First of all, let's get rid of the elephant in the room... WE LOST 15.85 POINTS ON THE WEEK. I'll repeat that to be 100% clear, WE LOST 15.85 POINTS ON THE WEEK.
This post is not a review of how the individual selections ran, it's not a tale of woe about how unlucky we were and what might have been, it's a statement of fact that tries to put the week in some kind of context.
4 out of the last 5 years at the Cheltenham Festival were profitable for us, so now it's 4 out of 6 years... a 66% strike rate is still pretty impressive. Over the 6 years we've made a total profit of just about 150 points, an average of 25 points profit per year
We continually try to improve and an important part of that is looking at past performances to see if there are lessons to be learned. It is always better to let the dust clear and the emotions to settle before looking back with a clear view.
A few of the key contextual points that we've identified are...
9 of our 25 selections hit the frame and paid out place money, that's a win and place strike rate of 36% which is a good number that we would normally expect to make a profit on, we just didn't get enough winners. We anticipated 3 or 4 winners, but this year only got one.
To add insult to injury our only winner Ravenhill was advised the night before at 11/2 but won at an SP of 12/1. We have recorded it in our P&L at the advised price as BOG is not available on bets placed the night before by most of the major bookmakers.
5 of our 25 (20%) selections came from the Philip Hobbs and Colin Tizzard stables who between them didn't have a winner all week.
10 of our 25 (40%) selections came from the powerhouses of Willie Mullins, Gordon Elliott and Nicky Henderson who had 18 winners and 26 places between them, saying that they saddled well over 120 runners between them and we fell between the cracks.
We got the handicap hurdles completely wrong... Irelands dominance of the 5 handicap hurdles was pretty spectacular with 16 of the first 20 places filled by Irish runners, 5 of our 7 selections in those races were English trained.
Antepost selection strategy
We're debating whether to only back antepost win only to half stakes. This strategy locks in the main value if the price falls and allows to us to cover on the day of the race with extra places if we want to. Both Asterion Forlonge and Battleoverdoyen would have paid out if we'd backed them in the early price markets instead of antepost.
Bets advised the night before or in the morning?
Most of the bigger bookmakers have removed the availability of best odds guarantees for bets placed the night before racing which is why we've reported Ravenhill profit at 11/2 rather than his SP of 12/1. We are now leaning towards posting member selections on the morning of racing for the big festivals in 2021 (or Royal Ascot etc. should they happen in 2020)
Apart from the handicap hurdles, there is nothing that I can really identify as being majorly wrong with our overall selection strategy. It was just one of those meetings, we were close and hit the bar a couple of times, we had a bit of bad luck but that's racing. However, there was some useful data and we'll be tweaking a few things going forward and will be expecting to have a better result at the 2021 festival
If you have any comments on aspects of the selection strategy please get in touch through the comments at the bottom of this page.
Finally, here's the list of all the bets we had during Cheltenham 2020...
Stay safe and well
The team at Cleeve
|Race||Selection||Adv Price||Result||P&L||Running P&L|
|Day 1 results|
|1.30 Supreme||Asterion Forlonge||1 pt EW @ 6/1||4th||-2||-2|
|2.10 The Arkle||Notebook||2 pts Win @ 3/1||6th||-2||-4|
|2.50 The Ultima||Kildisart||1 pt EW @ 9/1||2nd||0.8||-3.2|
|3.30 Champion Hurdle||Sharjah||1 pt EW @ 14/1||2nd||1.8||-1.4|
|4.50 Close Brothers Chase||Precious Cargo||1 pt EW @ 16/1||Fell||-2||-3.4|
|5.30 National Hunt Cup||Ravenhill||1 pt EW @11/2||Won||6.6||3.2|
|Day 2 results|
|The Ballymore||The Big Breakaway||1 pt EW @ 10/1||4th||-2||1.2|
|The RSA||Battleoverdoyen||1 pt EW @ 14/1||4th||-2||-0.8|
|The Coral Cup||Franco De Port||0.5pt EW @ 10/1||PU||-1||-1.8|
|The Coral Cup||Coko Beach||0.5pt EW @ 28/1||8th||-1||-2.8|
|Champion Chase||Defi Du Seuil||2pts Win @ 9/4||4th||-2||-4.8|
|Juvenile Hurdle||Thyme White||0.5pts EW @ 14/1||18th||-1||-5.8|
|Juvenile Hurdle||Fraser Island||0.5pts EW @ 28/1||PU||-1||-6.8|
|Day 3 results|
|March Novice Chase||Mr Fisher||1 pt EW @ 11/2||4th||0.25||-6.55|
|Pertemps||Third Wind||0.5pt EW @ 10/1||4th||0.7||-5.85|
|Pertemps||Jatiluwih||0.5pt EW @ 16/1||8th||-1||-6.85|
|Ryanair||Riders Onthe Storm||1pt EW @ 7/1||Fell||-2||-8.85|
|Stayers Hurdle||City Island||1pt EW @ 12/1||PU||-2||-10.85|
|Brown Advisory||Clondaw Castle||NR||NR||0||-10.85|
|Kim Muir||Le Breuil||1.5pts EW @ 13/2||11th||-3||-13.85|
|Day 4 results|
|Triumph Hurdle||Allmankind||2 pts EW @ 5/1||3rd||0||-13.85|
|County Handicap Hurdle||Zanza||1 pt EW @ 40/1||21st||-2||-15.85|
|Albert Bartlett||Thyme Hill||1 pt EW @ 11/2||4th||0.1||-15.75|
|Gold Cup||Clan Des Obeaux||1 pt EW @ 9/1||8th||-2||-17.75|
|Grand Annual||Éclair De Beaufeu||1 pt EW @ 15/2||4th||0.5||-17.25|
|Martin Pipe||The Bosses Oscar||1 pt EW @ 12/1||4th||1.4||-15.85|