The grade 1 Melling Chase takes place on Friday 10th April and has been won by some of the best chasers of the past decade, including Moscow Flyer, Voy Por Ustedes, Albertas Run, Master Minded & Sprinter Sacre. Run over 2M 4F, it gives the main protagonists from the Champion Chase and Ryanair a chance to meet.
Below we take a look at the trends for the past 10 years:
horses aged 5 to 8: 4-10-41
horses aged 9+: 6-6-43
All 4 winners aged 8 or younger were French bred. All 6 winners aged 9 or older were Irish bred.
Irish Bred: 6-10-39
French Bred: 4-4-30
British Bred: 0-2-14
All 10 winners were either Irish or French bred.
All 8 French bred horses to make the frame were aged 5 to 8
15 of 16 Irish bred horses to make the frame were aged 8 or older
British bred runners gained no wins and just 2 places from 14 runners.
8 of 10 winners had finished in first 3 on last completed start (exceptions were 8th in Queen Mother and 4th & 6th in Ryanair)
8 of 10 winners posted an RPR of 165+ in last 2 chase starts (1 exception posted career high RPR of 157 last time)
10 of 10 winners had run in past 30 days
10 of 10 winners had run 3 to 7 times that season
6 of 10 winners had run in 15 or more chases in their career (3 of 4 exceptions had run in 7 to 8 chases and finished in first 2 in previous year's Arkle)
9 of 10 winners had won at least 5 chases
7 of 10 winners had won over 2M 4F+ (3 exceptions were all previous Champion Chase winners)
10 of 10 winners had won a grade 1 chase
8 of 10 winners had won a grade 1 that season (1 exception won a grade 2 & finished 2nd in two grade 1's & other was 6th in Ryanair on 1 chase run that season)
8 of 10 winners had finished in first 3 at a previous Aintree Festival (2 exceptions were Irish-trained runners, having their first course starts.
Ryanair Chase winner (Uxizandre): P2122 (1-3-5)
Ryanair Chase highest placed finisher to run in this: 2P2112327 (2-5-9)
Queen Mother Champion Chase winner (Sire De Grugy): 1211 (3-1-4)
Queen Mother Champion Chase highest placed finisher to run in this: 12P2723118 (3-4-10)
5 of 10 winners ran in the Queen Mother, finishing 12811
5 of 10 winners ran in the Ryanair, finishing 64216
10 of 10 winners ran in Queen Mother Champion or Ryanair Chase that season
Returning Melling Chase winner (Boston Bob): 15124 (2-1-5)
Highest placed finisher to return: 151F234 (2-1-7)
Tingle Creek winner (Sire De Grugy): 111 (3-0-3)
Ascot Chase winner (Balder Succes): 1132 (2-2-4)
Desert Orchid Chase winner (Special Tiara): 11 (2-0-2)
Clarence House Chase winner (Sire De Grugy): 311 (2-0-3)
Previous season's Maghulls Novice Chase winner (Balder Succes): 5F11 (2-0-4)
Tied Cottage Chase winner (Hidden Cyclone): 1R (1-0-2)
John Durkan Memorial Chase winner (Don Cossack): 173 (1-0-3)
Previous year's Future Champion Novice Chase winner (Eduard): 1657 (1-0-4)
Powers Irish Whiskey Chase winner (Don Cossack): 72 (0-1-2)
4 of 10 winners ran in the Tingle Creek, finishing 1211
3 of 10 winners ran in the King George, finishing 636
3 of 10 winners ran in the Ascot Chase, finishing 112
3 of 10 winners (3 of last 4) ran in Clarence House Chase, finishing 121
2 of 10 winners ran in Amlin Chase, finishing 11
2 of 10 winners ran in Desert Orchid Chase, finishing 11
2 of 3 Irish-trained winners ran in the Fortria Chase, finishing 13
2 of 4 second season chaser winners ran in previous year's Arkle, finishing 21
2 of 4 second season chaser winners ran in previous year's Maghull Novice Chase, finishing 11
Nicky Henderson (2-1-10) has trained 2 of the last 3 winners of this.
Alan King (2-0-3) trained Voy Por Ustedes to win back to back runnings in 2008 & 2009.
Paul Nicholls (1-4-11) won this in 2011 with Master Minded.
Jonjo O’Neill (1-2-3) saddled Albertas Run to gain a win and 2 places from 3 runs.
Nicky Richards (1-1-2) trained Monet’s Garden to finish 3rd & 1st in this race.
Willie Mullins (1-0-4) won this with Boston Bob last year.
Moues Morris (0-1-2), Philip Hobbs (0-1-2), David Pipe (0-1-3) and Tom George (0-1-3) have all saddled 1 placed finisher since 2004.
Irish-trained runners (3-4-22) won all 5 runnings between 2002 and 2006 but only filled 2 places in the next 7 renewals before Boston Bob won it for the Irish again in 2014.
9 of 10 winners were sent off 8/1 or shorter
Only once in the past 10 runnings has the winner come from outside top 4 in the betting.
Favourites (4-2-11) have won 4 of the last 10 giving a £1 level stakes loss of £2.22.
Based on the trends from the past 10 years you are looking for a horse:
- Irish bred aged 9+ or French bred aged 5 to 8
- Had at least 15 career chase starts (or finished in first 2 in 2014 Arkle)
- Run 3 to 7 times this season
- Posted an RPR of 165+ last time out
- Ran in this season’s Ryanair or Queen Mother Champion Chase
- Won over 2M 4F+ (or a previous Champion Chase winner)
- Won a grade 1 chase this season
- Ran in the King George this season
- Finished in first 2 in Tingle Creek, Desert Orchid, Amlin, Clarence House and/or Ascot Chase
- Irish-trained that finished in first 3 in Fortria Chase
- Previously finished in first 3 at Aintree Festival (or having first course start)
- Trained by Alan King, Nicky Henderson, Jonjo O’Neill or Nicky Richards
- Priced 8/1 or shorter