Cheltenham Festival

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18 Mar 12 20:02
Date Joined: 21 Sep 01
| Topic/replies: 280 | Blogger: hammy's blog
My two worst rides come from the same jockey,Andrew Lynch.No 1 is Voler La Vedette,instead of tracking Big Bucks over the last,he gives up about 3 lengths on the approach to the last trying to avoid Big Bucks.Crazy move.In second place,his ride in the County Hurdle on Sailors Warn where he gave the outside to no one in Lane 8,going about 200 metres more than Alderwood did.
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Report 1st time poster March 18, 2012 7:08 PM GMT
didnt mind him trying on vdv but to call it the ride of the meeting like luck,walsh etc did is plainly stupid as staying where he was could have resulted in victory
Report kingG111111 March 18, 2012 7:12 PM GMT
ruby on boston bob......shocking stuff
Report tornadobob March 18, 2012 7:13 PM GMT
It's a tie between Walsh's efforts on Hurricane Fly and Boston Bob. I've long thought he's an overrated numpty, I now rest my case.
Report Masterminded March 18, 2012 7:18 PM GMT
Ruby/McCoy in the Champ Hurdle or Ruby on Boston Bob. All three were feckin amateurish if you ask me.
Report judorick March 18, 2012 7:25 PM GMT
binocular given a total shocker
Report kingG111111 March 18, 2012 7:26 PM GMT
hopefully ruby retires
Report Eeternaloptimist March 18, 2012 7:39 PM GMT
If Ruby was bad on Hurricane who was supposed to be the bomb proof best horse in the race, who could pick them up at will, what on earth can anyone say about McCoy giving this supposed best horse lengths on Binocular and letting proven stayers like Overturn and Rock on a lead of so much?
Report judorick March 18, 2012 7:40 PM GMT
agree was an absolute shocker eeternal
Report willie the milk March 18, 2012 7:43 PM GMT
I think you are being very harsh on Ruby with his ride on Boston Bob. As I bet it, I watched it the whole way and it was never going. Nothing whatsoever to do with the jockey. It may have needed more cut but Ruby was urging him on all the way. In fact I would go as far as to say, if RW was not on it, it would never have got as near to winning as it did.
Report thieveslikeus March 18, 2012 7:49 PM GMT
McCoy Binocular was the worst by some way!
Report Swardean March 18, 2012 8:04 PM GMT
No problem with the boston bob ride at all.
Report Mr Eboue March 18, 2012 8:06 PM GMT
Would Binocular have won with a better ride?

Ofcourse not.

Might have got 3rd.....

Not helped by an awful jump at the last.

If that was a bad ride then so were 99% of the others at the festival.
Report thieveslikeus March 18, 2012 8:09 PM GMT
We will never know Ebouie, if he had been close up we would have found out.  To have him behind HF was insanity.  Even with the awful ride he would have been third without the uncharacteristic mistake at the last.
Report kingG111111 March 18, 2012 8:23 PM GMT
rubys ride on bostoner was awful, held him up for too long even when he was maken mistakes he still was holding onto him....starting moving on him far too late to even get him into the race, rubys best days are well and truly over, he had 2 winners at cheltenham, big bucks and quevega....i could even win on those.
Report kingG111111 March 18, 2012 8:24 PM GMT
boston bob that was...dont know who bostoner is ?
Report Masterminded March 18, 2012 8:27 PM GMT
Look at where Grand Vision was. Perfect position if ruby sits there Boston Bob wins. How anyone can defend the ride on Binocular I have no idea clearly need to give up as they can't race read.
Report RM66 March 18, 2012 8:38 PM GMT
Not wanting to jump on the bandwagon but having watched the GC several times since, SWC hasn't made the most of what that horse has to give - staying at good pace.  Left it way to late to get going on him, presumably as he thought he was home with his only serious challenger KS not longer in the race.  Credit to AP for getting Synchronised right after a dodgy start but shouldn't have been allowed a slow race and a sprint to win.
Report judorick March 18, 2012 8:38 PM GMT
The problem with the Bino ride as his poor judgement

