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27 Nov 17 12:08
Date Joined: 11 Apr 02
| Topic/replies: 1,010 | Blogger: cyclops's blog
According to Racing Post ratings, Bristol de Mai ran to 185 on Saturday. I believe this is the highest since Kauto Star.

As a six year old, it's far from impossible that he has vaulted into the superstar league, following two seasons of solid, if unspectacular form. So are they right?

I don't think so. Rating a race like the Betfair is impossible, given the margin of victory; it can only be guesswork. The fact that the horses following the winner home had all but stopped by the entrance to the straight surely illustrates that they simply failed to handle the ground. The time of the race, while ten seconds quicker than the following race, (won by a 139 horse carrying the same weight) did not imply that something extraordinary was posted - Cue Card and co would have been tailed off in that race as well.

Bristol beat Blaklion narrowly (conceding 6lbs) on his re-appearance, very much suggesting form consistent with the level both had achieved previously. But a long way from Gold Cup form. My interpretation is that the Charlie Hall (after which B de M was easy to back around 35/1 for the Gold Cup) is a more realistic reflection of his ability than a race where some highly unreliable opponents unilaterally floundered.

I have been an enthusiastic layer at 12's and fully expect to be feeling pleased with myself after the King George.
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Report unclepuncle November 27, 2017 12:49 PM GMT
It was the nation hunt equivalent of Hawkwings Lockinge victory - incredibly impressive on the eye and on paper, but needs to be taken with a massive pinch of salt.
Clearly he just relishes the track and type of heavy ground they get at Haydock (3 chase wins and an aggregate winning margin of 111 lengths) and his form elsewhere, whilst very decent, isnt a patch on it.

Given he is still very young if we ever got another heavy round Grand National he could do a Crisp type performance, and with no Red Rum equivalent against him, he might win it by a distance.
Report Autocue November 27, 2017 1:36 PM GMT
I don't buy it. Dato Star used to look a world beater on heavy ground at Haydock before looking second rate over hurdles at Cheltenham. Wide margin wins on heavy at Haydock flatter horses that love the conditions there.
Report The Dragon November 27, 2017 6:44 PM GMT
lets see what the spring brings
Report duffy November 27, 2017 7:18 PM GMT
Twin Oaks around Haydock.
Report easygold November 28, 2017 1:19 AM GMT
That`s why the handicap system favours the punters at times. Ratings for horses winning on soft/heavy conditions go up and it`s possible they may not race on a surface of that nature for the rest of the season...... and the boys in charge go loopy for victories in a deep surface with wide margin victories both on the flat/jumps...
Jet Setting in beaten Minding a prime example but their rating stays the same on every kind of going...... or horses running at Southwell and then asked to repeat it somewhere else..... not going to happen....
Report buddeliea December 4, 2017 12:42 PM GMT
Agree with a lot said on here, but would add that hes still a young horse and probably open to more improvement.I don't expect him to win the Gold Cup,but he may prove me wrong.The KG I think is a real possibility though,and I have taken 33 for the double,in case he does prove me wrong,and it would be nice to have a 33/1 shot at a price a lot less if he wins the KG.
Report buddeliea December 4, 2017 12:45 PM GMT
Just to add.....I don't think we should underestimate the trouncing of useful 3m chasers. He didn't just win,he won by 2 or 3 distances!!
Report duffy December 4, 2017 4:38 PM GMT
I'd be surprised if he was as effective in the KG.
Report buddeliea December 4, 2017 5:29 PM GMT
May well be right but I ain't sure how much opposition there will be.
I like Might Bite a lot he's a monster imo,but he's only just out of novice company and he's the fav.
Report duffy December 4, 2017 7:15 PM GMT
I don't think Bristol will be able to lead MB, he'll be outpaced and that'll be it, he's not top class, he'll continue to look good around Haydock in the slop, but even the other day he was fortunate to come up against a set of rivals who simply weren't at it, cc looks gone and Outlander was on and off all race, BDM did his job well but it made him look way better than he is, yes look back to the spring to see where he slots into the pecking order.
Report buddeliea December 5, 2017 7:10 AM GMT
Well it's very possible he's improved from last season,he's certainly entitled to at his age.
I realise his Haydock form suggests he's simply better there and with the right conditions,but I look at the likely KG field and see. MB as his main threat,and to be honest not sure what else will turn up with better form than BDM.
Like I said,I really like MB and at this stage I see him as the best of the English for the Gold Cup,but he is a tad quirky and still pretty inexperienced,and if conditions on the day suit I can see BDM running a big race.
Put it this way,I will be surprised if a horse I have not mentioned wins the KG.
Report cyclops December 5, 2017 9:52 AM GMT
You seem to have ignored the Irish.

Douvan, Djakadam, Sizing John, Disko and a few others.

