Horse Racing: Stats, trends and insight ahead of the Greatwood Hurdle


BETTING industry expert Tommy Buckley (@tbuckleythinks) has previewed Sunday's Greatwood Hurdle from Cheltenham. 

Greatwood Hurdle | Sunday 17th November 2018, 15:00 | ITV4

This weekend sees the latest renewal of the historic three-day Cheltenham meeting taking place from Friday to Sunday, and for many, it's where the winter jumps season really kicks into gear.

The BetVictor Gold Cup is rightly viewed as the centrepiece of the festival and that great contest, along with many others, is sure to provide great entertainment and drama. But, for me personally, the Greatwood Hurdle is THE race that gets me most interested, that I most enjoy watching and thankfully has given me a fair level of betting success.

For me, trying to solve the puzzle of this two-mile-half-furlong handicap made up with a field of classy hurdlers – full of potential to be much better, including several connections harbouring Champion Hurdle dreams down the line – is a fascinating challenge and exactly the kind of race I enjoy getting stuck into.

Westender, Rooster Booster, Sizing Europe, Garde Le Victoire and Elgin have all carried my ante-post money to victory in this great contest, and come Sunday afternoon I'll be glued to the TV hoping that I'm cheering home another winner up that Cheltenham hill.

In this piece I've looked at the details of the winners since 2000, including starting price, age, weight carried, jockey and trainer, to provide information and to also highlight a few trends that might help in your bet selection process, and to add interest to what is a great race in it's own right.

Greatwood Hurdle Winners | 2000 to 2018

Year | Name of Winner | Starting Price | Age | Weight | Jockey | Trainer

  • 2000 | Hulysse Royal | 9/1 | 5 | 10-00 | Jimmy McCarthy | Oliver Sherwood
  • 2001 | Westender | 5 | 11/8f | 10–13 | Tony McCoy | Martin Pipe
  • 2002 | Rooster Booster | 7/1 | 8 | 11–12 | Seamus Durack | Philip Hobbs
  • 2003 | Rigmarole | 5 | 33/1 | 11–12 | Ruby Walsh | Paul Nicholls
  • 2004 | Accordion Etoile | 10/3f | 5 | 10-06 | John Cullen | Paul Nolan
  • 2005 | Lingo | 5/1 | 6 | 10-06 | Tony McCoy | Jonjo O'Neill
  • 2006 | Detroit City | 6/5f | 4 | 11-12 | Richard Johnson | Philip Hobbs
  • 2007 | Sizing Europe | 5/1 | 5 | 11-06 | Timmy Murphy | Henry de Bromhead
  • 2008 | Numide | 5/1 | 5 | 10-03 | Jamie Moore Gary | L. Moore
  • 2009 | Hyber Kim | 9/1 | 7 | 11-09 | Paddy Brennan | Nigel Twiston-Davies
  • 2010 | Menorah | 6/1 | 5 | 11-12 | Richard Johnson | Philip Hobbs
  • 2011 | Brampour | 12/1 | 4 | 11-04 | Harry Derham | Paul Nicholls
  • 2012 | Olofi | 8/1 | 6 | 10-11 | Paddy Brennan | Tom George
  • 2013 | Dell' Arca | 12/1| 4 | 10-05 | Tom Scudamore | David Pipe
  • 2014 | Garde La Victoire | 10/1 | 5 | 11-09 | Richard Johnson | Philip Hobbs
  • 2015 | Old Guard | 12/1 | 4 | 10-10 | Harry Cobden | Paul Nicholls
  • 2016 | North Hill Harvey | 6/1 | 5 | 11-00 | Harry Skelton | Dan Skelton
  • 2017 | Elgin | 10/1 | 5 | 10-08 | Wayne Hutchinson | Alan King
  • 2018 | Nietzsche |20/1 |5 | 9-7 | Danny McMenamin | Brian Ellison


The ages of the Greatwood Hurdle winners since 2000 have been:

  • 4 years = 4
  • 5 years = 11
  • 6 years = 2
  • 7 years = 1
  • 8 years = 1

Rigmarole won it as a 33/1 shot in 2003, the biggest Starting Price of the winner. Since then it was last year when 20/1 shot Nietzsche won.

Paul Nicholls was the trainer of Rigmarole, Brampour and Old Guard, incredibly Ruby Walsh was the jockey on Rigmarole when it won at 33/1.