Bino was a bad ride because he rode to beat the one horse who was also on a bad ride. Hard to know that it was difficult to come from that far back on the first day but nevertheless Binocular has never been a deep hold up horse. His usual style is to be "held up in touch" if you read most of his in running comments. The fact that the winner and second were horses he has beaten recently when tracking them from not far behind only confirms how badly judged the ride was and the fact that Overturn lead them a merry dance and managed to finish 2nd shows it was quite a steadily run affair because when he is forced to race faster than he would like he crumbles . The winner sat in 3rd place most of the way again showing the benefit of being prominent
Report magic carpet March 18, 2012 8:57 PM GMT
Boston Bob was never traveling a yard did well to finish as close as he did! Tom Scu on Kazliann was very average in my opinion
Report Lion King March 18, 2012 9:07 PM GMT
Agree with both comments MC and Tom Scu wasn't any better on Balgarry, gave the horse little chance of getting home by kicking on too far out.
Report Eeternaloptimist March 18, 2012 9:13 PM GMT
You can be critical of SWC for not kicking on and I am but surely you have to take account of the level of the jockey when picking out stand out worst rides?
Report Swardean March 18, 2012 9:18 PM GMT
Apart from Salut Flo all the pipe horses seem to just flatten out 3 furlongs out
Report RM66 March 18, 2012 9:30 PM GMT
Agree to some degree Eternal but  although he's an 'amateur' he's not inexperienced.   Saying that, if he'd have won with that strategy, I wouldn't be on here.

Can't say I fault a lot of the others, I thought Lynch made the right call to go standside on VLV as he was on a charge with plenty left by the looks of it.
Report duncan idaho March 18, 2012 9:30 PM GMT
Tom Scu on Kazlian was poor....OP, the idea that VLV lost 3 lengths thru that maneouvre is ridiculous
Report yeast March 18, 2012 9:34 PM GMT
oI thought Thornton went way too early for home on Grumeti and then got outstayed in the run in.
Report judorick March 18, 2012 9:36 PM GMT
yes maybe but that is a minor error of race judgement - but overall it wasn't a bad ride he did give the horse every chance if he was good enough

can't say the same for McCoy - and the market knew too Bino was trading at 11, 12 and higher from before halfway
Report BornToWin March 18, 2012 9:58 PM GMT
Lynch gave VLV a great ride. Eyeballing Big Bucks is not the way forward, he gave the mare the best chance... but Bucksy spotted her... oi NO!
Report Slabster March 18, 2012 11:21 PM GMT
I thought Lynch on Voler La Vedette was one of the rides of the week. Switching to the rail in order to try go by somewhat unnoticed was a stroke of genius, and Ruby pulling Big Bucks across to her likewise. Fantastic from both jockeys imo.
Report tobellie March 19, 2012 1:00 AM GMT
tom scu on battle group et al. salut flo i would have won on. ok overseer did well but overall its time the pipes got a proper jock
Report hammy March 19, 2012 9:51 AM GMT
If Lynch had tracked Big Bucks over the last,and used her speed in one burst,he might have turned over the jolly,but he needlessly gave up 3 or 4 lengths switching position.He should have sat on BBs tail for as long as possible.Tom Scu on Kazilian gets my bronze medal.
Report rogerthebutler March 19, 2012 10:11 AM GMT
Ruby Walsh didn't cover himself in glory for someone so experienced.

Tom Scudamore on Kazlian was bad - rushed him up early and kicked on too early.

Sam Waley-Cohen got boxed in (and basically outridden) by both Geraghty on Burton Point, then McCoy, taking advantage of Long Run being boxed in and being a better jockey anyway. You can't fault SWC. He is an amateur and rode like one. If they want Long Run to win anything significant again, then Geraghty must be given the ride.
Report roobuck March 19, 2012 12:20 PM GMT
rubys best days are well and truly over

Report BornToWin March 19, 2012 12:27 PM GMT
hammy sitting in behind BB would only have made him more aware of the challenge. VLV got as close because of a clever ride that is certainly my view and that of the trainer plus many 'experts'.
Report unclepuncle March 19, 2012 12:33 PM GMT
Agree about Andrew Lynch on Sailors Warn - dreadful ride.

