Festival Plate PreviewA handicap chase over 2m 4.5 furlongs on the new course. This is a race where David Pipe has an exceptional recent record, scoring 6 victories already this decade. It is also worth nothing that Venetia Williams has a hat trick of wins since 2007 so they are two trainers to very much note in this race.
Festival Plate TrendsCheltenham Festival handicap trends are always worth taking notice of and this race is no exception. The class of handicaps at the Festival has been going up in recent years with higher and higher rated runners so this trend rules out less and less runners each year yet is still very important. Of the last 10 winners, 9 had been rated 135 or higher. There are five other trends that 8 of the last 10 winners have met so any selection you make for this race should correspond with at least a few of those ideally. Amongst those trends are horses aged 8 or over winning, having run at least once since November 1st and carrying 10-10 or less.
|9/10||were rated 135 or higher|
|8/10||were aged 8 or older||8/10||carried 10st 10lb or less|
|8/10||aged between six and nine|
|8/10||had their last run that year|
|8/10||had run at least 3 times since November 1st|
|6/10||finished in the first 4 on their last completed start|
|6/10||had won a race wince November 1st|
OLBG member Micko70 has a set of trends he's been working to for this race and he's narrowed it down to just three runners from the early entries.
Festival Plate AnalysisThis race seems to have thrown up some quite concise trends and if you add into the mix that the Irish raiders have only won this race once since 1951 we could have very few contenders left once applying the statistics. Yet again we see stats that throw up the need for carrying a weight in a handicap of under 11st at the Cheltenham Festival. Don't be afraid to take a chance on a bigger price selection or even split your stakes and back two in this race as the favourite has a poor record here with just two winning favourites since 1999!
Festival Plate Last Ten WinnersTable below shows the last ten winners of the race, their age and weight at the time of winning, trainer, jockey and odds (starting price).
|2016||Empire Of Dirt||9-10-11||CA Murphy||BJ Cooper||16/1|
|2015||Darna||9-10-11||K Bailey||D Bass||33/1|
|2014||Ballynagour||8-10-9||D Pipe||T Scudamore||12/1|
|2013||Carrickboy||9-10-5||Miss V Williams||L Treadwell||50/1|
|2012||Salut Flo||7-10-10||D Pipe||T Scudamore||9/2F|
|2011||Holmwood Legend||10-10-6||P Rodford||K Burke||25/1|
|2010||Great Endeavour||6-10-1||D Pipe||D Cook||18/1|
|2009||Something Wells||8-10-7||Miss V Williams||Mr W Biddick||33/1|
|2008||Mister McGoldrick||11-11-7||Mrs S Smith||D Elsworth||66/1|
|2007||Idole First||8-10-7||Miss V Williams||A OKeeffe||12/1|
Festival Plate PreviewThree training yards have dominated this race recently with David Pipe, Nicky Henderson and Venetia Williams having eight wins between them in the last eleven years!
It makes sense to assume that a race where a trainer has had previous success at the Festival will be targeted again in the future so make note of any entries from these three powerful yards.
Look out for horses who have run well at the Festival before (or who have experienced the phenomenon) as they are usually equipped to run well there again.
With a 66/1, 50/1, two at 33/1 and a 25/1 winner in the last ten years in the Festival Plate it would seem that taking a speculative approach is the best policy to this race!
OLBG Forum Tips For The Festival PlateTipping early on the handicaps is also difficult with less certainty over the runners but probably the most convincing case in this race has been made by Sticky99:
"John's Spirit has been mentioned by a couple of shrewd pundits and looks very interesting, potentially a plot horse from McManus. Won the Paddy Power off 139 in 2013 and finished 2nd off 156 a year later. He finished last season finishing 5th in the Ryanair when rated 160 and 3rd behind the impressive Don Cossack at Aintree. Has been underperforming during the winter on unsuitable soft/heavy ground, which he has never historically performed strongly on, however this has allowed him to slip to 145 and is well up to winning a festival off this mark."
You can read more on this race on the OLBG Forum. The forum thread includes an extensive preview including two decent priced tips from OLBG member puttingtheworkin.