County Hurdle Trends - Cheltenham Festival Betting
BEST 2021 COUNTY HURDLE TRENDS
- No more than 4 hurdle wins
- No more than 2 handicap hurdle wins
- Run in at least 1 handicap hurdle
- Not favourite in County Hurdle betting
- Officially rated no higher than 140
Betting On Cheltenham's 2021 County Hurdle? Follow These Trends:
Above are the top five trends to follow when looking for the winner of the 2021 County Hurdle.
We've analysed in detail the last 15 runnings of this classic Cheltenham Festival handicap, taking deep dives into the form of the winners and placed horses, looking at their past runs, their ratings, and every other statistic we could think of.
What we found are very strong markers that will steer you towards the winner of this year's County Hurdle. Scroll down to find out how the trends did last year, and read full details of all the key County Hurdle trends to follow.
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Did Trends Win The Last County Handicap Hurdle?
There were four horses shortlisted by the County Hurdle trends in 2020, including the second home in one of the Cheltenham betting's trickiest heats.
Grade 1-winning seven-year-old Aramon, who finished second at 8/1, was the most tentative tip from the trends, based loosely on the model presented by the last top-weight winner Arctic Fire. Generally, the winner is rated less than 140, but when a horse very close to top-weight is a Grade 1 winner, they have to be respected.
It helped build confidence in him that he was trained by top race trainer Willie Mullins, who had a stronger tip on the trends in the 139-rated Ciel De Niege, who had been second last time on handicap debut in the valuable Betfair Hurdle at Newbury, which has proven a Key Race (see below) for the County Hurdle.
The five-year-old also boasted Cheltenham Festival form, having been third in the 2019 Fred Winter, and had only run in three handicap hurdles. He looked unexposed, though it was a concern that he had not won a hurdle - something all of the previous winners had achieved.
Mullins instead won the race with Saint Roi, a big trends bust as the first favourite to win in 14 years, and the first handicap debutant to win in more than 15 years.
Unfortunately, the two others best fitting the County Hurdle trends were Thatsy and Mohaayed, both finishing down the field, despite their connections, and attractive form, ratings and weights. It could be that the profile of a County Hurdle winner is moving closer to Grade 1 class. Time, will tell.
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KEY COUNTY HURDLE TRENDS
The last 15 winners…
- Were aged up to nine
- Were trained in Ireland - or by Paul Nicholls, or Dan Skelton
- Had an average official rating of 138, only two horses rated more than 139 winning
14 of the last 15 winners…
- Had run in at least one handicap hurdle; exception Saint Roi (2020)
- Won one of their last 10 starts; exception Ch'Tibello
11 of the last 15 winners…
- Had run at Cheltenham before, but only 1 had won
The last 10 winners…
- Were aged between five and eight
- Had won no more than four hurdle races
- Had won no more than two handicap hurdles, five winning none
- Had won a race over 2m-2m1f before
- Were not favourite in the betting
Nine of the last 10 winners…
- Finished in the first three in one of their last three starts
- Carried no more than 11st 5lb
- Had won at least two hurdle races
- Had run 2-4 times that season
- Last ran at least 33 days ago
Eight of the last 10 winners…
- Did not win last time out
- Had run in no more than four handicap hurdles
- Were officially rated between 134-139; exceptions 146-rated Ch'Tibello, 158-rated Arctic Fire
- Had not won any Graded hurdle; Ch'tibello, Arctic Fire the exceptions
Seven of the last 10 winners…
- Were aged 5 or 6
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KEY RACE TRENDS (10 years)
(Last Graded race contested prior to the County Hurdle)
|Key Race||Racecourse||Winners||Place Finishers|
|Ladbrokes Hurdle (Grade B)||Leopardstown||Final Approach (2011), Ted Veale (2013)||Embittered (2020), Plan A (2012), Shadow Catcher (2013)|
|Betfair Hurdle (G3)||Newbury||Remiluc (2018)||Sternrubin (2016), Montbazon (2014), Manyriverstocross (2013), Sailors Warn (2011), Get Me Out Of Here (2011), Nearby (2011)|
|Imperial Cup (G3)||Sandown||Wicklow Brave (2015)||Arctic Fire (2014)|
|Deloitte Novice Hurdle (G1)||Leopardstown||None||Whiskey Sour (2018)|
KEY TRAINER TRENDS (10 years)
How Saint Roi Won 2020's County Hurdle
Saint Roi in 2020 became the first favourite to win the County Hurdle since Desert Quest in 2006.
Sent off at 11/2, the novice belied his inexperience, making his move swiftly two out to take the lead before the last and readily pull away for a four-and-a-half length win on handicap and Cheltenham debut.
2.10 CHELTENHAM - 2020 COUNTY HURDLE RESULT
- Saint Roi 11/2f
- Aramon 8/1
- Embittered 14/1
- Buildmeupbuttercup 16/1
In a blanket finish for minor placings, Mullins also saddled second Aramon and fourth Buildmeupbuttercup, the Joseph O'Brien-trained Embittered making it a clean sweep for Irish-trained horses.
The win gave trainer Willie Mullins a record five County Hurdle wins in his career, with only Paul Nicholls coming close to that achievement, having won four - the latest coming in 2014.
Cheltenham 2021 Friday Schedule
13:30 Triumph Hurdle
14:10 - Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle
15:30 CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP
16:50 Mares Chase - NEW RACE
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