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FOYLESWAR
25 Oct 12 18:17
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Date Joined: 09 Jan 11
| Topic/replies: 22,619 | Blogger: FOYLESWAR's blog
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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Report Eeternaloptimist February 17, 2013 1:38 AM GMT
I haven't backed Zarkandar for the champion but if I had I wouldn't be at all downcast about that performance. A flat track without the guts being dragged out of them at champion pace won't have played to his strengths but he still got the job done well enough and Nicholls will have left a bit to work on.
Report robbo69 February 17, 2013 7:40 AM GMT
eet
could nt agree more, this was a prep run,he was not fully tuned up, he is a lazy work horse as weve been told many times. This will go some way to putting him spot on for the 'big day'.
For those who dont think horses can improve from their prep runs my question is how many of Mr Hendersons 7 festival winners last year got beat and underperformed in their preps?
Lets not forget this horse did WIN yesterday, he is also one of only 3 or 4 who have any chance of winning a CH
Report buddeliea February 17, 2013 7:58 AM GMT
Yep,last 2 posts sum up my thoughts entirely,no more to add really.
Report Ming_the_Merciless February 17, 2013 8:29 AM GMT
Got a feeling Zarkander idles in front so he will never flatter but when something gets upsides him he finds more. He has the right profile and the only negatives are that Ruby thinks more of HF and he lacks tactical pace. I would like to see him prominently ridden to give him a chance.

-HF : His rating is too high, he is not that far in front of the others as it seems but what else has been as consistant? so he is a worthy if not vulnerable fav.
-Grandouet : Fragile, doesn't race in the highest grade but on a strict line through Zarkander he has a form chance and he is at an age where more improvement may come.
-Countrywide Flame : I was taken with his Triumph win and he has won a grade 1 as a 4 and 5yo and is another at an age where more improvement may come.... it needs to.
-ROR : he won't be getting an easy 'lead' this year and the race could well have a different make up to last year but is rightly fancied. An ex-Neptune runner who won last year - the best race is the Neptune for finding future winners IMO and this bring me to.
-Cotton Mill : he would have to improve heaps but is no forlorn hope either.
-Cinders - not up to it so far and Supreme champs don't do that well the year after for some reason.. could improve of course but he is way off it at the mo'.

I am at the stage where I fancy nothingLaugh - but I do have a AP bet on CFlame at 25's, it could be down to the one who hits a purple patch of home form on the week of the race like Sublimity did. I have said for a while they are all much of a muchness and the absence of that bit of spice which was Darlan is a pity to say the least.
Report woodworm February 17, 2013 8:42 AM GMT
From and ante post perspective, this race is done and dusted, all the value has been taken and imo (and that of most others on here) its down to the top four in the betting.
I think the champion hurdle will be more heavily influenced by ground conditions than most other races this year. If conditions remain on the soft side then its between HF and Zarkander with HF coming out on top; if the ground dries out a bit (as expected?) its between Grandouet and ROR.
I for one hope the ground dries up a little as have nailed my colours firmly to the Grandouet mast!
Report Howdi February 17, 2013 8:52 AM GMT
^^^^ can't have that champion hurdle analogy
Report Brooksielad February 17, 2013 9:47 AM GMT
Hurricane Fly wins this eased down to a staying on Binocular, Zarkandar will be powering on up the hill and nothing will get by it, but he'll be in about sixth himself :)
Report buddeliea February 17, 2013 10:13 AM GMT
Gone right off Grandouet now,his preps not good,and he keeps getting beat by Zarkandar as well.

HF,ROR and Zark will fight it out imo,and maybe Binocular.
If its soft or worse and connections decide to put OW in,hes a big chance.
Want ROR,my main bet,but gut feeling is Zarkandar.
Thats it for me.
Report Graeme83 February 17, 2013 10:37 AM GMT
Anyone with Zarkandar as their main bet might want to invest in a pair of rosary beads after yesterday. He won't be winning any champion hurdle.
Report buddeliea February 17, 2013 10:46 AM GMT
why?
Report Ming_the_Merciless February 17, 2013 10:50 AM GMT
With respect care should be taken Greame on taking form too literally a month before the festival.

