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FOYLESWAR
27 Sep 13 11:11
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Date Joined: 09 Jan 11
| Topic/replies: 22,695 | Blogger: FOYLESWAR's blog
next years renewal look a more open affair than in recent running ,what with the doubts surrounding big bucks who will be an 11 yo coming back from injury ,if any horse can do it he can ,but at around 4-5s he is not for me , top staying novice at fishers cross i very prominent in the betting and rightly so he has a very sexy profile with just the one defeat over a trip too short, at around 4/1 he will attract plenty of interest  but he needs plenty of cut and there must be a  doubt about him even lining up if the ground is on the good side ,current champ solwhit ticks a lot of boxes and around  at around 10s  must be on the shortlist  and an each way bet could pay dividends . zarkandar is also among the favs but although undoubtedley highly talented has to prove he gets the trip .
one who seems to have been much overlooked probably because he does not seem to have the wow factor or hype  is alan kings  medinas  a real grinder who  dosent win his races on the bridal but is a tough and consistent battler who  won the coral cup at the festival ,one of the seasons most competitive staying handicaps carrying  11-10....... YES  11 STONE 10 POUNDS  he powered up the hill and battled on well winning by 2 lengths beating some usefull handicappers into the bargain,
officially rated 154 after that run (at fishers cross officially rated 152 after his albert bartlett win ! afc 4/1 medinas 100/1  you do the meths, it aint rocket salad where the value could  lie imo) . medinas was beaten just over 10 lengths by at fishers and the new one at cheptow in very heavy ground but that was right up afc street in conditions the curtis horse relishes , the world hurdle trip on good racing ground could see a different story , put it this way if this horse continues improving then he is way over priced at around 100 on here (was 140s earlier in the week ,no apoligies for snapping that up ) alan king has hinted that he could go novice chasing this season ,that may be the case ,but kingy has a penchant for this race and knows what it take to win it having saddled anzum and my way de solzen to victory in the past .
he obviously needs to keep improving to trouble the likes of solwhit and co, but the gap from handicapper to graded is not insurmountable and come march the race could less quality than expected , he needs to put an aintree run where he was pulled up behind solwhit behind him but he had a busy season and may have been over the top ( add the fact that the stable had a wretched season prior to the festival,)  and  the flat track may  not have  played to his strengths, whatever the  reason he has proved he can do it at the festival and over a similar trip and he can battle up the hill and is one to have on your side when the going get tough , if he goes novice chasing then so be it  i have done my dough but at the prices the chance is worth taking imo,you only have to lay out peanuts to win gold nuggets ..........selection world hurdle medinas  each way around 100s on here ,or best price with the books . good luck .
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Report shockster January 27, 2014 9:13 AM GMT
It's Monday morning after the Cleeve and PFN stated yesterday that Big Bucks legs were cold and no problems.  I am still thrilled with my 3/1 NRNB I got on Saturday night and nobody will put me off.  He's still the one to beat and Annie Power will run in the Champion.  Wish I could be at Cheltenham on the Thursday to hear the reception he will get.
Report Ramruma January 27, 2014 9:13 AM GMT
How many world hurdle winners have there been at 11yo incidentally?

None recently.

1996 Cyborgo 6
1997 Karshi 7
1998 Princeful 7
1999 Anzum 8
2000 Bacchanal 6
2002 Baracouda 7
2003 Baracouda 8
2004 Iris's Gift 7
2005 Inglis Drever 6
2006 My Way De Solzen 6
2007 Inglis Drever 8
2008 Inglis Drever 9
2009 Big Buck's 6
2010 Big Buck's 7
2011 Big Buck's 8
2012 Big Buck's 9
2013 Solwhit 9
Report shockster January 27, 2014 9:20 AM GMT
Quite a few in your list went over fences or didn't get the chance through injury.  Big Bucks 4 wins already would have been difficult to achieve as an 11 year old as he wasn't that old.  Seriously these lists do my head in.  Show me a list of horses who had a realistic chance of winning at 11 but failed.  How many single figure priced horses at 11 have run in the race over the last 20 years?
Report shockster January 27, 2014 9:44 AM GMT
Brandyontherocks  - you state on The Champion Hurdle Thread that even though Capt CB (a 13 year old in a G1 Championship) finished close up all connections would be relatively pleased, yet on here it is a big negative for Knockara Beau to narrowly win in another slowly run race.  I don't think you can have it both ways.  Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying it is a positive in any way for KB to win, it obviously isn't, however it is not the end of the World (Hurdle).  At levels he would have won and I'm sure BB will come on a fair amount come March.
Report Ramruma January 27, 2014 10:38 AM GMT
Big Buck's can win as an 11-year-old, certainly. But the question was: how many have?

