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bluebirdfan
26 Apr 12 12:08
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Date Joined: 07 Jun 08
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If Sprinter Sacre makes the race will surely be a small field? Just looking at the market on here and trying to think who will actually take him on? Ghizao is surely not good enough, Toubab chased in vain at Aintree but isnt up to Championship class. Will Cue Card stay at 2m or will they try again to step him up in trip? Can anyone see anything else that will prove good enough to take him on? Al Ferof will need further surely

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Replies: 227
By:
BJG
When: 26 Apr 12 13:53
Finians Rainbow - may stay at 2m but a step up defo a possible
Sizing - another year older
Big Zeb - wont travel
Peddlers Cross - back over hurdles
Flemenstar - Gold Cup
Grands Crus - Gold Cup/Ryanair (would love to see him drop to 2m tho but wont happen)
Sommersby - Ryanair
Edgardo Sol - not in this class
Realy Dubh - possible runner? More of a Ryanair type tho imo
Al Ferof - Surely step up in trip
Cue Card - surely step up in trip
Menorah - dodgy jumper, good at Aintree tho - possible runner
Wishful Thinking - gona at the game
Sanstuaire - nt good enough
Kauto Stone - Nt good enough
Ghizao - nafc
Toubab - nafc



I would nt be rushin to take 5/4 myself but opposition does look bloody thin on the ground PlainPlain
By:
buddeliea
When: 26 Apr 12 17:01
Toubab could be interesting,he was still on the bridle when making that error behind SS at Aintree.Its possible he could be one to take SS on,but agree their dont look much at this stage.
By:
Wicketd
When: 27 Apr 12 00:13
^ not a chance. toubab is a dog of the highest order.
By:
buddeliea
When: 27 Apr 12 07:39
Hate that word to describe a horse.

Hes a bit of an enigma probably,but if they can get the best of his ability hes interesting i feel,and i will be keeping an eye on him.
By:
Wicketd
When: 27 Apr 12 12:53
he's just nowhere near classy enough mate. he wont be winning anything of note over two miles. only reason he was on the bridle behind sprinter is because ruby knows he finds FA off it, so will hold on for as long as poss. almost all his wins feature him being unextended for a reason.
By:
R Carver
When: 27 Apr 12 19:54
I must admit he is not a favourite of mine but I suspect Nicholls will fancy placing him to advantage off 143.
By:
buddeliea
When: 28 Apr 12 07:56
i aint particularly a fan either,but i just feel he has some talent,and will watch with interest to see if they can get him to perform as well i think he may be capable of.
By:
strontium
When: 28 Apr 12 08:49
The 2 m division has been very weak this year and because of Sprinter Sacre looks like it will lack depth this year. But to add to BJG's list, I suppose Flemenstar could end up here if he proves not to stay 3 m and Bog Warrior might stick to 2 m - Gigginstown have so many 2nd season chasers one or two of them are bound to.
By:
BJG
When: 28 Apr 12 14:46
Sanctuaire Shocked
By:
Howdi
When: 28 Apr 12 19:02
christ talk about taking to fences leaving recent hurdles form behind.
By:
strontium
When: 28 Apr 12 20:07
Really looks the making of him. Most impressive for a novice to jump like that round Sandown. Good to see, though no thanks on the 6/1 for next years QMCC at this stage.
By:
strontium
When: 28 Apr 12 20:08
Really looks the making of him. Most impressive for a novice to jump like that round Sandown. Good to see, though no thanks on the 6/1 for next years QMCC at this stage.
By:
R Carver
When: 29 Apr 12 11:36
Yes, very impressive indeed yesterday. The form of yesterday's race IMO can be safely thrown in the bin but he is obviously loving this game and looks a very useful tool. Still not totally convinced he is the real deal but obviously loving jumping.
By:
sageform
When: 29 Apr 12 14:04
Lets see what Sanctuaire and Sprinter Sacre do when they get into a proper race with more experienced chasers like Sizing Europe and Finians Rainbow. They may be good enough to beat them easily but the real test is when they have to jump when fully extended and neither has done so yet.
By:
strontium
When: 29 Apr 12 15:43
That's true of course, and as RC says the form of yesterday should be taken with a pinch of salt. But what is clear is that both Sanct and Sprinter have easily beaten some very solid 2 m chasers - certainly Grade 2 animals and perhaps the odd G1 horse.

