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The Full Great St Wilfred Stakes analysis

The Great St Wilfred Stakes is a 6f handicap worth plenty of dosh to the winner and it therefore attracts a big field each year with many of the top stables represented. Between 2011 and 2015 two trainers dominated proceedings – Richard Fahey and David O’Meara. In fact, O’Meara won 3 out of the 4 renewals between 2011 and 2014 and Richard Fahey won it in 2013 and 2015. Put simply, start by checking out their runners.

Richard Fahey’s Don’t Touch was a bit of a trends buster in 2015 as he became the first 3yo to win since Pipalong in 1999. Older horses have tended to dominate recently with 7 of the last 10 winners being aged 5yo to 7yo. It is also a good race for the each way backer with recent winners at odds of 16/1, 20/1, 11/1 and 18/1 since 2010. That said, favourites are 5-22 (23% win rate) since 1997 so do not be put off if you fancy the jolly as you can always back something at a bigger price as well. Only 3 winners have come from outside the top 10 in the betting market in the last 20 renewals and with usually around 20 runners going to post you may want to use that to halve the field. Horses sent off 20/1 or bigger are 0-134 so avoid them for win purposes.

A low to middle draw may be advantageous as all bar 3 of the last 20 winners exited from stall 13 or lower. Last time out winners have a good strike rate (6-53; 12%) and all bar 3 of the last 20 winners posted a top 7 finish last time out. That is one of those stats that can be misleading as it all depends on how big the field was when a horse last ran. For instance,they may have finished last of 7 and still tick that box. However, those that had a top four finish last time out have much higher strike rates than everything else and they also account for 13 of the last 20 winners.

A race in the 30 days prior to the Great St Wilfred handicap looks essential and only 2winners since 1997 have defied an absence of more than a month to win this. Similarly, a win over 6f looks strong (16 of the last 20 winners). An official ratings band of 94 100 looks like the way to go and fits the bill for the 8 of the last 10 winners. 

Putting all that together gives us the following profile:

  • - Rated 94 - 100
  • - Top 10 in the betting (priced 10/1 to 20/1)
  • - Raced in the last 30 days
  • - Top four finish last time out
  • - Trained by David O’Meara or Richard Fahey
  • - A win at the distance of 6f
  • - Drawn in stall 1 – 13
  • - Aged 5yo to 7yo¶

As you can see these are pretty straightforward facts that Nick has researched and anybody can find these with a little work¶

At the end I’ll also share a document with you which will go into a bit more detail on how to find the trends.¶

On the night before the race Nick posted the following in the Betting School Members Forum

Ripon 3.15pm

One from the Insiders Report and the trends qualifiers are Pipers Note, Mattmu and Flying Pursuit. Mattmu is the most interesting of the three having chased home Magical Memory in a Group 3 last season before flying too high at Group 2 and Group 1 level. His reappearance was too bad to be true but that was after a year off and was third in the Nunthorpe in 2015 so was once very classy. Pipers Note is consistent and should be thereabouts while Flying Pursuit is progressive but is on a career high mark… ¶

The Result

Mattmu won at 25/1 

Pipers Note finished 2nd at 8/1 (11/1 early price)

Flying Pursuit finished 5th at 10/1 (14/1 early price, most books paid 5 or 6 places) 

Welsh Grand National Example

The Welsh Grand National (Grade 3 Handicap; 3m 5 1⁄2f); December 27th

All of the “National” races are great for trends analysis and this one is no exception. One of the first things to note is that this marathon trip is normally run on testing ground and horses carrying a low weight do particularly well. No horse has carried more than 11st 6lbs to victory since 1997. In fact, 13 of the last 17 winners carried 10-09 or less. On the ten occasions since 1997 when the official going has been heavy, 4 of the winners have carried 10st 0lbs, a further 3 have carried 10st 1lb and the other winners carried 10-4, 10-5, 10-8 and 10-13.

The trainers to look out for are Richard Lee, Jonjo O’Neill and Paul Nicholls who have all trained the winner twice since 2002. The last 5 winners have all been 8yo and horses aged 7yo to 9yo have won 15 of the last 17 renewals. On closer inspection, no 9yo has won since 2003 and we can strike a line through any runner aged 10 or older. With the last 7 winners all aged 7yo or 8yo this appears to be the age group to concentrate on.

All of the last 17 winners had finished in the top 6 LTO and 15 of the last 17 had finished in the top four LTO. A top 4 finish LTO looks a strong statistic. All of the previous winners had last raced 16 – 60 days previously and one or two previous runs in the season look to be a pre-requisite. This race is over the marathon trip of 3m 5 1⁄2 furlongs. I would want to side with a horse that has previously raced over this distance or further as they account for 13 of the last 17 winners. 10 of the last 17 winners had also raced over at least 4 miles.

Putting that altogether gives us our Welsh Grand National profile:

= Aged 7yo or 8yo 
= A top 4 finish LTO 
= Carrying 10-09 or less (10-0 or 10-01 if the going is heavy) 
= Had last raced 16 – 60 days previously 
= Had 1 or 2 runs in the current season
= Had previously raced over 3m 5 1⁄2 furlongs of further (preferably 4+ miles) 

Here's what Nick posted in the forum pre race

Those that currently fit the profile are Global Power, Amigo and Emperor's Choice. It remains to be seen if any make the final cut.

Amigo for David Pipe was runner up in the trial race 3 weeks ago and finished 7th in this last year.  He has winning form at Chepstow over 3 miles and acts on the ground.

Oliver Sherwood's Global Power has bits and pieces of form over staying trips including a 4th placed finish in 2013 Midlands National and a win in the Cumberland handicap Chase over 3m 2f on heavy ground in 2013 and a 2nd place finish in the same race 12 months later.

Emperor's Choice for Venetia Williams won the 2013 Surrey National over 3m 4f on heavy ground and followed that up with a win in the West Wales National in 2014 over 3m 4f. His chase form on heavy going reads 2111612. A thorough stayer if ever there was one.

The result

Global Power @ 25/1 - Not declared - Didn't Run 

Emperor's Choice @ 33/1 WON  

Amigo @ 16/1 UNPLACED

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