One of the attractions of a new season is looking forward to the historic events that lie ahead in the racing calendar, in particular those that provided a rich source of future talent, just like a college or university churning out above-par graduates.
With that in mind, it could pay to keep close tabs on the following events throughout the next few months of the season, as the protagonists from these ‘key’ races historically went on to do well in subsequent races.
Saturday 18 November, Cheltenham, JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial (Registered As The Prestbury Juvenile Hurdle Race)
2016 Result: 1.Defi Du Seuil 2.Diable De Sivola 3.Lambeau Field (9 ran)
Since 1996: Following the winner of the Triumph Hurdle Trial during their next three outings resulted in 22 wins from 60 runs for a profit of £27 to level stakes. Six of the 14 to have run in the Triumph Hurdle made the top three, with three winning the race itself courtesy of Katchit and Katarino, prior to Defi Du Seuil last season. Defi Du Seuil also won his next five races following this trial, while the 2013 runner-up, Guitar Pete, won his next two races at 9/2, including a Grade 1 at Leopardstown, before finishing third in the Triumph, while the 2014 runner-up, Hargam, won his next two outings before finishing third in the Triumph.
Saturday 18 November, Cheltenham, BetVictor Gold Cup Chase (Handicap)
2016 Result: 1. Taquin Du Seuil 2. Village Vice 3. Buywise 4.Aso (17 ran)
Since 1996: Following the winner of the BetVictor Gold Cup during their next three outings resulted in 13 wins from 59 runs for a profit of +£7 to level stakes – the 2016 winner, Annacotty, returned to land a Grade 3 handicap at 13/2 two months later. The third and fourth-placed runners also proved worthy of following as their combined subsequent three outings amassed 16 wins from 89 runs for a profit of +£23, including Long Run, who was third in the 2010 renewal before lifting the King George and Cheltenham Gold Cup, while the 2011 fourth, Aerial, went onto win the Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury.
Sunday 19 November, Cheltenham, Greatwood Hurdle (Handicap)
2016 Result: 1.North Hill Harvey 2.Modus 3.Song Light 4.A Hare Breath (17 ran)
Since 1996: Following the winner of the Greatwood Hurdle during their next three outings resulted in 17 wins from 54 runs for a profit of +£39 to level stakes. The 2016 winner, Old Guard, returned to land the International Hurdle (7/1), while the runner-up, Superb Story, also came back to win the County Hurdle (8/1). In fact, seven of the last 13 Greatwood Hurdle winners scored next time, including odds of 7/1, 7/4, 12/1, 10/3 & 25/1. Last year’s runner-up, Modus, took Kempton’s Lanzarote Hurlde two runs later.
Sunday 19 November, Cheltenham, Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial (Registered As The November Novices’ Chase)
2016 Result: 1.Le Prezien 2.Hammersly Lake 3.Three Stars (5 ran)
Since 2000: Following the winner during their next three outings resulted in 19 wins from 47 runs. Two of the last six winners, Captain Conan and Al Ferof both followed-up in the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown, while in 2013, Dodging Bullets won the Grade 2 Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase next time out – 10 of the last 16 winners won next time out. The 2010 runner-up, Captain Chris, also returned to land the Arkle in March, while the 2011 second, Astracad, gained compensation in a handicap the following month – a theme that continued in 2012 when Sire De Grugy finished second here, before winning three of his next four races. The 2015 runner-up, Vibrato Valtat, won both the aforementioned Henry VIII and Wayward Lad Novice Chases on his next two outings.
Sunday 19 November, Punchestown, Morgiana Hurdle
2016 Result: 1.Nichols Canyon 2.Jer’s Girl (5 ran)
Since 1996: Following the winner of this superb Grade 1 hurdle during their next three outings resulted in 29 wins from 63 runs for a profit of +£28 to level stakes. That record was enhanced in recent seasons by the mighty, Hurricane Fly, who won two of his next three outings, and the fact 12 of the last 15 winners obliged during their next two outings in events like the Hatton’s Grace & Fighting Fifth Hurdles, speaks volumes for this race. Nichols Canyon won this for the second time last term before going on to land Cheltenham’s Stayers’ Hurdle.
Friday 1 December, Newbury, Fuller’s London Pride Novices’ Chase (Registered As The Berkshire Novices’ Chase)
2016 Result: 1.Clan Des Obeaux 2.Virgilio 3.Our Kaempfer (7 ran)
Since 1996: Following the winner of this Grade 2 novices’ chase during their next three outings resulted in 26 wins from 65 runs for a profit of +£8 to level stakes, with the 2014 renewal providing the ultimate boost in Coneygree landing his next three outings, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Coneygree’s win at Kempton a month after here also made it eight next time wins from 19 winners since 1998. The runners-up proved worthy of following too, with 14 wins from 45 runs. Court In Motion in 2012 the latest to score subsequently in a Grade 2 at Lingfield, while four of the nine to take up engagements at the Cheltenham Festival also made the top three, including Looks Like Trouble, who took jump racing’s Blue Riband in 2000.
Friday 1 December, Newbury, Long Distance Hurdle
2016 Result: 1.Unowhatimeanharry 2.Ballyoptic 3.Menorah (9 ran)
Since 1996: This strong staying event once again lived up to its reputation last season when Unowhatimeanharry won three of his next four outings – two of them in Grade 1s. Prior to that, Thistlecrack won his next four outings, including the World Hurdle, as did the mighty Big Buck’s in previous seasons. The record of past Long Distance winners during their next three outings now stands at 26 wins from 55 runs for a profit of +£17, while recent winners also did well next time out, with eight following-up since 2003, including Unowhatimeanharry, Thistlecrack, Big Buck’s (three times), Inglis Drever and Baracouda (twice). The 2014 runner-up, Cole Harden, also added strength by landing the World Hurdle three runs later at 14/1.
Saturday 2 December, Newbury, Worcester Novices’ Chase
2016 Result: 1.Thistlecrack 2.Bigbadjohn 3.Ibis Du Rheu (5 ran)
Since 2003: Although winners of this classy chase haven’t shown a profit during their subsequent three runs, they did produce a fantastic record next time out with 9 wins from 13 runs for a profit of +£10 to level stakes. The latest Worcester winner, Thistlecrack, followed-up in Kempton’s King George Chase, while the runner-up, Bigbadjohn, won a Grade 2 a couple of runs later. The 2016 Worcester winner, Native River, went onto land a Grade 1 at Aintree later in the season (11/2), while the runner-up, Un Temps Pour Tout, took a Grade 3 handicap at the Cheltenham Festival (11/1).
Sunday 3 December, Fairyhouse, Royal Bond Novice Hurdle
2016 Result: 1.Airlie Beach 2.Saturnas 3.Le Martalin (7 ran)
Since 1996: Long term, it paid to keep tabs with the winner from here, as 24 subsequent wins came via 59 runs for a profit of +£20 to levels during their next three outings, including Long Dog and Nichols Canyon during the last three seasons, who both went onto take Grade 1 novices at Leopardstown. Nichols Canyon also won twice again after Cheltenham, landing Grade 1’s at Aintree (3/1) and Punchestown (4/5).
Sunday 3 December, Fairyhouse, Hatton’s Grace Hurdle
2016 Result: 1.Apple’s Jade 2.Vroum Vroum Mag 3.Shaneshill (7 ran)
Since 1996: Although a modest profit of +£8 was accumulated by winners during their next three outings, they still amassed a total of 31 subsequent wins via 59 runs. The 2016 renewal saw yet another strong edition, where the winner, Apple’s Jade, went onto land the prestige Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, prior to adding the Irish equivalent at Punchestown.