Cheltenham Festival

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26 Oct 11 16:13
Date Joined: 07 May 06
| Topic/replies: 26,376 | Blogger: dwm767's blog
Just been sifting through a few threads and read some interesting comments regarding the race this (next) year, and conflicting opinions regarding the chances of Long Run repeating last year's success. Obviously at this early stage it's impossible to form a strong opinion, but I do think it's worth collecting these thoughts together in one thread for future reference.

Personally, although it was a fantastic spectacle, I'm not overly convinced last year's race was a vintage renewal. Yes, Long Run was clearly very impressive and it's hard to knock a horse who's broken the track record, but conditions on the day dictated it was always a possibility. Denman and Kauto Star running 2nd and 3rd, while bringing a tear to my eye, also helped cement my view that the race lacked any real depth. Imperial Commander burst a blood vessel and was pulled up, Kempes was pulled up, and the only other horse on offer at a single figure price was Midnight Chase, who although ran a respectable race, could not boast any form out of handicap company. Given then that Denman and Kauto Star were entitled to to finish 2nd and 3rd, as 11 year old's, and although exceptional horses at that, I'm not sure a 7 length victory told us we'd found a horse who would dominate this race for years to come, and I'm not convinced that a stronger field would of allowed Long Run to get away with the jumping errors he made.

This year's potential field looks to be far stronger. Sadly, Weapon's Amnesty is out again for the season, as his RSA win over Long Run made him a very appealing bet, even at this early stage. Burton Port finished 2nd in the same race, and given the way he ran in last year's Hennessey Gold Cup, he'd have to have a massive chance of confirming superiority over Long Run should he return from injury with the same ability and be targeted at the race. Time For Rupert must have a massive chance, again if injury hasn't blunted his talent, while horses like Kempes and Pandorama I'm convinced would of put up a stronger show with a bit more juice in the ground. Last year's RSA winner Boston's Angel looks to be promising, as do 2nd and 3rd Jessie's Dream and Wayward Prince. Throw into the mix Diamond Harry (although personally I'm not sure), along with Quito De La Roque, potentially Captain Chris and Rubi Light, and I'm not sure id be going anywhere near Long Run at double his current price, however much he's entitled to have improved from last year's run.

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Report buddeliea February 18, 2012 7:44 AM GMT
yes i see your point Judo,and as far as prices are concerned you have a valid one.
Report longchamps February 18, 2012 8:08 AM GMT
tom seagall just confirmed what i said earlier that no way they would have brought burton port to the races any less than 100 per cent fit as it would be too dangerous after a long lay off.
Report tomdeane February 18, 2012 8:20 AM GMT
judo - appreciate the point but the real issue here is the Racing Post making a mountain out of a molehill.

Burton Port came in considerably but is still taking out a smallish percentage of the book, whereas Kauto moved from around 5.20 -> 4,90 on here, and Long Run was eased less than a quarter of a point.
Report judorick February 18, 2012 8:24 AM GMT
so there is no prospect that the horse can improve for the run, appreciate the extra distance or get a more positive ride then? Confused

feck me every other horse is predicted to improve for its seasonal debut, including Long Run, Zarkandar and all manner of Cheltenham fancies but somehow Burton Port is going to produce his very best form on his comeback run after 440+ days off the track....

just sounds like nervous Long Run and Kauto backers to me and they right to be nervous
Report buddeliea February 18, 2012 9:11 AM GMT
As far as BP is concerned,if he had shown GC form prior to yesterday i would agree,but he aint.
yes hes entitled to improve for a run after a long lay off,but it aint a definite.
For me he has no form that gets him winning a gold Cup.
Report R Carver February 18, 2012 9:49 AM GMT
Leaving GC aside, and BP may bounce, i simply cannot have that BP would not improve for the run. He has always been a horse that has thrived on racing and often improved on subsequent runs. I also think NJH would have had him very sharp yesterday so not to cause damage but not fully tuned up. I think NJH knows more about training than Tom Seagall. In fact the idea that he would have been 100% IMO makes no sense at all.
Report strontium February 18, 2012 10:26 AM GMT
Judo - shortening Kauto is just smart bookmaking. Long Run looks more vulnerable than he did and Kauto is wildly popular with the public so a lot of money will come for him for name recognition and sentimental reasons. It wouldn't be the first time the bookies prices don't represent a horse's true chances. Plain

Budd, I slightly disagree about BP's form/profile. He came out of a senseational RSA finishing second and beating Long Run. he then won the novice G1 at Aintree. Next season he came second in a hot Hennessey beating Denman by a long way (albeit conceding a lot of weight). He then got injured and on his come back ran the Gold Cup winner to half a length. On a literal reading of the form that puts him about 11 lbs behing Long Run, but it's clear he is an extremely progressive horse.

I'd say BP has the 3rd or 4th best form in the book, depending on how Weird Al and Long Run actually ran at Haydock (I don't think there's much between WA and BP on form).

