Cheltenham Festival

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22 Dec 10 19:19
Date Joined: 14 Mar 06
| Topic/replies: 5,105 | Blogger: CVByrne's blog
Binocular - The reigning champion, he put in an excellent performance in last seasons Champion Hurdle to defeat Khyber Kim by 3 1/2 lengths.

Pros: Loves Cheltenham, 3 consecutive good performances at the festival, trained for one day so poor early season form not as much of a concern. Likes good ground which he gets in March. Visually classy animal who travels and jumps like the best hurdlers.

Cons: Possibly inconsistent, can pick holes in the 2010 Champion Hurdle win, analysis of the rivals Go Native (got injured), Solwhit (was sick), Zaynar (poor form since), Starluck (needs flat track), Celestial Halo, Punjabi (no longer up to Champion Hurdle class). Which leaves Khyber Kim who was a consistent animal last term, but may need softer ground over 2m and hasn't been seen yet this season. (Would have been excellent had he run in the bula against the 2nd season hurdlers)

Also Binoculars three best performances have come with Celestial Halo setting a very strong gallop resulting in horses tiring later in the race, a comparison with the Supreme field in last two years has seen the Supreme well behind with 4f left to go before catching a tiring Champion Hurdle field. Binocular has been beaten in a few races where the pace has been sedate, with no Celestial Halo and pace makes being ignored (like in the Bula) the pace of this years Champion may be slower than the past two.

Verdict: If he turns up in the form he was last time, with g/s or better ground and there is a decent rival setting a strong gallop it would take something special to beat him.

Hurricane Fly - Without doubt the best Irish hope, fto defeat of a race fit Solwhit on his opponents ideal distance and conditions was another improvement from the little horse. Proven better than two multiple Grade 1 winners in Solwhit and Go Native.

Pros: Very consistent, gutsy, versatile, classy performer with plenty of stamina who travels exceptionally well through his races with a slick hurdling technique and an exceptional turn of foot. He has shown everything you want in a top class hurdler and as yet has exhibited no clear weakness.

He is a very exciting prospect. It is impressive how he gets to the head of affairs still on the bridle in big fields despite any trouble in running and responds every time when asked a question. Improvement will be needed and should come with an uninterrupted campaign given massive improvement shown from 1st to 2nd run in his novice days. If similar improvement is seen in his next two races and given his turn of foot, he will relish the good ground at Cheltenham and he could possibly go off fav for the Champion Hurdle.

Cons: Never even raced in England, let alone Cheltenham. Has as yet to show a level of form good enough to win a Champion Hurdle. Has twice missed Cheltenham due to injury, but this should not be too much of a concern as the horse is no value as an antepost prospect. He has yet to experience the end to end gallop that he will experience in a Champion hurdle and will have to tackle the hill for the first time. Could well go to Cheltenham having only run in 3 slowly run races in Ireland on soft ground against only Solwhit each time. Also regular jockey Paul Townend may be forced to give the ride to Ruby Walsh who has only ridden the horse once in a Novice Hurdle.

Verdict: Hugely exciting horse who looks every bit a Champion Hurdler but totally unbackable at current odds given his injury record, but certainly a big player if getting there on the back of two more good runs.

Menorah - Supreme, Greatwood and Bula winner. He's 3/3 at Cheltenham and looks to be improving.

Pros: Well clearly his Cheltenham form is a big plus, he's won three races at the track in different manners, the Supreme where he was bumped about a bit and still got to the front to win, the Greatwood giving weight away and the bula putting the race to bed early by leaving two highly rated hurdlers in his wake with a turn of foot off the bend. He's a consistent and likeable horse who is improving.

Cons: Has he really beat enough? While Silviniaco Conti and Cue Card are highly rated neither achieved their ratings in a 2mile open company hurdle race, both are 4yo's and hugely inexperienced having run a combined 5 hurdle races between them going into the bula. So is a 5l defeat of Silviniaco Conti in receipt of 4lbs really form to beat the likes of Binocular, Khyber Kim and Hurricane Fly in a Champion Hurdle? In my opinion most certainly not, but he is an improver, so he may well improve again to feature.

Also the horse will go chasing next season if he fails to win the Champion, horses with set plans from an early stage to go chasing have a poor record in the Champion Hurdle, it's that they lack the slickness over hurdles that top class hurdlers have. It's like "we'll have a go at the Champion Hurdle before we go Chasing".

Verdict: An improving horse how could well improve enough to win, but 4/1f for the race is a complete farce given what he's beat, he's completely unbackable at those prices and a drift to 6/1 on the day is almost certain, huge lay at current odds for those inclined.

Peddlers Cross - Unbeaten hurdler who was winner of the Neptune at the festival and claimed the scalp of the Champion Binocular in the Fighting Fifth.

Pros: Well he's unbeaten for a start, he's got stamina having won over 2m5f at the festival something he'll need in a Champion Hurdle, he has the speed for 2m given he won the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth (a race which has featured the last 3 Champion hurdle winners). What was interesting about the FF win was how he found plenty off the bridle, how he picked up again after the last when challenged a trait that is very likable and reminds us of the tough battlers Hardy Eustace and Brace Inca. With another run to come at Haydock in January we will get to see more of Peddlers and hopeful see improvement and get more clues.