We have no idea which will run but I'd certainly be taking any of the above seriously if they turn up.
Report impossible123 December 5, 2017 11:03 AM GMT
Might Bite and Bristol De Mai are serious contenders for the Gold Cup especially if either can seal an emphatic win in the King George. If the former obliges, the likely ground and venue will suit, distance (?); if the latter wins the £1m bonus will enhance interest in the race. But I doubt Douvan is  Gold Cup (GC) bound with his trainer having Yorkhill (Champion Hurdle less likely now with the resurgence of Faugheen), and the GC distance too far to bridge after the Tingle Creek; Djakadam has had his chances and clearly does not stay the GC distance competitively and more likely Ryanair bound this year.

I'm not sure about Disko but I do think the only serious Irish contenders with form and potential are Sizing John (reigning champion) and possibly Our Duke, if he recovers from his injury in time.
Report Can't Catch Me December 5, 2017 11:36 AM GMT
I don't think Djakadam is more likely Ryanair bound. Think Min will be there horse for that race. Fancy him quite strongly for it myself.
Report Can't Catch Me December 5, 2017 11:36 AM GMT
*their ffs.
Report buddeliea December 5, 2017 12:15 PM GMT
I think all those are non runners.
Douvan if he does run has no form at the distance.No appeal for me.
If SJ were to come over then of course it all changes,but I will be surprised if he aint in the Lexus, same with Djakadam.
I don't think the Irish will have a serious challenger this year.
Report firstimevisor December 5, 2017 12:46 PM GMT
Djakadam stays the Gold cup trip no problem. He didn't get home this year but that was because he took out the second last by the roots. That would have knocked the wind out of any horse. He'll definitely go back for the GC again in march. Surely Un De Sceaux will go for the Ryanair again with Min a very likely runner too, depending on how the Ricci horses pan out between now and then
Report impossible123 December 5, 2017 12:58 PM GMT
I agree, Douvan is an unlikely GC contender next year.

The present fav for the Lexus (28th) is Yorkhill (5/2) with Djakadam (5/1) and SJ (6/1) which indicates the 1st named will be GC bound if successful; SJ an unlikely runner if he takes up his engagement this sunday in the John Durkan otherwise, he'd be the clear fav.

Last year Djakadam (5/4 fav) was given an injudicious ride in the Lexus. He is also exposed, on the downgrade and an unlikely winner of the King George or Lexus unless something very untoward happen to the more fancied principal runners eg Might Bite, BDM, Yorkhill and SJ; he's had his days of glory, I firmly believe.
Report Can't Catch Me December 5, 2017 2:43 PM GMT
There is absolutely no evidence that Djakadam is 'on the downgarde' as you put it. His run in the Punch Gold Cup was excellent, and only 4lb below his best ever. He is still only an 8 year old.
Report unclepuncle December 5, 2017 2:53 PM GMT
Will you promise to leave the forum if Djakadam wins the KG or Gold Cup?
Report cyclops December 6, 2017 9:15 AM GMT
You may underestimate Djakadam at your peril. I've been sniping away at 50/1 plus for a while now. (Gold Cup).
Not really because I'm confident he'll win but because I have few doubts he will aim at the race again (Ruby seems in no doubt) and, assuming he's in similar form as usual during the winter, he'll undoubtedly start very much shorter on the day. Hoping for at least a 33/1 bet to nothing, having laid off the stake.
He wouldn't be the first to win after a few attempts - The Fellow and The Dikler come to mind - and I agree with CCM that there is no evidence of decline. I have no doubt he'd have been second in three Gold Cups had he not made that uncharacteristic blunder two out and then he ran a stormer at Punchestown. Of course, there's the doubt about whether he'll ever get his nose in front up the Cheltenham hill but he's consistent, normally a fabulous jumper and a rock solid, top class performer who has run into two excellent winners and then blundered away his chance.
He's also too young for decline to be expected, in the hands of a master trainer and, were Ruby to ride him, (and he realistically may have only Yorkhill as an option) unlikely to go off at single figure odds.
I have no doubt there will be few takers for this argument - he wouldn't be 50/1 if there were - but I'd be extremely surprised if his odds don't plummet at some stage, possibly even this weekend.
Report firstimevisor December 6, 2017 9:54 AM GMT
He's a knockout bet at 50s, 33s or even 20s. As much as anything he's a sound horse and more likely than most to stay injury-free, won't be aimed at any other race, and as the Gold Cup field inevitably cuts up as the day approaches he could go back there with as good a chance as any.
Report impossible123 December 6, 2017 4:46 PM GMT
There is little doubt Djakadam will start shorter than 33/1 in the GC,...the question is will he run when there is only a very small chance of him winning, all things being equal; he might however, finish infront of BDM though. On the other hand the Ryanair is a much easier race to win, and the trainer/owner have form concerning a last minute detour eg Vautour.
Report firstimevisor December 6, 2017 5:19 PM GMT
I wouldn't think, for Djakadam at least, the Ryanair would be easier to win. Would he have beaten Un de Sceaux, Vautour or Cue Card when they won it? Nor could I see him having enough toe for UDS or possibly Min this time. Djakadam is a  proper stayer and the Gold Cup is where he should and will be aimed.
Report sageform December 6, 2017 7:44 PM GMT
Could easily be facing Fox Norton in the Ryanair if Douvan laps him over 2 miles.
Report cyclops December 26, 2017 4:22 PM GMT
I think we saw the answer to the question I posed at the top of this thread.
The only issue is whether would come into the reckoning in the unusual event of a heavy Gold Cup. Still would want to oppose him even then. Crumbles when the competition gets tough.
Report Autocue December 26, 2017 6:00 PM GMT
As expected his rating was a red herring. Form on heavy at Haydock isn't reliable. Well done to Might Bite as he was going at it a long way out and demolished Bristol de Mai.
Report Giddy January 25, 2018 1:14 AM GMT
The Cotswold this weekend will be interesting. Personally I don't think Bristol turned up Boxing day and it wasn't his true running. I would agree that the rating after the Haydock run was exaggerated but he certainly isn't as bad as the KG form suggests. Tea for Two turned the form around by 90 lenghts! I'm dismissing the Haydock form completely and seriously questioning the KG form now. Will see what happens the weekend. BTW The last 18 favs have been beaten in the Cotswold. Just read that in the Weekender which is not a good omen for BDM fans
Report BigField January 25, 2018 1:41 AM GMT
I'm surprised there's no odds for American for the Gold Cup anywhere, would be happy to take a big price on him but non available! may ring up a firm and see if they'll offer me 66/1 or something bigger
Report woodmanchester January 25, 2018 6:18 AM GMT
Monster ran like it had a soft spot last time
Report cyclops January 25, 2018 11:16 AM GMT
BigField, he's not entered so don't waste your dosh.
Report willie the milk January 27, 2018 3:11 PM GMT
This should be renamed Bristol the Haydock bully
Report cyclops January 27, 2018 5:51 PM GMT
Makes the Steve Dennis comment in the RP even more ridiculous than it appeared at the time: "If he can repeat his Haydock performance at Kempton, he could just be the best chaser any of us have ever seen".
Getting paid to write that was some achievement.
Report dunlaying January 27, 2018 6:07 PM GMT
So what was your rating for his Haydock performance?
Report cyclops January 28, 2018 10:03 AM GMT
Fairly lowly. As mentioned at the top of the thread, I think it was a freakish race and the result should be all but ignored. Subsequent form has franked that view.
Report buddeliea January 28, 2018 10:24 AM GMT
Think it was freakish as well, but it makes it bl00dy difficult for those whose job it is to give ratings.
Beating T42 as far as he did,then getting beat by T42  next time.