It will be interesting to see how they get on in open company next season but their front running style should keep them out of trouble - it will just be a case of whether they are good enough to stay in front to the end. Seeing them race each other could be very exciting.

The opposition in the 2 m division looks quite weak. Sizing is getting old and Finians seems likely to step up to 2 1/2 m (with SS in the same yard and Riverside T also likely to step up). There's not much else over 2 m among the established horses or novices - maybe Menorah if he's worked it out at last, Bog Warrior, or Flemenstar if he doesn't stay 3 m+.

One more thought about Sanctuaire - he might go sour again like he did over hurdles. He clearly relishes jumping fences at this stage, but he has had temperament issues in the past.
By:
Steeplechasing
When: 29 Apr 12 17:00
I can't quite understand why yesterday's form is suddenly worthless because Sanctuaire routed the field.  Did they all run badly except him?  I doubt it: that victory entitles him to a higher rating than Sprinter Sacre and though I backed/tipped him at 50s for QM  http://wp.me/p1o7dN-HT I think Ladbrokes post-race 6/1 is much closer to the mark than Totesport's 12/1.  It's been many many years since I saw a jumper like him, especially given he's a novice - comparisons to the style of Tingle Creek himself yesterday were perfectly in order.
By:
Masterminded
When: 29 Apr 12 17:22
Would be inclined to agree with R Carver I thought it was a superb run from Sanctuaire but what the form's worth I don't know. I would be inclined to think his main rivals under performed quite badly but take nothing away from Sanctuaire he's beat them by a distance. Glad he's come along as it adds something else to the 2 mile chase division.
By:
strontium
When: 29 Apr 12 18:49
Steeplechasing - the form is not worthless because Sanctuaire routed the field. It's suspect because April/May form generally is, and because the ground was unusually soft. I won't be reading too much in to Punchestown form either. There's also the tactical question - Sanctuaire was allowed to have the race yesterday entirely his own way and smart jockeys/trainers may be reluctant to let that happen in future (especially given the horse's previous temperament problems which might resurface if, for example, he has to fight for the lead).

Nevertheless, I think we've all said it was an impressive performance.
By:
wellchief
When: 29 Apr 12 19:06
Yep, it was a really good performance by Sanctuaire.

As a Sprinter backer for next year (backed him in January 2011 for QMCC) I'm not too worried at this stage.  Sanctuaire has always threatened to put in a top class performance, but it is doing it consistently that I think he may struggle with.

Surely the jockeys will have learnt not to give him such a big lead next time, and although I'm not an "in play" backer, I'd want to see him jump a few before putting my money down (As stront has said, he's had a few temprament problems)

Got burnt by Twist Magic (RIPSad) a few times.  He had so much talent, and on a going day he could beat anyone, but too many times he threw his dummy out of the pram and didn't get a run for my money.
By:
wellchief
When: 29 Apr 12 19:07
*Sorry, keep forgetting we're in 2012 not Jan 2011 Happy
By:
Steeplechasing
When: 29 Apr 12 20:28
Strontium, what evidence is there that April/May form is generally suspect? That's a hugely sweeping statement with little if any validity imo.

Sanctuaire had to handle the same ground as the others did yesterday, the softest he's faced since his days in France. Until yesterday, Somersby was unbeaten on soft - 2 from 2 -. On Good to Soft and Soft, French Opera was 4 from 10 with 4 2nds. Wish Thinking was 2 from 4 on soft with one 2nd.

As for being 'allowed to have the race his own way' - he did exactly as he'd done in his previous two chase victories. His early pace, enormous enthusiasm and ultra-slick jumping will almost certainly deter sensible future opponents from trying to go with him. Many of his pursuers were being pushed along as they turned out of the back straight - it's not as though they all left it till the 2nd last to try and catch up.

He was a tallented if unpredictable hurdler who, at 6, seems to have found his calling over fences and along with that, a string of doubters who choose not to believe what they've seen.
By:
strontium
When: 29 Apr 12 21:20
If you've backed him at 50/1 well done, you're sitting on a fantastic bet. I'd say he's now a 10/1 shot or so. However, he's only had 3 chases and not won a major race yet. Get excited after the next Tingle Creek.

Re April/May form - look at Aintree and Punchestown year on year. How often do the best horses lose at those Festivals? Do you think China rock or Follow the Plan are the best 3 mile chasers in Ireland? There are countless examples, and it's a view shared by the RP handicappers for example.