Also Paul Carberry on Shadow Catcher in the Triumph - went for the last to first glory ride up the inside all the way and surprise, surprise got constantly hampered and impeded. Cry
Report duncan idaho March 19, 2012 1:02 PM GMT
If Lynch had tracked Big Bucks over the last,and used her speed in one burst,he might have turned over the jolly,but he needlessly gave up 3 or 4 lengths switching position

Sorry, just dreadful racereading.
Report RedAdair March 19, 2012 1:07 PM GMT
I'm still very annoyed with AP for denying Binocular (one of my fave horses ever) the chance of a possible second Champion Hurdle title, because of his bad decision.

Very poor ride from AP, who seemed to think he only had The Fly to beat.

This is what he said, himself, about the ride, in his Telegraph column -

"Binocular ran well in fourth but I tracked the wrong horse in Hurricane Fly and, if I could ride the race again, I would have definitely been closer to the pace than I was. That said, I was still disappointed that I could not get past Hurricane Fly."

Whatever the outcome, The Champion Hurdle is my favourite race of the entire jumps season but I was left feeling very flat after this year's race Sad

I was thrilled for Noel Fehily tho', a great jockey, and he and Rock On Ruby thoroughly deserved their win Happy
Report jimq March 19, 2012 1:17 PM GMT
Toner Dodaires was worst ride as he went far to soon on him. If he had held on to him he would have pissed imo also Ruby did"nt cover himself in glory on Boston Bob. He should"ve made more use of him. Roll on 2013
Report Eeternaloptimist March 19, 2012 1:31 PM GMT
I don't see how McCoy can be disappointed that he didn't get past The Fly. He was never even in a position to do that and when he eventually did the horse had been under so much pressure for so long that he didn't do the one thing which he has always does so well, namely jump.
Report Masterminded March 19, 2012 1:46 PM GMT
McCoy basically got in his head I'm going to follow Hurricane Fly. As the race developed I am shocked that the multiple champion jockey didn't have the brain to realise the race was going on ahead. He even follows Hurricane Fly wide of O Wells I think it was when he had a clear passage up the inside. Awful awful ride having watched replays this is clearly the worst ride of the festival if not a decade of festivals. Whether he would have won or not is irrelevant head NO chance from the start.
Report judorick March 19, 2012 1:50 PM GMT
I was trading in play on the race and even after 3 hurdles you could back Binocular at 10 and higher and he continued to drift. Never had a chance and the IR crowd knew
Report hammy March 19, 2012 2:02 PM GMT
Born to Win,horses dont have 360 degrees vision,so if he did sit behind him,Bb wouldnt have seen her,until it was too late.He mightnt have won ,but he did lose 3 or 4 lengths before the last.
Report Slabster March 19, 2012 2:15 PM GMT
Hammy, how in God's name would Big Bucks not see her. OK, if Lynch sat directly behind him until as late as possible but eventually he'll have to pull out to go by, or else he'd clip heels. You say horses don't have 360 degrees of vision, but they have 350. The only blind spots are a tiny one in front of their head and directly behind their a$$. They can pretty much see everything around them. The moment Voler is pulled even slightly wide of Big Bucks hindquarters, and no longer directly behind him, he would be perfectly able to see her. She may have lost ground, but how much ground did Big Bucks lose before he had something to race with, when he was out on his own? I think Lynch gave her the best possible chance of victory.
Report thieveslikeus March 19, 2012 2:23 PM GMT
It wasn't about whether he could see her, it was about whether she could see him.  Difficult for a female to go past an alpha male at close quarters.  Was worth the gamble.
Report Mr Mischief March 19, 2012 3:27 PM GMT
Lynch on VdV was one of the rides of the Festival, just came up short against only the greatest stayer of all time
Report Mr Mischief March 19, 2012 3:30 PM GMT
As for worst ride check out Condon riding into a brick wall on Dirar in the County. 2nd year in a row they've given that one absolutly no chance due to dreadful raceriding.
Report Eeternaloptimist March 19, 2012 10:23 PM GMT
There seems to be a very strong case for McCoy on Binocular. Funny how he was lauded to the heavens for doing what he does on a horse which was always going to find plenty given a sniff in Synchronised.
Report Lion King March 19, 2012 10:47 PM GMT
McCoy had every right to expect that tracking H Fly was the best way to approach the race and pounce as late as he could. It just didn't work out and Bino was simply not good enough.
Report Eeternaloptimist March 19, 2012 10:54 PM GMT
Well I'm certainly interested in looking at this new angle. Has Hurricane Fly ever given you the impression that he lacks finishing speed? I've never detected it.
Report BornToWin March 19, 2012 11:17 PM GMT
That is nonsense Lion King.
Report ambrosec March 19, 2012 11:27 PM GMT
Every jockey who loses a race would ride the race differently next time,thats obvious but you only get one chance, McCoy knows it was a mistake to concentrate on the Fly but it was a perfectly reasonable thought to have before the race.
If everyone on this site knew that due to the pace of the race RoR and OT would not tire and go on to fight out the finish of the race then I suggest you bet in running and you will soon learn that horses will make fools out of you.
As for HF, the horse normally travels easily into contention but this time he didn't, yes in hindsight Ruby would have had him closer but what if Ruby uses up energy early in the race to get close to OT only for OT to empty after the 2nd last much as he had done the previous year, the sages on here would be slagging him off for not conserving the horses energy for the finish.
As for Boston Bob I don't think he was ever travelling that well and had to be pushed along from a long way out, again was everyone on here absolutely sure that Bindisi Breese would stay on strongly to the line,If you were then again i suggest you all fill your boots betting in running, but to those who criticise jockeys so strongly and have not tried IR betting then p;ease give it a go and you will find out how hard it is to know how a race will pan out
Report Roger De Bris March 19, 2012 11:28 PM GMT
How much of a start did McCoy give ROR at Kempton and how far did he beat him?....
Report Roger De Bris March 19, 2012 11:54 PM GMT
1-2 lengths and beat him 1/4 length..
Report bavtcc March 20, 2012 8:47 AM GMT
Only just stopped laughing at the comment that Rubys best days are behind him!!! That goes down as one of the most ridiculous comments I have ever heard. HF never picked up as expected but I think ROR deserves far more credit than he is getting.
Report everton1978 March 20, 2012 9:12 AM GMT
Boston Bob too far out of his ground and for me was the worst.
McCoy did concentrate too much on 1 horse but he was fully entitled to think following HF would have brought him into the race between the last 2 hurdles.
Lynch's ride on VdV was a canny bit of race riding and in no way a bad ride.
I also thought Mcnamara's ride on G. Choice in the first was misjudged.
However a lot of the perceived bad rides seem to have been on hold up horses and for my eyes there was a track bias where too far out of your groound was costing you(unless they went crazy up front like Bellvano in the last)
Report duncan idaho March 20, 2012 12:10 PM GMT
for my eyes there was a track bias where too far out of your groound was costing you(unless they went crazy up front like Bellvano in the last)