It is not a reason to rule out Big Buck's or any other old-timer, but it is a reason to examine more carefully his claims and weigh them against those of younger competitors.

How many single figure priced horses at 11 have run in the race over the last 20 years?

From 1996 on, not many.

14/03/96 Better Times Ahead 10 11/2
13/03/97 Trainglot 10 7/1
13/03/03 Limestone Lad 11 9/4
17/03/05 Baracouda 10 6/5F
16/03/06 Baracouda 11 9/2
Report Ramruma January 27, 2014 10:44 AM GMT
The real problem for Big Buck's -- as with Sprinter Sacre -- is that after Saturday, he no longer looks invincible. Other connections will not be so afraid to take him on. And if a race is more competitive, there is more that can go wrong: getting boxed in; having to swerve round a faller; and so on.
Report shockster January 27, 2014 11:07 AM GMT
Thanks for your effort Ramruma in digging up the info.  It shows to me (I'm trying to pick holes) that only twice in the last 20 years has an 11 year old with a chance actually turned up.  Limestone Lad beaten by a great Baracouda in 2003, but Limestone had won 35 races and only 1 was on good going, therefore btn on good by Baracouda can be forgiven.  Baracouda I will concede was past his best at 11 and was being beaten regularly by then.
Report Ballydoyle January 27, 2014 11:10 AM GMT
And Baracouda was brilliant with no injury to overcome
Report Ballydoyle January 27, 2014 11:10 AM GMT
How many horses have won a World Hurdle having not won a race that season?
How many horses have won a World Hurdle with only one run that season?

Is there a way to check this out?
Report shockster January 27, 2014 11:17 AM GMT
Bally, you can check it but it means going through the form of each winner.  Just takes time.  To answer the question though Iris Gift had had 1 run when finishing 2nd before winning the 2004 Stayers hurdle.
Report shockster January 27, 2014 11:49 AM GMT
BIG BUCK'S remains the one to beat in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, according to trainer Paul Nicholls, who likened the return of his star staying hurdler to the reappearance of stablemate Silviniaco Conti - who improved from third in the Betfair Chase to overturn form with Cue Card in the King George.

Nicholls also absolved the 11-year-old's first-time rider Sam Twiston-Davies of any responsibility for the ending of an unbeaten sequence that had lasted for five years after Big Buck's suffered his first defeat over hurdles in 19 starts in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday.

Nicholls revealed the four-time Ladbrokes World Hurdle winner had returned with no physical issues after finishing just over three-quarters of a length third to Knockara Beau and At Fishers Cross, and said his only shortcoming at Cheltenham was lack of race fitness. Big Buck's, who was overhauled in the final 50 yards having led three out, had been out of action since December 2012 because of a tendon injury.

"My view is he travelled well, jumped well, quickened well into the last and got tired halfway up the run-in on what was the worst ground on the track, which he was entitled to," said Nicholls.

"He ran just how he did against Voler La Vedette in the last World Hurdle he won, admittedly on better ground. That day he was race-fit and he galloped to the line. Saturday he looked like he was going to but he got tired.

"Sam rode him as we discussed. We thought Reve De Sivola might make it and I said if there was no pace don't be afraid to bowl along. We had made all on him at Newbury [in December 2012].

"No matter how much you do at home with them, just to get them to run at that level is a positive. We almost expect too much of them nowadays after they've been off a while."
Report Ballydoyle January 27, 2014 11:52 AM GMT
Iris Gift - yeah I remember that.
Report Ballydoyle January 27, 2014 11:55 AM GMT
Interesting the post-race quotes as these were the pre-race quotes on his betfair column the day before...


After almost 14 months off the track with a tendon injury Big Buck's returns to action in the Cleeve Hurdle on Saturday, and Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls believes the record-breaking hurdler is the one they all have to beat...

It has been a long road back from injury for Big Buck's - for those not aware he had a problem with his near-fore tendon, which was line-fired and needed rest - and tomorrow will tell us whether he still has the brilliance of old.

