Bizarrely you would think that taking 7lbs off a decent handicap hurdler, might give one a fighting chance with Honest Bob, bookie to the gentry. I hate to disillusion you, or indeed to remove the experiential crust from the plate of young Ignatius O’Hare, claiming jockey to Mr Jumps-Ditch. But here’s something to consider about Festival Claiming Jockeys.
FACT: There have been 82 Handicap Hurdles at the Festival since 2003. No Jockey Claiming 6lbs or more has won any of the 53 races contested, from the 110 that have tried. 17 were placed for an e/w loss of £79. If you include the 5lb claimers, the figures then become: 260 Jockeys claiming 5lb or more in 77 of the 82 Handicap Hurdle races of The Festival since 2003, produced just 6 winners and 30 places for an LSP of -£145.50 and an e/w loss of -£128.62. The A/E is 0.56
RULE: You can safely ignore all 7lb+claimers in Festival Handicap Hurdle races and consider carefully rejecting all 5lb claimers in those races.