Eternal - I'm puzzled you say long Run doesn't appreciate fast ground given (I believe) he broke the track record at Newbury yesterday.
Report judorick February 18, 2012 10:48 AM GMT
it may be smart bookmaking but any punter who backs Kauto at shorter odds today than he could have before yesterdays racing is frankly an idiot because the horse has gone from having one very strong rival to beat to having a strong rival plus another that ran that one rival close and could improve bundles

clearly Kauto has less chance of winning the Gold Cup now and that is a plain mathematical fact
Report buddeliea February 18, 2012 10:53 AM GMT
i think you are right in that he has 3rd or 4th best form in the book,and thats roughly where i would expect him to finish if LR and KS run their races on this seasons form.
Maybe i am being a bit short sighted on BP form,i can see your points mate,his novice forms ok.
Re the Hennessey,carrying 10st round Newbury is a lot different to 11st 10 at Cheltenham,and the horses he has to beat have proved they can do that no problem.Plus was Denman as good last season?we know Kauto was'nt for whatever reason.
I am all for improving types,but i just cannot see him improving enough to cope with Long Run and Kauto Star off level weights.And Its also possible LR is still improving,at his age one could argue its likely.
Report strontium February 18, 2012 11:03 AM GMT
Yes Judo, of course. But I don't think most punters are as sophisticated as you.

The logic goes. I've heard of Kauto Star. He's won2 Gold Cups. He's beaten Long Run twice already this season. I'll bet on Kauto Star.

Budd, that seems fair. I'd just add that horses often win the Gold Cup with a (then) career best performance. It shouldn't be a surprise if something like BP or WA wins having improved 10 lbs. Of course that doesn't mean either of them will. I also think your point about BP and weight is a good one - he's not the biggest horse so extra weight could have more effect on him than on some others (which I also why I couldn't fancy him for the National carrying 11-9).
Report shockster February 18, 2012 11:07 AM GMT
I think you should all take another look at the finish of the RSA chase 2010 and see the way BP finished to grab 2nd from LR.  The extra 2f will suit both, but I think it will be close.
Report judorick February 18, 2012 11:08 AM GMT
ah yes I forget that most people don't like thinking, researching or taking time to reflect...

note to self: remember most people are idiots
Report strontium February 18, 2012 11:08 AM GMT
Shock - I'm certain the extra 2 f and the tougher course will suit BP more than Newbury....
Report strontium February 18, 2012 11:09 AM GMT
Judo - good advice for life Laugh
Report buddeliea February 18, 2012 11:12 AM GMT
It shouldn't be a surprise if something like BP or WA wins having improved 10 lbs.

Of course mate,like i said im all for improving types,and in this game we cannot be sure of too much -comes back to bite yer!!
Personally I would be surprised,but that dont mean it wont happen!!!
Report buddeliea February 18, 2012 11:13 AM GMT
no need for that imo judo.
Comments like that can ruin a good discussion.
Report judorick February 18, 2012 11:17 AM GMT
totally agree about the GC suiting Burton Port in terms of distance and he has already beaten LR round there over shorter at level weights - people are just assuming that because he has been denied time on the course whilst Long Run has won top class races that Long Run must have improved to a level that Burton Port won't be able to reach

I think this is incorrect and I am convinced Burton Port could quite conceivably finish in front of Long Run in March and there is no way he was asked for maximum effort by Geraghty yesterday particularly at the last fence where he seemed to lose four or five lengths. Watch the end of the race again but imagine instead that Burton Port gets the massive jump and Long Run fiddled it (perfectly plausible in any race) and then imagine what the reaction would have been if Burton Port had stayed on and won by a length (only 1.5 lengths difference in the actual result)

I would be confident that the headlines would be all about Burton Port challenging for the Gold Cup and how he is the comeback kid blah blah...
Report buddeliea February 18, 2012 11:35 AM GMT
Think BP needs the distance,his runs that ive seen certainly suggest it,but equally the 2 he has to beat have no worries with the distance.
I would agree that BP could have won yesterday,although not by much,but my reasoning remains that hes not proved as good as LR or KS,and i dont see that changing by March.
I will say hes made the race more interesting though,and thats good for the race.
Report judorick February 18, 2012 11:51 AM GMT
oh yes, definitely a more interesting race now because there is a new element - must admit I was bored with the "LR will outstay KS" argument and the vague and desperate discussions of the rags

but now I am really looking forward to it because there is a lovely unknown - will Burton Port reverse the form and will that be good enough to win?

loving it now and not had a bet on any of them lol
Report denman85 February 18, 2012 12:16 PM GMT
burton still got 12l to make up wiv long run on yday race, dunno how or were he's gonna make up this distance from, he does deserve a run in gold cup, but i think he'll be limited on what he can acheive
Report buddeliea February 18, 2012 12:25 PM GMT
yer have to show some imigination,its possible with a horse that aint run for a long time and still relatively young to improve.
Report judorick February 18, 2012 12:27 PM GMT
he has a victory at level weights over Long Run at the Festival and he wasn't stopping yesterday

