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FOYLESWAR
25 Oct 12 17:17
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Date Joined: 09 Jan 11
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couldnt help noticing paul nicholls enthusiasm for this horse and had a close  look at his efforts from the past 2  seasons , flat bred but  unraced at that game ,zarkandar made a winning debut at kempton and then won the triumph hurdle at the festival, staying on strongly before  the last beating a decent field that included grandouet and unaccompanied .
on his reapperance last season he won the betfair hurdle off a big weight becoming the 1st horse to win the race on its seasonal debut  staying on strongly and beating some  very decent handicappers  including getme out of here .
and then went on to run 5th in the champion hurdle staying on powerfully from way back . paul nicholls stated that zarkandar was never right last season and i remember him saying that zarkandar would need the run in the betfair hurdle so to win such a competetive handicap off a big weight while needing the run was some performance imo, p .nicholls also said that zarkandars preparation for the champion hurdle was not great (his horses were out of form about 6 weeks b4 the festival) and that he had coughed in the run up to the race ,so in the circumstances the champion hurdle run can be ignored and a lot better can be expected .
cheltenham suits this horse and although some may say he needs further  based on his staying on 5th in this years champ hurdle i think he has  the speed to be a serious contender for next years renewal , also this lightly raced horse has scope for plenty of improvement and he has proved he can cope with the hustle and bustle of big fields and  the  14s with some shops looks big , he looks a decent value call to me .........1 point each way at 14s .good luck

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Replies: 200
By:
revedesivola
When: 25 Oct 12 18:21
i like him too. not unraced on the flat tho...
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 25 Oct 12 18:39
didnt know he had flat form rev .aga khan was he with  de royer dupre ?
By:
revedesivola
When: 25 Oct 12 18:57
yep, de royer dupre...    30Aug10       Dea 15GS 3y 12K    9-4    3/7 (1L Orluna 9-1) b 13/10F    Gerald Mosse    —    *    *
    05Aug10       Dea 14GS 3y 12K    9-4    2/9 (¼L Monterrey 8-11) b 6/4F    Gerald Mosse    —    *    *
    08Jul10       Cla 12GS 3y 9K    9-2    1/3 (1L English Summer 9-2) b 18/5    Gerald Mosse
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 25 Oct 12 19:06
cheers rev ,not bad flat form and not a lot of miles on clock .....
By:
Howdi
When: 25 Oct 12 19:56
can you tell the quality of the flat form by looking at those two lines Plain
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 25 Oct 12 20:04
no comment !
By:
revedesivola
When: 25 Oct 12 20:53
i wouldve said his flat form is quite poor
By:
sc1883
When: 25 Oct 12 22:25
Nicholls even said before the champion hurdle he didnt like the way he was looking in the paddock so to finish 5th was a good performance considering he wasnt 100%. Him and Grandouet are the two i think are value at the moment.
By:
cammy glasgow
When: 25 Oct 12 22:27
Agree foyle 14/1 with hills is big i was on last year and will be again £10 dbls with minsk and flemenstar and £10 trbl
14/1 , 20/1, 12/1 ....Cool
By:
Kingmambo
When: 25 Oct 12 23:17
I like Zarkandar a lot but his style of racing does not strike me as suitable to how the Champion Hurdle tends to be run these days. 

He's a "stamina-over-speed" horse, and while that in itself does not mean he cannot win (and in fact can be a big positive), the race does seem to suit types that can race handily particularly well. 

The only horse I can think of who won the Champion Hurdle since Istabraq having not raced up with the pace would be Sublimity, and that would was by choice rather than lack of speed.  Even typical staying types such as Hardy Eustace and Rock On Ruby had the basic speed to make the pace/lay up handy to make their stamina count.