Cons: How fit was the Binocular he beat? The visual impression was of Binocular travelling up on the bit to jump the last then blowing up, it was a far cry from the binocular who powered up the hill in the Champion Hurdle. It's also more likely that Peddlers was more fit than Binocular that day, if you want to test yourself against the Champ you're going to give yourself every chance of victory. Plus a horse who stays 2m5f at Cheltenham is going to tire less fto than 2m horses. Also he is another horse who will go chasing next season if he fails to win the Champion.

Verdict: Hard to judge his 2m form on that Fighting Fifth win, would need to show more on his next outing at Haydock, can't be discounted and would love to see them go off at a Celestial Halo pace like last year and try run them into the ground, especially as he seems to find more each time a horse comes to him. 13/2 represents better value than Menorah, but still not enough to back at. Better value will be present in January when horses run over Christmas

Khyber Kim - Last seasons form of 1121 is impressive, and he ran a cracking race to be 2nd to binocular, a level of form that would win most champion hurdles. He seems a different horse since he left Henderson.

Pros: Consistent performer, who could easily win the Champion Hurdle if running to the same level he did in the last renewal. 4 of the last 6 winners of the Champion Hurdle had run in the race the previous year. Having a later start this season in the hope he is as fresh as possible in March could elicit improvement and slightly softer ground may tip things in his favour. Like Binocular his season revolves around one race.

Cons: Unlike the others at the top of the market he was beaten well, on merit by Binocular in the Champion there seems no reason he should reverse that form given he'll be 9 next year with Binocular the prime age of 7. Is he flattered by his form last season given what he beat in the Greatwood (Harry Tricker, Medermit), the Bula (Celestial Halo, Medermit, Punjabi), the Champion (Zaynar, Celestial Halo, Starluck) and Aintree (Muirhead, Zaynar). It would have been very informative had he run in the bula this year.

Verdict: At 16/1 he represents the e/w value at this stage given his consistency, the place side odds of 4/1 prices him at a 20% chance to finish in the first three. A win in the Christmas Hurdle would see his odds shorten considerably.

Dunguib - The once wonder horse was comical prices to win both last season's and this season Champion Hurdle before the bubble was burst in the Supreme and Punchestown.

Pros: He has a serious cruising speed and some serious pace, there is buckets of talent there for sure. He's been given time off for a Spring Campaign, with intense schooling to improve his hurdling and in an effort to not run him on heavy ground in Ireland which would mean he'll be fresh come the Champion Hurdle. He could easily have won the Supreme had they not given him such an over confident ride, had that happened who knows what price he would be now. If hurdling is improved and he is ridden close to the pace he could still be a big player in the 2m division.

Cons: By word he can't jump a hurdle at all, nothing has a hope of winning a champion hurdle if they can't jump. Especially given the class of the opposition. Menorah has gone on and improved since the Supreme, Dunguib hasn't as yet shown any reason to believe he can reverse the Supreme form.

Verdict: Can't possibly back him until we see him run in the Irish Champion, he might be some value at the 25/1 you can get, but only if there is positive words on his hurdling.

Silviniaco Conti: Only running in this as they have nothing else in the race, 16/1 is terrible value and couldn't see him reversing form with Menorah given how easily he was outpaced.

Solwhit: Unlikely to run, trainer said if a race fit Solwhit can't beat Hurricane Fly over 2m4f on soft ground they have no hope of beating him over 2m on good ground at Cheltenham. Odds on to skip Cheltenham like last year and go for the 2m4f Aintree Hurdle.

Celestial Halo: Unlikely runner, will skip the festival and focus on the Aintree Hurdle or will run in the World Hurdle with a view to taking over from Big Bucks next season when he inevitably goes chasing.

Starluck: can only win on a flat track, even if he wins the Christmas Hurdle he can't win the Champion.

Oscar Whiskey: Seems to be a bit forgotten, interesting how he shapes on his first run in the Christmas Hurdle.


Khyber Kim 1pt e/w @ 16/1

He represents the best value at this stage.

Binocular 2pts win @ 5/1

If you are going to back him there seems no downside to not backing him now, if he wins at Kempton he shortens if he loses he'll still go off on the day shorter than 5/1.

My main bet remains a total of 5pts on Hurricane Fly at odds from 12/1 to 9/1.
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Report CVByrne March 15, 2011 9:36 AM GMT
Good Luck everyone. Especially Hurricane Fly backers Cool

Been a top thread.
Report zilzal1 March 15, 2011 9:53 AM GMT
Well everything 's been mentioned except Bygones of Brid so someone at least will be happyLaugh

For me im happy for the ground for my 80-1 EW on Clerks Choice(Ive a feeling it could be even faster than Claisse is admitting to) but you can never tell!!