Of course Sanctuaire had the same ground as the others yesterday - but it's highly unlikely to be the same ground next March which is the relevant point.

As for the form, Somersby was 2nd which has a good look to it, but Dan Breen was 3rd by 2 l giving somersby 4 lbs - which suggests Somersby ran well below his mark. That suggests Sanctuaire ran somewhere in the mid 160s yesterday - which is very smart for a novice but not quite as good as Sprinter S. I will be very interested to see how Timeform rate yesterday's race. SS has won at Cheltenham and Newbury unextennded while Sanct was pushed to the line yesterday (he didn't need to be to win but it affected the winning margin). French Opera and Wishfull Thinking have been some way below their best all season.

Re the tactical point - I suspect Henderson can spare a horse to go with Sanctuaire for the first mile/10 f if he thinks that's what it will need for Sprinter Sacre to win.
By:
Wicketd
When: 30 Apr 12 01:17
I do think 12s is a big price, but agree re the form. wishful isn't a two miler, somersby usually runs below par after cheltenham and wouldn't have relished the ground. will be interesting to see sanct jumping with company/under pressure. for only his third start over fences though, it was ridiculous.
By:
thieveslikeus
When: 30 Apr 12 05:44
If Somersby had run to his best then that would put Sanctuaire in the mid 180s on his 3rd chase start which would be silly!  If Dan Breen ran to form that puts him close to 170 which is realistic based on the clock and mighty impressive for a 3rd chase start! 

You can say it is just one performance, but then I'd argue that SS has only put in 1 performance that you can't knock holes in and that was the Arkle itself.   The Newbury win looks very ordinary now given how poorly the two handicappers he beat have run since.  In both cases they are unbeaten and winning in great style.  SS has the advantage of being an Arkle winner and doesn't have Sanctuaire's slighty dubious history so is rightly the shorter price but should it be by that much?  This might be the horse that can get him off the bridle...
By:
shockster
When: 30 Apr 12 09:31
I was very impressed with Sanctuaire on Saturday and he looks the real deal to me. Is he on a par with Sprinter Sacre only time will tell.  Think about this though.  If the performance we saw at Sandown had have been Master Mindeds come back run, people would have been saying he was back to his best and prob made him favourite for QM. (Hope MM recovers).

I know it's all hypothetical, but it's a thought.
By:
strontium
When: 30 Apr 12 11:12
Thieves, that's a very good assessment. It will be interesting to see whether the BHA and Timeform put that rating as ~165 or ~170. Thanks for the time info - the race was obviously slow because of the ground but the time looked quite a bit faster than the other NH races on the card - though it's difficult with only one other chase to compare with. Personally, I think SS's top performance being the Arkle is important and I also think he's done it in better style than Sanctuarie, though both are fantastic. However, I always like a novice chaser that does the job round Sandown as it's such a stern test of jumping. Hopefully they will stay on the upward curve next season and we'll be in for a treat next March.

Shockster - that's an excellent point about MM (though it could say more about how people respond to the impression of a performance than to the performance itself). As this is a Champion Chase thread, is there any news on Masterminded's recovery?
By:
Steeplechasing
When: 30 Apr 12 12:41
Strontium, the Aintree form collapse is a myth: of course some good horses lose there but recent articles by Timeform online and J Pyman in the RP give solid evidence for the form at that meeting reflecting the ability, in general, of the winners. Given your citing of the Sandown ground against Sanctuaire's opponents but making no mention of it with China Rock doesn't help your argument.

China Rock is quite talented in his own right - certainly among a bunch of pretty mediocre Grade 1 horses in Ireland: also. he was  tongue-tied for the first time on Saturday.

Anyway, as others have said, Sanctuaire's emergence will make next season's top 2 mile contests more interesting: I've no doubt whatever that his jumping technique will serve him well against SS unless that one develops a much more economic style.
By:
R Carver
When: 30 Apr 12 13:12
Sanctuaire was mightly impressive, as noted, and may be a reforfmed character (lets give him the benefit of the doubt the sake of the argument).

