There are a few things in life you should really try to avoid.
Piers Morgan. Giving David Moyes a six year contract. Head-butting a player when you’re the manager of a wee club in the North East of England.
But there’s really no excuse to get to day one of the Cheltenham Festival without having DONE YOUR HOMEWORK.
Don’t panic though. Because while the Paddy Power Blog is
busy watching the racing slaving away at our desks we’ve put together the key stats to help you pick a winner at Cheltenham 2014 in under a minute.
If you’ve more time have a gander at our Go Cheltmental micro site.
1.30 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
- 15 of the last 17 winners won their last race
- The Irish have had 12 of the last 22 winners
Irving could get favourite backers off to a flyer but the Irish challenge looks strong. Has Ruby on the right one between Vautour and Wicklow Brave?
2.05 Arkle Chase
- Five of the last 13 winners were the top rated hurdler in the field
- 25 of the last 27 winners finished 1st or 2nd last time out
Champagne Fever is on a hat-trick of Festival wins. But Rock on Ruby is a former Champion Hurdle winner who switched to fences earlier this season. Trifolium burst a few bubbles at Leopardstown and is improving.
2.40 Festival Handicap Chase
- Nine of the last 13 winners came from the first four in the market
- 12 of the last 13 winners carried less than 11st
The first handicap of the meeting will wreck your head more than a bumper book of Sudoko puzzles – and last year’s Pertemps winner Holywell is the 7/1 fav.
3.30 Champion Hurdle
- 25 of the last 30 winners won their previous race
- Just two of the last seven favourites have won
Reigning champ Hurricane Fly could make history with a third Champion Hurdle win. But The New One and Our Conor were two of the most impressive winners here last year while My Tent or Yours is unbeaten this season. A very close call.
4.00 Mares Hurdle
- Quevega is going for a record SIXTH win in this race
- Novices have been placed in three of the last six contests
By 4.05pm Willie Mullins’ mare could become the most successful horse in Festival history. But stablemate Glens Melody has a decent each-way shout.
4.40 4M National Hunt Chase
- Nine of the last 12 winners were 1st or 2nd last time out
- Favourites have won three of the last four contests
A marathon for amatuer riders with Foxrock, Shutthefrontdoor and Shotgun Paddy all boasting strong claims at the head of the market.
5.15 Novices Handicap Chase
- Four of the last five winners won last time out
- The top-weight has won two of the last three years
Present View was a 10-length winner on his last start at Kempton while Manyriverstocross ran Oscar Whisky close at Sandown. Pendra had three entries this week but connections settled on this target.
- Cheltenham Tip Cheat Sheet: Barry Geraghty gives you his best tips for every day of the Festival
- Cheltenham Tip Cheat Sheet: Get Ruby Walsh’s tips for every day of the festival and a 4,030/1 Lucky 15!
- Cheltenham 2014 Infographic: Everything you need to know about the world’s greatest racing Festival