The Spring Juvenile Hurdle is the opening race on the Leopardstown card on Sunday, 8th February. Previously run as a grade 2 race, it was elevated to grade 1 status in 2010 and is now one of four grade 1 events on a quality Leopardstown card. It should give some clues towards the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham, as the last 3 winners of that race (Countrywide Flame, Our Conor & Tiger Roll) all ran in this before taking the Triumph.
Below we take a look at the trends for the past 10 years:
Race for 4yos
Irish bred: 7-11-53
GB bred: 2-3-13
French bred: 1-2-13
USA bred: 0-0-2
7 of 10 (last 5) were Irish bred, though they represented over 65% of total runners.
2 of 3 French bred hurdlers to make frame came from Willie Mullins yard.
10 of 10 winners were flat-bred and sired by group-winning stallions
Fillies (1-0-5) have not had many runners in this, but have won it twice since 2002. The only 2 female runners to go off shorter than 14/1 since 2002 both won (Newhall 2002 & Unaccompanied 2011).
10 of 10 winners finished in the first 2 last time out (7 won)
10 of 10 winners posted an RPR of 123+ last time (7 posted RPR of 128+ last time, including last 3)
9 of 10 winners had run since Christmas
10 of 10 winners had previously run in 1 to 5 hurdles races
8 of 10 winners had won over hurdles (2 exceptions were 2nd in a maiden hurdle last time)
10 of 10 winners had run on the flat
9 of 10 winners were officially rated 69 or higher on the flat (5 of last 6 were rated 81 or higher)
5 of 10 winners had won a grade 2 or 3 hurdle (2 exceptions were 2nd in a graded hurdle & other 3 had run in just one hurdles race)
Festival Hospitality On Sale 3yo Maiden Hurdle winner (Chatham House Rule): 1311 (3-1-4)
Bar One Racing Juvenile 3-Y-O Hurdle winner (Kalkir): 7261 (1-1-4)
Irish Field 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle winner (Vercingetorex): 16 (1-0-2)
Santa Train Bookings at [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] 3yo Maiden Hurdle winner (Prussian Eagle): 2 (0-1-1)
Book Online at Fairyhouse.ie 3yo Maiden Hurdle winner (Thunder Zone): 4 (0-0-1)
Go Racing In Kildare 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle winner (Dai Bando): 6 (0-0-1)
4 of 10 winners ran in the Festival Hospitality On Sale 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle, finishing 11d11
3 of 10 winners ran in Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle, finishing 071
Willie Mullins (1-3-10) has gained a winner and 3 places from his 10 runners in this but that is a really poor return when you consider 7 of his 10 runners went off shorter than 3/1, 5 of them were sent off favourite.
Gordon Elliot (0-2-5) trained the runner-up in 2012 & 2014.
Noel Meade (0-2-5) trained the winner in 2000 & 2004 and has seen 2 of his 5 runners in past 10 years make the places.
No strong trend on prices, though 5 of last 6 winners went off shorter than 7/2.
Favourites (3-3-10) have a poor enough record having gained just 3 wins in the last 10 years (including 3 beaten at odds on), giving a level stakes loss of 3.59.
Based on the trends from the past 10 years you are looking for a horse:
- Flat bred, by a group-winning stallion
- Fillies prominent in the market do well
- Has run since Christmas
- Finished in the first 3 last time
- Posted an RPR of 123+ last time
- Run in 1 to 5 hurdles this season
- Won over hurdles or placed on only hurdles start
- Run on the flat and officially rated 80 or higher
- Finished in first 2 Festival Hospitality On Sale Juvenile Hurdle.