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ZARKANDAR for the Champion Hurdle.

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Replies: 302
By:
judorick
When: 26 Dec 11 18:44
I am always sending them e-mails, never replied once
By:
crescent
When: 26 Dec 11 22:14
I backed ROR today and it ran a very good race. I would be confident that he would beat binocular at Cheltenham after that.I'm hoping the reason he isn,t trading at shorter odds is because nicholls knows Zarkandar is a better horse and none of the stable cash is on.
By:
buddeliea
When: 27 Dec 11 08:17
a lot of people at the time thought that running Rooster in the Newbury race cost him his 2nd CH,he got beat by Geos giving lumps of weight.Geos was never a CH horse.

i do think that ROR is in with a chance in the CH,improving horse that will love a fast run race.
By:
judorick
When: 27 Dec 11 09:57
yes I too think he has a chance, he only had one run in open Grade 1 company and needs some more experience of tough races. RPR was 166 for Kempton, he could find 7lbs if jumping quickly in a fast run race. Got in close a few times on Boxing Day. Has shown an affinity for Cheltenham so he has lots going for him. Apart from th Fly, the rest are all in a bunch behind. Grandouet also about a 166 ish horse
By:
buddeliea
When: 27 Dec 11 10:09
If the fly turns up i just cannot see him getting beat.However with this horse its always a chance he wont turn up.
Seeing Binocular at 16,it to me just has to be the bet.
He runs at Cheltenham once a year(debacle this year ignored!!)and always runs his race there.Hes an enigma i know,but not it seems at Cheltenham.
HF turns up i have 4's a place.HF dont appear i have 16.
Thats how i see it as re Bino.
By:
judorick
When: 27 Dec 11 10:20
I could quite easily see Rock on Ruby reversing form with Bino at Cheltenham if he jumps a fair bit slicker and in a bigger field at a strong pace - needs some experience though. As you say though they are playing for places if the Fly turns up
By:
buddeliea
When: 27 Dec 11 10:32
yep,quiet possible he could reverse,should think hes still improving.Certainly needs to improve his jumping which will be crucial in a CH.Hes got the right connection in that respect,should think Ruby will be doing a fair bit of schooling,and trainer never won the race,so he will do everything he can.
By:
Masterminded
When: 27 Dec 11 10:40
Rock On Ruby is miles away from Nicholls' yard btw. I could be wrong but I believe he's down with R Barber but runs under Nicholls as its a satellite yard or whatever.. Doubt he has too much to do with the horse.
By:
Viva Pataca
When: 27 Dec 11 10:44
Is that Paul Barber's son Master Minded?

Does he look out after many of Nicholls' other horses?
By:
Viva Pataca
When: 27 Dec 11 10:44
*look after
By:
buddeliea
When: 27 Dec 11 10:45
Well i would not know that,but i imagine Nicholls will still make sure that the horse has every chance to get his jumping improved,and Ruby can go wherever the horse is should they want him to do that.
By:
judorick
When: 27 Dec 11 10:52
the only problem with all that is Ruby Walsh will ride the Fly if he runs meaning whoever is going to ride ROR in the Champion won't have race ridden him... gar, all too complicated at this stage
By:
Masterminded
When: 27 Dec 11 11:02
Paul Barbers brother. Yes he has quite a few I think you would be surprised. I think King Of The Knight is also down there. It's funny really as people think the horse they are backing is from Ditcheat being looked after by Paul. Personally feel that it should be highlighted if horses are from a satellite yard. I mean say some of Pauls were not running well with a bit of a bug in the yard. It's hardly going to affect the horses 20-30 miles away down the road is it & vice versa.
By:
Masterminded
When: 27 Dec 11 11:03
As for jockey who knows? Jacob on Zarkandar? Derham on Brampour? Ruby on the Fly? Take your pick of whose left I guess. Maybe Noel Fehily if he doesn't have a ride?
By:
buddeliea
When: 27 Dec 11 11:15
Yep complicated indeed

Ruby on fly if he runs,if not ROR or Zark?? or even Thousand Stars???

BG on Grandouet or Spirit? but then if no HF would he ride OW if he ran??