Rock on Ruby / Finians Rainbow / Countrywide Flame just from last year....
Report buddeliea February 17, 2013 10:55 AM GMT
he beat a horse 17lengths giving him 4lb,and that horse got beat by Darlan by 4l at levels.
yes i know Raya Star made a mistake,but even so thats a heck of a difference.
And that in a race and on a track that could not have suited Zarkandar any less.
The Ch will suit him much better,and we all know,or should do by now,exactly how Nicholls campaigns his Cheltenham runners.He would have left something,be sure about that.
Report Graeme83 February 17, 2013 10:56 AM GMT
Why ?......well for starters people keep on saying he flew up the hill last year, without mentioning he didn't have to jump the last hurdle because it had already been knocked down, so that certainly helped. Someone then thought it was a good idea for a good gamble to take place in the International hurdle, giving Ruby a good old excuse to give one of Hurricane Fly's rivals a tough race. He certainly knew he was in a race, whilst Grandouet and ROR enjoyed the scenery. Yesterday he just didn't look that impressive, regardless of what has been left to work on. He doesn't strike me as being as athletic as the others, and i'd say he was more of a World Hurdle type.
Report buddeliea February 17, 2013 11:04 AM GMT
Fine,thats how you see him,no worries.
Personally i would find it very dangerous to say he wont be wiining a Churdle on what weve seen this season.
Hes unbeaten,and we know March is when he will be spot on.
Report robbo69 February 17, 2013 11:28 AM GMT
totally agree bud,clearly ruby must fear him if hes over working him too!!!!
Report blackburn1 February 17, 2013 11:33 AM GMT
Did what was needed yesterday, still think he's a great e/w bet
Report johntucker February 17, 2013 11:51 AM GMT
Graeme83 17 Feb 13 10:37 Joined: 21 Sep 07 | Topic/replies: 7,637 | Blogger: Graeme83's blog
Anyone with Zarkandar as their main bet might want to invest in a pair of rosary beads after yesterday. He won't be winning any champion hurdle.

1. You're a very foolish man to dismiss outright what is to many the leading English challenger.
2. I find you're comments re: rosary beads offensive & typical of the kind of comment that I've seen from u on here.
Report FOYLESWAR February 17, 2013 12:00 PM GMT
grahme has this horse ever looked impressive in any of its races ,it is never impressive at home thats why they dont know if he will need the race 1st time out , lazy at home ,only does enough , dont think they know how good he is yet ! may not be good enough but has a 1st rate chance
Report judorick February 17, 2013 12:13 PM GMT
He has only had 9 hurdle starts in his life and won 7 of them, all of which have been Graded races which is some kind of achievement. He's a Cheltenham Festival winner and has won 3 key trials races this season so anyone thinking he 'can't win' really ought to be rethinking how they approach working out finite probability.

As has been said many times, the horse had problems in the 2011/12 season which was evident in the fact that he did not even reappear until the Betfair Hurdle in February. PFN reported the horse was sick following that race and no one would have been surprised that he got beat in the Champion Hurdle anyway as he was a 5 year old. In fact, it would have been extremely surprising had he won.

Many observers may not been impressed by his racing style but there is no denying he is a slick jumper of a hurdle and he will be spot on on the day. He is a danger to every one and is one of just 3 or 4 horses that can win the race. Whether he takes his chance remains to be seen but dismissing him is clearly foolish and will remain so even if he does not win in the end
Report Graeme83 February 17, 2013 12:15 PM GMT
John , you chose to be offended. That's not my fault. Tucker is a name i'd associate with a crew cutted American, beer drinking, knuckle fighting American football jock. I obviously didn't take in to consideration that my comments about rosary beads would insult someone who a) if he's a catholic has insulted his own religion by saying rosary beads are useless b) a typical orangeman with a stick up up his ass c) an unlikely aethesist. I don't think my opinion is foolish. Would you say you and the folk who think Zarkandar will win are fools if he gets beat ?