Still, he's a young horse and, as the poster's above state, given his prep last year was far from perfect, it's not inconceivable that he might develop the right attributes for the race.
By:
revedesivola
When: 25 Oct 12 23:28
the 2 and a half miler at aintree will be ideal for him aswell
By:
Eeternaloptimist
When: 25 Oct 12 23:31
The above post is very astute in my view. I like him a lot but the only way this horse can win a champion in my opinion is to race up with the pace and kick on as those stamina laden horses did. Anything else and I fear he will be running on into a place after the winner has flown.
By:
buddeliea
When: 26 Oct 12 06:41
Think i may have been guilty of writing this one off as a potential CH winner.
My way of thinking was he would be better over further and a possible WH horse,he may still be,but with further thought i am now thinking he has it in him this season to be a major threat for the CH.
I wont be taking 14's though,not sure its value at this stage,but i wil be keeping an eye on him as the season progresses.
By:
Howdi
When: 26 Oct 12 07:46
Not many finish 5th one year and win the next - big stat against him I think. Race isn't going to be any easier this year.
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 26 Oct 12 08:38
good luck with your bets  cammy ............ some interesting points and kingmambos post adds food for thought regarding zarkandar , going on memory here as for some reason cant get on the r.post site  video ,in the triumph zarkandar was mid division  or better for most of the race and turning in grandouet was on the bridal  and must have been trading short on here with zarkandar being  pushed along but approaching the last zarkandar powered through to lead  and ran on strongly and won the race well ,so i think he can be ridden a fair bit closer to the pace ,in the champion him being not 100% probably  contributed to being out the back and not being able to lie up with the pace ,may be wrong here and he may need further ,but connections  targeting the champion is a big positive as they should have a better idea than anyone.
also they have a good line on where they stand through rock on ruby ,i am assuming r.walsh could have had the choice of rides of the p.nicholls stable ?
By:
Howdi
When: 26 Oct 12 08:38
mUST HAVE DONE f
By:
strontium
When: 26 Oct 12 08:46
I think he has to be taken seriously because his trainer is so bullish. Normally that means nothing, but Nicholls is pretty helpful and up front. (Last year RoR was his Festival nap).

I also see Zarkander as more of a stayer but he's never going to go down that route with Big Buck's still around. That's fine though because you want a horse who gets 2 1/2 m well for the Champion. His Schweppes win was pretty impressive last season off top weight (and suggests to me he does have a turn of foot given the way the race was run). 5th in the Champion was OK given the horse was ill after Newbury and had a poor prep for the race - I'd expect him to improve this year for health, experience and the extra year on his back.

All that said, on bare form he's difficult to split from Grandouet, Rock on Ruby and Hurricane Fly, and there are second season horses to consider as well, so I don't think 14/1 represents great value.
By:
Howdi
When: 26 Oct 12 08:48
His Schweppes win.........WELCOME TO OUR OLDER VIEWERS.
By:
strontium
When: 26 Oct 12 08:51
Grin Who sponsors it now then? Wink
By:
Howdi
When: 26 Oct 12 08:58
tOTE TO bETFRED FROM MEMORY
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 26 Oct 12 09:18
to be fair i would have thought zarkandar  would have been a bigger price and it was nicholls bullishness for the horse that got me looking at the race in depth . looks like simonsig is going chasing and we may have already seen the best of hurricane fly  and bino(although certainly couldnt rule them  out )oscar whiskey possibly not turning up overturn also possibly chasing zarkandar is roughly the same price as grandouet and he has the beating of him on triumph form ,cinders and ashes comes into the equation  on his supreme win, j.maguire reportadly come back afterwards and  said he felt that he hadnt had a  a race as  the only time he had to get serious was after the last . mcain is very excited about this horse and the champion hurdle is the target .he said while peddlers cross works  very well at home ,this horse only just does enough and saves it for the racecourse .all in all iam happy with 14/1 zarkandar but will keep an eye on cinders and ashes as he could show a lot of improvement .
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 26 Oct 12 09:22
sign of age ......who else  remember races sponsered by cigarette companys .....panama cigar hurdle ? benson and hedges hurdle final?
By:
strontium
When: 26 Oct 12 09:24
I'm not sure the Triumph form will mean that much 2 years later and Grandouet had improved massively before he got injured - as always there's the doubt he'll come back as good, even after a supposedly minor injury.

