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Champion Hurdle Antepost

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Replies: 290
By:
buddeliea
When: 22 Jan 13 12:35
The different prep was cos they did not want to run him on the ground at Newcastle,so had to rethink,they then went to the Bula,so then could not go to Kempton.Thats how i see it.
Cant explain the 2nd point Roo,only thing i can think of is that he was ready on FFifth day,and maybe went off a bit by the time Cheltenham came along.
Its pure guesswork though.
By:
CVByrne
When: 22 Jan 13 12:45
Aye just being bullish bud.

I see it as it being a slower run race this year without Overturn. Meaning speed horses like Fly and Grandouet will come to the fore.

I think given the forecast Grandouet may have to run in Kingwell against Zarkandar and I think he'll win at that track. He'll shorten then.

While Fly will win on Sunday, shorten a bit but on the day bookies will certainly take him on and push him out to 7/2 at least. We may see 4/1.

Binocular is a good horse and given his fans he will probably be around 12/1 on the day. Meaning a place side of e/w at 25s is value.

That's the synopsis should it come up on the leaving cert.Cool
By:
differentdrum
When: 22 Jan 13 12:45
I would say Cotton Mill is one of his better selections but that probably saying too much. Needs the ground to dry up and even then is he better than last year's winner? Having said that you could pick holes in all the favourites and there will be far worse 25/1 shots.
By:
SEATHESTARS....NO1
When: 22 Jan 13 12:46
I am not restricted because i often place multiple bets per event but it all adds up my friend Confused

I understand, it is an alien concept to most on here if not all. I am not compulsive, apart from in the need for profit, not just winnings.

When pointing out what my 'usual' max bet be, that is just that, usual. I never said whether i might have more than one of these bets on a particular selection. Before an event, i will carefully look at the file on my computer, which has all the bets and prices on and i will work out a worst case scenario and a best. Its basically as simple as that my friend! We all lose sometimes, i just make sure it aint that often! Wink
By:
CVByrne
When: 22 Jan 13 12:49
I bet on loads of horses too STS, but trade out of most. I just aim to back horses who will shorten so it gives a strong trading had closer to the race. Betfair is great for that. I then trade out of every antepost bet on betfair in March. Then switch it all to nrnb with bookies on the horses I want to have carrying my money.
By:
cyclops
When: 22 Jan 13 12:52
Can't argue buddeliea, that Istabraq did what he had to do very well, but I've always thought it a shame that he was around during the weakest ever hurdling era. You cite French Holly but, after his novice hurdle win at Cheltenham, everyone was looking forward to him as a 3m chaser and then Ferdy took the extraordinary decision to keep him hurdling and bring himk back in distance. A top class horse, yes, but a top class 2m hurdler, no. And the rest that Istabraq was pitted against were just plain hopeless.
By:
buddeliea
When: 22 Jan 13 12:59
CV,i see it as a similar race as last year.Fehily cannot afford to let it be a slow run race.Yes ROR can adapt well cos hes a good traveller,but he knows it plays into the hands of Ruby and BG.
I dont expect ROR to go off too quick but i do see him to the fore ready to go if Fehily feels its too slow.Probably a gradual build up off a decent pace and then as last year go earlyish.
Then we will see what the speed merchants have left,cos they will have to go when he goes.
Zarkandar is the main threat to ROR if the race goes as i see it,he may get outpaced a tad,but i see him plenty close enough early on so that will help in that respect,and he will no doubt finish strongly as will Binocular.
Looks a classic race on the cards.
By:
CVByrne
When: 22 Jan 13 13:09
Rock on Ruby sat in Overturns slip stream for the whole race before hitting the front. Front running takes a whole lot out of a horse as he has to break the air, while the ones in behind use less energy.

Rock on Ruby front running is a disadvantage to him. Zarkandar would have a good chance if RoR made the running. But I suspect neither horse would be seen at its best setting a good gallop up front. So it probably won't happen.

As such it plays into the hands of the horses with a turn of foot. Who will just track the pair behind some modest front runner
By:
roobuck
When: 22 Jan 13 13:28
I would prefer it if Zarkandar set a gallop rather than chasing a modest one. Look at the International CVB, essentially he led the whole race and anyway the field was following him. Could the speed horses get past?