Foyle, that's fair enough. I just seem him of less as a CH candidate than i did earlier on in the season. My opinion is shaped by my thinking that to me he isn't the best home contender, and i think Grandouet came out of the International race as a better CH prospect, and ROR is the current champion. We will see what happens.
Report judorick February 17, 2013 12:20 PM GMT
you have absolutely no idea how much improvement there is to come and are basically guessing. It's pretty easy to say a 5/1 shot won't win because you have a very good chance of being right but to say he won't win and his backers need to pray (implying you think the horse has absolutely no chance)

nasty little piece of work really aren't you?
Report Graeme83 February 17, 2013 12:23 PM GMT
"Whether he takes his chance remains to be seen but dismissing him is clearly foolish and will remain so even if he does not win in the end "




So the people who say i am wrong, they will be right even if they're wrong ? I don't need numbers, stats and statstics. I don't care how many races he has won. It's too easy to take a race and predict half the field will win. I'm saying that in my opinion Zarkandar will not be winning. Nothing i say will put anyone off. I simply don't think he is fast enough, and will be aimed at the WH next year. Great run from Grandouet in the International by the way.
Report johntucker February 17, 2013 12:27 PM GMT
You're doing the West of Scotland a disservice u moron with bringing religion into a debate about sport. Except it's not a debate with u Graeme as u bring no reason to the table. Your comments about my username are bizarre to say the least as it is related to my surname. I would say you are the fool in general.
Report Graeme83 February 17, 2013 12:28 PM GMT
"you have absolutely no idea how much improvement there is to come and are basically guessing. It's pretty easy to say a 5/1 shot won't win because you have a very good chance of being right but to say he won't win and his backers need to pray (implying you think the horse has absolutely no chance)"




I have no idea how much improvement is to come ? and i shouldn't say in my opinion a horse can win because the thread title is called 'Zarkandar'(incase you hadn't noticed by the way). I am saying to me he looks like a World Hurdler, so that to me says i don't think there is much improvbement over him at 2 miles. He worked hard in the International against 2 hamlet cigar smokers, and didn't impress me yesterday. Of course i don't know what improcement there could be, as like everyone else on here i don't have anything to do with their stable. What kind of comment is that you fool ?
Report Graeme83 February 17, 2013 12:31 PM GMT
"You're doing the West of Scotland a disservice u moron with bringing religion into a debate about sport. Except it's not a debate with u Graeme as u bring no reason to the table. Your comments about my username are bizarre to say the least as it is related to my surname. I would say you are the fool in general. "




Bringing religion into sport because i said Zarkandar backers need Rosary beads. Jeez(short for Jesus) oh !...'god' you must be king of the antiques roadshow party. I've nothing to say to you or Jud-ass-orick, because you both bore me and can't accept other people opinion. Have a nice day.
Report roobuck February 17, 2013 12:36 PM GMT
As someone who first backed him 11 months ago, I would have loved to see him have won on the bridle, jockey's arse in the air and looking around for non existent dangers. However I knew this would never be the case when I backed him and I know it now. He simply isn't that type of horse.

PFN would have left work to do, some people seem up forget that he knows exactly what I'd needed to get a horse cherry ripe for March. I also think he would prefer better ground ( he is flat bred after all ) though I accept HF apart, most others need it better whereas Zark has proved he can win on soft.

And as for not having to jump the last hurdle last year is frankly a ridiculous argument imo - not sure there is a better hurdler in the field, its one if his greatest assets.

I remain very hopeful but many can win, including MTOY if he runs.

Good luck all
Report Graeme83 February 17, 2013 12:40 PM GMT
Roob, missing the last is significant because it makes him get up the hill a heck of alot faster than he would have had if a hurdle was there. Saying that Nicholls knows how to get one ready for March is pretty much a  clichhe mate, especially as Harry gets the credit for ROR, and Mullins and Henderson have won this race before themselves. If we accept Fry won it last year, then Nicholls is the only one out of the bigger named trainers who hasn't won thsi race. Good luck though, i certainly wouldn't grudge you being right.
Report alleged22 February 17, 2013 12:42 PM GMT
the best horse on the day will win simples there are 5 or 6 in with a shout and if your there 2 out and still going well you could well be the winner GL all on whoever you have picked Wink
Report judorick February 17, 2013 12:42 PM GMT
You are a nasty little shitt aren't you?

The religion angle is unimportant to me in any way. What your initial comment about rosary beads implies is that you think the horse has absolutely zero chance. That in itself shows you have very little understanding of the way chance and probability works because clearly he has approx 15 to 20% at least.

