Well it used to be but we could all be forgiven for thinking that Cheltenham fever starts in April and runs through to the following March these days. Meetings like this bring out the worst in journalists and I came across two recently who coincidently both work for bookmakers. The writing of one was unconnected to Cheltenham but was writing on that great misuse of statistics otherwise known as trends. If there are lies dam lies and statistics then buried somewhere below that lot you will find trend writers. This latest blog conjured up a trend which quoted data from 2016. No mention of what happened prior to 2016 or why 2016 was chosen. No mention of a p value or even degree of confidence.

The second blog discussed how the Albert Bartlett was a stellar race to follow in terms of backing its runners in future races and indeed back at Cheltenham. Is the Albert Bartlett particularly attractive to follow ?. betting all runners to BFSP for the last 11 years gives 492 runners in each following year for a PL of +10.56 but the stayers hurdle gives +24.77 from 230 bets, Hcp hurdle 4yo over 16f gives +40.67 from 511 etc etc. The ‘spud’ race as its known is not particularly predictive.

I am not an advocate of backing horses from certain races simply because they ran in that race. It usually ends in tears when punters find out that they are operating in the dam lies area of statistics. But I guess if you are a fun bettor then trend horses can give you a quick list to have fun with and from that perspective I will answer the question, which race is best to follow when runners return to Cheltenham the following year. Well ‘best’ needs defining and what I have done here is simply looked at flat PL and variable stake PL. I am looking for a reasonable return from both. With this criteria the best race has been the Ballymore Novice Hurdle with a flat PL of +37.4pts from 72 bets and VarPL of +5.33 pts

This years potential runners are

City Island
Champ
Bright Forecast
Brewin Upastorm
Sams Profile
Galvin
Seddon
Easy Game
Jarveys Plate
Ask Dillon
Valdieu
Notebook
Battleoverdoyen
Beakstown
Castlebawn West
Dunvegan

Personally I will be focusing on Wolverhampton and Southwell, good luck