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Ibrahima Sonko
14 Dec 12 19:52
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Date Joined: 03 Jun 07
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Deserves his own fred.

After last years win which surprised many he reappears on Saturday the 15/12/12 at the home of national hunt racing.

All his form at Cheltenham is top class and he has run very well at Newbury too, which is always a good indicator. He went from being a 145 rated 2nd season novice into a champion hurdle contender when touched off by Bino on a course which would had not played to his strengths.

In hindsight the form of that 2011 Neptune is special, maybe Oscars Well has let it down slightly.

We all wonder if H Fry can make it at this level, i know he trained it before but it was still using the nicholls gallops (unless im wrong), He has done ok since he officially started training.

I am one of the few that think Hurricane Fly ran to form last festival, that day Noel Fehily gave ROR one of the best rides you are likely to see (to the horses strengths).

I'm still a backer again this season.

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Replies: 241
By:
buddeliea
When: 14 Dec 12 20:25
yep,big chance again.
Got everything that makes a Champion Hurdler,jumps well enough,real good traveller,and can adapt well to how the pace of the race is.He stays further and relishes the hill.
Whats not to like?
Current price has a touch of value imo,Should be fav right now imo.
Im a backer as well Ibrahima.
By:
resner not lesnar
When: 14 Dec 12 20:27
Certainly does deserve his own thread. Was my only big winner in March having backed him after his win at Newbury. I think you're right about Noel Fehily's ride, judged to perfection. While I think he has been written off it seems by many I think he's still a player.....

However I think Zarkander was always considered better by Nicholls and just wasn't right last season. He is my bet for this years.
I'm not too concerned about the result tomorrow as I think the race will have little bearing on March as the ground is likely to be quite different.
By:
Ibrahima Sonko
When: 14 Dec 12 20:31
If you were near the parade ring in 2012, you would know me as i was one of the few cheering. For some reason i watched the race their (mainly for photos).

I was the person going mental when ROR went clear, between the arkle bar and the parade ring. Happy
By:
buddeliea
When: 14 Dec 12 20:32
And thats his main danger rnl.
He will be primed for March this season,he was far from that last march.
Soft ground would bring in Oscar Whisky as a major player.
By:
Ibrahima Sonko
When: 14 Dec 12 20:38
I still discard juvenile horses, i will regret it one day.

I know katchit and others etc but i feel they are always 5lbs behind for some reason.

Like tomorrow, both younger so ROR can be at 80% and still win.

One thing for certain is that the henderson wont be knocked about near a finish.
By:
Ibrahima Sonko
When: 14 Dec 12 20:48
I'm glad you are onboard (budd)

their are no negatives, unless you take the training venue onboard.

Happy

Still the ew bet on the day of the race, you know he will be 7/2 no matter who he beats. Cool
By:
resner not lesnar
When: 14 Dec 12 20:58
I was watching in Tatts Ibrahima (but I could hear youGrin).

Just out of interest who do you think will handle tomorrows conditions better, looking back through the form of the top 3 in the betting, I don't think any of them have run on Heavy before.

Oscar Whisky would probably be favourite if the ground came up very soft or Heavy on Champion Hurdle day Budd, and rightly so
By:
Ibrahima Sonko
When: 14 Dec 12 21:11
Happy

Personally, Grandouet will run a race full of promise.
By:
buddeliea
When: 15 Dec 12 07:12
Not sure any of them will handle it that well.
ROR was taken out of the FF cos of soft ground,and Grandouets trainer has said he would not want to run on real soft ground i believe?
Dont think it ideal for Zark either!!