You, and everyone else for that matter, have no idea how much improvement he can produce simply because he has not yet been given the opportunity to show what he can do. As I say, last year's Champion Hurdle is a right off, he fell in his other start and he has won all the others. Your personal 'visual impression' really counts for very little indeed simply because once they get in a Championship race run at a fierce pace there is much that can change.

So basically you are guessing based on what you've seen with your eyes on the telly and that is not much to go on in this case. You don't seem to understand maths and nothing says anyone has to accept your so called 'opinion'. If you stick it up here you should expect it to be pulled to pieces. Your pathetic attempts to defend said 'opinion' are barely credible at all and frankly I think you are a badly educated, unintelligent little oik that could not make a logical argument if your life depended on it.
Report FOYLESWAR February 17, 2013 12:44 PM GMT
i am not saying he will win but he is the type of horse who because of his workman like style of winning races gets a bit underated ,the betfair (schwepps h,cap )he won at newbury an example zarkandar wins well off a big weight and because it is not vissualy impressive" its virtualy ignored, mytentoryours wins it on the bridle(addmittedly as a novice )!  and is lauded as a superstar .
Report Graeme83 February 17, 2013 12:51 PM GMT
"The religion angle is unimportant to me in any way. What your initial comment about rosary beads implies is that you think the horse has absolutely zero chance. That in itself shows you have very little understanding of the way chance and probability works because clearly he has approx 15 to 20% at least."



I couldn't give a flying elephant about you ****g Steven Hawking approach to maths and probabilities. I have what is called an opinion, which is something you can't put your percentages and numbers on. We are all guessing, and i guess that Zarkandar won't be winning, an opinion i have stated on a thread, which funnily enough is titled 'Zarkandar'. I'm using how i see things to state that he is next years WH horse, so obviously i can't see him as a CH winner if i think he's a 3 miler.
Report judorick February 17, 2013 12:52 PM GMT
Just to be clear

the improvement I am talking about is from LAST years Champion Hurdle to this, not from the Kingwell or any other of the trials. He needs to improve what? 8lbs+ would see him bang there I would think (that would see him run 173 on RPR)

that's the improvement that no one can know and that's why any 'can't win' statements are just ludicrous. He can IF he improves enough

pure logic
Report Graeme83 February 17, 2013 1:09 PM GMT
I read last seasons renewal differently from you, and a few others. I think horses who finish like he did last year are flattering to deceive. It's like sprining out from behind a bush at the end of a marathon and declaring yourself the winner. All the hard work was done, and then he weighs in with a flash finish whilst negating the final hurdle. In my opinion he is made to work too early, and as there are other quality 2 milers in the race, i don't see him winning it. I wouldn't be backing him at his current price of 5/1. For anyone reading these exchanges on this horse, it should be noted that the majority think he has a right good chance, so listen to them.
Report Pleasegivemeanailedontip February 17, 2013 1:14 PM GMT
Got about as much chance as ROR did last year
Report roobuck February 17, 2013 1:30 PM GMT
Graeme I have taken a very early opinion on the horse, took a back step when PFN ran him at Aintree and engaged again after his win in the Elite. I would not back him again now at 5s because a) I don't need to and b) don't see him being any shorter on the day.

As far as last year's race, I believe he wasn't at his best after hearing and reading the paddock reports. You may think otherwise which is fair enough but if he wasn't 100% he ran a remarkable race and that is my rationale. You say he missed out the final hurdle last yesr but now I have watched it again he did actually hurdle it though it wasn't there.
Report FOYLESWAR February 17, 2013 1:41 PM GMT
the original point of the thread was that 14/1 could be a value bet ,and as he is now down to around 6s on here if you backed him at around that price and laid  some off at the current price then the 14s could be considered fair value now !
Report Graeme83 February 17, 2013 1:51 PM GMT
Fair enough Roob, but i don't think he can be trained to change his style. I suppose if he is going to win it from the sense of possibility, then as Foyle is talking about value, then i'd say some folk would be better betting in-running, as i don't envisage any situation where he isn't off the bridle earlier than some others.
Report duffy February 17, 2013 2:26 PM GMT
For any horse in most cases to win the champion hurdle they can not experience anything like being out paced and have to come from anywhere too far back in the race, you have to be able to hold a position at all costs whether you're under pressure or not, if you want to find a winner of the race that made up stacks of ground to win you have to go back a long way....so that scenario that zarkandar experienced last year is highly unlikely to succeed, he was niggled at to the 3rd last and then when they stepped it up was absolutely left for dead,on what we've seen from him he's LIKELY to lack the toe to compete when they quicken.

