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ZARKANDAR for the Champion Hurdle.

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Replies: 302
By:
Can't Catch Me
When: 13 Jan 12 10:53
Dont you think it would be exactly what he needs though roobuck? Learn a bit of rough and tumble before the CH? As thieves alluded to earlier, being less battle hardened is the big issue for 5 yo's imo. This would give him a bit of experience.

Although I would agree he'd have been better off with a run before the Totesport.
By:
roobuck
When: 13 Jan 12 12:51
Cannot disagree with anything you say - the fact that it would be the first run is the issue for me. Novices have a good record so the inexperience for that race wouldn't worry me as such, just think that if seriously aiming him for CH this year, then a quieter race to blow off the cobwebs would be a better prep.

Then again he may be so well in that he'll get that type of race at Newbury.

Beginning to talk myself round to a small interest this year but honestly think that granted a clear run, he could be a very serious horse next year
By:
thieveslikeus
When: 13 Jan 12 14:48
Just to reiterate, the 5yo trend is a false one.  The record of 5yos is down to them largely being too lightly raced to be competitive.  Lightly raced horses OF ALL AGES have a poor record in this race.  Champion hurdlers have to be race hardened both in terms of number of runs and number of wins.  Of the 18 winners since 1992, ALL had won a minimum of 6 times under rules (interestingly none other than Istabraq (twice) had won more than 12 times) and ALL had run at least 15 times with 15 of the 18 having run at least 20 times.  Hardy Eustace was the lightest raced horse with 15 runs 6 wins.  Flakey Dove the heaviest raced with 35 starts.   Zarkandar is a negative with 6 runs 4 wins but then so is Spirit Son (5 runs 4 wins)and indeed most of the horses seen as being in contention!

              runs    wins
Granville Again        18    11
Flakey Dove        35    12
Alderbrook        23    12
Collier Bay        22    6
Make A Stand        27    11
Istabraq        21    11
Istabraq        27    16
Istabraq        34    22
Hors La lo III        22    7
Rooster Booster        27    6
Hardy Eustace        15    6
Hardy Eustace        21    9
Brave Inca        22    11
Sublimity        20    6
Katchit                28    10
Punjabi                28    10
Binocular        17    8
Hurricane Fly        21    11
By:
Barney Rubble
When: 13 Jan 12 15:51
Or you could have a different take on the 5yo stats. Since the inception of the 4yo h/cap hur there have been 5 winners of the triumph hurdle who have gone on to contest the following years champion hurdle with results as follows

2009 zaynar                 2010 3rd  champ hur   ( 6 runs)
2008 celestial halo         2009 2nd  champ hur   ( 6 runs)
2007 katchit                2008 won  champ hur   (12 runs)
2006 detroit city           2007 6th  champ hur   ( 9 runs)
2005 penzance               2006 fell champ hur   ( 7 runs)

Hurricane fly is going to be very tough to beat, but zarkander defied the triumph hurdle stats (only 1 run) last year in what was possibly the strongest renewal we have seen, so what is there to say he cant win the champ. Either way we'll all have far more idea after his next run
By:
R Carver
When: 13 Jan 12 16:18
Think Punjabi and rooster in recent times went close in the Betfair Hurdle before running big races in the Champion (admittedly, not aged 4). Rooster touched off and Punjabi close 2nd both off top weight.
By:
buddeliea
When: 13 Jan 12 16:51
I always had the opinion that Rooster running in the race cost him a 2nd CH.
Bl00dy hard race he had that day.
By:
R Carver
When: 13 Jan 12 16:53
I agree too Budd, though the memory of him tanking to the last flight was a sight to behold! Wonderful horse.
By:
Masterminded
When: 13 Jan 12 17:02
If he's a Champion Hurdle horse he should win off that mark easily enough is what I would say. Obviously wouldn't want him having a hard race before the Champ but a big field and the vital experience would help. Plus I think they will run Celestial Halo to keep the weight down.
By:
strontium
When: 13 Jan 12 21:29
Thanks for that thieves - very interesting.
By:
frank60
When: 14 Jan 12 10:33
A bit early i know but the fly looks good.
By:
crescent
When: 14 Jan 12 13:47
The way Nicholls was talking in his column i don't think Zarkandar will run in the Betfair Hdl. Celestial halo and Empire Levante more likely to run.He did say the only race that matters for Zark is the Champion Hdl which i thought was encouraging.
   Henderson thinks SS could be one of the best he's trained which is a bit of a worry for us Zarkandar supporters.
By:
crescent
When: 16 Jan 12 20:19
Spirit Son doubtfull runner in irish champion.
By:
Masterminded
When: 17 Jan 12 18:40
You never know with some horses so it's to the racecourse with Zarkandar for a spot of pre-Betfair Hurdle reconnaissance...