I got Cinders completely wrong last year - I thought his form at Haydock in 4 runner races on heavy ground was pretty worthless - then he rocked up in the Supreme. I have my doubts the Supreme form is much good because they finished in a heap (and Trifolium hardly upheld it last week), but I'm reserving judgement about C&A until I see him race a couple more times.

14/1 on Zark is OK - and at least you know he's being aimed at the race - but about right imo.
By:
strontium
When: 26 Oct 12 09:26
Oh, bring back the Panama Cigar Hurdle!

Not quite the same, but I always thought Massey Ferguson was a bit of an odd sponsor.
By:
Howdi
When: 26 Oct 12 09:33
i'M NEVER BULLISH months before a race but the more I watch Grandouets races from last year the more I like the beast.
By:
shockster
When: 26 Oct 12 10:55
I'm still in the Hurricane camp, but not at AP prices.  Will no more when they have all had a run.  Next month at Chelt will always be the Mackeson to me and the Whitbread at Sandown forever.
By:
Howdi
When: 26 Oct 12 11:01
Im with you on the whitbread
By:
Can't Catch Me
When: 26 Oct 12 18:45
I've only backed 3 horses antepost thus far and this is one of them. I think 14/1 is a great price.
By:
SN02
When: 27 Oct 12 10:21
Which other two horses have you backed catch me ? I had backed Zark ( on nicholls bullishness) but have had a u turn . Shouldnt be getting to involved as the race is wide open but have taken bits of grand and might sneak in to c and a
By:
Walter Grout
When: 27 Oct 12 11:14
If I were paying the bills for Zarkandar (let's get this idea of 'owning' straight) I'd be shifting him out into another yard where he might be campaigned with a view to his own strengths. If ever there was a horse with 3 miler written through him it's Zarkandar, the plan to go down the champion hurdle route has everything to do with clearing the path for playground bully Big Buck's to notch up another pointless bloodless win.
By:
strontium
When: 27 Oct 12 11:44
Except the owners have quite a lot of horses with Nicholls, incluidng some good ones (Silvianaco Conti) and they may consider they don't want to disturb that relationship. They are also the yard's main sponsor iirc. Further, they may like having their horses trained by the Champion Trainer, and they may think he knows what he's doing.
By:
Can't Catch Me
When: 27 Oct 12 12:06
SN02. The three I have backed are Waaheb, Boston Bob and Zarkandar. I am going Tory and be much more select this year.
By:
resner not lesnar
When: 10 Nov 12 11:37
Seems pretty friendless in the market today. I appreciate he's giving a lot of weight away but if he's going to be a Champion Hurdle contender I think he should be winning this. I'm sure Celestial Halo won it impressively off top weight before and he wasn't even good enough to win one (although he went very close).
By:
JOCI Club
When: 10 Nov 12 12:06
Celestial Halo did win, but looked to be playing second fiddle to Grandouet before he came down two out.
By:
resner not lesnar
When: 10 Nov 12 12:17
I thought CH won this a few years previous to that JOCI as well? I remember thinking he looked very impressive that day and then he disappointed the rest of the season.

Either way I still think Zarkandar should be taking this, and as a fan of the horse I'm definitely concerned about the lack of confidence behind it today, especially as Nicholls has always been very bullish about him.
By:
revedesivola
When: 10 Nov 12 12:25
nicholls thinks he will come on for the run and the betting suggests that. he thought hed come on for the adonis too however, and heseems good fresh. i reckon he will do himself justice today
By:
duffy
When: 10 Nov 12 12:31
perhaps he'll be taken off his feet a little today
By:
duffy
When: 10 Nov 12 12:33
CH won it in 2009 too.
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 10 Nov 12 12:46
paul nicholls said he would need the run on his debut last year at newbury and he won well ,he has said that zarkandar is a hard horse to work out at home as he as never been a great work horse . he has drifted to a decent price now .!
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