not hard to imagine him finishing in front
Report thieveslikeus February 18, 2012 12:29 PM GMT
Only BP's 8th steeplechase, even if he didn't needthe race he is still entitled to improve from it.
Report judorick February 18, 2012 12:36 PM GMT
and it looks like he will appreciate the longer trip too
Report thieveslikeus February 18, 2012 12:37 PM GMT
Just out of interest, Long Run improved exactly 11 lbs on RPRs (17lbs on official figures) between his 8th and 9th career  chases...
Report denman85 February 18, 2012 12:42 PM GMT
yeh he bt long run SHD, that was long runs worst jumnping performance to dTE(rsa) 6 or 7 fences were terrible, but obviously, horses that do/ or have beat LR rely on his jumping to let him down, but alot of the time even when jumping isnt great he still wins, like yda'y , i just think its shows how gud the horse is, cud kauto of won any gold cups[ if hed jumpe like long run when he won his?? i very much doubt it
Report judorick February 18, 2012 1:07 PM GMT
you have no idea how much Burton Port might have been able to improve again after the Hennessey if he hadn't got injured and missed 440+ days - so you think there is no way Burton Port can beat Long Run then?
Report denman85 February 18, 2012 1:25 PM GMT
i find it very hard to see burton port winning the gold cup, LR for me , although took bit of 33's few weeks bk as i think the place betting is up from grabs in this yrs race
Report judorick February 18, 2012 1:27 PM GMT
yes I know you find it hard to see it but that does not mean it can't happen
Report denman85 February 18, 2012 1:29 PM GMT
it normally does!
Report alleged22 February 18, 2012 2:24 PM GMT
i feel the 5-2 currently available on LR is like a licence to print money.....
Report Eeternaloptimist February 18, 2012 2:43 PM GMT

Sorry about the delay in responding. In answer to your question I think that for much of last season Kauto wasn't quite right. Paradoxically in the gold cup I think he wasn't far off. I think the problem was that they went into the race searching for something which had been missing and so they gave the take it up early route a shot. Had they held onto him for longer then my personal view is that he wouldn't have faded as badly. Certainly coming down the hill he looked all over the winner to me.

Having said that the ground was arguably the fastest it has been for some years and that will have helped Kauto and inconvenienced LR. Throw in another year on Kauto's back and I'd be surprised if he gets within 5 lenghts of LR.
Report Eeternaloptimist February 18, 2012 2:47 PM GMT

In repsonse to your post about the older horses feeling the ground that is certainly possible particularly with Denman who loved cut. The problem I have with that theory is that it would be most likely to manifest itself running downhill where they put several times their body weight onto their front hooves. Running uphill would have felt like something of a relief had that been the case.
Report Eeternaloptimist February 18, 2012 2:49 PM GMT

Apologies for what may have come across as patronising. I did makethe point that I wasn't looking to cause disrespect but I do find illogical posts arising from pocket talking somewhat frustrating.
Report Eeternaloptimist February 18, 2012 2:58 PM GMT
One thing I did notice in yesterdays race which may be of relevance. Perhaps I've been spoiled over the years by the huge imposing nature of Denman but I thought when Long Run came over he was a little light in his frame. That view wasn't really dispelled in my mind until the gold cup of last year in which his build reminded me a little of Red Rum in that he is big enough to do the job but has a deep chest and plenty of muscle about him. In boxing terms he is a Joe Frazier or a Mike Tyson. I was very taken by how much slighter Burton Port appeared to be as a specimen.

My point?

I wonder whether an extra 10lbs may have a disproportionate effect on such a horse than it would on a bigger one?
Report R Carver February 18, 2012 3:33 PM GMT
I would agree Eternal - Long Run is built like a house now, strong, scopey, powerful.
Report strontium February 18, 2012 7:01 PM GMT
Interesting hearing Barry Geraghty's comments on C4 - that Burton Port took a biog blow down the back and another before the last. He seemes to think the horse will come on for the run. However, like Eternal and RC, I also wonder if he'll be more inconvenienced than some by the extra weight. Whatever, he's certainly made the race more interesting.

I think Judo's right that Long Run effectively poinched 4 l from BP at the last yesterday. I'm also surprised anyone thinks Long Run is inconvenienced by fast ground - he broke the track record at Newbury yesterday, which was clearly riding pretty quick.
Report strontium February 18, 2012 7:03 PM GMT
Perhaps the wring thread, but Grands Crus form took another big knock today at Ascot and looks weaker and weaker. Is he the hype horse of the Festival this year?
Report Eeternaloptimist February 18, 2012 10:43 PM GMT

Apologies. I should have clarified that comment. My view is that better ground doesn't necessarily inconvenience Long Run but that cut in the ground will bring his stamina more into play and takes a little away from the horses with more natural speed like Kauto. Breaking the course record in view of that fact is particularly pleasing. My view on the horse is well documented but breaking the GC down into types I think you have the horses who give their absolute best on 3 mile park type courses such as Kauto, probably Grand Crus and possibly Burton Port (I'll come back to that one in a minute). Then you have the dour stayers which sometimes run on into a place, this year I'm thinking Synchronised but in previous years a prime example was Sir Rembrandt. So a bit like Goldilocks, not to fast and not too slow would be ideal for Long Run and I would rather the likes of Kauto had to be out there another 20 seconds which at top pace might seem like an eternity.