I was obviously very pleased to hear that Zarkandar will be left on a mark of 151 for the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury next month. And I am clearly very keen to run the horse in what is now Europe's richest handicap hurdle since Betfair backed the race.

Zarkandar is only workmanlike at home - Brampour used to murder him over 5f last season - so, while he is pleasing me, he is never going to tell you that much from his work. He does it on the track.

So while it could be argued that he is theoretically well-handicapped with the Triumph Hurdle form working out so well and should take his chance come what may, I have decided to give him a racecourse gallop in the next 10 days to see whether he will be ready in time to do himself justice at Newbury.

That gallop will decide where we go next with the horse.

The Champion Hurdle is the only race that matters for him though, he is in good order and touch wood the summer breathing operation seems to have helped. I know this much - he used to make a noise when schooling but he doesn't any more.


Looks like the Betfair Hurdle is the plan.
By:
eric_morris
When: 17 Jan 12 19:13
Spirit Son was likely never going over there, usual trainer ti t-for-tat tomfoolery between Hendo and Nicholls.

Nicholls ambition to be Champion Trainer could see him to try to pick up the Toat Gold Trophy with Zarkandar which is a graveyard for Champion Hurdle hopefuls. He wouldnt be considering running him in it at all if Hurricane Fly was not around, he is desperate to pick up prize money with Zarkandar.
By:
eric_morris
When: 17 Jan 12 19:17
He is giving his paymasters at Betfair some v good publicity with all this maybe he will do what is right for the horse after the gallop.
By:
crescent
When: 17 Jan 12 20:12
Thanks for that MM good to know. As for PFN running Zarkandar in the Betfair Hdl cos he's desperate for the prizemoney i doubt that very much.Half of the season still to go and he's also got other live contenders for the race, i think he would rather win the champion hdl than the Betfair unless he thinks Zarkandar can win both.
By:
Masterminded
When: 17 Jan 12 20:16
I think the Betfair is the ideal race for him really. Strong pace, nice mark & the track will suit.
By:
buddeliea
When: 17 Jan 12 20:56
I think he does think the horse can win both,why not?
Whether he does is another matter.
If hes to run a big race at Chelt i would think he will need experience in a fast run competitive race,being as hes so inexperienced.He should get that at Newbury,not sure where else he would get that before March.
By:
revedesivola
When: 17 Jan 12 21:10
i think celestial halo will probably run at haydock now, its a 50 grand race and the terms are very favourable for celestial halo as is the ground
By:
crescent
When: 20 Jan 12 21:52
PFN column on here states Zarkandar went well in a gallop and runs in the betfair.
By:
sintonian
When: 20 Jan 12 22:00
You have to laugh at this imo. 2 weeks ago when Nichills said Zark was not certain to run as running plans were far from finalised etc, yet all the while the horses odds were contracting day by day. Opened at 8/1 with a few firms and now gen 4/1.

If this was not the plan, then why all the cuts in odds? Sure the bookies are cretins and will take a cut anyway, but there must have been some money for it .. PFN does like a flutter himself.
By:
thedemps
When: 20 Jan 12 22:13
Spirit Son on the drift
By:
sintonian
When: 20 Jan 12 22:18
WOW.

