Festival Plate Tips and Betting

Festival Plate Preview

A handicap chase over 2m 4.5 furlongs on the new course. Formerly known as the Mildmay of Flete for many years and is a race where the Martin/David Pipe yard has an exceptional record, scoring seven victories between 1997 and 2014.

It is also worth noting that Venetia Williams has had three wins since 2007 so they are two trainers to very much note in this race.

Festival Plate Last Ten Winners

Table below shows the last ten winners of the race, their age and weight at the time of winning, trainer, jockey and odds (starting price).

YearHorseAgeTrainerJockeyPrice
2017Road To Respect6-10-13N MeadeB Cooper14/1
2016Empire Of Dirt9-10-11CA MurphyBJ Cooper16/1
2015Darna9-10-11K BaileyD Bass33/1
2014Ballynagour8-10-9D PipeT Scudamore12/1
2013Carrickboy9-10-5Miss V WilliamsL Treadwell50/1
2012Salut Flo7-10-10D PipeT Scudamore9/2F
2011Holmwood Legend10-10-6P RodfordK Burke25/1
2010Great Endeavour6-10-1D PipeD Cook18/1
2009Something Wells8-10-7Miss V WilliamsMr W Biddick33/1
2008Mister McGoldrick11-11-7Mrs S SmithD Elsworth66/1


Festival Plate Trends

Cheltenham Festival handicap trends are always worth taking notice of and this race is no exception.

16 / 16Had placed no more than 11 times over the distance or further
16 / 16Had placed no more than twice at Cheltenham (Including wins)
16 / 16Had run no more than 7 times that season
16 / 16Had won no more than two races that season
16 / 16Had previously ran a race in the month of March during its career
15 / 16Held an official rating no more than 4lbs higher than the race average
15 / 16Were sent off 12/1 or bigger
14 / 16Sent off between 9/2 & 16/1 on its last start
14 / 16Carried under 11 stone


Festival Plate Trends Analysis

Yet again we see stats that throw up the need for carrying a weight in a handicap of under 11st at the Cheltenham Festival with only three of the past twenty winners having carried 11st or above.

Horses racking up a sequence of wins in the build up are perhaps best avoided as none of the last 16 winners had won more than twice that season, so keeping under the radar of the handicapper to a certain extent.

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 Trainer Statistics

The table below outlines some of the top trainers record in the Festival Plate over the last ten years

TrainerRunnersWinsPlaces (Inc Wins)Win LSPEach Way LSP
David Pipe213616.509.63
Venetia Williams192466.0040.82
Sue Smith51262.0041.88
Kim Bailey41130.0017.63
C A Murphy21215.0013.63
Noel Meade11114.008.75
Nicky Henderson1701-17.00-15.62
Paul Nicholls1402-14.00-10.62
Jonjo ONeill1002-10.00-7.12
Nigel Twiston-Davies 9 0 2 -9.00 -3.25
As previously mentioned, two training yards have dominated this race recently with David Pipe and Venetia Williams having five wins between them in the last eleven years as well as filling a further five placings!

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 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 Plate

OLBG member ”eden3264” likes Last Goodbye:

" I will take a shot that the blinkers/tongue tie combo that worked wonders for Last Goodbye on his last run will do so again. This Milenary gedling had good form prior to the use of the b/t combo, including a solid 5th of 22 in the Close Brothers Chase at last year's Festival, but clearly something was going amiss in the subsequent races at Punchestown and Navan. Goes well fresh, lightly raced, and the way he ran and won last time will be perfect for today’s race."

Details of more tips and discussion from the OLBG forum on this race can be found here

Next up on Day 3 is the Mares Novice Hurdle Check out the tips and race preview here.