The Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Steeple Chase is another of the newer races, having been introduced in 2005. 10 of the 12 runnings of the race have been won by an Irish-trained runner, while Philip Hobbs has been the only trainer able to win it for the home team, having done it twice in 2012 & 2014, with Balthazar King. The format of the race has changed from a handicap to a conditions race, which will make some of the trends less relevant. Last year’s race was subsequently awarded to Josies Orders from Any Currency but from a trends point of view, we are taking result on the day as the result (e.g. Any Currency as winner).
Below we take a look at the trends for the past 10 years:
In past 10 years:
Horses aged 8 to 10: 8-13-82
Horses aged 11 or older: 2-15-66
In past 10 years, 8 of the 10 winners were aged 8 to 10
Both winners aged 11+ had placed in the previous 2 renewals before winning it.
Irish bred: 7-20-88
French bred: 3-7-46
GB bred: 0-2-21
7 of 10 winners were Irish bred, though they have represented 55.3% of the total runners.
Only 2 of the 21 GB bred horses have made the frame.
Horses rated 135 or higher: 7-15-77
Horses rated 134 or lower: 3-14-82
Higher rated horses have fared best recently, with the last 8 winners were all officially rated 134 or higher, however as this race will no longer be run as a handicap, this is less important, all geldings will be running off same weights, irrelevant of handicap mark.
8 of 10 winners had finished 1st or 2nd in one of last 2 chase starts
8 of 10 winners posted an RPR of 127+ on last chase start
9 of 10 winners had run 2 to 5 times that season
9 of 10 winners had run 11+ times over fences (exception had run in 7 chases & 5 point to points)
9 of 10 winners had won over 3M+ (exception had won over 2M 6F and had been placed in 3 of 4 runs over CD)
6 of 10 winners had won or placed over this CD (2 exceptions having first course start and other 2 failed to complete on only run on the Cross Country course)
4 of 7 Irish-trained winners had run over hurdles that season (2 of 3 exceptions had run in a point to point)
Defending Cross Country Handicap Chase winner (Any Currency: 09153430 (1-3-8)
Hogan Memorial Cross Country Chase winner (Auvergant): 11342006 (2-3-8)
Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase winner (Cantlow): 461P3822 (1-4-8)
Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase winner (Urgent De Gregaine): 4558P12 (1-2-7)
Risk Of Thunder Chase winner (Cantlow): 9P23P704 (0-3-8)
6 of 10 winners had run in the Glenfarclas Handicap Chase, finishing 3F17RO2
4 of 10 winners had run in the Glenfarclas Chase, finishing 2318
4 of 10 winners ran in last year's race, finishing 1402
3 of 10 winners ran in the Hogan Memorial Cross Country Chase, finishing 112
2 of 10 winners ran in Pat Taaffe Handicap Chase, finishing 9P
2 of 10 winners ran in Showcase Trophy, finishing 11 (both Balthazar King)
6 of 10 winners ran in a chase at previous Cheltenham Festival (5 Cross Country & 1 4M NH novice Chase)
Irish trained runners: 7-23-87
British trained runners: 3-6-69
French-trained runners: 0-0-3
Irish trainers (7-23-87) have won 7 of the 10 runnings & filled almost 80% of the places from approximately 54.7% of the total runners.
Enda Bolger (3-8-28) dominated this race in its early days, winning 4 of the first 5 runnings, however he has filled just 4 places from 20 runners in last 7 years.
Philip Hobbs (2-2-9) trained Balthazar King to win this in 2012 & 2014.
Martin Keighley (1-2-4) trained Any Currency to finish 2nd-2nd-1st in last 3 years.
Peter Maher (1-1-3) trained Big Shu to finish 1st & 3rd in 2013 and 2014.
Tony Martin (1-0-4) trained Rivage D’Or to win this in 2015.
Willie Mullins (0-3-11) trained runner-up in 2013 and 3rd & 4th in 2015.
Gordon Elliot (0-2-4) saddled Silver Birch to finish 2nd in 2007 and Bless The Wings to be 3rd in 2016.
Paul Nicholls (0-1-9) has seen just 1 of his 14 runners make the frame in race’s history.
Richard Johnson (2-0-5) has ridden Balthazar King to victory twice.
Adrian Heskin (1-2-5) & Andrew Lynch (1-1-5) have each ridden winner and a placed finisher while Barry Cash (1-0-2) rode the winner in 2013.
Aidan Coleman (1-1-3) has ridden Any Currency to finish 1st & 2nd in last 2 runnings.
Davy Russell (1-1-7) rode the winners in 2006 & 2015.
Robbie Power (0-2-3) & Katie Walsh (0-2-7) have been each ridden a couple of placed finishers.
No strong trend on prices.
A New Story (2010), Big Shu (2013), Rivage D’Or (2015) & Any Currency (2016) have been the 4 double-figure priced winners and 20 of the 39 places have been filled by horses priced 11/1 or bigger.
Favourites (1-3-10) have won just 1 of the last 10 runnings giving a level stakes loss of 6.50.
Based on the trends from the past 10 years you are looking for a horse:
- Aged 8 to 10 (or aged 11+ that has won/placed in the race before)
- Officially rated 134+
- Had 2 to 5 runs this season
- Had run in past 40 days (or had last run in X-Country race at November/December meeting)
- Run at least 11 times over fences
- Won over 3M+
- Run over hurdles (or won a point to point) this season (if trained in Ireland)
- Won or placed in Cross Country Chases at December/January meetings
- Finished in first 2 Hogan Memorial Cross Country Chase
- Finished in first 4 in 2016 Cross Country Chase
- Won a banks race at the 2016 Punchestown Festival
- Trained in Ireland or by Philip Hobbs or Martin Keighley
- Ridden by Richard Johnson, Adrian Heskin, Andrew Lynch or Davy Russell