first 2 days it seemed to pay to be handy but by Friday (following watering and with longer run between 2 out and last) the races were overly strongly run and suited those held up imo
Report differentdrum March 20, 2012 7:26 PM GMT
Have to go with a horse who should definitely have won but didn't and Kazlian stands out by a mile - just a brain dead ride.
Report Lion King March 20, 2012 11:27 PM GMT
Binocular is a speed horse, you hold him up to get the best out of him and come with a late run. He wasn't good enough but that's how you ride him.  In hindsight they could have tried something different but the result would be the same unlike Kazlian who clearly may have won with a better ride.
Report buddeliea March 21, 2012 7:36 AM GMT
Bino has never been held up that far back,should never have given a horse he only just beat at Kempton that much lead.Too obsessed with Ruby and paid the price.
Report JOCI Club March 24, 2012 12:18 AM GMT
For me, Scu seemed to have at least one or two rides where he was either too handy or made too much of his horses. However, he's a professional jockey and I work thngs out for banks, so he's probably better qualified to race ride.
Report thieveslikeus March 24, 2012 1:26 PM GMT
Lion King must be thinking of a different horse as he hasn't described Binocular at all!  Every success has followed the same pattern, tracked leaders, led around 2 flights out (just before or just after), stayed on well when in front.
Report Eeternaloptimist March 24, 2012 9:46 PM GMT
Report Workforce March 24, 2012 10:22 PM GMT
Not particularly pleased with Scu on Kazlian, missed the break, then rushed up before kicking for home far too soon. Annoying they are going for 4-y-o hurdle at Aintree apparently, has plenty of scope off his current handicap mark.
Report flyingbolt March 25, 2012 2:55 PM BST
Tom Scu on Kazlian. Went far too soon and was clearly the best horse in the race at the weights.
Harry Derham on Edgardo Sol. Always too far out of his ground,ok he got there but the amount of ground he had to make up cost him imo...........and yep I'm pocket talking in both cases.Sad
Report Schadenfreude March 25, 2012 4:50 PM BST
I don't think for one minute Walsh has got Boston Bob or Hurricane Fly beaten - I think the former was never really travelling THAT well (for a real short hot-pot) and in his other races, he's not exactly been a traveller like Hurricane Fly has he?