Yeh,the way the weathers been and still is OW could end up fav in March!!
By:
sc1883
When: 15 Dec 12 08:22
im on zark and grandouet myself but certainly wouldnt talk anyone out of backing ROR regaining his crown. a lot of the comments on here about him remind me of when hardy eustace nicked the champ hurdle and everyone said it was just luck etc. sure enough the following year when everyone dismissed its chances he followed up!
By:
Howdi
When: 15 Dec 12 09:38
anyone else think zarkandar is a grade A lay today @ 2.3 ish - id have him at 3.0 at best.
By:
buddeliea
When: 15 Dec 12 10:06
yes sc,Hardy Eustace is a good example of being wary of underestimating a horses performance,and the abilty to repeat it.
Quiet similar horses also, in that they get 2 a halfm well.
By:
sintonian
When: 27 Dec 12 14:36
Raya Star's form over 2miles just keeps getting franked. ROR the ante-post value at 10/1 without question for me.
By:
booster
When: 27 Dec 12 15:03
Hope so. Backed him at 16s Ante Post and 12s on the day last season and have him in a double with Unioniste at 11s for The December Gold Cup and him at 9s for The Champion Hurdle. One of about 5 with similar chances but a very adaptable horse who can steal a slowly run race or would stay really well in a fast run affair.
By:
Ibrahima Sonko
When: 03 Feb 13 19:58
Going to be 2nd after tomorrow Cool
By:
buddeliea
When: 03 Feb 13 20:31
Hoping for a nice rum tomorrow,and expect him to be a lot fitter than he was lto.
Win or close up 2nd will be fine.
Any worse than that i start to worry whether hes as good as last year.
By:
Ibrahima Sonko
When: 03 Feb 13 20:36
I think Doncaster is like Newbury and his record their is superb, their is always the possibility with the change of stable that he cant repeat last season.

He ran over 6 seconds faster than darlan with more weight, i know improvement & race tempo its silly to compare but Darlan should never be odds against a champ.

When i watch ROR last run the more i am impressed, he hates heavy ground but travelled so well for so long.

Reckon he will be 5.0 after tomorrow Cool
By:
Graeme83
When: 03 Feb 13 22:52
no pace...cwide flame overpriced at 7
By:
sintonian
When: 04 Feb 13 16:10
Sad outcome with Darlan today. Would have been the one to beat in March.

ROR now,imo, looks to hold as good a chance as any with Darlan no longer with us.
By:
Ibrahima Sonko
When: 04 Feb 13 16:22
That was very sad, horrible to see. Sad
By:
buddeliea
When: 04 Feb 13 17:30
Dont really know what to say.
Its bl00dy awful when this happens,so sad.

As for ROR-happy enough,and he should come along for that,and hopefully be spot on in March.
Not sure he would have won,but would have been very close i think.

Right now though it dont seem to matter that much.
By:
sintonian
When: 05 Feb 13 12:05
He would not have won Budde, no doubt about it, but that does not matter re his chances in March given Darlan obviously wont be participating.

I liked the way ROR kept find for pressure all the way up the straight when in need of the run. Perfect type for Cheltenham.
By:
buddeliea
When: 05 Feb 13 12:12
Well i dont really like to talk about the race too much,given what happened.
I will say though that Darlan was going beter than ROR at the last,so you are probably right Sint,but no way of knowing what would have happened on the run in.
Like you say though,dont really matter given the tragic outcome.
By:
duffy
When: 05 Feb 13 12:43
Just concentrating on ROR aside from the tragic loss of darlan, I have to say that I wasn't too impressed with the horse from the point of view of progressing from his first run, I was very taken with the way he travelled at cheltenham up to the point where he blew up, yesterday he never travelled with the same ease at any point and although he was battling away it was only on sufferance that he was still in the lead at the last,I know yesterday wasn't the big day, but I didn't see a progression from his first run with regards to how he went through the race,it took a bit too much effort to put countrywide flame away too.
By:
buddeliea
When: 05 Feb 13 12:51
Yeh,i see what you say duffy,hard to argue with that to be honest.
He did blow a lot after the race though so obviously needed a good workout,and that should stand him in good stead for his defence in March.
By:
tyronesam
When: 05 Feb 13 12:55
Duffy ,after listening to noel fehily post race sounded like he needed race and that he will be tuned to perfection for one day and one day only ,also his jumping not as slick as normal so i see improvement there too...cant see him out of the three and has nowt to fear from any of those ahead of him in betting....and remember the fly went into race last year at 4/6 and got stuffed...wheres the proof hes any better this season ?
By:
johnn
When: 05 Feb 13 14:47
The Champion Hurdle from last year made interesting viewing. I thought he wouldn't be good enough on the day, but looking at it repeatedly - he helped tow them along at a pace most couldn't go, and still found at the end. Given his improvement for the course and decent ground last March, he should make a decent fist of retaining his ground if the conditions are similar, imo.
By:
booster
When: 05 Feb 13 15:45
And Countrywide Flame looked pretty useful at Newcastle plus the trainer said they won't be trying him right handed very often in future.
By:
cyclops
When: 05 Feb 13 15:49
Agree with duffy that he was far from impressive yesterday. Was on the fence about him before yesterday - thought he was perhaps being unfairly underrated, but he didnt look like a dual champion to me. Those that win two are seldom less than exceptional (Hardy Eustace perhaps being the only one in recent times, and he wasn't bad)and he just doesn't look that exceptional. If you take away his win in last year's Champion (yes, a big "if" for supporters) nothing else he has ever done shouts Champion.
By:
buddeliea
When: 05 Feb 13 17:07
Think it a fair point that he aint exceptional,but that dont mean he cant win the CH.
The last 2 years hes ran very good races at the festival,he seems to really like the place in March,showing his best form,and could well do so again.He ran 2nd to Binocular in his prep last year and came on a lot for that,he looks to me that hes heading that way again.
Anyway hes done now,no more runs,so we will just have to wait and see.
By:
sintonian
When: 05 Feb 13 17:13
Horses can often put in workmanlike performances when they are not fully tuned up. Binocular won the equivalent of yesterdays race at Sandown where he looked dreadful but that didn't stop him in March.