I was wondering if the way he stayed on last year may have looked slightly more flattering than it was because the effort those few others made before they flattened out obviously accentuates his finishing run as they stopped, looking at brampour who was hard at it miles before zark but is the only other guage from back there who couldn't go with the others you can compare him with, brampour was about 2.5 lengths behind zark turning in and was eventually beat just under 5 lengths so on the face of it would you be hoping to see a bigger gap between those two when as I say, brampour was hard under the pump a good way before Zarkandar was, perhaps yes, in my humble opinion, he'll get outpaced and that will do for him.
Report roobuck February 17, 2013 2:33 PM GMT
Duffy you have been consistent in your opinion. Mine is that he will be far more prominent and whilst he may well need to be pushed out to hold his position, he will finish better thn anything. A fast pace will help.
Report duffy February 17, 2013 2:40 PM GMT
Roo, you're right I have been consistent, so consistent in fact that I couldn't be bothered to write something new, so I just copied and pasted an old post from another threadLaughBlushBlush
Report roobuck February 17, 2013 2:43 PM GMT
Hopefully just consistently wrong GrinLove
Report duffy February 17, 2013 2:46 PM GMT
As usual I expect soCry
Report Graeme83 February 17, 2013 2:47 PM GMT
Laugh @ your copy and paste job
Report Brooksielad February 17, 2013 2:50 PM GMT
I'd rather back Khyber Kim tbh.
Report Swagger February 17, 2013 10:45 PM GMT
I haven't had a bet in this race as yet but i have been impressed by Zarkander this season. I think he has travelled a lot better in his races this season and hasn't been ridden as early as he was last season when he seemed to get outpaced much earlier, perhaps it simply comes down to him not being properly conditioned last season as Nicholls has said, in which case, he would have a very good chance in March.
Report alleged22 February 17, 2013 11:01 PM GMT
im a fly man but respect this fella, fit or unfit, he doesnt seem the type to me to do too much, just enough is enough, i wouldnt want the fly eye ball to eye ball with this horse in the last 100 yards because there will be only one winner, tactics will decide the day i think
Report CVByrne February 17, 2013 11:24 PM GMT
People can't compare Zark last year to this year tbh.

1. Near impossible to win Champion Hurdle off 1 prep run.
2. Near impossible for 5yo to win the race
3. Zark wasn't given a chance with the held up tactics
4. It was only his 5th ever career start in last years race. Plenty of runners in the Supreme this year had more race experience.


He'll be only 1 of a handful of horses who've had a perfect prep. Fly being the other one. RoR doesn't look the same horse this year to me. Zark is a smashing e/w bet in my view.
Report the Inca February 17, 2013 11:24 PM GMT
To be honest I cant forgive the fly for last year so im in the Grandouet camp.  ROR loves chelt so will be my placepopt horse.  Graeme if you have an opinion voice it.  Thats the half the fun!  I cant see simonsig winning the Arkle as cant see Henderson having two superstars in a row - as simple as that - no stats, maths or twenty six post arguements!
Report the Inca February 17, 2013 11:28 PM GMT
Sorry in relation to Zark,  no chance.  Ruby does not give it chance and what does he know.
Report CVByrne February 17, 2013 11:30 PM GMT
Bit harsh on Fly there, he's lost but 1 race in years and you can't forgive him? Confused

If anything Flys interrupted season last term should be a warning not to back Grandouet. 1 run in almost 16 months is all he's had. Very rare to win the race off 1 prep run and the horse who did it Sublimity had his prep in Feb. Going straight to the Champion from the Bula never results in a win.