Rose Loxton, who rides him out every day, tells me he feels no different than before.

And I'll be honest. I hope and think that he will win Saturday's Cleeve Hurdle.

But don't get me wrong, he will improve for the run, win lose or draw.

Training horses as they recover from injury is a bit different from professional athletes and footballers easing their way back from a spell on the sidelines.

Horses don't get the chance to have a run-out in the reserves, and 45 minutes back in the first-team. They have to be pretty much straight on their return, as if they are not fit enough they could do themselves more harm than good.

And ever since Big Buck's came back in on September 1, this has been his target. And he has done loads of work.

He has done one racecourse gallop - ideally I would like to have had another but the ground ruled that out - and some serious graft.

Very few horses have done four successive canters up the hill here, but Big Buck's must have done a dozen of them now, every Wednesday and Saturday.

In fact, the only other horse that I can recall doing four is Taranis, who won the Argento first time up after an absence of over two years, though come to think of it Venn Ottery ended up doing four a day before he won on his first start for us at Leicester - and he struggled to do one canter when he first came to us!

So Big Buck's is fit and well, and has done everything that we have asked of him, though he has never been the flashiest of workers and the type to get you going "Wow" in the mornings. Hopefully, you will have seen his comeback for yourselves in our regular video updates, and Sam has got on well with the horse.

There is always an obvious concern when horses do make their comeback after such lengthy absences. But in my book, the opposition have more to worry about on Saturday, even if they do have race fitness on their side.

On his last start before the injury he gave multiple Grade 1 winner Reve De Sivola 8lb and a 9 length beating at Newbury, and he now faces that horse off level weights.

At Fishers Cross has plenty to prove, and if anything I think Boston Bob could give us most to do.

But if he is the Big Buck's of old, then history and the form book tells us what the result will be. And then we can all breathe a little easier.
Report buddeliea January 27, 2014 12:18 PM GMT
Bally,
I have not backed BB cos I wanted to see him run before punting.
I don't have the money to be tied up so long, so was never gonna do nrnb too early.
Now ive seen him I will keep an eye on his price as the time gets nearer.

My main points on here with this debate, was about some of the judgements on here being too harsh as re his run Saturday.
I still think they are.
Willing to drop this now mate,im sure its just boring everyone!!
Report Eeternaloptimist January 27, 2014 12:34 PM GMT
It's not boring at all. It's part of what makes the festival so special. All season the back and forth eventually answered one way or the other.

Sorry Budd I misinterpreted what you said.

On very soft ground a case can now be made for At Fisher's Cross who has tended to improve as the season has gone on and was ridden quite conservatively with a couple of novicey jumps thrown in on Saturday. You'd probably be mad to think it but the book certainly isn't closed on Reve De Sivola on that ground either. On his day he is very good and Saturday doesn't reflect his best level of form for whatever reason.

On better ground you'd give Annie Power a good chance of staying 3 miles and she has the class. With that one you'd like to know which race she goes for as the complexion of any race she runs in will change just because of her presence.

The other one I have been sweet on since his cosy victory over Salubrious (who partially franked that form was then running a very nice race in the Long Walk) is More Of That. All seems to have gone quiet with that one and I was a little surprised to see that they didn't put him into the Cleeve.

Like I said, that's the beauty of Saturday's race in that it sets things up nicely for March because there was just enough encouragement for everyone.
Report buddeliea January 27, 2014 12:44 PM GMT
Oh yes mate,i don't mean the conversation in general, just the little spat that myself and Bally seem to have got going.

Salubrious is one ive backed on here at a nice price,i think he may be more of a stayer than MOT,and I think he may well have beaten RDS or at least gone close. Both these will be improving and if MOT stays you may well be right mate.
Report Ballydoyle January 27, 2014 1:00 PM GMT
banter Budd...you know me...you know i am on salubrious as well mate
Report Ballydoyle January 27, 2014 1:01 PM GMT
its the mullins thing that's boring me now lol esp that flamin Arkle
Report buddeliea January 27, 2014 1:03 PM GMT
Laugh

Mullins can do that to people!!
Report Ballydoyle January 27, 2014 1:06 PM GMT
I mean it is beyond ridiculous...whatever one he runs in Supreme, Neptune, Potato race wins
Whatever one he runs in Arkle will win
Whatever one he runs in Jewson will win.
Whatever one he runs in RSA will win
If Annie Power runs in Champion Hurdle she'll win that as well supposedly

Some people just forget how competitive the Cheltenham festival is
Report buddeliea January 27, 2014 1:09 PM GMT
indeed
Report Eeternaloptimist January 27, 2014 1:11 PM GMT
Based on what he's finding at the end of two and a half and especially his breeding I'd be hopeful of MOT getting the distance. Unfortunately we've been down that road before and until they do it you can't say. I'd be more worried by his lack of experience and would want to see MOT in at least another decent race prior to the festival. Which was why I was puzzled they didn't run him on Saturday.

