Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Cheltenham Festival Tips: Stats show the best favourites to back at Cheltenham 2012

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Most punters are attracted to the favourites at the Cheltenham, they normally have the best form on offer, often have plenty of hype about them and with the majority of tips usually going in their favour as well, it is no surprise that there are many disappointed faces when they get beaten. The Cheltenham betting site shows the best favourites to back and which should be left alone.

Cheltenham can often be a graveyard for punters. Recently the bookies have had the better of things with favourite backers making a profit in just one of the last five years and losing in seven of the past eleven Festivals when backing every favourite in each race. Last year was a rare winning Festival for many punters but the celebrations weren’t that wild. A £1 stake on each favourite cost punters £28 and returned only £30.68.

The stats from recent meetings show the full extent of the horrors favourite backers often face. Since the 2002 Cheltenham Festival, 4,446 horses have run at the Cheltenham Festival and 254 have started their race as either the favourite, joint favourite or co-favourite. Only 58 of those 254 favourites have actually won which is a strike rate of just 25% and anyone unlucky enough to have backed all of the favourites in that time period will have only won £224.28 from £254 staked.

Some favourites are statistically better than others at the Cheltenham Festival though and these are the so called ‘bankers’. Horses who have started their races with odds between evens and 15/8 have been profitable since 2001 with 35 horses meeting this requirement and 48.5% of them winning. This has produced a profit to a £1 level stake of £7.55 which was a winning return of 21.5%. This year the only horse meeting this trend, at the time of writing, is Sizing Europe. He can be backed at evens but, closer to the time, other runners could come into play. If there is a little money for Grand Crus on Wednesday and Boston Bob or Long Run on Friday, they could dip below the 15/8 mark.

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