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ZARKANDAR for the Champion Hurdle.

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Replies: 302
By:
R Carver
When: 13 Feb 12 14:16
I agree. They seemed mad keen to get a run into him.
By:
buddeliea
When: 13 Feb 12 17:39
Nicky is happy with him at the moment and doesn't think it will be a problem.

Sounds alright to me lads,ive backed him e/w and if they are happy with him,so am i.
By:
strontium
When: 13 Feb 12 17:52
It's a chance of a successful routine though Budd. However, Nicky is always utterly, 100% honest about this horse and all his horses, so I'm sure you're fine.
By:
revedesivola
When: 13 Feb 12 17:59
However, Nicky is always utterly, 100% honest about this horse and all his horses, so I'm sure you're fine.Laugh
By:
denman85
When: 13 Feb 12 18:27
Yeh nickys a twit alrite, the stupid thing is binocular has run better this season so far, than he ran in 2010 when he won CH, for me hes the next best to hurricance fly, kemptons not his track imo, he's a horse that obv hard to train but runs his best races in march, never been out of the top 3 at the festival, and  has the class to go close again
By:
denman85
When: 13 Feb 12 18:27
Yeh nickys a twit alrite, the stupid thing is binocular has run better this season so far, than he ran in 2010 when he won CH, for me hes the next best to hurricance fly, kemptons not his track imo, he's a horse that obv hard to train but runs his best races in march, never been out of the top 3 at the festival, and  has the class to go close again
By:
buddeliea
When: 13 Feb 12 18:40
stront
Laugh
By:
tomdeane
When: 13 Feb 12 18:51
Not sure about this really - they had been saying he would be campaigned more aggressively this term, so going to Cheltenham with a gap would be a negative for me. That said, Binocular is Binocular, and I am convinced he has physical issues that stop him running to his best each time he makes the track. He could just as well wake up feeling a million dollars with or without a prep run, so fingers crossed it is the former.

Haven't backed him but would love to see him run to his best again.
By:
buddeliea
When: 13 Feb 12 19:00
Seems to save his best for Cheltenham Tom.
By:
R Carver
When: 13 Feb 12 19:07
I echo all that Tom. His price probably fairly reflects his chance, but if he put it all together he would be an interesting threat.
By:
eric_morris
When: 13 Feb 12 21:40
Is he having a back massage this year?
By:
crescent
When: 16 Feb 12 22:21
Ok Zarkandar the fly has come out and put the marker down lets see what you have got.
By:
birdieforthewin
When: 17 Feb 12 13:33
If that is all that zarkander has and even if he improves for a few pound on todays run, he'll have no chance against the fly.
By:
buddeliea
When: 17 Feb 12 13:37
Whys that??
How do you know how HF will run on the day,weve only seen him once this season,on a bog.
By:
birdieforthewin
When: 17 Feb 12 13:47
How do i know? I just do...i shall be back to remind you of that on the saturday after the
gold cup.
By:
buddeliea
When: 17 Feb 12 13:51
ok,i expect you will be right,most think the same.
I just think hes a horse thats had a setback and run  once ona surface that none of them really liked at all.
By:
R Carver
When: 17 Feb 12 13:59
Great trial today for Zarkander. Stop the triumph at the bottom of the hill and Grandouet looked the better horse of the pair. However, Zarkander is a stayer and winners of the Champion need to stay and I can see him and Grandouet running similar races this March to that which they ran last March (i.e., Zarkander doing his best work at the end of the race and Grandouet not quite doing his best at the end of the race). But I also think if the staying Peddlars Cross could not beat Hurricane, and Hurricane is in the same form this yr, Zarkander will not beat him. I cannot have Zarkander being anything like as good as Peddlars Cross, though I coudl be badly wrong. Hurricane looks different class.
By:
R Carver
When: 17 Feb 12 14:01
Btw, I say the above expecting fully this race to bring Zarkander on significantly.
By:
squiggsy
When: 17 Feb 12 14:06
Zarkander of 151 today gave good marker get me out of here 7ibs and 1.5 length beating 151 plus say 9 gives him a mark of 160.

Can he find 10-15 ibs second time out i think its possible.