He's a real stayer and he was probably expecting some give in the ground to come to his rescue.

I always think these very short Irish favourites are always worth taking on, as invariably their best form has been on heavy ground, with a steady pace - then they have to negotiate the undulations of Prestbury Park which seem purpose-built to upset horses' rhythm!

As for Hurricane Fly (last year's Nemesis who defied my theories above) & Binocular...maybe they were both a few lengths further back than might have been ideal (though it wasn't an enormous gap) but it's always easy after the event.

I think McCoy's anticipated tactics of pouncing late to beat Hurricane Fly were arguably (pre-race) his best chance of winning the race, as Hurricane Fly has looked bombproof for years, and for some on here (clued-up people too) to be so scornful, is bewildering in my view.

Where McCoy 'ballsed-up' was in opting for the wrong game-plan, as he tracked a horse who was clearly not at his best on the day - that's just how racing goes I'm afraid, and he deserves no criticism.

If however, he was handier, he could well have won, but it's a very convenient & smug attitude to have AFTER the event, and I don't see why (being behind Walsh) is being perceived as such a ridiculous tactic, instead of being a sitting duck for Walsh to pick up...something I figured would happen, but didn't.

As for Hurricane Fly...I don't think it was the leeway to make up that beat him, as this was probably the first time in his career he's failed to deliver - I suspect a minor problem will come to light soon, or maybe he just had a bad trip to the races or even the dreaded 'off day' - who knows?

He sort of ran too well for a sick horse, but nowhere near as good as we know he can be - I'm convinced he'll pick up Rock On Ruby like a rag-doll when they meet again, and maybe Mullins should consider Aintree.

On the day, Rock On Ruby & Overturn had the perfect run of the race at a strong enough gallop they were very comfortable with, and I wouldn't be surprised if the winner NEVER reproduces this form, as I suspect it flatters him - nevertheless, a great ride from Fehily.
Report buddeliea March 26, 2012 12:09 PM BST
Problem with that is AP left a horse he only just beat at xmas far too much distance between them.
ROR was not gonna stop in front,he stays 2 and a half,and AP should be aware of that.
Report duffy March 26, 2012 2:09 PM BST
Mccoy had more fear in HF than confidence in his own horse, he thought that the only chance he had was to come and mug HF at the death, he didn't believe that he could win the race with Ruby using him as the target, he didn't consider as possible scenario was ,what happens if HF has an off day and doesn't take me into the race himself, perhaps the newspapers should also notify us in future when jockeys have first time blinkers on!!
Report Giddy March 27, 2012 12:48 AM BST
Schadenfreude.Having read your post I was compelled to watch both races again. As a layer of Boston Bob and Hurricane Fly, and a place backer of Binocular,I was under the distinct impression I had read the races completely wrong but my opinion has not chaged one iota, as in my view both Boston Bob and Bino were the recipients of very poor rides,instigated by gross errors of misjudgements by the riders.

Firstly Boston Bob. They definitely were going faster than what BB had ever encountered before, and Ruby was niggling from an early stage. he niggled then stopped,niggled then stopped and he done this throughout the first circuit and was content to keep the horse at least a dozen lenghts off the pace.He only got after the horse properly, halfway down the back straight where he pushed and shoved to get him anywhere near contention and was at the horse all the way to the line, but all too late.When he was niggling early,he should have kept at it and got the horse much closer to the pace. If he had done so,he could have given the horse a blow going down the hill,but he was too far back and used all his energy,over the last 6 furlongs getting to the eventual winner

You state in your post,that he was probably expecting some give in the ground to come to his rescue. What do you mean by that? Did the jockey not walk the course in the morning or ride in earlier races to know exactly how the ground was riding? Even more reason IMO to know that the jockey got it badly wrong,and indeed you only had to have a look at Rubys body language after the post to know that he had c0cked up royally.