Now onto Burton Port. I've seen several comments along the lines of him being ideally suited by the gold cup trip. He might be but I am yet to be convinced and the evidence isn't there yet. He ran on past a beaten Long Run in the RSA but it seems clear given his subsequent exploits that Long Run, as many french horses do, needed that extra time to settle which the summer off then gave him. It is also worth remembering that race was over 3 miles and on the tighter slightly easier Wednesday course. Burton also ran on well to finish second in a Hennessy. That was off 10 stones and I remember One Man winning that race doing handstands but he never got the trip in a GC. Lots of people are trends fanatics and I agree there is a lot in that. My own interest is in breeding. Like trends you get the occasional blip but (not trying to teach my granny to suck eggs) there is a reason why certain sires tend to produce sprinters and others dour staying types. As this angle hasn't yet been thrown in relating to the horse the fact that he is out of Bob Back wouldn't fill me with confidence that Burton will be coming up the hill with a wet sail. Bob Back produces a lot of very high classes horse and a lot of very high class chasers. My point is that usually 3 miles is the limit of their stamina range. You don't get many winning over further. Burton Port may be one of those who is an exception of course but if it isn't in the breeding then I'd like to see it first before I put my money down.
Report strontium February 18, 2012 10:50 PM GMT
Thanks Eternal - very interesting reading and I appreciate you taking the time to answer my point.
Report tomdeane February 18, 2012 10:51 PM GMT
^ Very interesting points, and a few I had not considered before. That is certainly a possible angle. I had assumed Burton Port would prefer the extra trip, but when you really look at the form (as well as pedigree) that is only a possibility.
Report Eeternaloptimist February 18, 2012 11:01 PM GMT
Thanks for the kind words. One other point I'd like to mention is to take issue with thieves comment about him consistently running to 174 and it relates directly to my post above. I think he probably does this over 3 miles on park courses but I think he is often doing things a stride too fast at the top level on these courses and mistakes sometimes flow from that. It is a funny one because I don't really think that undulating courses are ideal for him either and that may have partly been his undoing in the RSA. This may be less of a horse thing than a jockey one perhaps. Whilst the GC is at the same track the actual courses are like chalk and cheese in my view with the GC course being far less undulating than the Tues/Wed course. I do see the extra distance (obviously based on last year) as moving his mark at least into the high 170's and given the way he runs on at the end of his 3 mile races I don't see any reason to think that was a fluke.
Report R Carver February 18, 2012 11:04 PM GMT
Eternal, excellent and interesting post. I wish there was more discussion about breeding in the NH game on this forum.  Arguably less relevant in the NH game, and difficult to assess (for me) the French angle (I refer to the lesser known sires), but I find it endlessly fascinating. The late and great Bob Back sired one of my favourite recent horses, Thisthatandtother and one of Mrs Carver's (Bachanal). Sad to think we also lost Kings Theatre and Old Vic in the last 12 months.
Report Eeternaloptimist February 18, 2012 11:25 PM GMT
There aren't many horses which have provided such a plethora of 130+ rated chasers as Bob Back. Indeed a great sire.
Report jasey February 19, 2012 11:01 PM GMT
How many horses entered for the gold cup,have the potential to beat LR and kauto.
For me quel esprit and burton port,with the formers last run not looking anything special,
How far would BP have beat LR on friday if the race had been 3m2,and you can expect BP to improve for the run,and he has finished in the first two on all chase starts
Report judorick February 19, 2012 11:12 PM GMT
Quel Esprit beat Roberto Goldback, who was miles behind Synchronised and beaten out of sight in the Spinal Research, by two lengths and he therefore should have very little chance.

Burton Port however can certainly step up on his run behind Long Run and be a contender
Report CVByrne February 20, 2012 12:13 AM GMT
Quel Esprit beat him pretty easily though and can clearly improve on that. He's still unexposed, he jumps superbly and has enough stamina to have been entered in the 4miler last year. He will prob improve for the step up in trip and his jumping can keep him that bit in the game when Kauto has them all in serious trouble with his magical jumping. He can stay and he can jump, he is a good shout in the w/o market especially ew.

I tipped him up earlier at a decent ew price in the w/o market and am happy with that bet. No complaining here
Report Wicketd February 20, 2012 12:22 AM GMT
He didn't beat him pretty easily, was a hard ridden two lengths with RB closing at the finish. The race was full of horses that've lost form/don't stay/aren't good enough. Would make him a 66/1 shot personally, respected connections shaping the current price.
Report Wicketd February 20, 2012 12:24 AM GMT
ridden right out to beat treacle 7 lengths...better pray mullins left a sheeeeeeeetload to work on!
Report judorick February 20, 2012 12:29 AM GMT
slow soft ground lover gonna get lapped on quick ground
Report CVByrne February 20, 2012 12:36 AM GMT
As for the  race itself , it's simply too difficult to have a proper bet in. Long run looks slow, he's off the bit early when Kauto is simply too quick in both the speed and fencing aspect when the race is being wound up by ruby. But he stays on well in both defeats this season.

One key factor is Ruby, the disparity in jockey talent between him and his knowledge of Kauto and racing to Sam is huge. Ruby knew when to put the king george to bed and have enough left in the tank for kauto to get home. People are often fooled by winning distances of front runners, they win the race 2/3/4 out and have enough to get home when tiring and/or idling at the end. Look at Denmans gold cup win, was he really just 7lbs better than Neptune? Nope, Denners was on his own way out in front and tired.

So Kauto imv is better value for his winning distance than the book says. But long Run is an out and out stayer, next year he'll be too slow for the gold cup, seriously. But Cheltenham should see two things in his favour, a stamina sapping track and the extra distance. While I also think higher quality front runners in Quel esprit and midnight chase will also be in his favour.

But most importantly will be lessons, sam will know now Kauto isn't just fitter like they may have though about haydock. They should not try to serve it up to kauto, they can't he's faster and a miles better jumper. They need to let the race be the race and then go for him later, out stay him from bottom to top of the hill. Forget staying close like at kempon, kauto is a better horse, but he's not a better stayer.

But the trouble here is numerous, kauto has terrible luck at cheltenham, he's also old old, maybe the age will kick in when he has to run for that half minute longer at the end of a season. Same way Long Run is a y number of trouble too, poor jumper, slow as a slowboat, very little rest from newbury, inferior jocky.

