Cheltenham Festival

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09 Jan 18 11:26
Date Joined: 26 Oct 05
| Topic/replies: 78 | Blogger: shockster's blog
Willoughby Court is Fav here and looks the one to be on. More so to me because of his Neptune win over Neon Wolf than what he's achieved over fences.  Also the lack of competition makes him look stronger.  Yanworth, Footpad, Sceau Royale, Petit Mouchoir all seem likely to contest other races.  Where will Finians Oscar go but wherever it is he needs to improve his fencing but has obviously got an engine if he can put it all together.  Benatar looks like a runner and I'm sure will run well.  Of the others Sutton Place looks like he could be very good, but does he need soft?  Bamako Moriviere has some very smart form, but news on him is very quiet if non existent. So it's hard to get away from Willoughby Court IMO.

I really like Fountains Windfall for the RSA and have backed him for that with Monalee, but he is 40/1 NRNB for this and entered on Saturday in the Listed Chase over 2m4f as well as the 3m Hcp at Kempton.  I believe he'd have beaten Black Corton at Xmas and he's rated 155 so think he'll go 3m route but NRNB 40/1 has to be worth a small go in an open looking JLT.  If he were to run in the listed Chase and go close it may sway connections.
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Report shockster January 9, 2018 11:30 AM GMT
I should add that Fountains Windfall also needs to learn to jump but that's in the price. Silly
Report unclepuncle January 9, 2018 11:50 AM GMT
Al Boum Photo would have interested me but not at the 33-50% reduced nrnb odds - bloody waste of time.
Report buddeliea January 9, 2018 12:07 PM GMT
Would be handy to know what the owners are thinking re Footpad and Sceau Royale.
Both in the Arkle? or split them up?
Report Desmond Orchard January 9, 2018 12:52 PM GMT
They've said that they have no objection to running them both in the Arkle Bud and they do have form for doubling up in races.
Nonetheless, I couldn't have Sceau Royale for any race at Cheltenham, lovely animal, but it doesn't seem to be his course.
Report buddeliea January 9, 2018 1:53 PM GMT
Cheers Des
That sounds like its not set in stone,so we will probably have to wait until the week before we know for sure.
Personally I think it is the best race for both, but we do know how some of the owners like to have a go at winning two races.
Report shockster January 9, 2018 2:45 PM GMT
The below courtesy of RUK website sounds like it's RSA Only.  NRNB so not too worried.

Anthony Honeyball is keen to get a run into Fountains Windfall this weekend before stepping back up in class for the Reynoldstown Chase at Ascot next month.

He holds two entries at Kempton and one at Warwick after falling when leading the Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

"I've put him in all sorts, my head is a bit scrambled when it comes to him, I'm just trying to get some luck," said Honeyball.

"He's in a Listed chase at Kempton but I'm sure that won't be the right race for him, he's in a three-mile handicap and one that was reopened as well. I just need to get a clear round into him somewhere.

"To say he's fallen the last twice, he's not a bad jumper. I watched Kempton again and he jumped fantastically but just gave one a nudge and laid down basically.

"The Reynoldstown is where I want to run him and I need something between now and then. We've been to the races twice and not had a hard race so it would be a good to get a run now then it's a month to the Reynoldstown and a month until the RSA."
Report simdog84 January 9, 2018 4:26 PM GMT
Al Boum Photo is very interesting, Tycoon Prince franked the form earlier in the season and could turn out to be a fair chaser - one to note if turning up in a handicap too.
Report easygold January 9, 2018 4:51 PM GMT
Personally, I feel Aintree would suit him better, so maybe a disappointing effort at Cheltenham ??? and then you never know biggish odds for Liverpool in a smaller field.

TBF the RSA is a minefield so far this season, I have backed Monalee at 16/1 and Mia`s Strom at 33/1 and both have fallen last timeout but if the going is proper good to soft I can see Mia`s out running those odds.
Report impossible123 January 9, 2018 5:03 PM GMT
If the RSA is a minefield this race is quicksand after the scratching of Death Duty whose injury I'd apportion blame on connections running him in a 2m chase when clearly the horse would find the speed too pacy (probably) resulting in his season-ending injury. Both the market leaders ie Willoughby Vurt and Finians Oscar are not natural jumpers, the rest I have little knowledge of.