Watching the race again reminded me of something. When ROR went past at 2nd last seemingly travelling so much better, look at what Ruby does - his immediate reaction is to look back at Grandouet perhaps in the confident knowledge he had a lot of horse left
By:
CVByrne
When: 22 Jan 13 13:43
I really like Zarkandar, he's a horse who keeps on finding. It's just that I think Ruby gets a great tune out if him is all. He will be at a big disadvantage imo without Ruby. While also making all in a Champion would also reduce his chances. He made all in International as he was the fully fit horse and there was no other horse to make it. Going round at a crawl would all but hand the race to Grandouet.

So as hard as it is I must desert Zarkandar in this race come the day. No Ruby and no fast front runner being the reason. While making it all would also be a negative in my book.
By:
tyronesam
When: 22 Jan 13 13:57
grandouet for me and have backed at 12s.....had zark beaten when brought down at aintree in 2011,destroyed a  race fit overturn by 4lengths at december meet last year bounding up the hill ,and last time out ran a cracker on heavy ground giving 4lbs to zark who by nicholls own account was very fit for the run and even bg said they left a good bit to work on!!!doesnt even have to be good ground at festival,good to soft or even soft will do for this strong traveller who will sit in behind the inevitable strong pace and pounce at last to win going away.....EASY this game   !!!!!
By:
Ballydoyle
When: 22 Jan 13 14:07
yeah...i like this. agree
By:
Ming_the_Merciless
When: 22 Jan 13 14:20
Interesting posts about the pace in the race, Zarkander cannot hang around surely?

It is interesting that Darlan is now favourite in some lists - it must be presumed that he is burning up the gallops and destroying the rest of the Henderson string.... that would be significant apart from Punjabi beating Binocular a couple of years ago and that look on Hendersons shocked face Laugh

Hurricane Fly (18/5), Darlan (4), Grandouet (7), Zarkandar (7), Rock On Ruby (9), Oscar Whisky (16), Binocular (20), Cinders And Ashes (20), Countrywide Flame (20), Cotton Mill (25), Grumeti (25), Peddlers Cross (40), Raya Star (40), Cause Of Causes (50), Pearl Swan (50), Rebel Fitz (50), Thousand Stars (50), Zaidpour (50), Balder Succes (66), Cash And Go (66)
By:
roobuck
When: 22 Jan 13 14:28
Don't buy into the Ruby factor at all. Dearly Jacob has won on him as much as Ruby, twice when Ruby chose to ride something else including at the festival .

Grandouet has run 3 times against Zarkandar and lost each time. Looked unlucky at Aintree but we know now what Zarkandar finds - would he have gone past?
By:
CVByrne
When: 22 Jan 13 14:45
Zarkandar beat Grandouet on New Course. It's the stiffer track. Champion Hurdle is run on od course which is speedier track.
By:
SEATHESTARS....NO1
When: 22 Jan 13 15:03
Think i prefer to make my judgement calls from past performances and proven records than to look at the differing tracks and analogies etc and choose ZARKANDAR over GRANDOUET although i totally understand i maybe made a fool of come March 12th. But Zark has beat Grand 3 times, ok once when Grand tipped up at Aintree but like roobuck says above, we do not know what Grand would have found or whether he would have been able to go past, as Zark never looks like hes going the best in any of his races but yet still beat him.

Aint Newbury a galloping track? There is quite a distance from the home bend to the finish lineConfused And he did win the betfair as supposedly a sick horseConfused And off 151Love
By:
booster
When: 22 Jan 13 15:06
Roobuck, the reason for the different prep is simple. Last year he was eligible for Intermediate Hurdles so ran in the Gerry Fielden, giving 13lbs and a 10 length beating to Raya Star (another line of form which makes him superior to Darlan). He was then able to run in the Christmas Hurdle diue to the time between the 2 races. This year he was going to start in the Fighting Fifth but that was run on heavy ground which is no good to him but he then needed a run so went to the Bula on similar ground. Nothing wrong with that but do think his prep was better last year. There are no good things in this race but he was the value @ 10s.
By:
tyronesam
When: 22 Jan 13 15:20
i think when grandouet zoomed past a confirmed fit front runner i.e overturn,  in december,it showed his turn off foot  didnt it ?
By:
SEATHESTARS....NO1
When: 22 Jan 13 15:58
Just watched the champ hdl again myself, it seemed to me that Overturn was ridden to win the race last year, RoR being perfectly positioned throughout, and it was as if J.Maguire had wing mirrors fitted, as soon as ruby and mccoy started to really properly race and closed momentarily, the two at the front properly injected more pace and RoR just ended up on the day as the best horse. I feel they just didn't have the pace to go by, not saying they didn't quicken on their own merits, am just saying that on the day the race wasnt run to suit. I think the fly and binoc and especially given circs of the race Zarkandar ran their hearts out.