So I'll just be doing my cheering for quel Esprit and being at the track for Kauto winning a third gold cup would rank as an all time best racing moment. Forget money, it's too hard to make it betting on this.
Report judorick February 20, 2012 12:40 AM GMT
I can't have Kauto at all I'm afraid as much as love the old boy (I did shed a tear when he won at Haydock and backed him at Kempton) - he faces two young stayers now not one and in all probability one of them will jump well enough to outstay him from 2 out. Kauto is an in running lay for me as the market reacts to him looking like he is going to win only for the petrol tank to start to flicker and the younger legs just start to get in their rhythm
Report tomdeane February 20, 2012 12:47 AM GMT
judo - am interested to hear your take on this.

Why do you think the petrol tank will empty? Isn't Kauto just a better horse this season, and he has stayed well enough to win before. In my opinion the times he was beaten were when his jumping put him out of a rhythm (and last year when all was not tickety-boo). His jumping has been electric all season and if he puts in another round like that, I don't see stamina failing him.
Report CVByrne February 20, 2012 12:47 AM GMT
tbf to Quel Esprit, he has been asked to step up in company and trip at the same time, plus he was hardly ridden out. He had no company from post to post, he was rpobably bored and had no idea how long he had to keep running.

Some horses improve for the company they are in. I know he's hardly posted some excellent form in winning a rubbish hennessy, but he can improve on that in the gold cuo. Simply his jumping and staying can get him in the top five when kauto starts to put them to the sword. He'll defo be out paced and probably end well over ten behind but no reason to be surprised if he comes third.

He's decent enough. Though needs a trip like b365 or welsh national next season if mark is the same after the gild cup. Perfect staying type with some speed, the borse he gave 11lbs to ahdnan murdering over 2m3 was a very unlucky loser in a 2m grade 2 today. He has that speed to do something to win a race as long as his lungs are still working.

Quel Esprit has another big win in him. But i'm a confirmed super gayer for the horse. Love him, he's my avatar on the wise old sage forum eslsewhwre on the web.
Report CVByrne February 20, 2012 12:47 AM GMT
tbf to Quel Esprit, he has been asked to step up in company and trip at the same time, plus he was hardly ridden out. He had no company from post to post, he was rpobably bored and had no idea how long he had to keep running.

Some horses improve for the company they are in. I know he's hardly posted some excellent form in winning a rubbish hennessy, but he can improve on that in the gold cuo. Simply his jumping and staying can get him in the top five when kauto starts to put them to the sword. He'll defo be out paced and probably end well over ten behind but no reason to be surprised if he comes third.

He's decent enough. Though needs a trip like b365 or welsh national next season if mark is the same after the gild cup. Perfect staying type with some speed, the borse he gave 11lbs to ahdnan murdering over 2m3 was a very unlucky loser in a 2m grade 2 today. He has that speed to do something to win a race as long as his lungs are still working.

Quel Esprit has another big win in him. But i'm a confirmed super gayer for the horse. Love him, he's my avatar on the wise old sage forum eslsewhwre on the web.
Report judorick February 20, 2012 12:55 AM GMT
Yes Quel esprit might well end up in marathon handicap chases and there is nothing wrong with that at all - Welsh National, Grand National lovely jubbly - can't see him flying round Cheltenham at level weights with the likes of KS, LR and BP

@ Tom

12 years old, got outstayed last year and even if he can run 7lb better than last years Gold Cup I don't see that being enough. Might be second to LR or BP and I can't see anything troubling those 3 unless King puts Medermit in and he improves 7lb for the step up in trip
Report strontium February 20, 2012 11:25 AM GMT
CVB - excellent post @ 00.36.
Report buddeliea February 20, 2012 12:43 PM GMT
yep,excellent as always CV,you are missed badly on here mate.
Report CVByrne February 20, 2012 1:51 PM GMT
Thanks mate, I'm home on Friday drom my world travels so will prob have a few more posts on here. Hopefully I can ditch this annoying touchscreen nonsense for a real keyboard. It makes a big difference.

Seems like far more people on here these days, threads vanish to the second page in just one day.
Report thieveslikeus February 20, 2012 2:06 PM GMT
I've downgraded LR to his usual 174 on Friday given the doubts over PN's horses cannot rate through WAF.   Not a 180 horse but still leaves him clear top rated of those not claiming state pension.
Report buddeliea February 20, 2012 5:02 PM GMT
You talked me into backing QE without the favs the other week,although i had backed him for the GC at start of the season.
Watching his run in the Hennessey i was not overly happy to be honest,but reading your comments above has made me rethink a tad,and i think you make some valid points,should give us a run for our money i reckon.
Report Luke01 February 20, 2012 6:32 PM GMT
Long Run slow a slow boat? broke the course record last year beating Kauto and Denman and will improve this year in the gold cup with age so surely he will win or go very close. Quel Esperit the funniest thing i have heard he falls every other race and would not beat TFR and Weird Al never mind Long Run and Kauto. Long Run surely wins this years gold cup!! if not I myself with cheer Kauto if he is in the shake up with Long Run as he is just an amazing horse.
Report shockster February 20, 2012 6:56 PM GMT
I know there are questions about P Nicholls horses, but WAF didn't run badly to me last Friday. PN has made no secret that he's being trained for only 2 races this year, The Gold Cup and Punchestown.  He's followed the same pattern as last year , a run in the Autumn, The Denman and The GC next.  Last year on official ratings he improved 10lbs from Newbury to Cheltenham.  He's still available on here at 60's and it's too big.  Similar improvement puts him right in the mix. I know he finished behind BP and LR on Friday, but the differential in price does not give an accurate reflection of his chance IMO. He finished a nose behind Kauto LY.
Report buddeliea February 20, 2012 7:20 PM GMT
QE has barely made an error this season in all his chases.
You have a go at his jumping and then bang on about Long Run,whose far worse in that Department this season.
QE may not be as good engine wise as Long Run,but his jumping more than matches up.
Report judorick February 20, 2012 7:23 PM GMT
in slow poke races on horrible going in Ireland