He will be pouring it on tonight, 4/1+ Master Minded??
Report brigust1 March 15, 2011 10:13 AM GMT
Agree. A top thread to be involved with. Good luck everyone, it has been a nervous wait and now the day has arrived.  May the best horse win.
Report Bullwinkle March 15, 2011 3:38 PM GMT
Well done to the HF believers!! Thousand Stars sniped in for 4th did me a big favour 66/1 ew first 4 with Sid
Report evra March 15, 2011 3:40 PM GMT
he'll never get up the hill [smiley:crazy][smiley:crazy][smiley:crazy]
Report Mooono March 15, 2011 3:41 PM GMT
Great scenes what a horse what a jockey..Good thread and the real shrewdies knew all along the Fly was a beast!!
Report buddeliea March 15, 2011 4:00 PM GMT
Well done HF backers,and CV,pleased for you mate.
Report Steeplechasing March 15, 2011 4:00 PM GMT
Well done CV and all backers.  Happy to  say I was wrong about the great Fly!
Report seary March 15, 2011 4:02 PM GMT
Boom Boom Boom...What a horse the fly is...answered every question asked of him...Unlucky menorah backers (Alvardo) ..i did say it would never win, had beaten nothing and you never follow supreme form.

Last of all a massive well done to CVByrne, for a epic write up and most of all tipping the winner. Top man!
Lookf forward to nect year.
Report Mr Mischief March 15, 2011 4:02 PM GMT
A great thread, well done everyone involved esp CVByrne. The winner was called in the very 2nd post and subsequently again and again by the real experts.
Mind you now that the race has been run this thread is probably just getting started
Report geoff m March 15, 2011 4:16 PM GMT
Well done CV  never wavered faith rewarded & all other Hurricane backers.
Report brigust1 March 15, 2011 4:32 PM GMT
Ditto the above. Have to say was disappointed with Dunguib but that's racing.
Report Fistfulofdollars March 15, 2011 4:37 PM GMT
Yes well done CV and other HF supporters whose faith against the Montjeu stats were justly rewarded with a great ride too...even hough he carrie his head high! I had a good whack on peddlars who looked spot on and I did think he'dcome past again up the hill...I like Paul Townend but Ruby was th man for therace...well done
Report Wicketd March 15, 2011 4:39 PM GMT
Admire your faith CV, hope you collected big.
Report tinkler March 15, 2011 5:42 PM GMT
The race was obviously run at a slow pace given the very slow winning time. I very much doubt it affected
the result though it does make the form look a bit iffy.
Congratulations to all the HF backers you were proven right. My festival is over with the loss of peddlers
cross who I felt was disappointing.
Report Wicketd March 15, 2011 6:48 PM GMT
You felt peddlers was disappointing yet mention it was a slow pace, which would if anything go against him? I think he ran a brilliant race, proven he has plenty of speed and battles all the way to the line.
Report cruise d March 15, 2011 7:03 PM GMT
Well done CV and all H Fly backers. I was gonna back Bino on the day and in his absence I chose between Oscar Whisky and the Fly as my other bet to go with the disappointing Dunguib. I picked the wrong one! Oh well.
Report Rondetto March 15, 2011 7:14 PM GMT
Now would all you fella's who criticized Solwhit, the fine specimen of a horse he is, like to step forward and say you're sorryLaugh

The one thing that came out of this that one should ever forget is the leap from novice to Champion Hurdle is as massive as it gets. Peddler's Cross wasn't quite good enough but unlike Oscar whiskey and Menorah he bridged that gap and that in itself was a brilliant achievement on both the trainers and the horses part.

Love to see him come back next year but probably he won't due to the fact if the ground was any softer he could hardly be expected to beat Hurricane Fly on ground he really loves.
Report tinkler March 15, 2011 7:16 PM GMT
He was disappointing to me because I thought he was the best 2m hurdler since Istabraq, which he obviously
isn't. the slow pace was if anything more against Hurricane Fly who didn't settle. Given a quicker pace I think
he would have won easier and fail to see how Peddlers Cross will ever be able to beat him.
Report Liam23uk March 15, 2011 7:18 PM GMT
Thought going be one those days till Fly won for me. Collected around £500 quid. Then had another winner in last to.
Report el gato March 15, 2011 7:21 PM GMT
super race, terrific performances from first two............think peddlers ran into a real good one
Report Liam23uk March 15, 2011 7:27 PM GMT
Thought he ran a good race always being a fan of Peddlars would have backed him if Hurricane was not running. Won me money last year. Had me worried a little bit.
Report woodworm March 15, 2011 7:50 PM GMT
Great race and great result. I still think Binocular would have won, in fact the way the race was run and on the ground he loves I'm more certain than ever. Oh well thats racing!
Report buddeliea March 15, 2011 7:53 PM GMT
i said Solwhit is not a 2m hurdler at the top level,think that proved it today,so no apology from me.Admirable horse but needs further.hence his entry in the WH.
HF laughs at him,he had no time for laughing today.
where do you think solwhit would have finished today on his form this season?
Report buddeliea March 15, 2011 7:55 PM GMT
oscar ran well today,menorah disappointing.
Report brigust1 March 15, 2011 8:24 PM GMT
Strange race for me. In the Supreme they were 4 seconds in front of the CH at half way and in direct comparison Al Ferof would have beaten Hurricane Fly by 4 or 5 lengths.
Not making excuses. I backed the winner as a saver and I think he would have won at any stage but not sure how to read the rest. Will have to have a re-run to compare. Odd result amongst the also rans.
Report buddeliea March 15, 2011 8:26 PM GMT
dunguib lost his race before the start,very edgy and never travelled at all.too bad to be true mate
Report CVByrne March 15, 2011 8:29 PM GMT
Hi Cool
Report TheFormMan March 15, 2011 8:30 PM GMT
take a hike budd,your a fecking clueless idiot who has no idea!!! why dont you take up table tennis
Report buddeliea March 15, 2011 8:33 PM GMT
bad day stalker??Laugh
Report CVByrne March 15, 2011 8:34 PM GMT
Thanks guys, your top men.

