The feature race on the final day of Cheltenham’s Open Meeting is the Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle. This premier handicap is run over 2 miles and 87 yards and is open to horses aged 4 or older. Off time is 2.55 and 16 go to post.
Notable winners of this race include The Shunter who won this race in 2020 before going on to win at that year’s Cheltenham festival.
Many of the leading bookmakers offer each-way terms of 5 places which makes the race an excellent betting proposition.
Best of British and Watch Your Weight
I have looked at the statistics over the last 9 seasons and these are my key conclusions…
- Horses bred in the UK have an excellent record with 6 winners from 37 runners. This compares to other countries which have a record of 3 winners from 107 runners.
- As is often the case with Cheltenham it is difficult to carry a lot of weight. There have been 48 horses carrying more than 11 stones and only 1 has won. There have been 8 winners from the 96 runners carrying lower weights.
- The betting market is not a good guide in this race. Horses with forecast odds of less than 8/1 have produced just one win from 24 runners.
Of the 16 runners only 2 match these 3 criteria. These are CURRENT MOOD (14/1) and MARK OF GOLD (28/1).
I suggest backing these each way with bookmakers who are offering 5 places.
Less is More
To narrow the field down further there are some other statistics that may prove relevant. Exposed horses have a poor record. Those horses that have had more than 11 career runs have a record of 2 wins from 60 runs compared to 7 from 84 for their less experienced rivals. CURRENT MOOD has had 9 runs whilst MARK OF GOLD has run 17 times.
As already indicated favourites have a poor record with no winners in the last 9 years. One 2nd favourite has won during that period. Five-year-olds have the best record with 4 wins from 45 runners. Next best is seven-year-olds with 2 winners from 15 runners. MARK OF GOLD is 5, CURRENT MOOD is 7.
Horses that last ran between 14 and 23 days have a record of 5 winners from 51 runners compared to 4 from 93 for the rest of the sample. CURRENT MOOD last ran 21 days ago, MARK OF GOLD 27 days.
If you want to read more about the biggest horse racing festival of the year then check out our Cheltenham Festival odds page.