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Kim Muir Trends for the 2024 Cheltenham Festival

Jessica Lamb for Bookies.com

Jessica Lamb  | 13 mins

Kim Muir Trends for the 2024 Cheltenham Festival

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2024 Kim Muir Handicap Chase Trends

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The last 10 winners:

  • Had not won the Kim Muir before
  • Were rated on average 139, with no winner rated more than 143, or less than 131
  • Had won no more than three chases overall, if any
  • Had finished in the first three no more than four runs ago
  • Had run at least twice that season, but no more than five times
  • Had run at least four times over hurdles and had won up to five times, but generally only once or twice

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Nine of the last 10 winners:

  • Did not win last time out - but six of the last seven finished in the first three (Chambard won)
  • Had not won more than once that season, seven had no wins (Chambard won three times)
  • Had won no more than one handicap chase, eight won none (exception Chambard, who had won three handicap chases)
  • Were not French-bred - five placed out of 43 runners (Chambard)
  • Had run in at least five chases overall (Mount Ida ran in three)
  • Had run over 3m or further at least once (Milan Native)
  • Last ran no more than 76 days ago (The Package ran 96 days ago)

Eight of the last 10 winners:

  • Had run in at least two handicap chases (Mount Ida and Milton Native had run in none)
  • Had never won a Graded race (Mount Ida and Any Second Now had won a Grade 3 and Grade 3)
  • Had not won at Cheltenham before (The Package and Cause Of Causes had)
  • Were not older than nine years (12-year-old The Package and 10-year-old Chambard)
  • Wore headgear, a tongue tie, or both in the race (Chambard and Angels Dawn)
  • Carried 11st 1lbs or more (exceptions Angels Dawn carried 11st and Chambard carried 10st 12lbs)

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Key Trials in the last 10 years

With Cheltenham's handicaps, it's often better to look down the field in the popular trials, rather than at the winner, but we've given you the winners below as a guide. 

The Grade B Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown's Christmas Festival has produced two of the last 10 winners (Any Second Now and Spring Heeled). Meetingofthewaters won this in 2023, beating Panda Boy.

The Grade B Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Chase at Limerick's Christmas Festival has produced one winner (Domesday Book). Happy Dreams won the 2023 renewal, beating Glengouly.

In 2018 Missed Approach used Warwick's Classic Chase as a springboard to Kim Muir victory. This had also been contested by 2008 winner High Chimes. My Silver Lining won this in 2024, beating Galia Des Liteaux.

2020 winner Milan Native was stepping up markedly in trip at the festival having stuck to his task when second in a beginners’ chase at Gowran Park the previous month. 2021 winner Mount Ida was also a novice.

Trainer Trends

In the last 13 years David Pipe has saddled 24 runners in the Kim Muir, saddling two winners and two placed horses. He loves this race and is always worth following.

Gordon Elliott is emerging as a trainer to follow too. Elliott has landed two of the last 10 editions as well as saddling six placed horses.

Nicky Henderson has won the race three times but his last victory came back in 2005.

Jockey Trends

This race is confined to amateur riders, though professionals rode all the 2021 runners due to pandemic restrictions placed on amateur sports people.

Jamie Codd has won two of the last 10 runnings of the Kim Muir, for three different trainers. But he won't be riding this year.

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How did the trends do last year?

After the complete trends bust of Chambard in 2022, Angels Dawn was not a perfect trends fit in 2023 either. After 10 winners all weight a tongue tie or head gear, Chambard and Angels Dawn wore nothing.

Angels Dawn also lined up with a lower handicap chase rating than any winner since High Chimes in 2008. He won off 127, but all winners since had a rating of at least 134 and generally more than 137. Angels Dawn was 131. 

She did at least fit the exposure and age trends, with just one handicap chase win from three outings and no handicap hurdle win, which is common, while not a listed key trend.

Third-placed Mr Incredible, the Classic Chase second, was a great trends pick, but was lumbered with a huge top weight of 12st. Second Stumptown was a little exposed after winning by seven lengths in a handicap a month earlier, but he was only beaten a neck.

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Who Fits The Trends Best In 2024?

This is among the trickiest Cheltenham handicaps to predict this far out, but of those at the head of the betting, the horse best fitting the trends is City Chief for Nicky Henderson is another solid trends pick, having finished sixth in the Classic Chase last time out.

He's a Grade 2 winner over fences as a novice and has won one 3m1f handicap chase. He's run in two Cheltenham handicap chases this season over more than 3m, suggesting this is the goal, plus his handicap rating is a very attractive 138.

Apple Away also holds plenty of appeal on trends for Lucinda Russell, boasting an optimum handicap rating of 137, having won on of her four chase outings. She does lack handicap chase experience, but that isn't necessarily a negative on trends, and she is a Grade 1 winner over hurdles.

Meetingofthewaters and Daily Present are tentative trends picks. The former won the Paddy Power Chase on his first handicap chase outing and is only seven, but his rating of 145 in Ireland could mean his weight will be too high in the Kim Muir.

Daily Present is more under the radar having run four times over fences and won his first handicap chase by more than two lengths last time out. He was carrying 11st 13lb and had a tongue tie on for the first time. Now rated 133 in Ireland, he looks like he will get into the Kim Muir on an attractive mark. He's a good trends fit.

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2023 Kim Muir Handicap Chase Result

Position Name Price Trainer Jockey
1st Angels Dawn 10/1 Sam Curling PA King
2nd Stumptown 7/2f Gavin Cromwell Barry O'Neill
3rd Mr Incredible 4/1 Willie Mullins Patrick Mullins
4th Dunboyne 8/1 Gordon Elliott Jamie Codd
 

About the Author

Jessica Lamb is a multi-media journalist who specializes in horse racing, cycling and sports betting and has worked on desks at the Racing Post and Irish Sun newspapers.