Peddlers Cross is some horse, he is very quick too. Only horse Fly didn't leave for dead. I got Peddlers dead wrong I must say.
Report buddeliea March 15, 2011 8:35 PM GMT
hi cv,nice one mate.
great race i thought,two real good horses.
bet you had a great day,good to see you survived it !!
Report CVByrne March 15, 2011 8:43 PM GMT
Cheers bud, In Birmingham Airport at the moment. Long Day, but probably the best day at the track I've ever had. 4 winners and 2 placed horses. Massive win of course on Fly. I remembered that day in Leopardstown in 08 when I saw something magic in him and to have followed him since is truly the greatest pleasure I've had since Moscow Flyer. Fly has easily been financially the best horse I've followed and all I have to do is think back today for one of the best memories I'll ever have.

Hurricane Fly - Champion Hurdler
Report Extreme Conviction March 15, 2011 11:43 PM GMT
Well Done CV.
Report Harchibaldy March 15, 2011 11:55 PM GMT
Evra - W/D buddy with the F/C and I hope you were duly rewarded.
Report Rondetto March 16, 2011 2:29 AM GMT

You ask on form where would Solwhit have finished. Obviously on form he'd have finished 3rd but as I have said before the quick injections of pace at 2 miles at Cheltenham don't suit the horse so most likely he would have run a similar race to last year, who knows?.

The fact remains those who claimed all Hurricane Fly was beating was Solwhit failed to realise just how good he is. Moderate horses don't better Champion Hurdle winners and Solwhit has dome just that. The form of his win over Punjabi and Quevega is rock solid he for good measure trounced Sublimity and Celestial Halo and Ran Hurricane Fly to a neck in the Irish Champion Hurdle with today's 4th back in 3rd.

Almost every race he has run has been against quality horses who were fit which made his form rock solid.

The fact is those who said Hurricane Fly had no chance because he was "ONLY" beating Solwhit totally underestimated the horse and failed to realize just how good Hurricane Fly must have been to have beaten him with such ease.

By the way he has always had the reputation as a horse who needs further but I wouldn't expect too much if he's stepped up to 3 miles.

His only win at 2m4f came at Aintree which is an easy track and I don't think people realize he's won 8 times over 2 miles.

Not a bad record for a horse running in the company he was keeping.
Report Harchibaldy March 16, 2011 2:47 AM GMT
Agreed Rondetto - Solwhit has earned his stripes and it's annoyed me that he has recently become perceived as a yardstick! As I mentioned (in defence of Hurricane Fly a couple of days ago) on other threads, Solwhit would have been a worthy Champion Hurdler contender with a bit of cut in the ground, if he was well enough to make the Festival. Just because Hurricane Fly has his measure, certainly doesn't mean that Solwhit will NOT win many more Grade Ones.....of that I'm sure - he'll prevail over two miles as well!
Report buddeliea March 16, 2011 5:59 AM GMT
Thanks Rondetto.
We just disagree,no worries.
Solwhit has been a good horse,no doubt,i just feel his best distance is further than 2m.
I said all along that HF could literally be anything,but that beating what i consider to be more of a stayer in Solwhit in ireland dont prove that.He has to come over here and do it against the top 2 milers around.He has now done that,although their is one horse thatn he still needs to face,although personally i think he would have beaten Binocular as well yesterday.
Anyway,Solwhit has been a real good horse,would'nt mind owning him!!
Report brigust1 March 16, 2011 7:45 AM GMT
Looking ahead and comparing with last season it looks like the Champion Hurdle next season will be fought out by Hurricane Fly, Peddler's Cross, Binocular and Al Ferof with the possible inclusion of Oscar Whisky (ran a blinder in a slowly run race on quick ground), So Young (if he bolts up today), Spirit River (almost certainly)and maybe Menorah (ran below form, given another chance).
Report sizing armpit March 16, 2011 9:46 AM GMT
great day at the festival yesterday. HF did me proud, two close seconds and quevega made it hugely memorable. was sorry for peddlers cross as I think hes some horse, but HF just looked different to all the others. his head bowed down in the parade and prelims made him look like a bull. he was once referred to "as a rat of a horse"  GL for today to all on here.
Report Brooksielad March 16, 2011 10:00 AM GMT
Al Ferof will be in the Arkle
Report ReaseHeath March 16, 2011 10:06 PM GMT
Just back from my two days down there. Want to add my congratulations to CV and the other backers for their faith in an absolutely fabulous racehorse.

And commiserations to those of you who supported the admirable Peddlars Cross - he would have been an admirable winner of many recent renewals, just ran into a superstar.
Report buddeliea March 17, 2011 6:29 AM GMT
I just hope that all those who knocked Peddlers all season will now admit that he is a darn good hurdler at 2m,and does indeed have the required speed.