Menorah, Binocular, Sublimity & Osana were fav or 2nd fav for the champion having gone there straight from the Bula in last 5 years, all lost.
Report CVByrne February 17, 2013 11:32 PM GMT
Sorry in relation to Zark,  no chance.  Ruby does not give it chance and what does he know. Mischief

Well he didn't Ride Rock on Ruby or Denman the years they won so he clearly doesn't know everything.
Report the Inca February 17, 2013 11:36 PM GMT
CV to be honest if you check my history I was all over HF before it win two years ago, in my mind I think it won a stayers CH.  Last year it run well before and after the race,  owners were very happy in parade ring and could not understand the run(Fact).  I have taken the opinion it win a bad race the year before.  Right or wrong thats my view.  Off the rest you are down to last years novices which dont seem up to it so by default and its beating of overturn last year I have bet Hendersons.
Report the Inca February 17, 2013 11:40 PM GMT
But thats because he is not you ;-)
Report CVByrne February 17, 2013 11:45 PM GMT
Well if you think Flys run at Punchestown after the Champion Hurdle was a good run then I'm pretty sure you didn't see the race. He was very unimpressive labouring to best Zaidpour.

The record of horses trying to win the Champion Hurdle off 1 prep run is horrid. Fly had clearly had troubles last season missing his 2 intended runs prior to his run in Leopardstown.

But hey look at Kauto Star in 2008 Gold Cup, never travelled or jumped from pillar to post. Horses ain't machines. Kauto the next year obliterated the field in a manner we'll probably never see the like of again. Goes to show, great horses can bounce back.


Grandouet was my main danger to Fly until his setback. He can;t win won with buckets of negatives against him. RoR doesn't look the same horse as he was last year. Cinders and Ashes and Countrywide Flame were beaten by a 14/1 shot for supreme Dodging Bullets.

So we come down to Fly and Zarkandar, two horses who have won all 3 of their starts this season and going into the race with the perfect prep. If we can learn anything from history it is that you want horses with good preps for the Festival.

So those are my 2 for this.
Report gutfeeling February 18, 2013 12:04 AM GMT
CV Byrne 23-24 is spot on,
If Zarkander isn't good enough this year so be it but he has had a perfect preparation along with the Fly and other than ROR all the others have questions to answer,
Hope you're well CVB,Not long now :D
Report the Inca February 18, 2013 12:14 AM GMT
First two in the market good work there.  See you then - same trainer.
Report CVByrne February 18, 2013 12:20 AM GMT
Not my fault Fly and Zark are fav and 2nd fav now. Backed both for this after Chelts last season.

Based on this seasons form they look the 2 best horses this year.
Report Eeternaloptimist February 18, 2013 2:13 AM GMT
In relation to Zarkandar whatever else you say he really shouldn't be winning okay/decent if admittedly not top class races at Wincanton due to the course and I don't think he would have done it last year. He's done it twice this season and he's won a slowly run Bula. He may not win but he'll be ridden differently, be a different beast and will make them run for their lives in March.
Report GoldCupWinner February 18, 2013 12:18 PM GMT
Given it looks as though ROR has regressed, this years renewal seems to be worse than last years as the form of last years novices is not working out. I don't think Zarkander was held up last year, it was more of a case of being outpaced. I seem to remember people saying he looked awful in the paddock last year pre race and think Nicholls even commented himself. If he wasn't at his best anf with normal 5-6 year old improvement then he should be right there in the mix.
Report Graeme83 February 18, 2013 12:30 PM GMT
"Given it looks as though ROR has regressed"





Oh that's a bold statement. We will see what the ground does, but i think they're just bringing him along nicely.Happy
Report buddeliea February 18, 2013 12:35 PM GMT
So do i Greame.
Not the best prep,but hes had a couple of runs now,and by all accounts they are well happy with him.
Report Graeme83 February 18, 2013 12:38 PM GMT
I don't know what the best prep is for him Budd. I mean, last year it was Kempton then Champion, so they are where they are.
Report buddeliea February 18, 2013 12:43 PM GMT
Yep,no more they can do racewise,just get him there in the best shape possible.
They wanted Newcastle,Kempton,Chelt i think,but they decided to let the ground dictate.So no Newcastle,and it all changed.
Just hope the end result is the same as last year.
Report CVByrne February 18, 2013 1:11 PM GMT
I dunno Bud. Reminds me an awful lot of Punjabi they year after he won. Blew up in Bula as did RoR. Then was beat in Haydock trial as RoR was gonna be before poor Darlan lost his life.

His price us held up like Punjabis was on trainer comments and last year's performance. But you would have to agree he was more impressive in his two trials last year than he has been this.

