For those for whom resilience in a horse is one of the more commendable qualities, Djakadam deserves mention as one of the most consistent and best staying chasers of recent times.
The two races where he has excelled, without winning, are the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Punchestown equivalent. Incredible records in both.
Four Cheltenham GC's, coming second twice, fourth (beaten only three and a quarter lengths) and fifth. Pushing Coneygree to the limit, keeping Don Cossack honest and looking set to win before taking the second last with him the following year. A touch disappointing this year but a fair effort again.
Four consecutive runner-up slots at Punchestown; served it up to Don Cossack, gave best to Carlingford Lough before agonisingly short-headed by Sizing John and now edged out by Bellshill, though coming right back at him in the last strides.
An incredible record, made more so by performances elsewhere in addition. Barring a fall in a Cheltenham Grade 2, his last 15 runs have been in Grade 1's and he has placed in 12 of them. At nine years old, he's already notched 15 RPR's of 160+ in his 21 chases.
While his only Grade 1 victories have been in John Durkan chases, he has been a worthy opponent for all for four consecutive seasons at the top level. Thundering up the straight at Punchestown four years in a row, he has been magnificent each time.
My personal view is that he's at his best on better ground and, if he can keep his enthusiasm, there's no reason why his impressive record shouldn't stretch further. A fluent jumper, grand stayer and genuine performer, it is noteworthy that for those four seasons, he has been Willie Mullins staying chaser par excellence, without quite snaring the biggest prizes. He represents much of what jumping is all about.
Nice write up cyclops his 8 length win in the thyestes chase of 145 wasn’t bad either ,he was disappointing in many clouds Hennessy and a little disappointing in cue cards aintree race in 2016 but that was soon after having a hard race in the gold cup,even his poor run in this seasons Lexus could be put down to having only an 18 day gap since running on bad ground in the John Durkan.but yes a great staying chaser who never misses a gig.
Nice write up cyclops his 8 length win in the thyestes chase of 145 wasn’t bad either ,he was disappointing in many clouds Hennessy and a little disappointing in cue cards aintree race in 2016 but that was soon after having a hard race in the gold
Sadly, my post will have to be a reminder of a fine horse, rather than an anticipation of more great performances, following his retirement.
Eclipsed understandably by Denman's demise, Djakadam was nonetheless a remarkable horse and some of the memories above will remain with me for a long time.
He just lacked that extra something - turn of foot? bottomless stamina? - that could have turned him into a Champion but he remains one of the very best staying chasers Mullins has ever trained and a horse who, at his best, would not have looked out of place against any of the best horses of recent eras.
Sadly, my post will have to be a reminder of a fine horse, rather than an anticipation of more great performances, following his retirement.Eclipsed understandably by Denman's demise, Djakadam was nonetheless a remarkable horse and some of the memori