let's see how he jumps at Gold Cup pace on good ground round cheltenham
Report buddeliea February 20, 2012 7:28 PM GMT
oh and he dont have to beat LR and KS betting without the favs.
Agree he may not beat Weird Al and maybe others,although doubt TFR will be among those,but then he was a nice price imo.
Report buddeliea February 20, 2012 7:29 PM GMT
Yes Judo bit of an unknown,not afraid of that.
Report thieveslikeus February 20, 2012 8:09 PM GMT
QE has quite a bit to find but knocking his jumping is out of date.  He only fell twice over fences, has won the 4 he has completed and brought down by a loose horse in the remaining run.  His jumping looks good now and I do like the way he responds to pressure.
Report strontium February 20, 2012 8:57 PM GMT
I think that's tue Thieves. It would just take an astonishing improvement in the space of a month to win the Gold Cup after you could throw a blanket over him, Treacle, Roberto Goldback and Follow the Plan.

Shock, I'm afraid I've lost faith with WAF and layed off my Gold Cup bet on him for a small profit. He seems to have plateaued and I can't really see him improving past Burton Port, let alone the principals. Still have some on him in the w/o LR and KS market because it represents reasonable value.

As for Time for Rupert - the horse is a machine - a Reliant Robin.
Report buddeliea February 20, 2012 9:00 PM GMT
reliant robin
Report R Carver February 21, 2012 6:05 PM GMT
Phil Smith on Long Run, the AON Chase and the CGC -

Long Run I have performing to 178. Burton Port's 166 +10lbs weight and I called the half a length as 2lbs. as like his owner I believe Long Run was idling in front. There has been some total nonsense written that it was a disappointing run. For me it was an excellent trial for the Gold Cup. Last year Long Run improved 3lbs. from 179 in the King George to 182 in the Gold Cup and I have no doubt he will do at least the same again this year between the Denman Chase and the Gold Cup so he is sure to run at least in the low 180's under his optimum conditions including going up the hill 3 times and over 2.5 furlongs further.

The big question is can Kauto Star replicate his Kempton 183 in the King George at Christmas at Cheltenham in March? He will have to if he is to win the race. So far his performances in the Gold Cup have been 172, 174, 186, 0 and 169. He did it in 2009, it will be fascinating to see if he can do it in 2012
Report strontium February 21, 2012 7:33 PM GMT
Does anyone else think the senior handicapper shouldn't be saying things like "so he is sure to run at least in the low 180's". He might well be right, but it makes it sound like he's rated the race before it's even been run. When else does he have such preconceptions?
Report R Carver February 21, 2012 7:38 PM GMT
I agree, quite a ridiculous comment.
Report buddeliea February 21, 2012 8:30 PM GMT
Saying Kauto will have to replicate his 183 in the KG if hes to win the race aint too clever either!!
Report Eeternaloptimist February 21, 2012 9:26 PM GMT
He's talking like a punter rather than a disinterested observer. Far too unequivocal saying he has no doubt. On balance I agree with his view though and had he said if Long Run runs to the mark he thinks he might then he could run to a mark in the low 180's that would have been more balanced.
Report strontium February 21, 2012 9:31 PM GMT
That's the thing Eternal. What he's saying could well be right, but as you say he's talking like a bloke in Laddies, not a senior BHA official.
Report judorick February 21, 2012 9:32 PM GMT
I think he has overestimated the lot of them frankly

