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Champion Hurdle Antepost

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Replies: 290
By:
alleged22
When: 25 Jan 13 23:27
id agree with above comment

grandouet is a strange one to me he has quality and is clearly a good horse, but lacks battling abilty imo its as if he,s being bullied if that makes sense????
By:
duffy
When: 25 Jan 13 23:38
He shot up the hill pretty well in the international in 2011 though, he would have been entitled to need the run after a year off.I'm probably being unfair on Zark but the other 2 travelled more comfortably through the race but at the end when fitness matters most, a race fit horse in receipt of weight got home better on the day.
By:
barnesy
When: 26 Jan 13 00:12
Just to be clear Duffy, do you genuinely believe he won't be able to lay up with the early pace in a Champion Hurdle?
By:
duffy
When: 26 Jan 13 00:40
I don't think he could maintain a prominent position at the front of the field throughout the race from start to finish, and if he is being asked to somehow compete from the front , then he'll be gone sooner rather than later, I genuinely believe that.
By:
duffy
When: 26 Jan 13 01:51
He got outpaced when it all kicked off before the home bend last year, but that's not all there is to it, because there was a period before that when the pace he was already being asked to race at was hurting him, from the 5th hurdle, way before the real kick came , jacob was niggling away at him to maintain his position which he did, but it was taking an extra effort from him that the others weren't suffering from, so yes he may be able to race in an advanced position for a period of time, but he wouldn't be able to comfortably be able to do it and the time would arrive where he would lose ground, I actually think that by trying to force the horse his demise would come earlier.
By:
barnesy
When: 26 Jan 13 06:56
That's just the horse, Duffy. As you say he was first off bridle in International too.
By:
SEATHESTARS....NO1
When: 27 Jan 13 14:58
HURRICANE FLY rather impressive thereConfused But, beat the same horses as usual and Binocular who always needs his first start of any season!
He will be spot on for this champion hurdle now though, how much binocular will improve for the run who knows but seems impossible to me he is going to ever be better than the fly again.
Jury is out, but still feel ZARKANDER is the one to be with.
By:
Brooksielad
When: 27 Jan 13 15:00
the fly will regain his crown :)
By:
splinterboy82
When: 27 Jan 13 15:01
I'll wait until the day, but if THAT Fly turns up....simple...he'll win
By:
SEATHESTARS....NO1
When: 27 Jan 13 16:24
The fly has never been away imo, he ran to his ability last year. Just wasnt good enough on the day and i have not changed my mind in that i would not be surprised should he win this in March but also wont be if he finishes 2nd or 3rd. However i would be surprised if he finished worse than 4th or 5th.
By:
robbo69
When: 27 Jan 13 16:52
One thing is for sure Binocular has no chance in CH
1)he can't beat the fly!!
2)might have been a 'tender ride' but re watch the race Mccoy looked down at least twice early on. Id be very suprised if with Mr Hendersons other options in this race if he even runs.
3)he just isn't anywhere near good enough!!!!!
By:
buddeliea
When: 27 Jan 13 17:01
Be a totally different Bino come March.Different conditions etc etc
Take no notice of that today as re his chances in March.
He may not be good enough,he is 20 odd to win!! But he will be a lot better in his next race.
By:
Graeme83
When: 27 Jan 13 17:07
Nicholls was hitting out with the excuses because Harry Fry got his to win a CH, and Nicholls was left to exclaim that it was a team effort. He wasn't his usual breathless and over excited self after 'winning' a big race. The ammount of people who fail to mention that Zarkandar missed out the last hurdle last year is something worth criticising in itself. It's a big ask, especially as he had to fight against Grandouet, who had a year out and was giving him 4 pounds on ground that was unfit for human presumption.
By:
Ballydoyle
When: 27 Jan 13 19:03
Blowin bubbles if you think Binocular can win another Champion Hurdle
By:
booster
When: 27 Jan 13 20:36
Can't see what the excitement is all about. Beats a County Hurdle winner again  on  heavy  ground and trainer says more or less the same as last season then shortens for the Champion Hurdle. How many others in betting would be so short after victory in such an uncompetitive affair certainly not deserving of its title.
By:
Graeme83
When: 27 Jan 13 20:45
It's why we have Betfair. The bookies have went too short on HF, so i guess if people think he's too short, then they can lay him. He didn't beat anything. Skybet went from 4/1 to 5/2...absolute crooks. His run today changes absolutely nothing, and his winning CH time time was something like 3 seconds inferior than last years renewal.
By:
Brooksielad
When: 27 Jan 13 20:58
Not a bad time clocked in them conditions. I think he's better than ever this year. Despite what he's beating he could of gone out all to the line and clocked under 4 mins in ground like that. People keep banging the drum about oh he's beating nothing. He's beat thousand stars that has ran oscar whisky to a head over 2 and a half which apparently a horse unbeatable over that trip. The 2nd fav beat Raya Star 4 lengths. I'd back Thousand Stars any day over Raya.
By:
booster
When: 27 Jan 13 21:16
I'd also agree that Darlan is a terrible price.
By:
Fallen Angel
When: 27 Jan 13 21:33
Looks less likely that we are going to see the usual good to soft going at the festival that we see most years and I feel that favours HF as much as any other runners. I can't agree with these beat nothing comments, they are running for £58k if there was a horse out there that would be able to hang with HF it would be running in the race. On this performances this year he is certainly the one to beat again. He won 5L could have been 15L, not much more he can do. Think the time is just fine considering the conditions and how heavily he was eased over the last 50 yards.
By:
SEATHESTARS....NO1
When: 27 Jan 13 21:56
It will be the usual good/soft if not proper good safe jumping ground come March 12th, mark my words on that one! There is still 7-8 weeks to go yet! Am fairly confident. All we need is a couple of weeks of dry weather to completely dry out a track like Cheltenham, in fact with it's drainage i would even say half that time!
By:
SEATHESTARS....NO1
When: 27 Jan 13 21:58
We have the same debate this time every year, the new years day meeting and Jan meetings are always run on soft boggy ground with people saying it might be soft etc etc. Why should it change now? In 2010 we had a frightfully amount of snow then too, but the festival still started on genuine good/soft noConfused
By:
Howdi
When: 27 Jan 13 22:06
^^^^ This year has been an exception I wouldn't think its that clear cut this year.
By:
SEATHESTARS....NO1
When: 27 Jan 13 22:46
We'll see.
By:
blarney
When: 27 Jan 13 23:26
Agree with the comments saying that Hurricane Fly only has to turn up in the same form he showed today to win the big one in March.