Do i think the race will be run differently this year? Definitely! As walsh, mccoy et al wont let that same thing happen again! In fact, it more than makes me more confident this is Zarkandars year in that with the race running differently this year theres more of a chance that the early pace wont be normal, but in fact i think a 'rag' might take them along at a lethal gallop, thus playing into Zarks hands, and maybe HF's and Binocs.
By:
booster
When: 22 Jan 13 16:01
Which race is that, Tyronesam? Obviously one I'm not aware of.
By:
roobuck
When: 22 Jan 13 16:03
@ booster - but why was as fit as a flea for Newbury and apparently needing a run for the International. Might I suggest that whilst Harry Fry oversaw the actual training, PFN was still in charge and decided the schedule. I cannot fathom if everything was the same that he would turn up that way especially if he was due to run 2 weeks earlier and so would have had an extra 2 weeks prep than he would have done for the Fighting Fifth. I agree completely about the performance in beating Raya Star. For me I want to see him run again before investing, accepting that the 10s will have gone.

@tyronesam - I for one never doubted that Grandouet has a turn of foot. Has he got the resolution though?

@cvb - come on, there's not that much difference and the last 2 furlongs is the last 2 furlongs surely?
By:
The Sawyer
When: 22 Jan 13 16:16
roo

He won the GF off 146 carrying top weight. Later events proved he should have been able to win on those terms even if not fully wound up.

This year his debut was in the Grade 2 International where the two horses that beat him are rated 165+ (and he gave the winner 4lb).

Maybe he was at the same level of readiness for both seasonal bows.
By:
CVByrne
When: 22 Jan 13 16:24
Roo there is a big difference between the courses. If you want to discount it fine. But I know that it's a factor.
By:
Ballydoyle
When: 22 Jan 13 16:51
What is the major difference between the two courses?
By:
inchcailoch
When: 22 Jan 13 16:51
Darlan has looked the most progressive hurdler I've seen in a while and I was really taken by his christmass  hurdle win when there wasn't much confidence behind him. I can't have hurricane fly as I feel his win in 2011 was judged to be far better than it actually turned out to be. Zarkander seems to lack the tactical speed to win a champion hurdle. Grandouet looks like he has a touch of class but I feel he will find one or to good.RoR  has not been given half enough credit for his win last year after watching it again it was an awesome performance but his comeback run leaves a doubt in the back of my mind that last years performance has left it's mark.
Verdict
1st Darlan
2nd Grandouet
3rd Hurricane Fly
By:
Ballydoyle
When: 22 Jan 13 16:53
Darlan wouldn't get Grandouet off the bridle for me and Darlan same price as Hurricane Fly?Laugh
By:
roobuck
When: 22 Jan 13 17:01
On checking, the new course is actually half a furlong longer. But the standard time is only 3.5 seconds more which makes the time per furlong quicker by my calculations. There may a difference, but not 'big' imo.

Can sort of see the attraction of Grandouet, just don't think he should be the same price as Zarkandar.

sawyer, the point is he beat a race fit Raya Star by 10l giving him 13lb. That horse is in fact only now rated 11lb behind him so has closed the gap in terms of rating since. On that basis I am really sure he was ready.

Of course he my have been ready at Cheltenham but simply not good enough on the day for whatever reason. Hence why I would like to see him run again before considering having a bet on him. Personally think he won the race very well last year so if in that form 10s is a very big price
By:
buddeliea
When: 22 Jan 13 17:12
Just love all these diffrent thought and opinions,just shows what a tricky race it is to work out.
Ive backed ROR ages ago,same price as nowLaugh,and if hes in the same form as last March i expect the same result.
But yes,their is some concern about whether he will be as good,we just dont know.

As for the pace of the race,im not overly concerned about it being quick for the 1st mile,as long as ROR is up there near the front ready to quicken the pace and then go when his jockey says so,thats fine with me.He dont need to lead but he will have to take it up at some stage.Its crucial for Fehily to know the right time,but at least he has a horse he knows is quick and can get home well.He wont be stopping if hes in good shape as he stays really well.
By:
booster
When: 22 Jan 13 17:16
Roobuck, I've no idea why he wasn't fit but it's fair to say that not all horse get the same prep every season. Look at Bobs Worth last season and you couldn't have seen him winning an RSA Chase at this time. Harry Fry trained the horse and is doing the same again. In terms of time the International Hurdle was run 40 seconds slower than last season's Champion Hurdle so that gives some idea of the type of horse needed to win it. I've already got a nice double from Unioniste with Rock On Ruby @ 9s so don't need to go in again but no idea what else I would back in it. Raya Star each way?
By:
wellchief
When: 22 Jan 13 17:47
Bl00dy hell, I've only been away for 1 day and 82 new posts and about 4 different conversations going on!  (I've got a headache now).