The shortest SP of winner since my records began was 6/5 when Detroit City 2006 and indeed the favourite has not won since Detroit City in 2006.

Eight of the 19 winners have carried 11st 4lb or more. The top weight of 11st 12lb was carried in 2002 by Rooster Booster, 2003 by Rigmarole, 2006 by Detroit City and Menorah in 2010.

Philip Hobbs trained the winner in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 and Richard Johnson rode three of those winners, Paul Nicholls trained the winner in 2003, 2011 and 2015.

Fourteen of the last 19 winners of the Greatwood Hurdle had an Official Rating of 136+ going into the race.

2019 Preview

Now at this early stage with the Greatwood Hurdle not due to be run at Cheltenham until Sunday, at the time of writing there are still 19 classy hurdlers entered for the £100,000 Grade 3 prize.

If you feel interested enough to chance an ante-post bet or two I wouldn't recommend anything other than small, fun interest bets at this stage given the uncertainty over the final field. Indeed, you might well decide it's best to wait until Sunday to assess everything fully but right now here are my thoughts on a group of horses who fit into the key trends that my previous winner statistics highlight.

Fifteen of the last 19 winners were either aged 4 or 5, 11 were 5-years-old and 14 of the winners had an Official Rating of 136+ going into the race.

Now we all know that nothing can be guaranteed in racing and that trends are broken, but those particular statistics look very strong and a good basis to work on.

I've done my best to go through the remaining 19 entries left in at the time of writing and these are the horses that meet the strong trends mentioned and odds at time of writing:

  • Monsieur Lecoq (aged 5 and rated 145) = 9/1 (William Hill)
  • Gumball (aged 5 and rated 139) = 12/1 (Ladbrokes)
  • Zanza (aged 5 and rated 136) = 12/1 (BetVictor)
  • Quel Destin (aged 4 and rated 149) = 11/1 (Paddy Power)
  • Hannon (aged 4 and rated 136) = 25/1 (Bet365)

Those five horses fit the key trends I've highlighted and I'll be fascinated to see how they all go. Obviously, I can't recommend backing five horses in one race so from that group of five I'm going to put my faith in each-way plays on Gumball, Zanza and Monsieur Lecoq.

Monsieur Lecoq sits third in the ante-post betting with a very interesting looking profile after winning the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las last month, has Cheltenham Festival experience after being sent off second favourite for the County Hurdle in March, looks to be racing off a very fair weight and has more to offer.

Gumball is one of those horses that you know what he'll do and that he'll give absolutely everything every time he runs. He rewarded backers with his usual giving all from the front run last time in a Listed race at Ascot, he's got great experience including a solid course run ,and in Phillip Hobbs he's trained by a trainer who loves to win this race. If he takes his chance, you'll get a good run for your money.

Zanza is another representative of Phillip Hobbs and comes into the reckoning for this after winning well at Newbury just a few days ago. He's also got a good previous win at Newbury in the book where he beat good types who have run well in this race before; improvement is needed again for sure but interesting off his racing weight.

That is my look at the Greatwood Hurdle from a Previous Winners statistical perspective and I hope you find it to be interesting and useful in some way, as I stated consider the betting terms, state of the ground etc before betting and if you do bet in the great race on Sunday then I hope you are cheering home the winner.

Best Bets

2019 Greatwood Hurdle – Monsieur Lecoq (9/1 each-way William Hill)

2019 Greatwood Hurdle – Gumball (12/1 each-way Ladbrokes)

2019 Greatwood Hurdle – Zanza (12/1 each-way BetVictor)

About Author

I've been into football since first going to Man United as an 8 year old, lucky enough to have season ticket in the mid 90's. I've been into horse racing since first going to Doncaster as a kid and I love a day out at the races. Sports betting and writing has been a passion of mine for the last 20 years, just love sharing thoughts with people and there is no bigger buzz than knowing my work has helped somebody make a few quid. I'm also into Darts and Snooker, love watching and playing both but I watch much better than I play, although I did once get my hands on the World Snooker Championship trophy at the Crucible. My most recent sporting highs have come from watching T20 cricket with my son, we just love watching Derbyshire beat Yorkshire every time. My 23 years of working life to date have been spent in the newspaper/news media business and the betting industry including working at football grounds/racecourses.

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