The WilliamHill.com Christmas Hurdle is part of the supporting card to the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day. The Fighting Fifth Hurdle has proven the key trial race for this in recent times with 5 of the last 10 winners running in it prior to taking this, and Nicky Henderson has won the last 4 renewals.
Below we take a look at the trends for the past 10 runnings:
Age (for age purposes we’ll assume 2010-11 renewal was run in 2010)
8 of 10 winners were aged 5 or 6, both exceptions were previous winners.
4yos have a poor record, having gained just 1 place from 13 runners, this included the 2012 unplaced favourite, Countrywide Flame.
8 of 10 winners finished in first 3 last time out (6 won)
9 of 10 winners posted an RPR of 152+ in last hurdles start
7 of 10 winners were second or third season hurdlers (3 exceptions finished in first 3 in previous year's race)
8 of 10 winners had had 6 to 17 previous hurdles starts
7 of 10 winners had previously won a grade 1
4 of 10 winners had won at Kempton previously (5 of 6 others having first course start)
Fighting Fifth Hurdle winner (Irving): 142F1341 (3-1-8)
Neptune Investments Novice Hurdle winner (Faugheen): 2 (0-1-1)
Williamhill.com Handicap Hurdle winner (Sign Of A Victory): 32 (0-1-2)
Ascot Hurdle winner (Faugheen): 3 (0-0-1)
Dovecote Novice Hurdle winner (Irving): 6 (0-0-1)
Elite Hurdle winner (Purple Bay): 33 (0-0-2)
5 of 10 winners ran in the Fighting Fifth last time, finishing 11321
4 of 10 winners ran in previous year's race, finishing 4231
3 of 10 winners ran in the Champion Hurdle, finishing P01
3 of 10 winners ran in Punchestown Champion Hurdle, finishing 443
2 of 10 winners ran in the Tipperary Hurdle, finishing 31
2 of 10 winners ran in Contenders Hurdle, finishing 11 (both Binocular)
4 of 5 second season hurdler winners ran in Supreme Novices' Hurdle, finishing 7122
2 of 5 second season hurdler winners (last 2) ran in Top Novices' Hurdle, finishing 11
2 of 5 second season hurdler winners (last 2) ran in Betfair Hurdle, finishing F1
2 of 5 Irish-trained winners ran in the Morgiana Hurdle, finishing 12
2 of 5 Irish-trained winners ran in Evening Herald Champion Novice Hurdle, finishing 34
Nicky Henderson (4-0-10) has won the last 4 runnings, twice with Binocular, Darlan & My Tent Or Yours. He also trained the winner in 2000 & 2001.
Paul Nicholls (0-1-11) has a surprisingly bad record having gained just 1 place from 11 runners in the past 10 years.
Irish trained runners (5-1-6) have won winning 5 of the last 10 runnings and they have not been represented in past 4 renewals. Noel Meade (4-1-5), has been most responsible for most of this success.
9 of 10 winners were sent off 7/1 or shorter
The longest priced winner in the past 10 years was 10/1 and all 10 winners came from the first 5 in the betting.
Favourite (4-2-10) has won 4 of last 10 renewals but shows a level stakes loss of 0.90.
Based on trends from the past 10 years you are looking for a horse:
- Aged 5 or 6 (or finished in first 3 in last season’s race)
- Finished in first 3 last time out (ideally won)
- Posted an RPR of 152+ on last hurdles start
- Previously won a grade 1 hurdle (or grade 2 winner that placed in a grade 1)
- Previously run 6 to 17 times over hurdles
- Course winner (or having first run at Kempton)
- Finished in first 3 in Fighting Fifth last time out
- Finished in first 4 in 2013 Christmas Hurdle and/or Punchestown Champion Hurdle
- Ran in Champion Hurdle or Supreme Novices’ at Cheltenham 2014
- Trained by Nicky Henderson
- Priced 7/1 or lower.