Looking back on the race after a couple of days,i really think Maguire should have gone a bit earlier,maybe still would not have won,but he just may have made it a bit uncomfortable for HF to stay on the bridle as long.The pace of the race suggests that he should have imo.
Having said that i take nothing away from the winner,and it could be that PC could have never beaten him whatever Maguire did.
PC did us proud anyway,great horse,and look forward to seeing how how far he can go in this game.
Report Rondetto March 17, 2011 6:44 AM GMT
Funny old game racing if Hurricane Fly had not been there Peddler's Cross would be an unbeaten easy winner of the Champion Hurdle. The fact he would have been unbeaten would have had the media telling us he was one of the greatest hurdlers ever seen.
Report brigust1 March 17, 2011 7:08 AM GMT
Agree with Budd about the pace of the race. Compared with the Supreme Al Ferof would have won by 4 or 5 lengths.
They were miles behind the Supreme pace at halfway and it turned into a bit of a sprint.
Hope they both turn up next year and Binocular runs. Something to look forward to.
Budd I dont think I knocked PC but I have to admit after what Philip Hobbs said about them being the lowest rated Supreme winners I didn't think he or Menorah would win, partly right and partly wrong.
PC is a gutsy tool though. Count how many times JM hit him before Ruby picked up his stick.
Report Rondetto March 17, 2011 9:07 AM GMT
The difference between good horse and Champion Hurdle horses is their ability to adapt and quicken of any pace.

The fact the race was not run to suit Peddler's Cross hence JM had to get in about him but it just shows how good he actually is.

I know it's only an example but no matter what the pace had been Al Ferof wouldn't have gotten near the front 2 despite what the times may indicate.
Report Paul4 March 17, 2011 11:05 PM GMT
CVByrne..... would just like to congratulate you (and others but you being the main one i've debated with lol) and say "you were right" :D i didnt say he had no chance, but i was sceptical.... glad you had a decent win on him, was as impressive as ever! only right to applaud it having doubted for so long. good luck rest of the week
Report buddeliea March 18, 2011 1:01 PM GMT
Something that no one seems to be mentioning,is the rather unplanned prep that PC had going into the race.
How much difference it would have made if things had gone to plan,is of course open to question,but imo it is a fair point to be made.
Report TheFormMan March 18, 2011 1:14 PM GMT
Hmmmm,even after his very easy win in the CH Hurricane does not seem to be getting the respect that he deserves on these threads
Report dermo79 March 18, 2011 1:23 PM GMT
keep grasping at straws Buddleia, run the race 100 times with varying tactics and the Fly would still win, he travels jumps and has guts, super horse...Peddlers a hell of a horse too though but he ran into a superstar on tuesday
Report CVByrne March 19, 2011 12:06 AM GMT
Thanks Paul. It's been a magical week.

Also bud, Fly would beat Peddlers every time they meet. He's just one of those horses who can win no matter how the race is run. McCain said Peddlers tired in the final 20 yards of the race, so Fly out stayed him too.

Fly was just too quick, too tough and had too much stamina. He is the perfect Champion Hurdler and the best since Istabraq.
Report Masterminded March 19, 2011 12:14 AM GMT
Well done CV and Hurricane Fly backers. What a performance. Was only one horse I would ever back after Binocular wasn't declared. Truly magical. Would have loved to see Binocular vs Hurricane Fly!
Report CVByrne March 19, 2011 12:16 AM GMT
Cheers, seems they're destined not to meet. Fly last year, Binocular this year.
Report Tavaris Jackson March 19, 2011 12:19 AM GMT
No reason for Henderson not to send Binocular to Punchestown.
Report buddeliea March 19, 2011 9:53 AM GMT
just making what i consider to be a valid point.

And i agree CV,HF is the best since Istabraq imo as well

Guess that makes PC pretty close also

Mind you Binocular has to have a chance to take on HF.
Report buddeliea March 19, 2011 10:34 AM GMT
Those that think Solwhit would have been 3rd cos he always splits HF and Thousand Stars may be right,but you have to remember that Oscar Whiskey finished 3rd not TS,and still would have done imo.That ground would not have suited Solwhit,soft ground maybe a different story.
Report brigust1 March 19, 2011 11:18 AM GMT
I think the result may have been different had Binocular run. I backed HF so I am not pocket talking.
There is no way AP would have allowed the pace to be so slow and that would have helped PC and made sure HF had to pass Binocular to win. I'm not convinced he would have. And we will have to wait until next year to find out.
I've already backed HF, Bino and PC for next year's with Bino my winner and the other 2 as savers. Of course I could just leave the money in the Building Society and pick up £6 interest. If one of the savers wins the interest is much better and if Bino wins, nice.
Report CVByrne March 19, 2011 11:50 AM GMT
Why would the ground not suit Solwhit? He almost beat Hurricane Fly on Good ground at Punchestown, he did beat Thousand Stars that day too, like has done all 3 times they met. Solwhit would have been 3rd or 4th imv, probably third given how close he finishes to Fly.

