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Festival Trendspotting: Sires

It often pays to avoid the obvious when searching for a decent priced-winner, and the use of sire statistics can be a useful tool.

Knowing which horses are bred to go well at a certain track isn’t something the majority of bookies or punters will be using in their armoury at the Festival, meaning the following table to highlight some potential bargains.

The table features the leading sires from every meeting at Cheltenham since 2003, along with the distances and ground over which their progeny excelled. For instance, a glance at the sire Oscar tells us that his progeny performed best at Cheltenham when stepped up in trip from 2m to 2m4f or further.

Top Sires at the Cheltenham Festival

All races at the Cheltenham Festival from 2003-2012.

Sire Total £1 stake 2m-2m1f 2m4f-2m6f 3m-3m2f 4m+
Presenting 27-258 -21 5-57 6-67 14-107 0-16
Kings Theatre 26-156 +24 10-59 7-55 7-33 --
Old Vic 26-191 -26 4-36 8-58 14-86 0-4
Oscar 24-186 -26 4-44 11-62 7-68 2-5
Flemensfirth 22-145 +35 4-27 9-46 8-61 0-6
Accordion 20-188 -43 6-45 5-61 9-66 0-5
Supreme Leader 19-221 -23 5-42 6-81 8-84 0-11
Cadoudal 14-97 -39 2-16 2-29 9-41 0-2
In The Wings 13-107 +26 2-37 3-25 7-43 1-2
Bob Back 13-126 -68 5-30 4-45 4-40 0-4
Sadlers Wells 13-166 -53 3-59 4-58 4-43 --
Mister Lord 12-93 -33 0-8 2-23 9-49 1-4
Dom Alco 12-63 +9 2-7 6-25 4-27 --
Karinga Bay 12-99 +34 4-28 3-38 5-27 0-2
Pistolet Bleu 11-82 -8 6-42 4-25 1-13 0-1
Lord Americo 11-136 -24 0-25 4-36 7-64 0-5
Kahyasi 10-105 +29 5-47 4-34 1-24 --
Saddlers Hall 10-113 +12 1-21 3-31 3-48 1-2

Kings Theatre was the top sire at last year’s Festival courtesy of a 3-16 (+£3) return, in the process making him one of the most profitable sires to follow blindly at Cheltenham, and while his progeny remain solid over most trips, it is over 2m-2m1f in particular that they have an excellent record.

One of his stock who has already taken a liking to this unique venue is The New One, a winner of two of his three races here, while Regal Encore has yet to run at Cheltenham, but could be a name to note if lining-up in March.

Oscar also fared well at last year’s meeting courtesy of two winners, and with his offspring have a crisp record over 2m4f-2m6f, it could make interesting reading for the likes of Clondaw Kaempfer, who is entered in the Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle. Meanwhile, the improving, William’s Wishes, has yet to experience Cheltenham, but certainly looks bred for the job.

Not only did Kings Theatre and Oscar finish 1-2 in the Festival sire table 12 months ago, they were also the leading sires at Cheltenham throughout 2012, where they were responsible for 13 winners between them – once again, providing enough of a clue towards any of their stock that race here over the big four days in March.

Two other stallions whose progeny did well in 2012 were Dom Alco and Karinga Bay. While the former’s stats are slightly skewed by Grands Crus and Al Ferof, who were responsible for half of Dom Alco’s winners, the fact his numbers are increasing, in tandem with profit, make him a sire of real interest, as can be seen via the following breakdown.

Dom Alco’s jumps progeny at all tracks since 2010

2012 24-111 +£57
2011 19-74 +£39
2010 16-55 +28

While Dom Alco has limited runners entered up for the Festival, the one standout runner yet to have experienced Cheltenham, and may therefore improve further here is the improving, Gevrey Chambertin.