Horses often buck trends and run counter to their assumed profile, but profile for me is a concern here (of course, the horse knows nothing of his profile). I expect everyone now to find examples to disprove my worries (I can even name some!) but -

He is not exactly unexposed (though he is over fences, obviously), going chasing was something of an afterthought, he was given a stupidly soft lead on a famous front runner's track on Saturday by a mixture of horses who need stepping up / have had long yr's / are not top draw / ran as an afterthought. Sanctuaire was trained to the minute for that race and none of the others surely where. I expect him to be trained to the minute in the Tingle Creek. I do expect SS to be pretty close to 100% ready (though its often not NJH's style to put the gun too close to the head before the festival). There is no way in a million yrs IMO Geraghty would give him so much rope in a Tingle Creek.

All in all, he is a nice addition to the very weak 2m chase division but at this stage IMO SS is in another parish.
By:
strontium
When: 30 Apr 12 16:38
Steeplechasing, I'm not sure why you're getting at me. On this thread alone I've said about Sanctuarie/Saturday:

- [Chasing] Really looks the making of him.
- Most impressive for a novice to jump like that round Sandown.
- Good to see.
- What is clear is that both Sanct and Sprinter have easily beaten some very solid 2 m chasers - certainly Grade 2 animals and perhaps the odd G1 horse.
- I think we've all said it was an impressive performance.
- If you've backed him at 50/1 well done, you're sitting on a fantastic bet.
- [Somersby's performance] suggests Sanctuaire ran somewhere in the mid 160s yesterday - which is very smart for a novice.
- both [Sanctuaire and Sprinter Sacre] are fantastic.
- Hopefully they will stay on the upward curve next season and we'll be in for a treat next March.


I was impressed by the performance. I was very pleased to see it as I enjoy seeing top class horses race each other. I also enjoyed being at Sandown for the race. I'm glad you've got a nice bet and I wish you luck with it. I just don't think we should be giving him the Champion Chase trophy this afternoon.
By:
Steeplechasing
When: 30 Apr 12 17:45
Strontium, if it is coming across as personal, I apologise, it's not intended that way.

What I was mainly 'having a go at' was the sweeping assertion about April/May form and the assumption about the effect of soft ground.

Also, and you are far from alone in this view, those who assume that because a horse wins in surprising fashion, nothing else of merit in the field has run to form can find that a very costly stance to adopt.

Apart from that, of course he has to prove himself against Sprinter Sacre, but his chasing form is flawless, his jumping style breathtaking and his potential unknown. One consolation Barry G can take from Saturday is that he needn't worry about having to settle SS if both horses make it to the Tingle Creek. He might well be concerned about when he makes his move to try and catch him!

The handicapper's view, and Timeform's, will be fascinating.

Good luck.
By:
Steeplechasing
When: 30 Apr 12 17:52
I just checked - Timeform rated his Saturday performance 169+ - the same as SS got for his Arkle win.

12/1 for QM a daft price.
By:
thieveslikeus
When: 30 Apr 12 18:11
Sanctuaire has been given a Raceform time figure of 125 which is absolutely huge, 20 lengths faster than the Arkle where SS got his best so far of 115.  I cannot remember any novice chaser getting that high a rating before!  Most champion chasers never run that fast...   It is only one interpretation but one well worth taking into account.
By:
strontium
When: 30 Apr 12 18:13
Steeplechasing, thanks for the apology.

I accept that one cannot just dismiss April/May form - however, it is often less reliable than mid-season (Nov-March form) after horses have had long seasons/hard festivals/runs as an afterthought, etc. That varies race by race and only time will tell in this instance. I had intended to mean I would be cautious, rather than dismissive, about the form, but may have come across stronger than that.

I didn't make any assumption about Sanctuarie and the ground. I simply pointed out that the ground on Saturday was unusually soft and it's likely to be much faster in March. It's possible Sanctuarie benefitted form very soft ground on Saturday. It's also possible he'll improve another stone on good ground. Again time will tell. But as "the ground" is arguably the most imporant thing when considering form, I am reluctant to take a striking performance on soft/heavy to mean the horse is bound to run brilliantly on (probable) Good next spring.

I also take your point about all the other horses in the field running below par. If Somersby ran to form, Sanctuarie is now the best chaser in training. In fairness that seems unlikley for a thrice raced novice. However, I can readily accept rating of Timeform's 169+, judged mainly on Dan Breen's run.