Zark wasn't strong in the market today we were warned it was all about cheltenham the fly is no certainty !
By:
Desmond Orchard
When: 17 Feb 12 14:18
I thought he ran really well today first time up, in a race that wasn't run to suit. He is all about stamina and they went no pace for the first mile, when the tempo was upped he was caught a little flat footed and was one of the first off the bridle. He kept finding though, only to have his rhythm disrupted by one coming across him before the last, I thought his chance had gone at that point. The fact that he quickened as well as he did after the last, shows that he has class as well as stamina. With a race ander his belt, the CH run to suit and a clearer passage, I expect him to certainly be the one to give HF most to do. And if that one is a shade below his best, then he could easily beat him.
By:
BornToWin
When: 17 Feb 12 17:51
Agree Desmond, a more than satisfactory performance today. Think he is a Champion type maybe a place this year and a win at the 3rd attempt Wink
By:
Hugh-Mongous
When: 17 Feb 12 18:11
There is no reason to desert Hurricane Fly as he NEVER disappoints.
I just cannot see him even slightly troubled by anything, over any trip and any ground!

He really is a machine...that's not telling you all something you don't already know, but last year's Champion Hurdle silenced ANY lingering doubts I may have had.

He's that good, that he keeps coming back after injury troubles and lay-offs, and STILL delivers in style!

I expect nothing less than another imperious performance from arguably the best hurdler since the golden era of the late 70's, and IMV only Istabraq could challenge him.
By:
thieveslikeus
When: 17 Feb 12 18:21
Well done Hugh, you just redefined hype Laugh
By:
ReaseHeath
When: 17 Feb 12 18:23
^ I agree with all of that except the slightly troubled bit - he was more than 'slightly troubled' by Peddlers Cross last year and the indications are that last year's novices are decent - it's a championship race and very competitive.

I could see Zarkandar, Grandouet and even Oscar's Well all doing a bit more than slightly troubling HF - whether they can beat him though, well that's a different matter altogether.
By:
wellchief
When: 17 Feb 12 18:31
If Zarkandar had already had a run or two this year, you'd have to be very disappointed BUT considering it was his first run for almost a year in an ultra competitive handicap, he does warrant respect and you'd have to imagine he's got quite a bit of improvement in him.

You just have to think what would Hurricane Fly have done to that field first time out off 151?

If you have got 10's or so on Zarkandar I think you've got a decent bet; but I wouldn't be pushing to get to the front of the queue at 11/2.
By:
Hugh-Mongous
When: 17 Feb 12 18:34
TLU - when I'm finally satisfied, when every scintilla of doubt is gone, I'm happy.

I have rather contradicted my earlier post about hype though Devil

I think it's sensible to remain a doubter for as long as possible, and when something like Hurricane Fly finally shuts me up, I just stand in front of my TV applauding a fabulous horse with an incredible CV.

I even have doubts about Big Buck's...I would have expected him to have run over 20f by now, and that disappoints me - he's had everything his own way, and although he's probably the best staying hurdler I've seen, I'm still not happy!

That's why I tend to jump on these boats very late Grin
By:
booster
When: 17 Feb 12 18:38
Zarkandar did well today and will definitely improve but the proximity of Raya Star, 2 lengths back in 3rd, only highlights the chance of Rock On Ruby, who conceded 1lb more than his stablemate was today but beat Raya Star by 10 lengths over course and distance in November. As someone said earlier, stayers win Champion Hurdles and he only lost The Neptune in a photo last year plus he backed his Newbury success up in The Christmas Hurdle over a course he wouldn't have relished.
By:
OnTheSnaff
When: 17 Feb 12 18:41
i thought that was a very decent re appearance from Zarkander,Went no pace which doesnt suit him at all,
if there's a race made to suit then its the CH,pace will be fierce from start to end,he's one of these horses who will never do it stylishly,but keeps getting the job done,reminds me of when Big Bucks started off over hurdles,
He could easily have a tonne improvement in him,he doesnt show much at home by all accounts,so he's hard to get to the end of,
i'd still very much favour HF because he's just a machine,but i honestly wouldnt be surprised if Zarkandar were to turn him over
By:
judorick
When: 17 Feb 12 18:42
yeah I definitely think Rock on Ruby has a better chance than Zarkandar - he is a more appropriate age and ran in a good trial race (Neptune)

5 year olds and Triumph winners have a terrible record in the Champion - and Zarkandar is both (and I backed him for the Betfair weeks ago)
By:
wellchief
When: 17 Feb 12 18:42
Now that we've seen all of the runners out, it is quite clear the Fly is some way ahead of the rest, who imo are a much of a muchness.  That's why I don't mind taking a bit price on Overturn w/out the Fly, because it could be a blanket finish between the others.