Whatever his rating should be,i do think the horse gets a lot of flack, which is not at all fair imo.
He does try his guts out every time,and the only horse that tried to take on Might Bite at Kempton.
Paid the price, but not the first one to do that,and wont be the last either.
Report dunlaying January 28, 2018 1:26 PM GMT
So no figure .
Subsequent form has shown it to be a good animal ; Tea For Two , Outlander ,Shantou Flyer have done the form no harm.
Report dunlaying January 28, 2018 1:42 PM GMT
Frodon could be next to cause a stir . What rating do you think published handicappers should give it?
Fairly high? Fairly lowly? Middling?
Report Meat Loaf February 4, 2018 7:32 PM GMT
Ok so far this season:
Charlie Hall - trainer says horse isn't fit. Beats competitive field comfortably. 8/10 performance
Betfair Chase - the best chase form of the season in the UK or Ireland 10/10
King George - 3/10 (jumped terribly)
Pillar Chase - 4/10 (Trainer out of form for 2/3 weeks - virtually every NTD horse flopped) - can we forgive him this run?

Connections now talking about the National, but surely they must still aim at the weakest Gold Cup in a generation?

Connections also have Vyta du Roc and Ucello Conti in National and no other Gold Cup representation.

I've taken 200s on here for Gold Cup and expect a MASSIVE run.

Report GAZO February 4, 2018 7:36 PM GMT
Will need the break,Aintree and not the national or wait for next season
Report Giddy February 4, 2018 8:10 PM GMT
I think they have been to the well too often this season. 4 tough races and Haydock probably took more out him than first thought. He is so obviously better when fresh and if he were mine
I would go for the Gold Cup as his only 7.
Report ReaseHeath February 4, 2018 8:21 PM GMT
Just for info, Meat Loaf, Vyta Du Roc has had a bout of colic and is touch and go to make the National.
Report Meat Loaf February 10, 2018 8:55 AM GMT
Shorter price for the National then the Gold Cup on the exchanges, maybe they want to saddle top weight round Aintree. What a strange decision.
Report Autocue February 12, 2018 2:47 PM GMT
Compare and contrast these Sporting Life headlines, one day apart.

February 11 2018, 12:36 Bristol De Mai still has Gold Cup aim
Nigel Twiston-Davies is not yet ruling out another tilt at the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Bristol De Mai.
February 12 2018, 11:37 Bristol De Mai heading to Betway Bowl at Aintree
Bristol De Mai is to be aimed at the Betway Bowl after being taken out of the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup.

I remember the Sporting Life as a quality newspaper but think the standard of journalism there is sh!t nowadays.
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