Awful lot hinges on Hurricane Fly appearing in March it seems!!
By:
buddeliea
When: 27 Dec 11 11:16
As for a trainer training a horse but not actually training him!!
Think i need to go for a walk!!!
By:
wellchief
When: 27 Dec 11 11:40
ROR performed at a much better level that I thought yesterday.

The Neptune form from last year hasn't really stood up to much (Oscars Well being a bit disappointing and So Young running in egg and spoon races), but looking back he was unlucky not to have won that race.

They way Spirit Son hammered him at Aintree, and Bobs Worth (an out and out 3 miler) beat him as a novice also put doubts in my mind whether he could live with the best over 2m.  However, he travelled much better than I thought he would, and looks to have bags of improvement in him.  I wouldn't go anywhere near the 8/1 - 12/1 that's currently available for the CH though.

As for Zarkandar, I would have liked to have seen him by now, but I suppose he had six months off before he won the Adonois; maybe he is better when lightly raced without running him on slow winter ground.  It will be interesting to see if he has improved as much as Grandouet, who has had a lot more racing since the Triumph.

I was a massive Zarkandar fan at the end of last year, however, I'd probably take the 7's about Grandouet at the moment, over the 10's for Zarkandar - just because we have no idea how he has improved from last year, where it is clear to see for Grandouet.

Zarkandar is a very risky bet imo for the Champion Hurdle now.  Because he hasn't ran, we don't know if he has progressed.  I suppose the only way to tell is if he runs against Spirit Son some time after Christmas, but I'm sure their trainers would want to keep them apart.
By:
judorick
When: 27 Dec 11 11:55
Taking 7/1 and 10/1 about any 5yo for the Champion Hurdle cannot be a great idea really and 5yo Triumph Hurdle winners at that. Not saying they can't win just that from a statistical standpoint the prices do not reflect the risk. And I wouldn't be rushing to back any Supreme Novices runners either as that race has very rarely supplied a CH winner (I think Sublimity was the last and he was well beaten in the Supreme).

I would put ROR and Bino in front of Grandouet, Zarkandar and Spirit Son at this stage just on the trends
By:
Ibrahima Sonko
When: 29 Dec 11 14:20
Even further enhancement of last seasons juveniles at leop today.

I backed grandouet earlier in the season but you would have to be happy with the chances of Zarkander.

I'd agree with wellchief regarding the neptune, apart from ROR the race looks rubbish.
By:
wellchief
When: 29 Dec 11 15:06
Paul Nicholls just said through his twitter account

"Everyone asking me about Zarkandar. He v well. Will give full report & plans on my Betfair column on Friday"

Good news!!
By:
buddeliea
When: 29 Dec 11 18:09
So Youngs been running well as has First Lieutenant,i would'nt say its rubbish myself,although the Supreme and Triumph are both looking a fair bit stronger.
By:
R Carver
When: 29 Dec 11 18:22
I cannot have Zarkander on my mind unless the wind op has improved him massively. By the time he starts to stay on I think Hurricane will have disappeared and Spirit Son too.
By:
revedesivola
When: 29 Dec 11 19:43
unaccompanied boosted form today just as grandouet has been doing. thousand stars is no mug, still h fly will be hard to beat
By:
Masterminded
When: 29 Dec 11 20:29
Got to think Ruby got it all wrong on 1000 stars today. He should have used the horses stamina like last time. Even so super run from unaccompanied and has shown the Triumph to be an above average renewal. One thing I would say is Unaccompanied & Grandouet have been doing it on the course and imo improving with every run. Zarkandar needs experience. What's the minimum number of runs a horse has had before winning the champ hurdle? More than 3 or 4 I would say?
By:
sintonian
When: 29 Dec 11 20:33
Correct MM. The filly has had 6 runs over hurdles now and will likely have one more before March. That's ideal.