He just doesn't look the same horse imo. Add to the fact he will be tracked by Fly Grandouet etc.. It's a tough task.
Report roobuck February 18, 2013 1:53 PM GMT
OK they may have been forced a different route than last year, why was he not as fit as last year for each run?

Everyone says that Harry did all the training and that may be right, but did he do the scheduling etc. I cannot believe that if PFN's name was against the horse, he would have visited the yard and told Harry what he wanted.

It is assumed therefore he will get to Cheltenham in peak condition - it will be the first time its his sole responsibity to achieve this so who knows for sure?
Report duffy February 18, 2013 2:22 PM GMT
Just another thought I've had concerning zarkandar, this time last year we've told over and over again he was a sick horse, well, he won the tote gold trophy in that state, this year as a fighting fit horse he's workmanlike at wincanton with brennan on the 2nd turning in convinced he would win until the mistake at the last, take that with a pinch of salt but the zarkandar performance in relation to his performance last year when ailing???, and yes, we know nicholls will leave something to work on,but having said that, aren't we supposed to see a general progression through the season, zarkandar and ROR for that matter, to my eye have gone backwards from the bula run.
Report Graeme83 February 18, 2013 2:25 PM GMT
Duffy i said the other day that Nicholls let a gamble take place on Zarkandar(i've assumed, rightfully or wrongfully), which gave Ruby the opportunity to give Hurricane Fly's rival a tough race. The ground was desperate that day.
Report roobuck February 18, 2013 2:25 PM GMT
Intro for season, then 1st major target. Break, the prep for major season target. All good
Report CVByrne February 18, 2013 4:09 PM GMT
Nay Perfect Roobuck Happy

Only Fly has had as good a prep for this as Zark.
Report alleged22 February 18, 2013 7:11 PM GMT
2013 champyon hurdle

is that a black country accent foyles or just a typo Laugh
Report FOYLESWAR February 24, 2013 4:20 PM GMT
a boost for the zarkandar wincanton form there by prospect wells ,zarkandar gave p wells 17lb and a beating there ,this probably not a great race but every little helps !
Report duffy February 24, 2013 6:00 PM GMT
^
now that is grasping at strawsLaughWink
Report judorick February 24, 2013 6:18 PM GMT
There is no doubt, in my mind, it is going to take a lifetime best performance (164 in my mind) from Zarkandar to win the race. The questions I keep answering are:

what level could he run if able to produce his very best?
How likely is he to run to that?
How likely is that to be enough to win?
Will he need to run to that?

My answers are:

174 max in a fast run race with relentless gallop from the start
Not likely as the race tactics will preclude that
90%+ chance he would win if producing his max
My estimate is that 167 will be enough to win due to tactical nature & no guaranteed pace

Anyway, I do like thinking about these questions to come to an answer. And 5/1 seems a more than fair price if the answers I've given are correct.
Report FOYLESWAR February 24, 2013 6:36 PM GMT
clutching at straws ? i dont think it is really duffy ,isnt as if prospect wells is the only yardstick ,beat ror and grandouet ,and won a betfair (schwepps )off a big weight last season  on his seasonal debut  ,not saying he will win but a decent chance ! and at 14s not too shabby now !
Report judorick February 24, 2013 6:50 PM GMT
wanna sell me some 14s?
Report CVByrne February 24, 2013 7:20 PM GMT
Agree Foyles, prospect wells showed he's a good horse today. Came close in the Supreme, ran well when beaten by Zark then was too soon when running again 1 week later at Chelts, didn't stay 3m1f at Ascot and ran well today.

Good yardstick. Zark shows he's in good heart. Be stunned if he wasn't placed.
Report McK30wn February 24, 2013 10:29 PM GMT
Cant see him being in 1st 3 tbh... Old course won't suit him. Will run on like a steam train like last year and be to late... Speed horse and proven Old course performers will be dominating again.. Be shocked if the 2 that finished behind him in the international don't reverse form add in the fly and he will be 4th if he lucky.

