of the last 36 winners aged between 7-9
14 of the last 21 winners won last time out
17 of the last 20 winners had run that calendar year
39 of the last 41 winners returned 10/1 or shorter
16 of the last 23 winners returned 5/1 or shorter
8 of the last 16 winners were French-bred
12 of the last 20 winners were second season chasers
16 of the last 18 winners had run 2 or 3 times that season
20 of the last 24 winners came from the top 3 in the betting
16 of the last 23 winners ran in the previous season’s Arkle or Champion Chase
7 of the last 12 Arkle winners (previous season) to run have won
Past champions do well – 13 horses have won the CC more than once
Negative trends to note:
Only two winners priced 11/1 or bigger in the last 39 years
Just 1 winner in last 18 had run 4+ times that season
Horses that didn’t run in that calendar year have a bad record
Top Irish trainer, Willie Mullins, has just 1 win in the race (Energumene) (1 from 14)
Just 1 of the last 21 winners hadn’t won a Grade 1 Chase before
13 of the last 17 winners had run in no more than 16 chases
There have been just two winners older than ten since 1977
Dublin Chase winners are currently 0 from 4
Only 3 winners aged 6 or younger in the last 48 years
Just one 11 year-old winner in the last 44 years
5 of the last 7 odds-on favourites have lost
Just one Mare has ever won the race (Put The Kettle On, 2021)
It would be a surprise if this didn’t rest between the first three home in the Clarence House at Ascot. Edite De Gite narrowly beat Edwardstone on that occasion with Energumene  back in third. Edwardstone is taken to gain his revenge on this occasion but this doesn’t appeal from a betting perspective. It’s a race to watch and savour.
No Selection.
4.10 – Cheltenham – Wednesday 15th March 2023:
Glenfarclas Chase (A Cross Country Chase) (GBB Race) (Class 2)  (5yo+):
Distance: 3 miles 7 furlongs on the Cross Country Course.
This has never been a race in which we have a strong opinion and we will do what we always do, sit it out and just enjoy the spectacle.
No Selection.
4.50 – Cheltenham – Wednesday 15th March 2023:
Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup Handicap Grade 3 (CLASS 1) (5yo+):
Distance: 2 miles (1m 7f 199y)  on the Old Course.
Switched from the final day of the meeting due to the introduction of the Mares’ Chase it is now over just shy of two miles on the old course instead of just over two miles on the New course. 
Positive Trends to consider:
7 of the last 9 winners carried 11st or more
16 of the last 19 winners had run at the Festival before
8 of the last 19 winners ran in the previous renewal
Irish have won 4 of the last 10 renewals
9 of the last 13 winners came from outside the top 5 in the betting
10 of the last 14 winners novices or second season chasers
11 of the last 17 winners aged between 6-8
13 of the last 19 winners were aged 8 or older
Henderson, Nicholls, King-trained horses are respected
Paul Nicholls has won 4 of the last 19
Respect JP McManus-owned horses (4 winners, 11 placed)
11 of the last 12 winners were rated at least 138
5 year-olds have a good record (from few runners of that age that have run)
Novices have won 6 of the last 14 renewals
5 of the last 8 winners won after a 91+ day break
9 of the last 12 winners were rated between 138-147
10 of the last 12 winners rated between 138-150
7 of the last 9 winners carried 11st or more in weight
20 of the last 23 winners had run no more than 12 times over fences
Negative Trends to note:
Horses aged 10+ are just 3 wins from the last 27 renewals, but last year’s winner was a 10 year-old
Horses that last ran 45 days or more ago have seen just 8 winners since 1990
Last time  out winners are just 1 from last 16
Horses aged 6 or younger (from top 3 in the market) are just 1 from 34 since 2005
Only 2 of the last 18 winners were favourites
Just 2 winners since 2000 had run in more than 12 chases
Horses that won a handicap chase that season have a bad recent record
We will restrict analysis in this race to those that we are supporting.
This normally goes to a lightly raced Novice or second season Chaser.
Thyme White  has been absent longer than ideal for a typical winner of this race but he is at his best when fresh so he has a chance of bucking that trend. He would prefer quicker conditions but he has a win in soft ground to his name so he may get away with it. This is just his eighth start over fences as a second season Chaser and he has the scope for further improvement over the bigger obstacles. His top trainer has won this race four times and Thyme White has experience of this Festival having finished in midfield in the County Hurdle back in 2020.
Maskada  had every chance when falling two out at Fairyhouse on her reappearance in December and made amends for that when beating the useful Rebel Gold nearly three lengths at Limerick in heavy ground later the same month. She disappointed last month at Leopardstown but quicker ground combines with the step up to 21 furlongs and a few mistakes didn’t help her cause. She can run from just two pounds higher than her Irish mark here and the likely fast pace over two miles in soft ground will suit.  
Thyme White. 0.75 pts e/w. Available at 16/1. (Generally available – 1/5 odds first 6, BOG)
Maskada. 0.75 pts e/w. Available at 25/1. )Bet365 – 1/5 odds first 6, BOG)
5.30 – Cheltenham – Wednesday 15th March 2023:
Weatherbys Champion Bumper (A Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race) Grade 1 (CLASS 1) (4-6yo):
Distance: Two miles half a furlong on the Old Course.
This has never been a race in which we have dabbled in or studied.  It’s almost impossible to tell which of these is likely to show the most improvement. Late market moves, especially in respect of the Irish challengers, are worth noting but it’s a race that’s best watched. It invariably produces top quality future hurdlers/chasers even among those to finish down the field so it’s an interesting event for future reference.
No bet.