I'd like to think ROR will jump better at Chelts. He seems to love the pace looking at his form figures there.
By:
roobuck
When: 05 Feb 13 19:06
I do like ROR and I was looking to have him as a CH back up. Not watched the race but am going to leave him.

So apparently he needed the run in the International and yesterday he was also not tuned up? Yet last year he was as fit as a flea for Newbury and but for a last hurdle error would have won at Kempton. Why has he been trained differently this year then?

Personally I don't think he is running as well as last year or the standard around him is better this term. If not, as much as I think he's going to prove himself a good trainer, I think its a dangerous assumption to think Harry is going to get him to the Festival in peak form as he has yet to do that with any horse in his own name. People say he was responsible for all the training last year and maybe he was but I am sure that PFN would have had some input.
By:
buddeliea
When: 05 Feb 13 19:17
Well his price has gone anyway Roo,hes not value now.
I have 10 and think thats worth it on the strength that he will be spot on in March as he has been last 2 years.
But i would not be taking his price now,cos as you rightly say his prep has been different this time,and he has not looked like a Churdler thus far this season.
He did run better at Cheltenham than he did at Kempton last season,i hope and think he can do the same again.
By:
one to note
When: 05 Feb 13 19:56
big worry about the lack of pace in that overturn was a big help to rock on ruby last yr whereas this yr there does not seem to be any obvious front runner
By:
roobuck
When: 06 Feb 13 08:51
It may well be that he will bounce back to form at Cheltenham on spring ground - I too was sorely tempted at 10s. As well as different prep, just don't see him to be quite in the same form this season.

This is a genuine question, but do you honestly think that his run on Monday was a step forward from the International? I haven't seen the race but I get the overwhelming impression it wasn't. If that's the case, that race needs to seen differently than he 'blew up'. Yes he would not have liked the ground but neither would have the front two.

Good luck to all those who have backed him as I'll be cheering him on if my selection falls short.
By:
buddeliea
When: 06 Feb 13 12:34
Well put it this way mate,i think had Countrywide Flame had been in the race at Cheltenham he would have beaten ROR.So on that basis it was a better run.
I am unsure about him Roo,but then i was last year as well!!
By:
Eeternaloptimist
When: 06 Feb 13 15:15
I think Countrywide Flame was given a remarkably tender ride on Monday and was surprised that there was no comment about it.
By:
sintonian
When: 07 Feb 13 12:43
When ROR ran at Newbury last season he was running off 145 so no surprise he won.

His campaign this season has been different because he is not going to be running in handicaps and also because he is the reigning champion. There is only one race he is being targetted for. If you owned him what would you prefer?
By:
roobuck
When: 07 Feb 13 13:19
sint would he beat a race fit Raya Star tomorrow by 10 lengths giving him 13 lb?
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