Ie prospect wells... Bar darlan (which fatally never reached full potential so dont know how good he would have been) it looks a bad supremes last year, so propect wells isn't a great yard stick in my eyes even tho zarkandar was giving him 17lb or more.
Report FOYLESWAR February 25, 2013 7:55 AM GMT
think their are 2 schools of thought as to how zarkandar will be ridden ! some think he will be totally  outpaced   at  the back like last season and run on when its all over ! maybe he will be outpaced ! but he is flat bred and closely related to zarkarva who was not short of speed, is it not at all possible that the nicholls camp will be aware of this and ride him much more prominently this time in the 1st 2 or 3?
Report roobuck February 25, 2013 8:15 AM GMT
I agree foyles and as long as he can keep relatively close to the front until the bottom of the hill, those that will definitely look as if they are travelling much better are going to be in for a real fight.

Its a big 'if' I readily accept though pretty sure that being healthier, fitter and stronger this year as a 6yo he'll be able to. In all honesty it's a close race to call and I can see all the arguments for the top 4 in the betting.
Report FOYLESWAR February 25, 2013 8:36 AM GMT
yeah me too roo a handfull with a  decent  chance and no great suprise to see any of them win ,cant see a definate front runner in this ,no overturn and c.halo going world hurdle so i expect zarkandar to be up there early !
Report festivalfanatic February 25, 2013 8:46 AM GMT
Hendo seems to consider HF a worthy favourite but in his video preview but PFN says he doesn't think there is much between the top 4 in the betting and I tend to agree with him. Not much of a punting proposition if you have to back 4 to find the winner!!
Report roobuck February 25, 2013 9:13 AM GMT
Agreed and books now have the prices controlled with no value at this stage. Have only backed one and may live to regret not taking the plunge on ROR when he was 10s. If I can still get 6s when it is NRNB I will probably save with him if the ground is good.
Report CVByrne February 25, 2013 10:16 AM GMT
I think Mullins is gonna run thousand stars to pace set for fly.
Report judorick March 12, 2013 3:56 PM GMT
here we go.... destiny awaits
Report crescent March 12, 2013 3:59 PM GMT
Zark looks really well compared to last year.Deserted ROR wi 1st time blinkers.
Report Makybe_Diva March 12, 2013 4:00 PM GMT
Zark looks great!
Report judorick March 12, 2013 4:05 PM GMT
nope not good enough on that going

well done fly backers
Report crescent March 12, 2013 4:08 PM GMT
Great race credit to a great horse.
Report CheltenhamRoar March 12, 2013 4:08 PM GMT
Jacob could have rode a better race imo
Report FOYLESWAR March 12, 2013 4:08 PM GMT
oh well thats life !well winners !
Report duffy March 12, 2013 4:09 PM GMT
Zark ran a great race but when the taps were really turned on, he couldn't go with the winner, even more credit goes to the winner because like simonsig earlier, he did it in the face of adversity through the race.
Report Makybe_Diva March 12, 2013 4:09 PM GMT
You gotta hand it to The Fly!

Well done Ruby and Hurricane Fly.
Report Bladesman82 March 12, 2013 4:13 PM GMT
Ground obviously good to soft not soft.

Zarkander never stood a chance of that ground.

Would help if they actually got the going correct.
Report Bladesman82 March 12, 2013 4:13 PM GMT
Ground obviously good to soft not soft.

Zarkander never stood a chance of that ground.

Would help if they actually got the going correct.
Report roobuck March 12, 2013 4:18 PM GMT
Yep no excuses. Wasn't as outpaced as I feared he might and thought he might still come back - slightly disappointing he couldn't get past CF.

Winner deserves all the plaudits - proved himself a great horse. Got that race wrong, on we go and well done to all HF backers.
Report duffy March 12, 2013 4:22 PM GMT
The front 4 all ran fantastic races, how well did ROR travel!!!! CF stayed on like a real terrier, zark travelled better than I thought he would, considered they really went for it, and he stuck at it like a good'un, truly great race that.
Report Far From Trouble March 12, 2013 4:24 PM GMT
Gutted here Cry
Report duffy March 12, 2013 4:25 PM GMT
fft, 23 left yet, we're pnly working our way through the aperatif just nowGrin
Report Far From Trouble March 12, 2013 4:31 PM GMT
Zarkandar woulda made my festival tbh.

Still plenty of others to look forward too
Report resner not lesnar March 12, 2013 5:18 PM GMT
Looking at the times don't think they really did go for it. Much slower than the Supreme which wouldn't have been in Zarkandar's favour, but didn't look good enough in the end. Woulda made more than a week for me FFT after Champagne winning the first, but well done to the Fly and his backers
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