Binocular. Why would McCoy's pre race tactics been based around waiting to pounce on HF when he had been soundly beaten by Overturn in the fighting Fifth and only just about got the better of Rock on Ruby in the xmas hurdle? A gross misjudgement before the start of the race then. Hurricane never jumped the first couple at all well and he was at least 8 lenghts off the pace with McCoy a lenght or 2 behind him. It was pretty obvious, that IMO that Hurricane wasnt travelling that well, and the champion jockey surely would have been aware of what was happening up front. As it happened he was completely unaware, and was content to sit behind to my utter bewilderment.Once again he going all too late and even followed Ruby up the home straight challenging on the inside,instead of going towards the rails. A manouvere which cost him the 3rd spot

When henderson was interviewed after the race, and was asked why Bino was held uo up so far out the back,it was testimony to his tact and diplomacy that he avoided saying it was a p1ss poor ride

I dont wish to take anything away from the winners of these 2 races as they were both worthy winners and the 2 jocks in question got it wrong on the day, but as we know that dosen't make them bad jockeys because they are the best in the business.

Anyway,just my views for what there worth, as obviously im not as "clued up" as you good self
Report bensonado March 27, 2012 1:16 PM BST
Robbie Power on citizenship, and yes this is my pocket talking as well as my head. tracked the winner on the inside all the way round then switched out coming down the hill and got badly hampered on the turn in, giving the horse no chance.i know the connections were extremely dissappointed with the ride. In hindsight the harringtons horses weren't right, wouldnt have won anyway but the jockey didnt give the horse proper chance to win the race. Power is just a bad jockey in my opinion, especially over hurdles.
Report Schadenfreude March 27, 2012 11:37 PM BST
Giddy - all relevant & reasoned opinions welcome here I reckon, even if they are polar opposites...your views too Wink

When I made that comment about some give in the ground coming to Boston Bob's rescue, I was talking about the horse...not the jockey! Happy

As for the Champion Hurdle...I wasn't suggesting those were proficient rides from two of the greatest jockeys to have graced the sport, but merely trying to state a defence - isn't Walsh often 'accused' of fooling people with his body-language in the saddle?

Or is that only cited on the winning rides?

It's his style, in giving his mounts confidence, and time to find their stride, and obviously some will go awry, and be under the microscope.

Also, McCoy did attempt to urge Binocular into contention around the third last, when he realised Walsh was asking his mount for more, and the horse (under those tactics) was just not good enough to close the gap on a canny ride from Fehily who pressed the button at exactly the right time, as if he had wing mirrors!

Furthermore...the big gap in the early stages was closed GRADUALLY (and so not expending too much energy in one fell swoop, by Ruby & AP) and reduced to about four lengths on the turn down the hill, which is something I'm sure backers would have been satisfied with I/R.

As for McCoy on Binocular...if he couldn't beat Hurricane Fly (ONLY) when he's on an off day, those tactics were never gonna prevail in actually winning the race.

FWIW, I agree that he didn't have much in hand of Rock On Ruby (pre-race) and with hindsight it should have been given more consideration, but if it eases the pain for backers of Binocular...even if he'd realised sooner that Hurricane Fly wasn't up to the task, he still wouldn't have got near Overturn, never mind the winner!

AND that's taking into account his mistake at the last which in all likelihood cost him third place.

As for the 'clued-up' comment I made...I'm not being remotely facetious, but it's a regular feature of this forum that some very intelligent & knowledgeable forumites' views radically differ.

There's a fine line between a good ride and a bad one and I figure only the awful ones are worth slating.

I've seen some terrible winning rides over the years when a much superior horse has only just scrambled home and had a much harder race than it should have.

Johnny Murtagh in my view has very few peers, but even he has fcuked up when winning!

Anyone remember the Group One Matron Stakes a few years back when he nailed Attraction late on with Soviet Song?
He knew he had the beating of that filly, as she showed previously at Newmarket.

