The research shows that favourite-backers enjoy an impressive 40% strike-rate with their selections on the Tuesday, before figures flounder as the week goes on.
A solid 30% of those sent off as favourite on day two found their way back into the winners’ enclosure, with the share tumbling to 26% for the Thursday and bottoming out at 19% for the Friday.
bettingexpert.com’s research into the fortunes of favourites at both Cheltenham and Royal Ascot over the last ten years has produced some fascinating results.
Flat racing’s premier meeting, Royal Ascot, is typically a better hunting ground for favourite-backers, with 33% of all favourites over the last ten years finishing first past the post, compared to 25% at the Festival.
The jewel in the crown at both events, the Gold Cup, has been a reliable source for triumphant favourites. But, again, it’s Royal Ascot that proves more lucrative for favourite-fancying punters, with 60% landing the week’s big prize over Cheltenham’s 40%.
There are certain contests at the Festival that have had bookmakers running scared. Seven of the last 10 favourites for the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle have won, while the Mares’ Hurdle (6/10) and RSA Chase (5/10) have also posted healthy returns for favourite-backers.
Stephen Harris, Horse Racing Editor at Better Collective, said: “This research will be music to the ears of Irish champion trainer Willie Mullins and owner Rich Ricci, whose horses head the betting for four of the six opening day races at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.
“If you are looking to get stuck into a shorty, maybe your best bet is to get in early and clean out the bookmakers on day one.”
bettingexpert.com also looked into how punters would have fared if they’d put £10 on every Cheltenham Festival favourite over the last four years.
The bookies were bashed in 2012 as a century-best 33.3% of favourites trotted up, returning a profit of £121.31 if you’d placed a tenner on the favourite in all 27 races.
Heading the betting hasn’t proved as reliable since, though, and favourite-backers have been punished in the last three Festivals.
Staking £10 on every favourite since 2012’s haul would see you reinvesting winnings to the tune of -£154.21, leaving an overall figure for the four years standing at -£32.90.
Thomas Høgenhaven, chief strategy officer at Better Collective, said: “There’s a host of hyped up horses at this year’s Festival and it’s hard not to get carried away. Taking a step back and looking at the stats can prove an eye-opener for all racegoers, and these numbers show that following the money isn’t necessarily the best tactic.
“We’re always looking at ways of helping the punter make a more informed bet, and digging deep into the Festival figures has hopefully aided our followers again this year.”
bettingexpert, developed and delivered by Better Collective, is the complete betting resource that brings together all the tools a punter needs to make the most informed wagers possible. Visit bettingexpert to view further details about the study and also Stephen Harris’ advised bets for the Cheltenham Festival.
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