It is very difficult to pick a negative with this horse considering his engine, turn of foot and hurdling. Jockey and trainer are also positives.

People will look to last years Champion Hurdle but that was a very strange race and Rock On Ruby produced an incredible run in the conditions. Im not sure he can replicate that effort and I don't think the other contenders have the ability to take a race by the scruff of the neck like that. I know Mullins said that HFly was under performing last year but I think a reproduction of his run in last years Champion might be enough to win this years race.
By:
frankalsoran60
When: 28 Jan 13 01:21
The name of the last horse to regain the Cheltenham title was Comedy Of Errors (1973-75.) It might take such a comedy to deny Hurricane Fly a similar achievement.Happy
By:
buddeliea
When: 28 Jan 13 07:53
STS,
The difference this time is the water levels are so high,so any rain just keeps topping them up.
Thats not been the case so much other years.Because of that its not just a case of comparing years.
By:
SEATHESTARS....NO1
When: 28 Jan 13 08:25
I really do not understand why use are basing all that on water tables tbh. Water tables are used to measure the amount of rainfall in a particular area, i.e "We had 3 mils of rainfall in the Cheltenham area over night" might be used as a synopsis, to base this on a mass of land as big as Cheltenham is ridiculous. I have done meteorological courses during my days sailing tall ships, but it isn't as straight forward or as clear cut as all that. If we only had average rainfall between now and the festival but drying winds and temperatures in between we will have the normal good/soft ground! Cheltenham drains so well it only takes a couple of days of breezy but dry conditions to dry it out.
By:
booster
When: 28 Jan 13 08:28
As regards laying the horse, there's no need to yet as, just like last year, he'll only shorten in the run up to the race once the preview nights etc get into full swing. The form book says he beat Thousand Stars 10 lengths last year but only 5 this year and comments in running/visual impression are almost identical. This is not to knock the horse, who is clearly very good under the right conditions, merely to illustrate the poor price and the bookies' over reaction every time he runs. His price yesterday tells you everything you need to know about the quality of opposition he was facing and Binocular was clearly having a school.
By:
festivalfanatic
When: 28 Jan 13 08:55
By: This user is online. SEATHESTARS....NO1
Date Joined: 04 Oct 09 Add contact | Send message When: 28 Jan 13 08:25 Joined: Date Joined: 04 Oct 09 | Topic/replies: 2,293 | Blogger: SEATHESTARS....NO1's blog
I really do not understand why use are basing all that on water tables tbh. Water tables are used to measure the amount of rainfall in a particular area, i.e "We had 3 mils of rainfall in the Cheltenham area over night" might be used as a synopsis, to base this on a mass of land as big as Cheltenham is ridiculous. I have done meteorological courses during my days sailing tall ships, but it isn't as straight forward or as clear cut as all that. If we only had average rainfall between now and the festival but drying winds and temperatures in between we will have the normal good/soft ground! Cheltenham drains so well it only takes a couple of days of breezy but dry conditions to dry it out.