Also we've no idea if Binocular would have beat Fly or Peddlers, imo he would have ended 3rd. Fly won a far better Champion Hurdle than Binocular did, Peddlers and Oscar Whiskey are miles better horses than Khyber Kim or Zaynar. I think most people can accept that.

Another thing to note is Fly never settled on Tuesday and still won, he can run a lot better than that I'm sure.
Report TheFormMan March 19, 2011 12:00 PM GMT
you have done your money on peddlers brig,after this season he will never see another hurdle
Report brigust1 March 19, 2011 12:25 PM GMT
It's all about opinions CV. The KK form line is hugely suspect in a slowly run race and NTD's horses are running wierd. Also Zaynar has gone at the game. Has been for a while.
Anyway I will await your new CH thread for 2012 with interest. This has been a good one. Well done.

I may have TFM but he earn't more being 2nd in the CH than if he had won the Arkle. If he were mine I'd keep him hurdling.
I may have done my money taking 8's about Sizing Europe in next year's QMCC but I don't think so. I missed the 6's on Long Run but you cannot have everything.
Report buddeliea March 19, 2011 12:25 PM GMT
well it dont really matter anyway 3rd,4th whatever,but to answer your question CV,imo over 2m Solwhit needs softer ground to give himself the best chance of winning at this level.
HF beats him on the bridle so imo could beat him further than he does if asked to.

Incidentally anyone hear of how Dunguib is,that was not his running at all.Did see he looked a bit worked up before the start.
Report CVByrne March 19, 2011 12:42 PM GMT
Oh it's not this season I'm talking about bud, KK and Zaynar are not as good last season as Peddlers and Oscar Whiskey are this season. Oscar Whiskey ran a personal best imo in the Champion meaning he will probably go up from his 165 rating, meaning Fly must be 172+ and Peddlers 170+

The first 5 home this year are better horses than the first 5 home last year. It was a much better race.
Report CVByrne March 19, 2011 12:45 PM GMT
Peddlers needs to go chasing imo, he won a point to point so he'll take to chasing. It's time to aim for a Gold Cup in 2013
Report TheFormMan March 19, 2011 12:57 PM GMT
Peddlers defo going chasing next year,connections already stated that,wheather he goes arkle route or RSA he would be a serious player in both and will put it upto all in the 2013 Gold Cup,as for Sizing brig,i'm afraid you may have done your money in that as well as the owner has only one thing on his mind for next season and that is the gold cup,thats the only thing that he cares about and is going to campaign him with that in mind next year taking in the king george on the way.
Report DIGGER1 March 19, 2011 1:16 PM GMT
Well done CV and all Hurricane Fly supporters a great race and a very worthy Champion also a gallant effort from Peddlers Cross who I was confident needed much further.A very good thread that I for one have enjoyed reading for several months leading up to the festival all different opinions but one love of National Hunt racing keep up the good work guys and good luck with the punting.
Report brigust1 March 19, 2011 1:44 PM GMT
Nothing is cast in stone TFM. With Long Run around to win the KG and GC I think Mr & Mrs Potts may do the right thing. I just re-invested some my winnings from this years CH and QMCC. Something to look forward to.
Report TheFormMan March 19, 2011 2:13 PM GMT
Done the same thing,backed Zarkandar for the champion hurdle 20/1 Flat Out for the champion chase 33/1 hoping Big Bucks goes chasing and Oscars Well stays hurdling as i have him at 18/1 for the world hurdle,more than likely he will go chasing tho,backed Sonofvic for the arkle at 50/1 and for the RSA at 66/1 and even Peddlers cross for the 2013 gold cupDevil and last of all backed your mate sizing europe for the king george
Report brigust1 March 19, 2011 2:21 PM GMT
Good luck to you. Meet you, CV and Budd and all of those who made positive contributions to this thread, and any newcomers welcome, back here next year.
Report CVByrne March 19, 2011 2:54 PM GMT
Cheers, it's been a great thread.
Report Paul4 March 19, 2011 3:13 PM GMT
agreed. and had a great way aswel CV, first time i've been to the festival, was up for the week, and a few horses i'd stuck by ran great races so was pleased. only 360 days now ;)
Report Rondetto March 23, 2011 9:59 AM GMT
I'm really surprise to read on here Peddlers Cross will definitely go chasing next year??? I know they said he would but things change.

I was firmly in the Hurrricane Fly camp this season but next year he's going to be an 8year old.

Only 1 1/4 lengths separated the two and it doesn't take much to swing that round. Hurricane Fly won't get faster but he could lose a length or two with age or a stronger pace could swing things slightly in PC's favour.

I'd be very tempted to keep him over hurdles where you know he is top class. He could go chasing and be no where as good if he doesn't take to fences. I suppose they could try but that wouldn't be the ideal preparation.

Much depends on Aintree but I reckon Donald McCain will have a change of heart if he hasn't already.
Report CVByrne March 23, 2011 11:14 AM GMT
Fly never settled in the champion because of the slow place, peddlers tired at the end fly didn't. Fly is a good bit better than that performance. So i'd find it  hard to see a reversing of form.