My two representatives in the RSA are Yanworth (courtesy of his 2nd in the Neptune) and Finians Oscar (Tolworth winner) but again both are not natural fencers. Hopefully, the extra 4f would compensate for that inadequacy.
Report joevalue147 January 9, 2018 6:08 PM GMT
Slap a pair of cheekpieces on Finian's Oscar on better ground and he'd be a different animal.   He actually has a lovely jump in him as proved when he bolted up around Cheltenham 3 runs back. They made a mistake running him over 2 miles and it was a cracking effort last time in Ascot when he would have given Benatar 5lb and a beating in a few more strides. (Having been too careful over his fences on the first circuit).  He jumped well on the final circuit in Ascot so we know he can jump, and we know he has a massive engine.  I can't wait to see him next time out. Im confident he will jump well all the way around next time and he will look a silly price(12s in a place at the moment)for the JLT.  People are too quick to crab horses. Especially horses of this lads calibre. Every Novice has to learn their trade. Some just take a little longer than others.  Team Tizzard still have 9 weeks to get him jumping solidily.     Thats loads of time. One thing is for sure which i am 100 per cent confident in and is that Finian's is a more talented horse than Willoughby Court. (whom i think should be going RSA).
Report buddeliea January 9, 2018 8:35 PM GMT
Looks like connections may disagree,talking about reverting back to hurdles for a tilt at the Stayers.

Have to say,he aint looked a natural to me over fences.
Report deepingfox January 9, 2018 10:05 PM GMT
I am a big fan of THE STORYTELLER in this race. I have considered all handicap options and all graded options and to me he is clearly a 2m4f play. Entered in Grade 3 over the trip in Ireland on Saturday and if he won that by 2 or 3 lengths he would be over the 145 rating for the Close Bros Novice Hcap, and fall firmly into this races radar. Got on at 20/1 NRNB for the JLT this evening. Left all of the other races, and fingers crossed for Saturday.
Report shockster January 16, 2018 9:02 PM GMT
Fountains Windfall now has an Official rating of 158. Obviously not going to run here, but a serious player in the RSA. Invatation Only quite impressed me over the weekend for this, could go RSA but not ran over 3m to date and with doubts about many runners in this, I'd run him here.
Report Can't Catch Me January 17, 2018 10:49 AM GMT
As an Invitation Only RSA backer at 33's I hope you are wrong shockster!!

Think Al Boum Photo might be the key.. he looks the speedier of the two and if he impresses at the Dublin Festival, I could see him being Ruby's ride in this, leaving IO for the RSA... fingers crossed anyway.
Report harry callaghan January 17, 2018 2:32 PM GMT
do you think invitation only will definitely run at cheltenham can't catch me?

serious question by the way, i'm not convinced they won't just wait for fairyhouse
Report Can't Catch Me January 17, 2018 3:43 PM GMT
I suppose you never know with WPM, but I see no reason why not if he's fit and well harry. He looks one of their very best novice chasers, possibly only behind Footpad in the pecking order imo, and they always want their best at Cheltenham. Wylie always keen to have as many runners there as possible too.

He only missed last year because he had a setback, but was being talked about as a Cheltenham horse all season.
Report harry callaghan January 17, 2018 4:30 PM GMT
i think you have a nice voucher if he rocked up in rsa but mullins on about not running him now till meeting it is just a bit smelly, who knows
Report Can't Catch Me January 17, 2018 5:08 PM GMT
Why smelly?

Similar campaign to a horse like Getabird for instance? In fact one more run... He has said other top prospects like Next Destination may go staright there? The Dublin festival might come a bit quick after his last run and there probably aren't many options after that.

Especially if he is going for the more gruelling RSA... makes sense to keep him nice and fresh. Only 8 weeks to go after all and he ran a few days ago!
Report harry callaghan January 18, 2018 11:16 AM GMT
just these comments below can't catch me, when he says "if he goes to cheltenham he will go straight there" make of that what you will but i wouldn't be certain he would definitely go and the powers gold cup must be in the back of there minds tbh but if he ran he would have a big chance no doubt...i'm just trying to sort him out 

Invitation Only was cut to as short as 6-1 for the JLT Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Mullins senior confirmed his charge could now head straight to Prestbury Park. He said: "He was very good and I thought his jumping was very good."I thought he was only idling in front. He's a horse that's starting to show the promise he showed early in his career."It's a nice stepping-stone for him. If he goes to Cheltenham he might go straight there. We were looking at the Dublin Racing Festival but maybe we don't need to go there and he could just go straight to Cheltenham for something there."We'd be looking at a longer trip, I suppose, as he stays and he jumps. He can run in anything."
Report impossible123 January 29, 2018 4:05 PM GMT
Brace yourself everyone,...Finian's Oscar could be heading this way once again, his trainer has opined (apparently).
Report sageform January 30, 2018 5:51 PM GMT
Well he didn't stay 3 miles on Saturday so their only hope is back at 2.5 with a wind op. They are running out of ideas though.
Report impossible123 January 30, 2018 7:09 PM GMT
Novicey jumping against stamina limitation, the two conundrum of Finian's Oscar. His 1st foray into 3m was on atrocious heavy ground thus the general consensus was he did not stay the distance. However, if the ground is good or better at the forthcoming Festival together with a quicker pace of the JLT compare to the RSA the JLT distance would not be in his favour - the RSA would be more suitable, I believe. Similarly, the Stayers, I'd think.