Does anybody have any info on More Of That? He's as short as 4-1 with some books but much longer on here and given he's at Jonjo's that is...............interesting. Laugh
Report Ballydoyle January 27, 2014 1:12 PM GMT
as it stands right here right now...

Be lucky to win Supreme.
Probably win neptune
Cant see one of his winning Potato
made an arse of the Arkle
made an arse of the Jewson
his main contender for RSa has had one run in a diddy race
If he isnt sure Annie Power isnt a Champion or World horse by now then hes takin the piss out the owner
Report ReaseHeath January 27, 2014 1:16 PM GMT
Great debate, don't want to regurgitate the same arguments so just a couple of thoughts.

Incidentally, I have a small interest in AP at 5/1 win only and Celestial Halo at 16/1 ew.

First, Celestial Halo may be exposed but he was good enough to be second in the race last year and the winner won't be running so I think 16s is a fair price.

However, it concerned me when Nicholls was asked about the Big Buck's jockey issue on Saturday morning that he talked about Jacob and Zarkandar teamimg up without mentioning Celestial Halo at all which means to me that either the setback Celestial Halo had which prevented him running in the Long Walk is worse than it originally seemed or they fancy Zarkandar more or both.Zarkandar is not fully exposed over three miles either - more likely to improve for the step up in trip than fail to stay in my opinion, he's still only 7 too.

Also I'm surprised there's no love for Rule The World on this thread either, much better effort last time after they changed the jockey and decided they were actually interested in winning the race, as near to a certain runner as you can get, ran well behind a very good horse in a hot novice race last year and likely to be primed to the minute for a race that's probably been his target for best part of twelve months.

So, in conclusion, I'm beginning to worry that I've backed two non runners and Zark and RTW would be the next two on my list.
Report duffy January 27, 2014 1:18 PM GMT
I'm gutted that Solwhit is out but that's done now...on Saturday BB's ran a very good race IMO......I think 5/2 is quite generous tbh, no need to rush in though as I think the general consensus by the books will be to want to get him and he could well be bigger on the day, to that end I really hope AP runs in it to help push his price out.
Report Eeternaloptimist January 27, 2014 1:22 PM GMT
Whichever way you look at it I think Mullins has taken the pi55 out of the owner of Annie Power. The owner has stated that she was going chasing this year but that he had a change of heart because he wanted a shot at the champion. How many races has she had to assess her credentials? Not one. She hasn't raced against a single champion hurdle contender in England or Ireland and given the sheer number of possibles this year that is simply staggering. She hasn't raced against the contenders and she hasn't been asked to race at proper 2 miles pace to see what happens.

She wins a mares? To an extent she wins the stayers? So what? She could and may still win a champion but she hasn't had a champion preparation. She could have won an Arkle and be well into the groove with a chasing career at the same age as Sprinter Sacre was and looking forward to the big races like the King George and gold cup next year. She's a mare. She's a horse. Who knows about the future?

Yep. Mullins has let the owner down in my view.
Report Ballydoyle January 27, 2014 1:26 PM GMT
Could easily have ran the horse yesterday instead of against the diddy mares at Doncaster. Same with Un De Sceaux "don't know how good he is"...thats cos you put him in egg n spoon races ya tw@t
Report Eeternaloptimist January 27, 2014 1:33 PM GMT
Totally agree. It seems he's put all his eggs in one basket. If The Fly picks up an injury either of the others could win but haven't had the prep. They could win anyway. Now you have the frankly crazy proposition of the timeform top rated 2 mile horse, Annie Power, being fit but possibly not running in the race. Has that ever happened in the history of the festival and if it has what are the odds that it happened with Mullins? Laugh
Report duffy January 27, 2014 1:41 PM GMT
Eeternaloptimist 27 Jan 14 13:22 
Whichever way you look at it I think Mullins has taken the pi55 out of the owner of Annie Power. The owner has stated that she was going chasing this year but that he had a change of heart because he wanted a shot at the champion. How many races has she had to assess her credentials? Not one. She hasn't raced against a single champion hurdle contender in England or Ireland and given the sheer number of possibles this year that is simply staggering. She hasn't raced against the contenders and she hasn't been asked to race at proper 2 miles pace to see what happens.

