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11 Dec 17 13:46
Date Joined: 11 Apr 02
| Topic/replies: 1,010 | Blogger: cyclops's blog
The JLT last season is looking like one of those definitive races which will point the way to stellar achievements for the principals.
Already this season we've seen Disko (3rd) take a Grade 2 easily (RPR 167) and now Politilogue (4th) a Grade 1 (RPR 170).

Of the two who fought out the finish, Yorkhill is third favourite for the Gold Cup.
But what about Top Notch?

Returning over fences after a pipe opener, he blew his Grade 2 field away, achieving an RPR of 167 over a stiff 2m5f.
Look again at the JLT finish. While many have noted that Yorkhill probably idled, Top Notch led two out, blundered, and was fully five lengths behind Yorkhill between the last two, before rallying strongly.
Whether he'd have beaten him I don't know, but I suspect he would.

Most of Top Notch's races have been over two and a half miles - never much further - but might he step up?
He's entered in the King George, so it hasn't been ruled out.

I realise owner and trainer have other, more fancied possibilities for the Gold Cup but a lot can happen and a Gold Cup entry for Top Notch would not be fanciful.
The last two Gold Cup winners have both been available at spectacular odds in the ante post market; Don Cossack was 70/1 after running in the Ryanair (still 40/1 after winning the Melling by a distance).
I don't know what Sizing John traded at before the Irish Gold Cup but seem to recall it was in three figures. Both of these examples were priced up on the assumption they were suited by shorter distances, which they emphatically proved not to be the case.

While Top Notch does not have their physique or profile, his achievements at this stage of his chasing career are comparable and he is in rude health and, at the age of six, likely to have improvement in him.
The Ryanair is his probable target. But a lot can happen in the next three months and, at 220/1, and with the two examples above fresh in mind, a little loose change can surely be justified.
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Report impossible123 December 11, 2017 2:03 PM GMT
If any has a chance in the Gold cup he'd be the one,...has the form and potential. What about stamina? Could 3m 2.5f be his nemesis bearing in mind he took it up after the last in the Triumph but ceded to Peace And Co; juicy price of 210 here.
Report FOYLESWAR December 11, 2017 2:44 PM GMT
worth  go at that kind of price, risk and reward  only need a £5 on for a nice return if it cops  and if he lines up you are in with a shout ,if he dont turn up only  lost loose change ,whisper was my idea of a cover bet for mite bite but only 22/1 on here  will wait and see if he lengthens ..good luck
Report shockster December 11, 2017 4:03 PM GMT
It's a fair shout Cyclops. Have had a little go at 180.
Report cyclops December 11, 2017 4:30 PM GMT
The pulse would certainly begin to quicken were he to get an entry next month. As Anthony Bromley said, the owners are always happy to pit their horses against each other if necessary.
Report buddeliea December 11, 2017 5:04 PM GMT
Along with UDS my fav horse in training.
Really consistent horse. Who always seems to give his all,must be a dream to own.
Be amazed if he's aimed at the gold Cup,but as you and others say,at that sort of price worth a small punt.
Report Middle_Of_March December 11, 2017 11:03 PM GMT
He was entered in the King George in case BDM didn't run through injury.

However, Munir has alreasy told the trainer that he doesn't want them both running if BDM is fit because of the million bonus.

So for that reason, if BDM was to win the KG, Top Notch won't be in the gold cup.
Report cyclops December 12, 2017 12:54 PM GMT
I can see that reasoning, but the price more than reflects that. I'm not expecting BdeM to win the KG myself.
Report buddeliea December 12, 2017 4:58 PM GMT
So can I see that reasoning,but if at some time Top Notch proved to be a serious GC contender,I am sure the owners would not mind two goes at the race. Even if TN won I am sure they would not be too bothered.
How much is the Gold Cup to the winner?
Report unclepuncle December 12, 2017 8:01 PM GMT
Had a look at the bigger price horses and the one that jumps out to me is Empire of Dirt at 260.
Should have run in the race last year having run Sizing John very close in the Irish Gold Cup but the O'Leary factor meant he was aimed at the Ryanair where UDS ran him off his feet.