I'm certain that the unnecessarily hard race she had at Leopardstown cost her any chance in the QE II just two weeks later, and she was battered at 5/2 fav - a confident win and place lay as I saw it, and for once I was spot on! Wink

Come to think of it...that's an interesting topic for another thread if anyone has any other suggestions.
Report Eeternaloptimist March 28, 2012 3:58 PM BST

I agree that you have to give praise to the riders of the first two in the champion. They both rode wonderful races. They set a pace which was just fast enough to gain a comfortable lead, steadied in order to get a breather into their horses before kicking for home at the right time to make stamina a big issue. Having said all that this isn't rocket science. That is exactly how the riders of horses like Hardy Eustace and Brave Inca used to outdo speed horses in their respective champion hurdles.

My point is that McCoy wasn't on a speed horse. He has previously shown that he gets every yard of the champion trip and hasn't been switched off out the back previously. As I pointed out previously of course they closed up but anybody who was reading the race knew what the jockeys were doing in front and must have suspected that it was going to take a hell of a toll on anybody coming from behind to even get to Overturn and ROR let alone get by them up the hill. Walsh can partially be forgiven for thinking that he was on the best horse and could do so. McCoy had no such excuse as has previously been mentioned. He was all out to beat ROR at Kmepton despite being sat on his coat tails all the way and there was no way that ROR would be coming back to them having previously finished second at the festival over half a mile further.
Report Eeternaloptimist March 28, 2012 4:00 PM BST
By the way I was never satisfied in running. In fact I wil go further. As soon as I saw what McCoy was doing with the horse before the start which made it clear he would be jumping off last I thought to myself, "that's me fecked then."
Report buddeliea March 28, 2012 5:16 PM BST
Yep never had a chance really,and when you consider he would still have got 3rd but for the last hurdle,where would he have finished had AP had him where he should have??,like in every other race hes ridden him.
Report Schadenfreude March 28, 2012 10:25 PM BST
They're fair enough comments I suppose, and I did actually state in the earlier 'essay' that Binocular could well have won the race with different tactics.

"If however, he was handier, he could well have won, but it's a very convenient & smug attitude to have AFTER the event"

I know where most of us 'expected' Binocular to be, and his position was surprising, but a planned change of tactics occurs in virtually every race, of every day!

The rough has to be taken with the smooth, and many big races have been WON under a different type of ride - remember Bregawn's Gold Cup?

Nevertheless, I'm sure connections of Binocular are still ruing their change of plan Plain
Report CVByrne March 28, 2012 10:50 PM BST
Can't blame AP or Ruby for having their horses back, nobody thought the front 2 would keep going. Ruby has ridden RoR plenty and knows him. The front 2 caught the rest on the hop. Was a great ride by Noel.

AP said Binocular was flat out most of the way. With Hendos string in blinding form you can't really complain. But with Fly at least Mullins string were all running below their best, only 2 superstars managed to win and a bumper horse, the rest of his string all ran below their best.
Report zilzal1 March 28, 2012 11:35 PM BST
Even though he won last years Champion HF had to be stoked up quite a bit though and you'd say that all of his better runs have come with more ease in the ground over in Ireland thus bringing the question in of how good was last years race??

As for Binocular's form, he can hardly be called consistent, apart from needing a run 1st time out over the last couple of seasons, he's not the kind of horse you would be comfortable having a large sum on at shortish odds.
Report Eeternaloptimist March 29, 2012 12:26 AM BST
Indeed but he has never been out of the places before in three previous festivals. Nobody has a crystal ball and I'm not totally convinced that he would have got past ROR on the day however he was ridden. I do think he could have got second had he laid closer to the pace and there is that chance that he could have won and that is all you ask of any jockey. Give a horse the best chance by riding to its particular strengths. Bino's strength is being able to run for a long way at a high speed and keep it going when others flag. How the race was run was laid out on a plate for him had McCoy had the horse tucked in behind the leaders from the start.
Report buddeliea March 29, 2012 7:52 AM BST
Well,however you look at the race,AP had Bino further back than any other race hes ridden him,that is fact.
Imo,thats cos he chose to ignore the front 2 and concentrate on HF,thats how it looked to me.
The fact that the front 2 were horses that one, Bino has lost too this season,and two,only just beaten,tells me he did not do the smartest thing in trying to win the race.
Thats my take on it.
Report Eeternaloptimist March 29, 2012 12:54 PM BST
Can you imagine the scenes if Ruby had decided that he and not McCoy was definitely jumping off last? They'd have still been arguing at the start line when the rest were coming down the hill.
Report CVByrne March 29, 2012 8:01 PM BST
bud I agree with you, the front 2 caught them all on the hop imo. AP was worried about Ruby and that's it, while Ruby was more concerned with AP than RoR who he knows and Overturn who's been beaten out of sight before. If both were ridden close to the pace they'd have had less to do, and both closed on the front 2 when asked to but that was their energy spent.