Peddlers has won a point to point so he'll defo take to fences. Problem is novice chasers will be a quality crop next season. I think he'd be best starting  chasing early and have 4 runs over fences and go for the weak looking champ chase.
Report Rondetto March 23, 2011 1:28 PM GMT
To be honest when does Hurricane Fly ever settle? I was blown away by his performance myself but realistically speaking he'd need to be Pegasus himself to better the performance in my opinion. The distance they put between themselves and the others was nothing short of remarkable and make no mistake Oscar Whisky is some tool and way better than Khyber Kim ever was.

Perhaps he will go chasing but would you not at least give it one more go with Hurricane Fly's record of not turning up? I've no reason to think he won't do but I can't see Binocular beating Peddler's if HF isn't around.

Bird in the hand is worth two in the bush and all that.
Report buddeliea March 23, 2011 5:36 PM GMT
Really depends what connections want,they have hinted at chasing with PC,but his run in the CH certainly entitles him to stay hurdling for sure.
Report CVByrne March 23, 2011 8:53 PM GMT
Fly needs a strong pace to settle he settled well in the Irish champion hurdle and at the Punchestown Festival last year. His 2 best wins out of novice company.

I think they should learn from sizing europe, and not go for the extra hurdling season and go chasing. He can do 2m first then move up to 3.

I do agree Peddlers is an awesome horse and imo better than binocular.
Report sintonian March 23, 2011 9:00 PM GMT
McCain said today PC goes to Punchestown next.

Rondetto, Bino is a better horse than Oscar Whisky, there were even quotes from NJH in the Cheltenhma updates that BJG wanted to go upto 3 miles. Im sure all the people at NJH's yard know who the better horse is out of the two, which would put him right there with PC and HF.
Report evra March 23, 2011 10:21 PM GMT
cheers harch,havent been on in a while,
i really cant wait till binocular and hurricane fly meet,binocular wont get near him imo,
i was delighted the fly stuffed peddlers in the end after the disrespectful comment mccain made about the horse on a preview night
Report CVByrne March 23, 2011 10:36 PM GMT
Really sint? Where you read that, I was sure Aintree Hurdle was the next run for Peddlers.
Report CVByrne March 23, 2011 10:37 PM GMT
Found this on Dave Ords 5 lessons to take from champion hurdle day, thought it was worth posting in here.

1 Don't mock Solwhit

Go on, admit it, those of us who took on Hurricane Fly said to ourselves at least once "well he's only been beating Solwhit". Now that form looks quite strong...

Hurricane Fly certainly looked the real deal here today, travelling like a class act, quickening to beat Peddlers Cross then showing courage to fend off his rival's tenacious fight up the hill.

Montjeu can sire Cheltenham winners, Hurricane Fly is effective on good ground and Solwhit is the most solid yardstick in the formbook.
Report buddeliea March 24, 2011 7:42 AM GMT
Trouble is he was beating Solwhit easily,so its hard to work out how good HF was going into the CH,as Solwhits form sice his problems was largely getting stuffed by HF.Personally i werent sure Solwhit was as good as he was before last years CH,so had reservations to how good HF was.
After the race its clear that Solwhit is about the oscar Whiskey level using Thousand Stars,so he is better now then i thought.
Its also clear that HF was indeed as good as yourself said and many others.
I was right about PC though,some consolation i guessHappy
Report CVByrne March 24, 2011 8:50 AM GMT
tbf I used cue card and sil conti to knock Menorahs form. I think people should just learn that a 6 times grade 1 winner is going to be far better than a couple of novices with little solid form in the book.

He'd have beaten Oscar imv, he's always a good bit ahead of thousand stars and close to Fly. He's one of the top 5 2m hurdlers around.
Report sintonian March 24, 2011 9:47 AM GMT
interviewed on racing UK yesterday CV
Report CVByrne March 24, 2011 10:54 AM GMT
Are they going to aintree at all?  It makes sense for them to go to punchestown to have another crack at Hurricane Fly if he is beaten they will go chasing, If he wins they will stick to hurdling next season.

Plus it'll make it a proper race as menorah is coming over too. I just pray with all these horses in the race JP will see it's a carbon copy of the champion hurdle and send binocular over too. Man I can't wait for it.
Report buddeliea March 24, 2011 12:22 PM GMT
I think people should just learn that a 6 times grade 1 winner is going to be far better than a couple of novices with little solid form in the book.

He'd have beaten Oscar imv, he's always a good bit ahead of thousand stars and close to Fly. He's one of the top 5 2m hurdlers around.

Problem with that CV,is that PC did not have much solid form either,apart from beating Bino and Starluck which most knocked,yet he has proved to be a fair bit better than Solwhit.So going on that it was possible to have the view that Menorah was as well.
Solwhit gets close to HF cos HF is on the bridle,if let go he would beat him similar distance to that of OWhiskey imo.
Form is good of course,but one also has to use a bit of imigination as to how far a horse can improve.
Report CVByrne March 24, 2011 1:13 PM GMT
Peddlers beat a good benchmark in starluck though. He may not be a grade one winning horse but he's a solid benchmark on flat tracks as he had a season of open  company grade one races behind him. You can trace his form back. Basically peddlers had form lines you could analyse. Menorah beat novices and nothing he had beaten was a solid benchmark, just a hyped up novice and a stayer who beat a poor staying crop like zaynar and karabak.

