It’s happened to all of us at one time or another. You turn up somewhere you’ve been invited to and you’re wearing your best Waikiki Beach Surfing Shirt and a pair of shorts and flip-flops. You’ve bought a six-pack and a smile and the door opens on a scene of sophisticated elegance, as the besuited throng snack on canapes, drinking fizz and chatting away like billyo, before the main event. Always tricky, because inevitably the host wants to know what the hell you’re doing there and embraassment ensure all round.
Exactly the same applies, to horses who turn up at Cheltenham with what looks like the wrong invite.
FACT: There were 249 Class 1, (Grade 1,2,3 and Listed Races), Non-Handicap races since 2003. Of those races, 175 were contested by 424 runners who ran in a handicap LTO. Between them they only produced 9 Winners (2.12%) and 45 places (10.61%) for an LSP of -£345 win and -£544.66 e/w. The A/E is 0.46. Interestingly 8 of those 9 winners had a top 3 finish in their LTO handicap which should help your decision-making process.
RULE: Any horse running in a Festival C1 non-handicap, who ran in a handicap LTO can probably be discarded – more so if that handicap run LTO did not involve a top 3 finish.