Big drift .. 16/1 and nothing waiting to back ..Cry
By:
Can't Catch Me
When: 20 Jan 12 22:21
Not strictly true Sint. There's £2 waiting for 1000 Mischief
By:
sintonian
When: 20 Jan 12 22:26
Aye. Probably JP MischiefCool
By:
BJG
When: 21 Jan 12 14:43
Another form boost for the triumph form with smad place hosin up
By:
crescent
When: 21 Jan 12 19:38
Yes another boost for the form. I actually backed Orzare e/w, i was just starting to get excited when he took a chance at the last, ran on well tho.
By:
sintonian
When: 21 Jan 12 19:42
The form does not need anymore boosting anyway. Grandouet & Unaccompanied tell us it was a top quality renewal. Zarkandar has to win off 151 next time out imo but there are other horses like Soldatino who was a Triumph winner but 4lb less.

Smad place is a stayer in the making and likes soft ground. Completely different conditions to the Triumph last year.
By:
thedemps
When: 21 Jan 12 23:07
Maybe the Triumph form has stood up well because it hasn't been tested against either the Champion form or the Supreme form.  Only significant runner from either race to have taken on the 5YOs is 1000 Stars V Unaccompanied and I think it is far from conclusive that the 5YOs are much/any better than that horse let alone those that challenged in the Champ.  Of the first 3 from each race only Oscar Whisky has run over hurdles this year and he seems likely to be running over further so the Fly only has to get there in one piece and beat last year's Triumph field. 

If I were McCain, I would be running Peddlers in Ireland to expose any weakness in the favourite - I can see Whisky heading this way now SS is out of the race if the Fly and to a lesser extent Zark dont sparkle over next couple of weeks
By:
crescent
When: 22 Jan 12 20:17
Menorah,Overturn and Clerk's Choice all ran in the Stan James Int Hdle on 10th dec where beaten by Grandouet who was rec 4lb and also in the Champ.If you take Menorah and Clerks form the 5yo look good, if you go with Overturn they have a few lengths to find.
    I agree with Sint Zarkandar has to win the Betfair off 151 to have any chance in the big one.
By:
thieveslikeus
When: 23 Jan 12 05:13
Peddlers won't run again before Cheltenham, after his muscle problem, according to trainer.
By:
Fallen Angel
When: 23 Jan 12 09:56
Am excited to see Zarkander's return. The form of the Triumph is holding up well and Zarkander will be the final piece in the puzzle. Will have needed to improved again over the summer 2011 but exciting prospect. Still seems a uncertainty about whether he's actually running in the betfair hurdle.
By:
revedesivola
When: 23 Jan 12 11:16
i thought he was confirmed for it a few days ago?
By:
sintonian
When: 23 Jan 12 12:36
yup so did I ..
By:
roobuck
When: 23 Jan 12 13:10
That's where it seems he is headed, PFN clearly believes he's a lot better than 151.

However if HF blows out this weekend, would not be at all surprised to see him switch to Kingwell
By:
judorick
When: 23 Jan 12 16:00
well I got on the day the markets opened so I am hoping all goes well between now and the Newbury race - he won't want it soft though but that is my only concern

he can hack up off 151 but I still won't believe he can win the Champion
By:
revedesivola
When: 23 Jan 12 17:45
i think hed go on soft ok, even though good would probably suit him better. it was soft at kempton for the adonis, despite the official going saying otherwise!
By:
judorick
When: 24 Jan 12 14:21
Betfair Hurdle market currently suspended

anyone know why? I heard that Recession Proof may not make it but no official statement

anyone?
By:
thieveslikeus
When: 24 Jan 12 14:40
If you read the "rules" next to the market it tells you,

Market Suspensions:

    12pm, 24th January - Forfeit Stage
    12pm, 6th February - Confirmation Of Entry Stage
By:
judorick
When: 24 Jan 12 14:47
yes I just saw that, thanks
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