My mistake was to mis judge the sheer amount peddlers finds off the bridle along with the speed he has. I thought he wouldn't be able to summon another reserve of  stamina  once fly went by him. In the end he was more out battled and out stayed by hurricane fly than anything else.  They left the rest for dead, oscar was totally flat footed and stayed on to get 3rd.

Over on the antepost forum I posted a thread about cheltenham lessons, there's a big part as a review of the champion hurdle which I detail what I look at.

I personally think though solwhit is faster than oscar and would have been able to go with peddlers and fly better than oscar and would have got 3rd. But at worst he would have been 4th.
Report CVByrne March 24, 2011 1:15 PM GMT
Also you're right about improving, I'll never take novice form as anything more than an impression of a horses potential. Oscar improved past all three horses who beat him in the supreme.
Report Rondetto March 25, 2011 5:06 AM GMT
Sintonian: I take you point about Oscar's and Binocular and you would have to think he would have gone close to winning had he run but a year on that ability to turn the tap on at the top of the hill may not produce as much water as you might hope for.

If you look back to Binocular's very first race he already had the look of a seasoned hurdler at the tender age of 4. That worries me that he may not retain his ability as long as a slower developer. Time will tell but he would not be my AP choice for next year until I saw how he turned out in the Fifth or wherever.
Report sintonian March 25, 2011 10:08 AM GMT
He'd probably get beat in the FF like he has done the previous two seasons as they simply dont train him for it.

I do share your concerns about the one year on point, though. Bino was 7 this year and in his absolute prime so it was a big Cry shame he missed it.
Report denman85 March 26, 2011 7:28 PM GMT
cvb - yeh hurricane fly was impressive but this was weak renewal wivout binocular, the likes of menorah oscar whisky, millie chief are hardly class champion hurlders, yeh he beat peddlers prev neptune winner , similar angle to hardy, but wiv out binocular what form line can u take from this race all been a poor race wivout last year champion???
Report CVByrne March 26, 2011 7:42 PM GMT
Hurricane Fly showed he is pure class and beat a far better field than Binocular did last year. Oscar Whiskey is a million miles better than Zaynar.

Binocular should come over to Punchestown to take on Fly. Fly is the Champ now and he is not the one with something to prove, 9 wins from 10 starts now in Ireland and England and the only loss came to Solwhit when Fly was clearly wrong.

Fly is also a good bit better than that Champion hurdle run, he never settled and will have learnt a lot for that experience.
Report buddeliea March 27, 2011 9:20 AM BST
CV,i kept saying on various threads that beating Starluck on a flat track on decent ground was good form,but most just rubbished that and came back with how fit the horses were,or werent.

At the end of the day we now need to see HF,PC and Bino run in the same race in decent conditions,until then we dont know for certain who is the best.My gut feeling is that HF will beat PC again,although PC does deserve another crack.Not sure about Bino,but would be great to see these race and find out for sure.
Report CVByrne March 27, 2011 11:09 AM BST
I was wrong about the form of that Fighting Fifth race, if you pop over to the antepost forum I have a thread called Cheltenham Review - Lessons Learned I did a big review of my mistakes this year and lessons to be learned. Give the Champion hurdle section a read.

But in short Starluck had a season of open company Grade 1 form behind him and is a good benchmark, he was also pretty consistent. So while Binocular was not fully fit Starluck would have been to try win a G1.

So the form from that race was much better than the Bula for example where we had no idea how good Cue card or Sil Conti actually were as both only started racing that year.

I hope that Peddlers comes to Punchestown, and Binocular too as it will make the race the best one in many years and also make Fly a backable price.
Report buddeliea March 27, 2011 11:16 AM BST
Be a great way to end the season,what date is it??
Report buddeliea March 27, 2011 11:18 AM BST
If its after easter i can have a word with MR Henderson at the Lambourn open day.Sure he would listen to meLaugh
Report CVByrne March 27, 2011 11:45 AM BST
It's on Friday 6th May. Was an unbelievable day last year, Fly won a thriller with Solwhit. I couldn't stop backing him all week, mate told me at the track to stop backinging him I had enough on already. We were at the finish line and you can see us celebrating in the video. Laugh

Will be repeat this year, I'll try jump higher this time Cool

So do what you can to get Hendo to send over Binocular, cheers Happy
Report buddeliea March 27, 2011 6:45 PM BST
Leave it with me mate,i shall use my clout that i have with the top trainers my friend.
I am pretty sure Bino will run at Aintree,that would give him a month before Punchestown.I shall persuade Nicky that will be fine for the horse and that he should come over there mate.
Will keep you informed.
Report buddeliea March 27, 2011 6:57 PM BST
By the way CV,you seen Kauto is coming over to Punch??
Gonna run in the ****ss Gold Cup i think its called.
Report buddeliea March 27, 2011 6:58 PM BST
That was my ideaLaugh
Report CVByrne March 27, 2011 7:52 PM BST
Yeah saw that, hope IC comes over too, will be a great festival. Always is. Think I'll have to make my trek to Cheltenham next year to say Goodbye to Kauto and Denman and see Fly retain his crown. Cool
Report sintonian March 28, 2011 12:36 PM BST
PC does go to Aintree . I must have mis-heard McCain the other day.
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