The StanJames.com International Hurdle (formerly the Bula) is a grade 2 hurdle run over 2M 1F and it takes place at Cheltenham on Saturday, 143h December. In recent years the Greatwood Hurdle has proven a key race in finding the winner, with 6 of last 9 British-trained winners of this having run in it on their previous start.
In 2008 the race was run at Ascot after being abandoned at Cheltenham. From a trends point of view we will focus on the 10 runnings from 2002 to 2012 (excluding 2008):
Younger horses have held sway recently, with 6 of last 7 winners aged 4 or 5.
horses aged 4 or 5 have a combined record of 7-8-35 which compares well to horses aged 6+ of 3-5-38.
The last 15 horses aged 8+ to run in this gained no wins and just 1 place.
5 of 7 horses aged 4 to make the frame had finished in first 3 in a grade 1 at Cheltenham Festival (other 2 won the Ascot Hurdle or Racing Post Hurdle on previous start)
horses carrying 11-8: 3-5-25
horses carrying 11-4: 6-6-26
horses carrying 11-0: 1-2-21
6 of the last 10 winners carried 11-4. All 3 winners to carry 11-8 were sent off favourite (2 odds on).
10 of 10 runners had finished in first 3 last time (7 won)
10 of 10 winners posted an RPR of 150+ last time
9 of 10 winners had run in the last 35 days
9 of 10 winners had won a graded or listed hurdle
7 of last 9 winners had won a grade 1
7 of 10 winners were course and distance winners (3 exceptions had finished 2nd in Greatwood Hurdle, 2nd in Champion Hurdle & 3rd in Triumph Hurdle)
10 of 10 winners had run in at least 6 hurdles races previously
10 of 10 winners were officially rated 148+ (last 4 rated 162+)
Previous year's winner (The New One): 422 (0-2-3)
Highest placed finisher in the Greatwood Hurdle: 1361111364 (5-1-10)
Williamhill.com Hurdle winner (The New One): 11 (2-0-2)
Betfair Fixed Brush Hurdle winner (The New One): 1 (1-0-1)
Aintree Hurdle winner (The New One): 2 (0-1-1)
WilliamHill.com H'cap Hurdle winner (Sign Of A Victory): 3 (0-1-1)
5 of 10 winners ran in Greatwood Hurdle last time, finishing 11211
3 of 10 winners ran in Elite Hurdle, finishing 4F1
2 of 10 winners (last 2) ran in Aintree Hurdle, finishing F2
2 of 10 winners ran in the County Hurdle, finishing 00
2 of 10 winners ran in the Champion Hurdle, finishing 25
2 of 2 winners aged 4 ran in Triumph Hurdle, finishing 13
2 of 2 winners aged 4 ran in Anniversary Hurdle, finishing 1B
2 of 2 Irish-trained winners ran in the Morgiana, finishing 23
2 of 10 winners ran in Classic Novice Hurdle, finishing 42
2 of 10 winners ran in the WilliamHill.com Hurdle, finishing 11
7 of 10 winners ran at the Aintree National meeting (2 Top Novice, 2 Anniversary, 2 Aintree Hurdle and 1 Silver Cross H'cap Hurdle)
Relkeel who won the race in 1997, 98 & 99 was the last horse to win the race and run in it the following year.
Nigel Twiston-Davies (2-0-5) trained Khyber Kim to win this in 2009 and The New One last year.
Nicky Henderson (1-1-4) saddled Grandouet to win this in 2011 and also won the rescheduled race at Ascot in 2008 with Binocular, both 4yos.
Irish trained-runners (2-1-10) have gained 2 winners and 1 second from 10 runners. Both winners had finished in first 3 in the Morgiana on previous start.
The favourite (7-1-12) has won 7 of the last 10 & shows a level stakes profit of 5.18 since 2003.
Based on trends from the past 10 years you are looking for a horse:
- Aged 4 to 7 (ideally 4 or 5)
- Finished in the first 3 last time out in the past 35 days
- Posted at RPR of 150+ last time out
- Had previously run at least 6 times over hurdles
- Officially rated 160+
- Carrying 11-4
- Previously won a listed or graded hurdle (ideally won a grade 1)
- Course and distance winner (or placed in a grade 1 over this CD)
- Finished in first 2 in the Greatwood Hurdle
- Ran in County, Triumph or Champion Hurdle at 2014 Cheltenham Festival
- Contested a hurdles race at the 2014 Aintree Festival
- Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies or a Nicky Henderson 4yo
- Favourite does well.