Lets not forget, she gave a beating to St Nicholas Abbey on the flat in the summer!
By:
sintonian
When: 29 Dec 11 20:36
Also think you'd have to be a mega twaat to be backing Zarkandar at this stage with just 3 hurdle runs. Each to their own, I guess. Laugh
By:
denman85
When: 29 Dec 11 20:49
think binocular is good bet at 12's,  cant see HF lining up, and binocular is the next best to him,  zarkandar looks to have huge potential, but i just think binocular at the moment is a long way clear of some of the younger rivals
By:
crescent
When: 29 Dec 11 21:34
Sometimes i am a bit of a twaat Sint. I know we haven,t seen him yet but Nicholls seems to get horses to do remarkable things, did you really expect Kauto to be as good as he has been this season. If he wins we will be saying the form was there from the year before.
  I may have blinkers on regarding this horse cos i have never recovered from not backing Sublimity when he was a massive price before he won his Champion.
By:
strontium
When: 29 Dec 11 21:45
Nicholls does many more amazing things with steeplechasers than with hurdlers. Triumph form is working out extremely well though.
By:
revedesivola
When: 30 Dec 11 00:22
zarkandar has 3 runs under his belt so will prob have 5 before he gets to cheltenham. im not sure the stats would have been in his favour for the triumph either with just 1 hurdles run?
By:
R Carver
When: 30 Dec 11 00:54
It is probably not wise to pick holes in the winner, they usually win for a reason, and Zarkander is entitled to improve markedly for the summer off strengthening, for the wind op, and simply for being very unexposed, but pause the tape at the bottom of thie hill in the Triumph and Zarkander to me looked to be 4th or 5th best. To my eye he simply outstayed Unaccompanied and Grandouet (who has since proven he gets up the hill - who knows what would have happened at Liverpool, but Grandouet may have won by 10 on the flat track he was enjoying back then, he obviously held his form sufficiently well to win in Ireland afterwards). I expect Zarkander to improve significantly, but I cannot have him as a winner. On all evidence seen thus far, I would expect Hurricane and Spirit Son to have way too much speed and to be gone by the time Zarkander begins to stay on.

This is an interesting view from Handicapper Dave Dickinson -

http://www.britishhorseracing.com/goracing/blogs/viewarchive.asp?item=004547

[...] Extending the logic from Brampour, his exploits and those of Grandouet have led to the belief that last season’s Triumph Hurdle was a high quality affair. Well there were clearly some high-class horses involved in the race but the eleventh home was only beaten twelve and a half lengths by the winner that day, so I would argue that the form remains less than solid. Said eleventh, Aikideau, also ran at Cheltenham over the weekend – he was beaten over fifteen lengths by the unbeaten Darlan, who was conceding him 6lb. I rest my case.
By:
R Carver
When: 30 Dec 11 01:02
* Regarding Grandouet's run at Liverpool, I don't actually think he would have won by 10l ! I am not sure he would have won at all !

RDS, Soldatino had only had 1 UK run before the Triumph (in the Adonis) though I think 1 of Soldatino's French runs was over hurdles whereas I do not think any of Zarkandar's were. I am not sure 1 prep for the Champion is a massive disadvantage (Sublimity, Alderbrook, Collier Bay etc).
By:
crescent
When: 30 Dec 11 14:44
I hear N.Henderson is making some positive noises about spirit son being very good indeed?
By:
R Carver
When: 30 Dec 11 16:05
Where did you hear that Crescent?
By:
sintonian
When: 30 Dec 11 16:34
Hendo rates Spirit Son on a par with Sacre.
By:
sintonian
When: 30 Dec 11 16:35
In terms of latent ability ..
By:
R Carver
When: 30 Dec 11 19:10
Sintonian, that day at Exeter was remarkable. He looked top, top draw. I think the owner has said he had a small setback a the start of the autumn - with Sprinter, he'd be the horse I am most looking forward to this winter, though this late start is very disconcerting (for the spectacle and my AP portfolio!).
By:
crescent
When: 30 Dec 11 19:56
It came from a website I'm a member of. A well respected northern journo.
By:
willie the milk
When: 30 Dec 11 20:21
Decided to stick Zarkandar in my last AP before the festival.
Al Ferof, Zarkandar, Quevega.
3 x 10s, score.
The more I look at last years Triumph, the more I think it was a good, above average race. In behind the winner was, Unaccompanied, Grade 1 winner since. Grandouet,Grade 1&2 winner since. Sam Winner, Grade 2 winner previous. Brampour, Greatwood winner since.
Now looking at HF. Missed 2 engagements this season. May go straight to the race. It beat PC 1 1/4L yet Sacre blew it away. Are we looking at HF through rose tinted glasses?
By:
R Carver
When: 30 Dec 11 20:50
Thanks Crescent.
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