Overall, Sanct has added a lot of interest and excitment to an otherwise flat division. I sincerely hope Sanct and SS race a couple of times next season, fit and well - they could produce some spectacular contests. Good luck with your bet.
By:
Masterminded
When: 30 Apr 12 18:17
I'll have tbh I think Sprinter's Cheltenham form is a fair bit ahead of Sanctuaire's. Would be happy for people to disagree though as it might get SS out to a backable price. I  still think Cue Card is a pretty serious animal and hope he hasn't got injured as we haven't seen him after Chelt. Rubi Light could be dropping back to 2 miles next season I have read so maybe the Queen Mother could have a bit more spice to it than first thought. Like I say Sprinter for me though is still miles clear.
By:
wellchief
When: 30 Apr 12 18:53
This could turn in to a good debate come Christmas time, if this thread is anything to go by.

I take everyone's points on board, but I still stick to my original view in that I'd want to see Sanctuaire perform to a similar level again before I can consider him a major threat to Sprinter Sacre.

Sprinter has proved he can bring his "A Game" to the track time and time again - he is one you can rely on. 

I still have nagging doubts about Sanctuaire.  There is no way to predict how he will run on his next outing, or if he will run to a similar mark again, but he needs to prove that it was no one off.  Just looking through his form and I can't really see anywhere where he has put in two top class performances in a row, against quality opposition.

If Sizing is going to go for the QMCC again, I'd be taking the 10's on him rather than the 12's on Sanctuaire.
By:
buddeliea
When: 01 May 12 07:52
They are both novices which will improve going in to next season.
Hard to say which will turn out the better in time,but for now on all known evidence their dont seem to me to be much between them.
SS has had much more publicity and been talked about a lot more and has been very impressive,whilst Sanctuaire has hardly had a mention,but has also been impressive.
I think its fair to have slight reservations about the run of some of the horses on Saturday in heavy ground at the end of the season,but equally one could only be impressed with the performance of Sanct,and any horse that wins a good quality race before they have got to 3 out,has to be rated pretty high imo

All in all i would say that makes the current odds on the QM to be a tad out.
By:
CVByrne
When: 01 May 12 12:51
You'd have to agree Sanctuaires running style is an utter dream for Sprinter, who'd love a fast early pace to give him a toe. While the former reminded me totally of a dear horse I loved, Twist Magic. Who simply loved Sandown and when he won a second Tingle Creek he just killed them all with front running on soft ground. Twisty was not the same at Cheltenham, so until Sanctuaire proves it around Cheltenham on good ground against better opposition the jury is still out.

I thought the performance was excellent, visually brilliant. But there is no chance that he'd get away from the big black aeroplane, he'd never get an easy lead as Sprinters speed and jumping would have him hanging around right on his coat tails. I think then we'll see what happens.

It's a total certainty that the two will meet in the Tingle Creek along with probably Sizing Europe and Finians Rainbow. Everyone testing themselves against the Arkle winner to see where they go that season. If Sprinter puts them in their place at Sandown on softish ground then that's the end of that as regards the Champion Chase, Sizing and Finians will avoid him and if Sanctuaire cant beat him at Sandown his hopes around Cheltenham are slim.

Personally, I think Sprinter is the most exciting horse I've ever seen, and I include Kauto Star in that. Sprinter could be a piece of true perfection. So it may be worth taking any Tingle Creek / Champion Chase doubles on offer about him. As if he wins the Tingle, he'll got 4/5 or 4/6 for Champ Chase on the spot.

Exciting race that will be. No hiding place either.
By:
strontium
When: 01 May 12 14:17
Sanctuarie's style could wel set up the race for Sprinter. I also think you're right that SS wlill be hanging around Sanct however fast he goes off. However, Sanctuaire's style could put SS's jumping under pressure which we haven't seen yet. It will be fascinating - and mouthwatering over the long summer.
By:
shockster
When: 01 May 12 14:26
Can't disagree with what you have said CVB, but do remember Sanctuaire has already hosed up at the festival.  Obviously not in a Championship race, however it does show that he does act there.  He has also won on all types of going, therefore soft is not essential.  SS does look awesome, but then again so does Sanctuaire.  3 wins with combined winning distances of 74 lengths. On hurdles form Sanct could not have done that. It is obvious to say but he is a massive improver for fences and he has only had 3 chases.

Regarding the Tingle Creek it might be worth noting Sanctuaire has never won a race before the end of January.  It maybe that he was in the doldrums, however it is worth noting before writing him off early next season.
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