But I've looked at stable form of Mullins too. Pretty much all his horses finished well down the field not even featuring in most races bar the 2 superstar certs that are Quevega and Sir Des Champs. So it looks clear that his string weren't 100%. Especially given what Ruby said post Gold Cup when talking about Kauto.

"Something was still hurting him, horses can't talk and tell you this. If they could most of the horses I rode this week wouldn't have run".

So for me, that makes me believe Fly has better that the run he gave at the fest. Next season with hopefully at least 2 prep runs this time and ridden closer to the pace and with Mullins string in better form he has a good chance of recapturing his crown.

He's 6/1 which is a plenty good price imo. Plenty of juice there for backing now and laying stake back closer to the time. Rubys choice of ride will be interesting.

I'm not getting carried away with RoRs win, it's his first grade 1, Sublimity won his champion hurdle in very impressive fashion too and never replicated the form.

I remember the year of monumental defending of Kauto Star I had to do after 2008. I took the 7/1 after he was beaten at aintree that year for 2009 and I've done the same with Fly, it's too big imo. Horses aren't machines, they can have a bad run.

Boston Bob ran a blinder to be 2nd in AB too, was off the bridle after a mile. Will be miles better over fences.
Report denman85 March 29, 2012 8:10 PM BST
CVB- u never thought that the chapion hurdle H fly won was a poor 1? , but this y ruby made a balls of the race, trying to be a smart arse, sitting way off the pace and thought he cud leisurely pick them off, how wrong he was!
Report CVByrne March 29, 2012 9:13 PM BST
He rode the race like he was on the best horse. Also Fly jumped right and lost 2/3 lengths at the 2nd hurdle and went to near 2nd last, Ruby didn't try to hurry him to make up for that. 

Horses are not machines, Mullins string were not A1 and Fly had one one prep run. He gave a burst of speed to close the gap to be just over 2l down at the last but that was all he had left, he plugged on up the hill.

It's not Rubys fault the horses he was riding weren't 100%. If they were he may have won more than 2 races.

I think he rode a blinder on Boston Bob, that horse wasn't going at all and he still had a chance of winning if he'd jumped the last.
Report postiepete March 29, 2012 9:40 PM BST
Any horse that was ridden wide all the way .Reya Star for one ( pocket talking )
Report buddeliea March 30, 2012 7:42 AM BST
CV,fair points re the form of Mullins horses,and its fair to say that was not the best of HF,so no way would i be having a pop at Ruby Walsh,and i too think he can come back and win another.
I also think Bino could have won another given a ride that would have given him the chance to,unfortunately AP imo did not do that.
I aint saying Bino would have won the race,that would be daft,but a horse should be given every assistance by his jockey to achieve that,and on this occasion i firmly believe AP did not do that.
Still as you say,horses aint machines and at the same time jockeys can make mistakes.

Also we have to give credit to ROR and his jockey.
Its possible we could have another Hardy Eustace type here,and dangerous to underestimate that run imo.
He was going away at the death,after being right up there all the way.
Pretty impressive i thought.
Report CVByrne March 30, 2012 10:00 AM BST
All credit to RoR indeed, I've had my outside winners in this none better than Punjabi. But thats the thing sometimes a horse has his day.

My worry for Binocular was that AP said he was flat out for a long way, and the Hendo stable were in great form. While Ruby and Mullins agree Fly ran flat. If AP had said something more positive like ridden closer to the pace, or something I might have some hope for him.

Fly has had 2 bad races now in his career, they happen so he is certainly worth sticking with, especially as he must be an excellent trading option as he'll run in Ireland from now till next festival and surely shorten leaving a very nice trade out of the bet and put back on on nrnb with a bookie for a free bet.
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