Race is far too close to call to have any really stong opinions on imo.  There's the perfect blend of youth vs experience, some are coming back from injury or below par runs from last year, you don't know how tuned up they have all been in their prep runs, their next runs could be interupted by the weather etc.

Whilst I think The Fly is the most likely winner at this stage, I can't say that with any great confidence.

My main bets are The Fly and Grandouet, with peanuts on Zarkandar and Cotton Mill as savers.

That'll do for me, as I can't see any of the trials races having a massive impact on the market.
By:
tyronesam
When: 22 Jan 13 18:21
Booster,the stan james int hurdle at chelters in december 2011,before overturn went on to a fine second in ch hurdle...if u try a horseracing website maybe u will find things like previous form ,results entries etc etc etc....i can pass on a few if u like.... i think u might find it important to know these things...
By:
roobuck
When: 22 Jan 13 18:51
booster, don't get me wrong I like ROR. When you infer slow ground and slow pace I can more understand that as a reason why he perhaps didn't show his true self in the International.

And wellchief of course its a tight race. But if you have an opinion or a fancy you have to support the reasons why don't you? Got to keep the dream alive in my own head anyway Grin
By:
buddeliea
When: 22 Jan 13 18:56
Id be a bit careful using the Overturn form last season too literally if i were you tyrone.
He had 4 runs in pretty quick succession in Nov and Dec,and i dont think he was at his best in Dec.
He then had a 3 month break and ran really well in the CH.
By:
wellchief
When: 22 Jan 13 19:08
Of course its ok to have an opinion Roobuck, I've put mine up on here many times over the last few months.

This year's International and last years have been analysed to death, the last two Champion Hurdles have been analysed over again; and with the exception of Darlan maybe, we know all there is too know about the major players in the betting.

We'll probably learn nothing new between now and the festival, so the same arguments will probably made over and over again.
By:
booster
When: 22 Jan 13 19:19
Tyronesam, you say the race was in December but you now say December 11, which anyone who takes a thorough approach to form study will recognise are 2 different months 12 months apart. I can tell from your posts that you are not someone who falls into the category I describe and hope your knowledge of the form book is better than your English.
By:
CVByrne
When: 22 Jan 13 20:15
Mullins at the press even for Irish Champion Hurdle today.

Q "Did you ever get to the bottom of what was troubling him last season:"

Mullins: "I don't think anything was troubling him per say. He just didn't come back as strong. He didn't do as well in the summer, and we didn't get to put the condition and strength into him that we needed, this year he's come back so much stronger and he's taking his training well, he's doing everything right. "


Good to hear Mullins thoughts. Must've just been he couldn't get him fully fit to run and that's why he missed all his intended engagements in winter before finally getting him right to run in Irish Champion hurdle. But as we saw in his next 2 runs he just wasn't as strong as he normally would be with a full prep to strengthen him.

You must remember he is trained differently to normal horses, he does half speed work at home as he gives 100% and doesn't know how to just do training. So it's understandable that racing will get him fitter.

Anyway, was interesting to hear Mullins comments.
By:
inchcailoch
When: 22 Jan 13 20:32
I have backed him for the last two years and really believe he's just not as good as he once was.
By:
CVByrne
When: 22 Jan 13 20:45
Everyone is due their opinion.

Amazing though your opinion on Darlan, he Darlan won at Kempton in a time 8 seconds slower than River Maigue. It was a nothing performance, beat Raya Star and Dodging Bullets. While his Supreme run was much slower than Champion Hurdle.

He has no form at all with the big 4 and as such, his chances are utterly dismissed as he'll neverdrift to 8/1 which is the price he should be.
By:
chief dan
When: 22 Jan 13 20:59
yea agree with u inch hes not as good as he was an is no value at the prices imo, hes got it all to do with stats against him an more improving horses in race
By:
inchcailoch
When: 22 Jan 13 21:10
I don't look at times when I comes to nh racing every race is different, and I don't remember hurricane fly having collateral form with the so called big 4 when he won his champion, I thought Darlan has looked visually impressive on a few occasions and has some very good form in the book. It's a very open year so we will wait and see.
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