he is basing his Denman Chase rating on The Giant Bolster as a 160 effort which I can't agree with. For me he bounced after his huge effort at Cheltenham and ran a fair few pounds below the Cheltenham mark. This drags Long Run down too. Anyway, the absolute numbers are not so important, it's the relative merit that counts and the Denman is the best chase form this season my numbers which makes me think double figure prices for Burton Port are generous
Report tomdeane February 21, 2012 9:33 PM GMT
Agree - silly thing to say, and, more worryingly, think.
Report thieveslikeus February 21, 2012 11:04 PM GMT
Numpty.  Explains the inflation of ratings in that division...
Report ACStafford February 22, 2012 1:02 AM GMT
Judo's right. I don't believe that The Giant Bolster put up the same performance at Newbury as he did at Cheltenham. Also, its probably reasonable to suggest that both What A Friend and Tidal Bay may have significantly underperformed due to the form of the yard at the moment.
Report judorick February 22, 2012 1:17 AM GMT
yes! good point, had not considered WAF and TB - will look again and see what I think of them
Report bbsband February 22, 2012 12:39 PM GMT
yes could explain their running...good point
Report tinkler February 23, 2012 8:01 PM GMT
I hope Medermit lines up in this race ,on good ground I think he's got every chance of running a big race
. He ran well at Ascot last time despite appearing to dislike conditions , previous to this he stayed on really well over 2m 5f giving nearly a stone away to 2 real quality horses.
Alan king has reported that a decision is imminent over whether he runs in this or the Ryanair. He's 80/1 now ,but I cann't back him until they commit. If they run in the Ryanair I won't be backing him.
Report strontium February 23, 2012 8:12 PM GMT
You'd back him to beat 180 horses in the Gold Cup where he's unproven over the trip but not to beat 170 horses in the Ryanair where he has C&D form? Is that just a price thing?
Report tinkler February 24, 2012 1:45 PM GMT
It's always a price thing. If he was 14/1 for the Ryanair and a definite runner I'd be backing him, but
he's not he's 8/1 and their is a significant chance he won't run. If lines up in the Ryan air I'd estimate his true odds to be around 8/1 ,if he lined up in the gold cup I'd have him no bigger than 20/1
on good ground. Given his present odds  theres little chance of me backing him in the Ryanair but a possiblity I could back him for the Gold cup.
Report Mr Mischief February 24, 2012 2:51 PM GMT
'It's always a price thing'
Too true Tinkler
Report judorick February 24, 2012 8:07 PM GMT
so I'm alright with 16s and 180 then?
Report Giddy March 2, 2012 9:30 PM GMT
Evening all. Does anyone know of the wellbeing of Carruthers?.Missed the Denman and the Argento after being injured in the Welsh national.Would appreciate an update if anyone knows anything. Thanks
Report Hugh-Mongous March 5, 2012 3:32 PM GMT
As Giddy's post above asks about Carruthers, I'd like to know if anyone has any news about Diamond Harry & Time For Rupert, or if someone can point some of us to a website where constant updates are given on all the Cheltenham possibles.

It's so irritating to 'learn' of possible running plans by reading the markets on here! Sad

The chasers above have got no chance of winning the race as I see it, but it's important to many of us to balance AP books, and the place betting (or without the market leaders) is up for grabs with ANYTHING in with a shot, on a going day.
Report BJG March 5, 2012 5:23 PM GMT
Long Run friendless now - no money up to back Scared
Report BJG March 5, 2012 6:28 PM GMT
Grands Crus strong for GC and very weak fo RSA - decision made ? Mischief
Report Giddy March 5, 2012 6:39 PM GMT
I buy the Racing Post everyday and I cant beleive how slack they have become.I only found out about Carruthers injury on here when the Headmaster kindly posted that he was badly struck into at Chepstow. This race is the Blue Riband of NH racing and you would expect the trade's only daily paper to be on the ball with the wellbeing of all participants
Report Catch Me ifyoucan March 6, 2012 2:59 PM GMT
GOLD CUP comments from the preview nights.........

Paul Nicholls - It just astounds me how Kauto Star looks. He did a strong 5f with Big Buck’s and for the first time in a long time he took a long time to pull up. His enthusiasm is unbelievable. He is in as good form now as before Haydock and Kempton. Ruby schools him on Friday. Not having Denman harrying him this year will be in his advantage and I also think there is more pressure on Sam (Waley-Cohen) this year. I don’t think Long Run has trained on. Paul Nicholls said Kauto Star was in top form at home, as good as he has seen him Wasn’t sure Long Run had trained on, and that meant there was not a lot between them. PN- Kauto better than last year. Chelt will help Long Run but Kauto won 2 Gold Cups. Feels Long Run not improving had a lot of hard races in France as a young horse. Says if Burton Port was trained by anyone else he would have gone past Long Run in the Denman Chase. Long Run one to beat if he jumps well. Won't run Kauto unless he's 100% for the race. To me it seemed it was less likely Kauto would run. Said What A Friend will run well.

Philip Hobbs - Captain Chris has always jumped to the right but not like that before. Let’s see how we go in the next two weeks, he’s in the Ryanair as well but may not go to Cheltenham. If there was an obvious race on a right handed course he would go there but there isn’t now until Pucnhestown. He’s not looking great in his coat right now. Philip Hobbs was asked about Captain Chris, he said he has always jumped right, so that was not an issue as such, however he was not at his best IF HE RAN it would be Ryanair or Gold Cup, however then said he wouldn’t really want more than 3 miles, so I (Catch Me If You Can) give him next to no chance of running in the Gold Cup, and I got the impression he was by no means certain to run at the Festival

Nick Williams - Diamond Harry has had a wind op. That’s the first time I’ve done it mid season and wouldn’t do it again, I’d wait until the summer.

Paul Jones - Weird Al e/w for me. Doesn’t have a lot to find with Kauto and Long Run on Haydock form which came too soon after winning the Charlie Hall and has a very good Cheltenham record. Paul Jones thought the front two were vulnerable, and that Weird Al was the best bet at 20-1

Andrew King - I have a feeling that the big two could get beat but prefer Kauto to Long Run. What A Friend is a massive e/w price at 40/1. Andrew king thought What a Friend EW, although Paul Nicholls dismissed this saying 3rd was his best chance if everyone turned up

Nina Carberry – Synchronised

Patrick Mullins - Kauto with a view that Quel Esprit is his value.

Noel Meade thought the same with Quel Esprit (ie – value).

Andrew Lynch - Long Run.

Paul Carberry - Kauto Star.

Robbie Hennessy - Synchronised.

John Francome – Long Run

Jim McGrath – Long Run

Noel O’Brien – Long Run

Mike Cattermole – Long Run

Davy Russell – Midnight Chase. Long Run to win. But Midnight Chase has a great each way chance.