Does anyone know what price Zarkandar traded at in running?  There was one stage were Raya Star overtook him turning for home and I thought his chance had gone.

Just makes me more frustrated that Spirit Son isn't running because I think he'd be a long way clear of the best of the rest.
By:
Hugh-Mongous
When: 17 Feb 12 18:45
WC - Zarkandar touched 100 I/R Shocked
By:
buddeliea
When: 17 Feb 12 18:46
Agree Booster,im warming to the chances of ROR.Think hes a major player,strong traveller that wil have no trouble getting home.
Cracking bet without the fav,and even with the fav his cutrrent odds are pretty good imo.
By:
strontium
When: 17 Feb 12 18:50
I thought it was no more than an OK performance from Zarkander on that mark. The race wasn't run to suit but he's got some pretty ordinary horses in close proximity. He was given a good ride but he won't have Ruby in the Champion. He's entitled to improve a bit for the run. All in all I can't see him troubling Hurricane Fly unless the Fly has a serious off day and he's no banker for 2nds with Overturn and Grandouet kicking about.
By:
SN02
When: 17 Feb 12 18:51
Who will Ruby ride ? It tells you everything we need to know . H Fly is an absolute machine . Peddlers imo was better last year  than the current promising crop taking on the Fly'. I like Grandeout , and I think he will cause me a bit of concern at some point during the race on the day , but as previuosly mentioned, Grandeout doesn't find much later on in its races . Binocular concerns me a little bit , as a champion , and maybe the breathing op has helped . Oscars Well and Rock on Ruby are surely place bets?

Summing up I think think the fly can be beat three ways . It underperforms massively on the day ( my m8 Tory who posts on here has been doing that for 5 years :) ) , something freakish happens , he gets clipped or something more random . Or he does not turn up and we all get our NRNB money back.

It would hurt if he turns up and doesnt win as I really think he is as good a hurdler as you can get
By:
ReaseHeath
When: 17 Feb 12 19:03
the points about Rock On Ruby are well made and there was even a hint from Nicholls in his post race interview with Nick Luck when he said the lads who looked after ROR would be pleased with Zarkandar's win!

I don't really buy the 5yo stat - Katchit won as a 5yo (albeit in a poor renewal) - that's like saying you would n't back Zarkandar today on the basis that there had been no FTO winner of the race in 40 years.
By:
judorick
When: 17 Feb 12 19:04
The thing is about todays race, if you had some out and out front runners in there like Overturn and Make A Stand and they went a serious pace, then Zarkandar would have been able to show how well handicapped he really was - but they didn't have that at all. In fact, the first mile was preposterously slow for a £150,000 race so you can only credit the horse for winning
By:
judorick
When: 17 Feb 12 19:07
Not buying the 5yo stat? You what? How much stronger a trend do you want?

And it is not just 5yos it is Triumph hurdle winners too - terrible record.

Just because one horse managed to win against a strong trend it does not mean that the trend is therefore worthless... and had Sizing Europe not gone lame Katchit would not have won either.
By:
thieveslikeus
When: 17 Feb 12 19:08
Rease, the 5yo stat is completely meaningless.  It is experience that counts in the CH.  Every winner, regardless of age, in at least 2 decades has had 15 starts or more under rules and won at least 6 times.
By:
thieveslikeus
When: 17 Feb 12 19:09
it's the wrong trend Judo.
By:
Hugh-Mongous
When: 17 Feb 12 19:10
It's more than a fair stat, though it's hard to believe that See You Then just wasn't good enough in his Triumph Hurdle.

Have to agree that Katchit won the race by default and is a below average winner.
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