Prior to his run in the Cleeve Hurdle connections were adamant the Stayers was the race - no more fences this season - and 3m would not be an issue; a knee jerk decision making process seldom bear fruit in the long run. Each to his own.
Report sageform January 30, 2018 7:38 PM GMT
Unless the horse and the stable make a massive improvement I can't see FO winning anything at Cheltenham-may be a novice chase at Aintree.
Report impossible123 January 30, 2018 7:55 PM GMT
With Finian's Oscar (FO) having been subjected to indifferent running plans so far maybe the Aintree Hurdle over 2m 4f could be the (only) race for him this season. I agree, on present form unlikely to be winning anything at the Festival for both horse and trainer.
Report cvbyrne. January 30, 2018 9:27 PM GMT
Tizzard races his horses into the ground. They're past their best by time March rolls along. I'd freshen Oscar up and keep him over hurdles for maybe one more race then go to grass. Bring him back next season over fences with another year on him. He's only 6
Report joevalue147 January 30, 2018 10:42 PM GMT
He had a very productive season last season when running mainly over 2m 4ish.    His best run by far this season has been when he has lined up over 2m 4ish (At Cheltenham).    Now, (finally) it has been decided he will run next over 2mile 4ish.  Correct decision by connections to go back to the distance that the horse has been most successful at.
Report geoff m January 31, 2018 6:19 AM GMT
Benatar lost a leg last 24 hours
Report Desmond Orchard January 31, 2018 3:34 PM GMT
Hells teeth! Is there a thread that Finian's fkin Oscar is yet to infest?
Bad enough he has his own, vastly over-populated, thread - but at least you can ignore that.
I thought all the Yorkhill speculation was ridiculous, but at least he's been there and done it.
I don't get the obsession with this lad. There will be approx 90 horses that run into a place at this years festival, I doubt he's one of them.
Report buddeliea January 31, 2018 5:29 PM GMT
I dont really get it either, but it is rather funny reading some of the comments.
Report BigField February 7, 2018 5:26 PM GMT
tricky race this one, what's the consensus as to why Willoughby Court lost last time out? Is it because he made a bad mistake at a fence near the end? Monalee looks a real danger, but will Invitation Only improve for the better ground and likely quicker pace?
Report impossible123 February 7, 2018 7:01 PM GMT
Only a small interest in Finian's Oscar (win any race at the Festival) after my main bet Death Duty had been sidelined for the season due to an injury; Willoughby Court stuffed me at the last Festival beating my banker the ill-fated Neon Wolf so could be my nemesis again. But Monalee had decent form this season and last thus could be the one with the best chance of all.
Report buddeliea February 7, 2018 7:05 PM GMT
If he dont run in the RSA.
Report maam8mandingo February 7, 2018 7:14 PM GMT
Finian’s Oscar has been a buzz horse all his life! Just doesn’t appear to be as good as everyone thinks! It’s very simple
Report buddeliea February 7, 2018 8:03 PM GMT
Certainly aint been very good this season.
Report maam8mandingo February 7, 2018 8:14 PM GMT
Looks like the stable are clutching at straws now, just to get him to Cheltenham!
Report sageform February 7, 2018 8:15 PM GMT
But it could be the stable. I suspect that Hobbs and Tizzard both have a low grade infection which is stopping a lot of horses running to form.
Report maam8mandingo February 7, 2018 8:17 PM GMT
That’s very true, just seems more than an infection to me as it’s been all season with Finian’s Oscar!
Report the bloob February 7, 2018 9:47 PM GMT
does anybody know which race Cyrname is being aimed at? got a good form line with Sceau Royal through Shantou Rock
Report sageform February 8, 2018 9:13 AM GMT
Finians started off by being very cautious at fences but still won comfortably enough at Chepstow and Cheltenham. Since then, like most of his stablemates, things have gone downhill.
Report That is all February 8, 2018 11:18 AM GMT
Bloob - entries for this race & the Arkle. Will surely go JLT route & on his last running looks appealing to me... 33s on exchange & 20s on street currently. Longer in betting for the Arkle.
Report HaylingBilly February 8, 2018 10:12 PM GMT
Modus back on the track tomorrow at Kempton. Looked very good over fences first two runs and then fell last time out in heavy going at Exeter. A good winning return could see him shorten significantly for the JLT. Hope he pulls it off. AP pocket talking !!!
Report jakeybeany89 February 9, 2018 8:18 AM GMT
like the look of Gary Moores Benatar, Pulled the whole way round at Ascot as if they weren't going quick enough for it and he rates it very highly. looks a good play to me at about 10's as most of whats above it in the market have other more likely targets.
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