Don't think this is right STS. 'Water table' relates to how far you need to dig into the ground before you strike water and a measure of how saturated ground actually is. If it can't soak away, it runs off the surface. Cheltenham does drain remarkably well but it will need several weeks of relatively dry/warm/windy weather to get anywhere near 'good'. This could happen of course but with what rain is due here over the next couple of days, the starting status 6 weeks before the meeting will probably be 'heavy/waterlogged'.
By:
SEATHESTARS....NO1
When: 28 Jan 13 09:01
Agree completely with you there booster, although i feel that this years race we are going to see the best chance of a horse regaining the champion hdl crown since comedy of errors in the 70s, i still can't get out of my head he still has it to do on the day, it is not going to be easy. This years race looks one of the strongest in years! If, like me, you got 11/2 or better fair play but i would not be playing at todays prices even on the day of the race and he be a 'lay' (i.e i would back a couple against it) on the day if i didn't already have an 11/2 voucher.

ZARKANDAR is and remains imo the best chance of winning it this year. A horse that never looks like he is 'enjoying' his racing he always just puts in just enough. These types are never impressive. Those who say he does not possess the speed required may well be right, but can you honestly believe that this years race will be run in the exact same way? I certainly do not think so, not with the fly et all in it again.

The jury is still out for me as regards RoR, i may well have done my doe in this one but backed him after fto out this season when behind ZARK, some people thought he was desperately in need of the run and he simply just blue up, i am more skeptical, i took 10s sceptically in the thinking those people could well be right but looking through his past form he is a horse that has been right in each of his seasonal debuts before and we have not seen or heard of him since that dayConfused

ZARKANDAR has met GRANDOUET 3 times and 3 times he has beaten him. I no its not as clear cut as all that but i am willing to take the chance that it is. At Aintree when he tipped up he did look to be going much the better than zark that day, but we do not know what he may have found or whether he would have been able to go past either. Also i would say Aintree would be more up grandouets street than zarkandars and cheltenham be more up zarkandars street than grandouet.
By:
SEATHESTARS....NO1
When: 28 Jan 13 09:07
So any moisture under the surface cannot drain away now, because it is under the surfaceConfused is that what your trying to say ff?
By:
festivalfanatic
When: 28 Jan 13 09:11
Yes it can drain away but it will need an unseasonally dry and warm few weeks for it to happen, not a few days.
By:
Fallen Angel
When: 28 Jan 13 09:12
I would generally agree with comments around HF price, personally i thought the performances this year have been impressive but the value was at 6/1, 11/2 etc. Purely from a book % the market is very tight now and he can't feasibly shorten up much more. On the timeform review from yesterday the betfair ireland spokesman thought bookmakers would end up a 7/2 the field on the day which I could feasibly see if there was a shock in the supreme. With the risk of a non-runner between now and whenever people go non-runner no bet and without another run this must be as short as HF can be for the moment.
By:
booster
When: 28 Jan 13 09:16
I'm also a bit worried about Rock On Ruby. He was my biggest bet of the festival last year and will probably be my biggest winner this if he wins as I've got 6 points on him from an ante post double @ 9s but hasn't looked like the same horse since he won last year's race. He has, howver, run badly twice at Aintree and came back from that the first time and I was told he wasn't 100% for the Bula and, if that was the case, he'd have been found out by the ground that day. I think we need to see him again before the race to be convinced he can still do it but, all in all, he's one of about 5 I'd give a similar chance to.
By:
Fallen Angel
When: 28 Jan 13 09:17
@booster with ROR I coompletely agree, be very dissapointed if he didn't run between now and the champion, although the clock is ticking.
By:
Ballydoyle
When: 28 Jan 13 10:25
Binocular aint winning any Champion Hurdle and people are tuned to the moon thinking he can. Hurricane Fly farted all over him at Punchestown, had an interrupted prep when ahead of him in last year's chamopion and beat him effortlessly yesterday.

Oscar Whisky supporters can dream on as well...won't even tun up for a start ffs
By:
Ballydoyle
When: 28 Jan 13 10:25
Lovin how we're around 7 weeks away and it's a cert that the ground will be softLaugh
By:
cufcno1
When: 28 Jan 13 10:51
the weather can soon change,it only takes a few dry days and they will be watering it !
By:
Ballydoyle
When: 28 Jan 13 10:51
Exactly,....raining in January so it will be soft in March. Eh??
By:
roobuck
When: 28 Jan 13 11:48
Don't think anyone is saying it is a cert to be soft.

If you don't think that the chances of it being soft this year are much higher than in previous years I think you are being slightly foolish. The reality is  that even if there is a dry spell, and then there is rain in the few days up to the festival, the going is far more likely to be affected.

Just look at the going change from Friday to Sunday of open meeting after just 6mm of rain
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