I'm assuming from that price that he is out for the season - anyone know anything concrete?
Report impossible123 December 14, 2017 5:57 PM GMT
After the victory of Top Notch (TN) today his trainer Hendo has been reported to say he's "gagging" to run Top Notch in the King George but for Bristol De Mai (BDM) - same ownership. Should BDM bomb at Kempton there is every chance TN will be trained for the Gold Cup with/out the presence of BDM, I firmly believe.
Report geoff m December 14, 2017 8:34 PM GMT
Dont understand why connections shouldnt run in the King George irrespective of BDM. They find out whether Top Notch is just that and gold cup outsider with a chance of picking up a significant amount of prizemoney along the way
Report impossible123 December 14, 2017 9:16 PM GMT
TN could jeopardise BDM path to the £1m bonus potty. I think he'll go for the Gold Cup post the King George, if BDM bombs; he is only 7yrs old and improving, and will have a favourite's chance in the Ryanair despite the market saying different, I believe. I'd have him over UDS (10 yrs old), and Fox Norton (on price).
Report cyclops December 15, 2017 10:03 AM GMT
Well, there's a bit of interest for those of us who have opted to back Top Notch at sporting prices.
Certainly, Henderson's comment about the KG for this horse is encouraging for his chances of him coming off the subs bench if BdeM doesn't enhance his Gold Cup chances at Kempton.
A rock solid performer.
Report wellchief December 15, 2017 9:21 PM GMT
Excellent shout Cyclops, and good write up as usual, although I do think he'll end up in the Ryanair.

I do like the JLT angle though and Disko is the one who interests me in the Gold Cup at the minute, although I do concede if Sizing John carries on in this vein of form, he'll be really difficult to beat.  In my opinion Sizing John is the most underrated horse in racing by a distance.  If the likes of Kauto, Denman, Don Cossack, Cue Card etc would of won the Irish Gold Cup, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Punchestown Gold Cup and the John Durkan on the trot we'd never of heard the end of it, Sizing just goes about his business quietly and efficiently.

Anyway, back to Disko - I personally thought he was given a poor ride in the JLT, although not making excuses as I doubt he would have won anyway...however, I always saw him as a stayer, so for Cooper to sit him in behind Yorkhill, he'd never outsprint him up the hill.  I see him as a proper 3 miler and made a good start to this season and I'm surprised he's as big as 25's.

He's the second season chaser that I look for in a Gold Cup horse, gradually moving up in trip, rather than a 3m novice chaser.  I'm sure there are loads of stats for 3m chasers, but I prefer a speedier 2.5m novice chaser and move up in distance in their first Gold Cup year.
Report cyclops December 17, 2017 10:35 AM GMT
Completely agree on Disko. Overpriced for sure and could well become a leading contender. Enough speed and promising to have the required stamina, too.

Also in your camp re Sizing John. Perhaps his string of easy defeats at the hands of Douvan tarnish him in some eyes, but he has proved an entirely different proposition once moved up to three. Could not believe that Many Clouds won chaser of the year; sentiment aside, SJ was in a different league, as some of the Irish journalists have not been slow to point out, and it seems he may be even better this time around. And he's only seven! Cherish him while we can; he could yet be in very top league of staying chasers in recent years.
Report cyclops December 26, 2017 4:46 PM GMT
In the light of Double Shuffle's gallant effort in the King George (thrashed by Top Notch last time out in receipt of weight) and Bristol de Mao's eclipse, it will not have escaped Top Notch's connections that he has the best form in the book this season, at least on one reading of the form book.
Could momentum develop for a Gold Cup challenge?
Report impossible123 December 26, 2017 5:59 PM GMT
Yep, Hendo could be double-handed in the Gold Cup at the Festival. And not without a shout either if Top Notch turns up.
Report FOYLESWAR December 26, 2017 7:04 PM GMT
have backed top notch as cover for might bite( after reading this thread a while back ) in the gold cup ,havent got the massive prices but happy at around 100/1 ,the op puts up a good case  and a progressive horse with good form in the book already  stepping up in trip far far worse bets if this fella turns up , well spotted cyclops, good luck
Report wellchief December 27, 2017 10:48 AM GMT
I still expect Top Notch to be in the Ryanair, but BDM's run yesterday does boost his chances of running in a GC.

However, all his form is over 2.5m and I can't see them this year turning down a favourites chance in a Ryanair to be a middle of the pack GC runner. Next year might be different though.

Re his beating of Double Shuffle, I think yesterday showed he is a 3 miler and he got better and better as the race unfolded, personally think TN beat DS over his optimum trip and one too short for DS.

Good luck TN backers though, all still to play for!
Report impossible123 December 27, 2017 2:50 PM GMT
I think the Ryanair is more competitive next year with UDS, Fox Norton and Coney Island; Yorkhill, Min and Djakadam (all possibles), if the former bombs in the Lexus.

A good chance Top Notch could end up here instead.
Report buddeliea December 27, 2017 5:14 PM GMT
His next entry will be interesting.
Report FOYLESWAR December 28, 2017 5:45 PM GMT
todays run by yorkhill looks like a return to a drop back in trip could be the way forward with the ryanaire being ideal imo ,that could well prompt top notches connections into having a tilt at the big one.
Report the bloob December 30, 2017 10:44 AM GMT
I've had a dabble on Blaklion at 40s, I can't see there being any other race for him at Cheltenham, it's either run in this or swerve the meeting and head straight to Aintree. Sure to be given a massive weight in the Grand National so the GC may become a better proposition. I always find it hard to back a horse with obvious multiple targets, especially when one (the Ryanair) is far more likely than the other (Gold Cup). But best of luck with Top Notch, a lot will change between now and Cheltenham and this will be one I will keep an eye on when NRNB starts to appear
Report buddeliea December 30, 2017 12:35 PM GMT
Watched the JLT again this morning.
Top Notch certainly weren't stopping at the end,running up the hill very well and closing on Yorkhill,and had he not missed the 2nd last I think he may well have won the race.
See no reason why they should not have a go at 3m,but have a feeling that will not be until next season.....King George??
I still eagerly await his next entry though!!
Report wellchief December 30, 2017 4:34 PM GMT
I think TN will be a 3 miler next year rather than this, but you never know! He is certainly an unexposed improving type.

Bloob, I think NTD said Blaklion was going for the Grand National Trial at Haydock in February then to Aintree like he did last year (that was after he won the Becher anyway)
Report the bloob December 30, 2017 6:44 PM GMT
thanks wellchief, felt like it was worth a speculative at 40s and you never know. I just feel as though Blaklion's chances of winning the GN have been taken away by the handicapper, now 9lbs higher than when coming 4th last year, and handicapper likely to add on a couple of pounds for the race too, with last year and the Becher win taken into account. I think he has improved since last year, and maybe went into the lead too soon in last year's race so winning the race is not impossible. If it was my horse I would go for both, rather than putting all eggs in one basket (especially given the luck needed in a GN). Other horses in recent years have used the Gold Cup as a prep for the GN and ran well, Hedgehunter and Teaforthree are examples
Report the bloob December 30, 2017 6:57 PM GMT
I found this quote on Sportinglife from NTD before the Becher, "If he romps home, do we maybe start looking at him as a Gold Cup horse? I don't know."

please Nigel, stick to your word!
Report impossible123 December 30, 2017 8:15 PM GMT
Four weeks between the Gold Cup and Grand National thus Blaklion could possibly run here as well as the National. But unlikely the latter should he win the former. Synchronised?

I'd think TN (if he's entered) has a better chance than Blaklion winning - both rated fairly similar officially.
Report the bloob December 30, 2017 9:16 PM GMT
the thing I like about Blaklion is that the going will be pretty much irrelevant, he has performed under all conditions. If it comes up soft or worse there will be a few others that won't like it, an RSA winner too so the course is not a problem either, as well as the trip
Report impossible123 December 30, 2017 10:04 PM GMT
I understand Blaklion won the RSA, but he was being ridden between the last 2 fences. He won it because No More Heroes (2nd fav) broke a tendon having jumped to the front 2 fences out (after passing Blaklion) whilst going like the winner; More Of That broke a blood vessel after the last (he, Blaklion and Shaneshill jumped the last virtually in unison); the eventual 2nd Shaneshill does not stay 3m.

Might Bite and Sizing John both would prefer good ground but good to soft/soft are ok too. If heavy, BDM (if he handles the track), Our Duke, Native River and Minella Rocco would most likely finish infront of Blaklion, all things being equal.

Blaklion has a chance here, but a much greater one in the National if his weight does not burden him post his two successive scintillating victories, and being held up.
Report Meat Loaf December 31, 2017 9:14 PM GMT
Valseur Lido is very interesting
Report impossible123 January 1, 2018 9:50 PM GMT
VL is interesting indeed. Ran in the Ryanair instead of the Gold Cup, why? He seemed to have been outstayed by Outlander in the 2016 Lexus.

Anyone any news and/or running plan for Empire of Dirt? Declared for the Lexus last month but scratched.
Report buddeliea January 6, 2018 4:29 PM GMT
Just taken 33 nrnb Double Shuffle.
Further improvement for another step up??

Just Had a good look at all the races where odds nrnb are available at the festival.
That was the only one that appealed.
Report dunlaying January 7, 2018 3:13 PM GMT
A fair enough prospect Buddleia .
There are plenty "bubbling under" ; Definitly Red , for example. He keeps improving.
Bristol De Mai is overpriced at 25/1 . Tea For Two , Outlander , Shantou Flyer , Definitly Red and Blaklion have done his form no harm at all. He is a monkey I think and I don't buy the ulcers excuse but on his day he is a good tool.
Waiting Patiently is another to keep in mind .
Report Giddy January 7, 2018 8:23 PM GMT
I also haven't given up on Bristol. For what he has or hasn't done this season it was last seasons GC that really caught my eye. He wasn't able to dictate and his jumping was a bit sketchy but
only about 5 lenghts off the leaders jumping the last. He was never going to get in the shake up and made a real howler at the last and came home in his own time. The Pillar at HQ is his next target and will be interesting to see what else is lining up.
Also had a few quid on Def Red and Empire of Dirt at fancy prices. Def Red has solid form with Blaklion and Native River and Empire of Dirt ran Sizing John to less than a lenght in last seasons
Irish Gold Cup,although his form thereafter was pretty dismal. Yet to be seen this season
Report maelduin January 8, 2018 11:51 AM GMT
Was very impressed by Anibale Fly in the PP Chase. Going for the Irish Gold Cup next. Still has 7-8lbs to find on the top horses but i think he has the potential. A decent performance in the IGC and he'll be a lot less then the 50/1 odds currently with Stan James. In a few at those prices. GL
Report buddeliea January 10, 2018 12:19 PM GMT
Top Notch not entered
Report dunlaying January 10, 2018 1:11 PM GMT
They can be supplemented.
Report buddeliea January 10, 2018 1:34 PM GMT
of course, just saying hes not in the entries.
Report impossible123 January 10, 2018 4:26 PM GMT
No Yorkhill but the elusive Empire Of Dirt had stood his ground. Anyone any news about the latter? All I know he's alive but nothing else!
Report buddeliea January 10, 2018 5:45 PM GMT
Minella Rocco 25/1 nrnb is now gone.
Still twice the price of Native River though, bit weird that.
Report irishone January 10, 2018 10:45 PM GMT
balko des flos entered by henry db
25/1 is a fecking insult
should be double that
on account ofneeding hock deep mud
Report Callisto-moon January 14, 2018 11:11 AM GMT
top notch on betfair exchange matched bets now shows as odds of 0.
I understand thats due to it not being entered.
what happens if its supplimented is it then a new market or do I get the old odds back?
Report Fabulous January 14, 2018 2:48 PM GMT
Old odds back Callisto
Report Callisto-moon January 14, 2018 9:04 PM GMT
cheers fab
Report impossible123 January 15, 2018 6:02 PM GMT
Does Empire Of Dirt still possess 4 running legs? There seems to be a persistent of willing 'sellers' at generous prices for him for this race. Not a whisper about his well-being (or not).
Report wellchief February 12, 2018 6:59 PM GMT
Fascinating Ascot Chase next week - will tell us if Top Notch deserves his current second place in the Ryanair market - this race will definitely shake up the market behind Un De Sceaux, although whoever wins, I doubt we'll have a new favourite this time next week.

General prices below for Ascot and Ryanair respectively.

Top Notch 9/4 & 5/1
Waiting Patiently 3/1 & 8/1
Coney Island 3/1 & 10/1
Frodon 8/1 & 16/1
Cue Card 9/1 & 25/1

If you ignore the likely non runners in the Ryanair betting, we have 3 of the top 6 in the Ryanair betting engaged in this.
Report Desmond Orchard February 12, 2018 8:59 PM GMT
That’s a very strong looking race.
Would love Old Cuey to return to form, he gagged up in this last year. But the stronger field and another year won’t be helping, still 9/1..........
I’ll end up backing him, I always do. I’ll be on him for the National when he’s 14yo and set to carry 11-10.

Sentiment aside, I’ve been hugely impressed with Waiting Patiently, whereas I see Top Notch as a little over-regarded. At the prices I prefer the chase Cuey home at a respectable distance Crazy
Report Quevega06 February 12, 2018 9:09 PM GMT
I think Coney Island will be Gold Cup bound after this
Report buddeliea February 12, 2018 9:16 PM GMT
Top Notch is my fancy for the Ryanair,think hes improving and his last run was very good with a great round of jumping,his best chase performance so far imo.
Waiting Patintly though is also an improver and big danger Saturday and in March.
Think these two will fight it out this week,and Top Notch(and possibly WP) will get past UDS at Cheltenham.
Report wellchief February 12, 2018 10:33 PM GMT
Un De Sceaux very much the one still to beat imo; I would of said Fox Norton too before his King George run.  I think Un De Sceaux's price of 7/2 is very generous in the grand scheme of things.

He's not that much shorter in the betting than Top Notch, who whilst has a lot of potential, is some way short of Un De Sceaux at the minute in my book, although UDS has probably peaked whereas Top Notch is still on the up.

However, I think UDS is one of the best value bets across all the Grade 1 races.
Report buddeliea February 13, 2018 8:01 AM GMT
You may be right Chief, and we all know how much I like UDS!!
I just feel now that he is vulnerable to a finisher,and Top Notch could well do him up the hill.
Fascinating race though, could be one of the best all week.
Their are certainly a few others in contention.
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