The Randox Health Foxhunters Chase takes place on the opening day of Aintree’s Grand National meeting, on Thursday 6th April. The race is run over the Grand National fences, over a trip of 2M 5½F and is restricted to amateur riders. horses that have fared well in the Cheltenham Foxhunters Chase have struggled to repeat the feat here.
Below we take a look at the trends for the past 10 runnings:
9 of 10 winners were aged 10 or older, though they have accounted for 73.3% of total runners.
2 winners aged 12 were Scots Grey (placed in 4 class 1 chases & had been rated over 140 over fences) and Cloudy Lane (grade 2 chase winner that had formerly been rated over 150 over fences).
The one 13yo winner was Tartan Snow (at 100/1), who then finished 2nd as a 14yo. Clearly a horse that thrived over the Aintree fences.
horses aged 8 or younger have gained no wins and just 3 places from 26 runners.
Irish Bred: 6-9-146
British Bred: 3-3-40
French Bred: 1-8-48
Irish bred runners have accounted for 60.8% of the total runner, so their return of 6 win is no better than average.
British bred horses have won 3 of last 10 from just 16.7% of total runners.
9 of 10 winners finished in the first 3 on last completed start (exception won on penultimate start)
8 of 10 winners posted an RPR of 130+ on last completed chase start
9 of 10 winners won 1 of their last 2 runs
10 of 10 winners ran in the past 40 days
10 of 10 winners had gained 1 or 2 wins that season
7 of 10 winners had run in no more than 8 hunter chases (other 3 had run in 12 to 19)
9 of 10 winners had won a class 3 or above chase (exception trained in Ireland & had won a listed hurdle)
10 of 10 winners had won over 2M 4F+
5 of 7 British-trained winners had won a chase at Newbury and/or Haydock
Cheltenham Foxhunters Chase winner (Pacha Du Polder): 6U11 (2-0-4)
5 of 10 winners ran in the Christies Foxhunter Chase, finishing FU611
Prior to On The Fringe doing the Cheltenham/Aintree double in past 2 years, you had to go back to 1993 and Double Silk for the last horse to do the Cheltenham/Aintree Hunter chase double.
5 of the last 10 winners ran at the Cheltenham Festival (and 2 of those failed to complete the course at Cheltenham). In 2002 the 3rd and 2nd from the Christies Foxhunters finished 1st and 2nd in this but the next 6 runners that won or placed at Cheltenham to run in this have been unplaced. On The Fringe broke that trend in 2015 & 2016.
Previous year's winner (On The Fringe): U2U792F1 (1-2-8)
Racing Post Champion Hunter Chase winner (On The Fringe): 0U11 (2-0-4)
Willoughby De Broke Hunter Chase winner (Grand Vision): F3 (0-1-2)
Yetholm Open Hunters' Chase winner (Premier Portrait): 29 (0-1-2)
3 of 10 winners ran in previous year's race, finishing U41
3 of 3 Irish-trained winners ran in Leopardstown Inn Hunters Chase, finishing 327
2 of 3 Irish-trained winners ran in Racing Post Champion Hunters Chase, finishing 11
2 of 7 British-trained winners ran in the Walrus hunter Chase, finishing 11
9 of 10 winners led or raced prominently through the race
Typically in these one lap races over the National fences you do need to be up amongst the leading 9 or 10.
Enda Bolger (2-1-4) trained Mossey Joe to finish 3rd in 2014 and On The Fringe to win it in 2015 & 2016.
Stuart Coltherd (1-1-3) has saddled Tartan Snow finish 1st & 2nd in 2013 & 2014.
Mickey Bowen (0-1-2) & Philip Hobbs (0-1-3) trained the 2nd & 3rd in 2016.
Willie Mullins (0-1-6) has seen 2 of his 6 runners finish in the first 4 and he saddled Boxer Georg of finish 2nd, 8th, 10th & unseat in past 6 years.
Paul Nicholls (0-1-9) last won this in 2002 but since then he has seen just 2 of his 15 runners make the places.
Irish trained runners (3-6-48) have gained 3 wins and 6 places from 48 runners, they have won last 3 renewals.
Sam Waley-Cohen (1-2-8) has proven himself one of the most effective jockeys over the National fences, and he has done particularly well in this race, riding 3 winners and 2 seconds from his last 10 rides in this race.
Jamies Codd (1-0-5) rode On The Fringe to win this last year..
8 of 10 winners were priced between 5/2 and 8/1
Silver Adonis (2010) at 50/1 and Tartan Snow (2013) at 100/1 have been the only two double figure price winners since 2000.
Favourites (3-1-12) have won 3 of the last 10. In 4 of the last 7 years where favourite was beaten, it was trained in Ireland (4 of 5 Irish favourites beaten).
Based on the trends from the past 10 years you are looking for a horse:
- Aged 10 to 12
- French & British bred runners favoured
- Finished in the first 3 last time in the past 40 days
- Posted an RPR of 130+ on last completed start
- Won on 1 of last 2 starts
- Won 2 or more chases under rules
- Won over 2M 4F+
- Won a class 3 or better chase
- Won 1 or 2 races this season
- Previously run in 8 or fewer hunter chases (or a previous winner of this)
- Ideally has won a chase at Newbury and/or Haydock
- Finished in first 4 in last year’s renewal
- Caution advised over horses that finished in first 3 in Cheltenham Foxhunters Chase
- Tends to race prominently
- Ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen