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ZARKANDAR for the Champion Hurdle.

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Replies: 302
By:
crescent
When: 27 Jan 12 21:48
Lets see what the fly's got 2moro.
By:
crescent
When: 29 Jan 12 20:29
There's yer answer....... PLENTY

Will be a warm order for a repeat come march.If Zarkandar cant win the betfair easily he looks a near certainty.
By:
alanc1
When: 29 Jan 12 20:47
Been backing Zarkandar since Aintree last year but have to say the Hurricane looked very impressive. Zarkandar will have to have improved a lot to stand any chance in the Champion. Looking for a massive performance in the Betfair to keep hopes alive
By:
revedesivola
When: 29 Jan 12 22:11
always going to be an uphill battle but i think hes hurricane flys biggest rival. could all be scrapping it ot for places but id rather rob each way money backing zark at 7s rather than backing hurricane fly at odds on
By:
judorick
When: 31 Jan 12 15:41
let's hear some opinions on this question please:

In order to be considered a contender for the Champion Hurdle, what level of performance does Zarkandar need to produce in the Betfair Hurdle?
By:
strontium
When: 31 Jan 12 16:09
Good question Judo Happy

Surely he's got to hack up? Hurricane Fly is rated 173. Zarkander would have to run to around 165 in the Betfair to have a chance in the Champion (allowing for this being his seasonal debut and subsequent improvement for a run).

Is Brampour an intended runner keeping Z on 11-1? If not Zark will have top weight to contend with as well.
By:
Masterminded
When: 31 Jan 12 16:09
It will be his first run for a long time so should come on for it. Will need to be very impressive to worry any Fly backers imo eg a 7 length win on the snaff.
By:
judorick
When: 31 Jan 12 16:12
Thanks Strontium

I totally agree, he needs to bolt up off that mark even allowing for seasonal debut. Remember Menorah won off 151 in the Greatwood and he was beaten 9 lengths by the Fly. Some people have said that it doesn't matter if Zark is beaten at Newbury but I think there will be some long faces at Ditcheat if he is
By:
SEATHESTARS....NO1
When: 31 Jan 12 16:21
Completely agree with some of that above, he simply has to win the betfair to have any remote chance in the champion hurdle. But a performance somewhere within the lines of GMOOH's win would please me for a first time out. I was completely blown away with that horses performance that year and backed him accordingly for that years supreme.
I say that as one cannot expect any horse to win a competitive handicap first time up after a long absence to win totally on the bridle. If he does, then we are in for a treat come March!!!
By:
tinkler
When: 31 Jan 12 16:28
I cann't think of a UK hurdler over the last 20 years that would have had a good chance of beating HF.
If thats true then Zarkander's  going to have to destroy the field in the Betfair hurdle and prove himself to
be a very special horse come March. Very unlikely in my view.
By:
sintonian
When: 31 Jan 12 16:36
If Zarkander has any pretensions of being a Champion Hurdler then yes he has to win this first time out or not.

But lest remember the Betfair Hurdle/ToteGold etc is a prestigious race in it's own right and well worth winning. So if Zark goes on to win easy and then is subsequently beaten in the CH then i'd not take this as a true reflection of his ability because he is so inexperienced. He can win this handicap easy and still get found out in March as far as I am concerned. He should be a better horse next season at 6yo.
By:
judorick
When: 31 Jan 12 16:41
the only horse I can think of with the level of ability to beat a horse like HF would have been Valiramix but unfortunately we didn't get to see him fulfill his talent

anyway I agree Zarkandar needs to bolt up off 151. Grandouet has improved 26lb since the Triumph hurdle according to RPR and Unaccompanied 13lb so if Zarkandar is to maintain the form he needs to run mid 160s at Newbury - and if he does that he gags up
By:
judorick
When: 31 Jan 12 16:43
and I am not even talking about winning the Champion Hurdle, I'm just talking about being competitive in the race and not getting blown away. I certainly agree he should be better as a 6 yo
By:
tinkler
When: 31 Jan 12 16:58
If I really liked Zarkander I'd be betting on him heavy for the Betfair hurdle at 7/2 where he's meeting
some ok handicappers and wouldn't touch him at 8/1 for the Champion Hurdle where he's going to have to
beat probably one of the greatest hurdlers of all time.
Personally I find it hard to know what Zarkanders true price really is in the BF hurdle possibly as low
as evens or as high as 8/1 if I had to make an educated guess I'd say his true AP price is around 7/2 but
if he lines up with ideal conditions it maybe closer to 5/2 or possibly less.
If he lines up on decent ground with no more weight than he's set to carry now I'd want 7/2 to consider
backing him, which would give plenty of margin for error.
By:
judorick
When: 31 Jan 12 17:18
Have a look at what someone said to me elsewhere:

"judo ur in a real hole, zarkandar will only be half fit, he's out for a little spin around the track, he wont be whipped or even pushed out, im on at 110/1 for the champion, he should give hurricane a good run race"

sorry but I PMSL at this. Somehow the horse is going to jog round, get beat in a handicap then rock up at Chelters and give the Fly a race... errr, yeah alright then mate
By:
Masterminded
When: 31 Jan 12 19:04
I do think he is absolutely chucked in the Betfair tbh and think he's a very fair price. If I trained him it would be my no. 1 target with him off that weight, hope for a good run in the CH possibly go to Aintree or Punchestown & give him a nice bit of time off for next year. I think he can run well in the CH but as I have said before to beat H Fly he will have to be very special and certainly the best 5yo hurdler since I have followed racing.
By:
shockster
When: 31 Jan 12 19:16
If he turns up he should win.  Nicholls knows where he stands with Rock on Ruby as a comparison.  He came out and won the Gerry Fielden off 145 with Raya Star in 3rd and he franked that with the big Ascot win. Therefore he must know if 151 for Zarkandar is a penalty kick.
By:
strontium
When: 31 Jan 12 19:30
No 20 odd runner 2 mile handicap hurdle is a penalty kick.
By:
shockster
When: 31 Jan 12 19:32
If the "Champion Hurdler" is given a rating of 151, then it's a penalty kick to me.  Is he a Chamipon Hurdler?
By:
strontium
When: 31 Jan 12 19:37
I agree if he's going to win the Champion he has to win the Betfair if he stands up. But in a big field handicap all sorts can happen - he gets boxed in, brought down, bumped a couple of times, etc, etc. 2 m Hcap hurdles are notoriously the most unpredictable NH races.
By:
shockster
When: 31 Jan 12 19:55
Point taken Stront, but you understand my view re ROR.
By:
strontium
When: 31 Jan 12 19:58
I do.
By:
alanc1
When: 31 Jan 12 20:47
Zarkandar needs to win but in a big field handicap anything can happen. Would love to know Ruby Walsh's opinion on the two as he's the one most likely to know how close they are. Anyone know if Ruby's answered this question in any interviews?
By:
revedesivola
When: 31 Jan 12 23:38
chemical nicky said the other day that if zarkandar turns up at newbury then everyone else may as well stay at home. i agree with him, anything other than a comfortable success is a must
By:
RyanWe
When: 31 Jan 12 23:40
^^ I don't know who this Reve character is, but I agree!
By:
revedesivola
When: 31 Jan 12 23:50
youll know who i am shortly. im outside your window staring in at you (and also, as it happens, im connected to your wireless)DevilDevilDevil
By:
crescent
When: 01 Feb 12 20:31
Can't remember exactly what he said but i'm sure Ruby implied that if he was allowed to bet he would have been backing the Fly when he went out to 9/4. I think it was on C4 racing a couple of weeks ago.
By:
stormey1
When: 01 Feb 12 20:51
It was on ruk new years day and the stan james rep was interviewed by Nick Luck,they had just pushed the Fly out to 11/4.
Ruby came on straight after him and basically said "I wish i was allowed to bet as id be taking that 11/4"
By:
Sergei_Rebrofl
When: 02 Feb 12 09:39
Fairly sure in the rp Ruby was saying that if he had one bet it'd be the Fly/Bucks double as well
By:
Catch Me ifyoucan
When: 03 Feb 12 14:55
WHo rides him on sat week in Newbury ? (Ruby banned that day)
By:
shockster
When: 03 Feb 12 15:15
Not Sure, Daryl Jacob I would think or H.Derham if he wants him to have an easier race.  He's that well in McRirick could win on him.ExcitedExcited
By:
strontium
When: 03 Feb 12 15:20
Makes sense to have his Chmpion jockey on him anyway doesn't it (which won't be Ruby). I'd imagine Derham will ride Brampour in both races.
By:
strontium
When: 03 Feb 12 15:20
*Champion Hurdle jockey
By:
shockster
When: 03 Feb 12 15:23
Fair point Stront and he has been loyal to Derham with Brampour this season even when he couldn't claim.
By:
thieveslikeus
When: 06 Feb 12 13:55
Just a bit more on the compelling stat on battle hardened horses winning the CH.  Every CH winner for at least 2 decades has had a minimum of 15 races under rules and a minimum of 6 wins.  This stat largely explains the poor record of 5yos and the exceptions to that rule who were heavily raced. 
Those that meet the trend amongst this years entries are;

Binocular
Celestial Halo
Hurricane Fly
Mikael de Haguenet
Overturn
Starluck
Thousand Stars
Topolski

if either win the Betfair, Brampour or Final Approach could also make the list
if he wins his prep race, Grandouet will be a very near miss with 7 wins from 14 starts, if winning a prep race Clerk's Choice would make the list but he seems very unlikely.

Some notes to the above, Topolski and Starluck do not have a good recent hurdles runs so would seem very unlikely.
On the other side of the coin, no horse with as many races as Thousand Stars has won and only the mare Flakey Dove and Istabraq have won with more similar numbers of races to Overturn and Celestial Halo.  Only Istabraq has ever won with more than 12 wins in the bag, Binocular has 12 now and Hurricane Fly 14.

Only Flakey Dove and Rooster Booster won with a hurdles win strike rate of less than 37.5%.  Celestial Halo and Starluck fall just below that threshold at 36%, Overturn just above at 39%.  Brampour is currently on 37.5% but would improve that to 44% if he won his next race.  Final Approach is on 44% and would improve to 50% if winning again. For the record, the other listed runners current hurdlewin%s are Binocular 56%, Hurricane Fly 86%(92% if you exclude fixed brush events), MDH 64%(82% excl fixed brush).

Conclusions:  Best statistical fits are Binocular (though it is rare for a Champion to regain the crown)and MDH (may well run in the WH instead). H Fly fits all the trends if he is in the same mould as Istabraq with regard to taking  his racing?  Brampour and Final Approach could meet the stats if winning the Betfair or alternative engagement.  Grandouet will be tantalisingly close to doing so if he wins/runs very well in his next start.
By:
judorick
When: 06 Feb 12 14:00
nice work thieves thanks
By:
nocturnal
When: 12 Feb 12 23:44
The jockey point is interesting...would you as the owner of Zarkandar want the favourites intended jockey on your horse,I presume they don,t mind???
By:
ACStafford
When: 13 Feb 12 00:16
Nice stats there Thieves. Explains the relatively poor record of Triumph Hurdle winners. Has to be a massive negative for Zarkandar with just six races (seven by Cheltenham - hopefully) under his belt, and only half of those over hurdles.
By:
R Carver
When: 13 Feb 12 14:13
Be interesting to see the entries for Wincanton. Bincoular confirmed now heading straight to the festival.
By:
strontium
When: 13 Feb 12 14:15
Understandable given the date, but that would seem to be bad news for Bino backers.
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