Tom Segal – Midnight Chase. Midnight Chase E/W. Also feels Burton Port could have won lto.

Hayley O’Connor - Burton Port

Paddy Power - Long Run much better last time. Jumping better. In The Kauto camp and hopes he can get there. Burton Port will improve. Puts up Midnight Chase D Costello gets a huge tune out of horse. Long Run is vulnerable but should win.

Joe Tizzard - Kauto been phenomenal. Weighing room got a bit emotional when Kauto won at Haydock.

David Pipe - Not sure Long Runs been the horse he was last year. Tom Scu rode The Giant Bolster in Denman Chase & feels Grand Crus would have gone very very close. Seemed quite confident Grand Crus would have won that race. Put up Quel Espirit E/W and also joked Grand Crus E/W. Thought Midnight Chase would come 5th.

Alice Plunkett - Midnight Chase E/W

Ruby Walsh -  Kauto Star has a chance but could struggle to beat Long Run over 3m 2f. He would not give up his ride on Kauto Star.

Barry Geraghty - Long Run will improve for his last run. Burton Port has an each way chance.

Jessica Harrington - There are questions overs Long Run’s jumping, but he should win. Burton Port can come third.

Donn McClean - Weird Al is the value of the race.

Tony Martin wouldn’t pitch Grand Crus in this early in his career. Quel Esprit not good enough, Kauto getting too old for this. Weird Al and Midnight Chase best of the rest.
Report SEATHESTARS....NO1 March 6, 2012 3:52 PM GMT
Won't run Kauto unless he's 100% for the race. To me it seemed it was less likely Kauto would run

That has to be a worry. Did PN give you the impression using body language to make you think he may not go then?

I no its all down to the work out on Saturday morning. But the trainer would know how far along the horse is.
Report judorick March 6, 2012 3:55 PM GMT
interesting what PN says about Burton Port... had he been trained by someone else he would have gone past...

ie geraghty prevented him from winning iho
Report SEATHESTARS....NO1 March 6, 2012 3:59 PM GMT
Yes that is an interesting statement to make. I thought at first glance also that BP had every chance running to the last in that race too but thought he just got outstayed. Was getting 10ib that day from LR on seasonal appearance it certainly is a big chance the horse could improve at least 6-7ib for that run and break in between races and that would surely be enough to at least place!

On at 40s e/w, am getting excited already Crazy
Report judorick March 6, 2012 4:02 PM GMT
fabulous price STS !! wowee, I really think he is going to go close and have been steadily backing him since Newbury and putting him in little ew bets
Report Eeternaloptimist March 6, 2012 4:17 PM GMT
From what Geraghty has said I suspect that Long Run may have been let down for a few weeks post King George and they had left a little to work on so that the race at Newbury put him right for the big one. Burton supposedly doesn't take much getting right and Long Run clearly does. My own view is that I wouldn't be expecting Burton to improve by too much more than Long Run and 10lbs will feel like quite a lot to a relatively small slenderly built horse come the big day. Definite place chance though in my view.
Report SEATHESTARS....NO1 March 6, 2012 4:27 PM GMT
Kauto Star to work at Wincanton on Friday
By James Pugh 12:08PM 6 MAR 2012

TRAINER Paul Nicholls said on Tuesday that Kauto Star will work after racing at Wincanton on Friday in his bid to make the field for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday week.

The five-time King George VI Chase winner was due to gallop alongside stablemate Big Buck's at home on Saturday but Nicholls said he would instead work with Mon Parrain at Wincanton on Friday.

Nicholls, writing in his Betfair column, said: "I can reveal that we have had a change of plan over the so-called 'D-Day' home gallop on Saturday.

"Kauto Star will now gallop after racing at Wincanton on Friday instead.

"He had a racecourse gallop before he won the Betfair Chase and I thought it a better idea to give him a spin, and a good workout, on the grass away from home. Ruby will ride and he will work with Mon Parrain.

"Everyone can make their own minds up as to how he looks and works. And if he does come through that okay, we will look to school him on Monday morning."
Paul Nicholls Trainer

Paul Nicholls: happy with progress
  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker 

Nicholls added that Kauto Star, a top-priced 4-1 for the Gold Cup, was making further progress from the schooling fall he suffered last month.

He said: "We upped Kauto Star's work again today. He had his now regular morning physio and an hour on the walker and then we gave him his most testing workout since his schooling fall.

"We gave him two strong canters up the hill alongside my Fred Winter hopeful Ulck Du Lin. And again I have to report that he came through it fine and I'm happy with him at the moment.

"What particularly pleased me that, aside from looking great, he came back from the work and had a good roll in his box, always a good sign with him. He looks happy in himself and Clifford is smiling.

"But I must stress that it is one step at a time, and it is important that people don't get carried away. We aren't, just yet. But we are heading in the right direction quickly, it seems."
Report Catch Me ifyoucan March 11, 2012 10:28 PM GMT
Long Run (2) , Kauto Star (4) , Grands Crus (6) , Burton Port (9) , Midnight Chase (12) , Synchronised (12) , Weird Al (12) , Quel Esprit (16) , What A Friend (25) , Captain Chris (33) , Medermit (33) , Diamond Harry (40) , China Rock (50) , Time For Rupert (50) , Carruthers (66) , The Giant Bolster (66) , Knockara Beau (100) , Poquelin (100) , The Midnight Club (100)
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