She wins a mares? To an extent she wins the stayers? So what? She could and may still win a champion but she hasn't had a champion preparation. She could have won an Arkle and be well into the groove with a chasing career at the same age as Sprinter Sacre was and looking forward to the big races like the King George and gold cup next year. She's a mare. She's a horse. Who knows about the future?

Yep. Mullins has let the owner down in my view.


Great post that, how true, she may well line up in the CH, but how much wiser going into the race about her ability to handle it as we were at the start of the season....ZERO.
Report ReaseHeath January 27, 2014 1:42 PM GMT
Am I missing something here? The owner of Annie Power is a multi-millionaire banker with a string of top horses in the Mullins yard for which he pays not insignificant bills, I would have thought he is Mullins' biggest customer by a long way.

He will listen to the opinions of the professionals as he should - if the boot was on the other foot you'd hardly expect him to take financial advice from a racehorse trainer - but if he really wants Annie Power to run in the Champion Hurdle then that's where she'll run.

He's certainly smart enough not to have the wool pulled over his eyes, and will be well aware that the advice he gets from Mullins and Walsh is likely to be coloured by considerations for other horses in the ground, which he does not own.

I think Ricci said he'd had horses with Mullins since 2005, it's surely in both their interests to make sure that relationship continues for the next 10 years.To me, he does n't look like a bloke who is easy to take the pi55 out of.
Report differentdrum January 27, 2014 1:43 PM GMT
On the subject of Rule Of World bar the winner he was least inconvenienced by last year's farcically run Neptune. He has no form of any substance over three miles so unless they go an unlikely crawl in the World Hurdle I doubt that he will be a significant player.
Report duffy January 27, 2014 1:50 PM GMT
Rease
Agree with all of that, I was referring to the races that AP has contested this season, which Ricci would be just as at fault as Mullins with regards to fact finding...if he wants to find out about the CH and her capabilities.
Report ReaseHeath January 27, 2014 2:18 PM GMT
yep, fair enough - did see a clip of an interview with Mullins where he said they chose the Doncaster race to avoid other Championship horses!

Not sure why they feel the need to do that.

For what it's worth, I've backed her for World Hurdle but am increasingly of the opinion that she'll end up in the Champion Hurdle - despite Boston Bob's no show on Saturday!
Report Ramruma January 27, 2014 2:27 PM GMT
@ReaseHeath -- However, it concerned me when Nicholls was asked about the Big Buck's jockey issue on Saturday morning that he talked about Jacob and Zarkandar teamimg up without mentioning Celestial Halo at all which means to me that either the setback Celestial Halo had which prevented him running in the Long Walk is worse than it originally seemed or they fancy Zarkandar more or both.

Fact: Daryl Jacob has not sat on a Stewart-owned horse this year.
Fact: Stewart owns Celestial Halo as well as Big Buck's.

Speculation: all this guff from Nicholls about confidence and commitment to Big Buck's is to cover up a rift between Stewart and Jacob, and this is why he is putting Jacob on Zarkandar and did not mention Celestial Halo.

So I'd not read too much into it, but I may be wrong.
Report ReaseHeath January 27, 2014 2:43 PM GMT
yeah, you could be right - but Jacob has ridden Celestial Halo in all his races since Ruby left and Stewart stated after Newbury that he intended to run both Halo and Big Buck's in the World Hurdle - my interpretation was the other way around and that Stewart was keen for Jacob to maintain his partnership with Halo rather than getting off him to ride Big Buck's.

Was n't aware Jacob had n't ridden for Stewart this year and, off the top of my head, can't recall a Jacob ride on a Stewart horse that might have caused a rift.Or maybe he chose a Hales one instead of a Stewart one at some point?

Who knows? All idle specualtion and probably a sign I have too much time on my hands!
Report Ballydoyle January 27, 2014 3:08 PM GMT
If Mullins had ran Annie Power yesterday he would know exactly to the yard if he had a Champion Hurdle horse on his hands. That's the point. Instead, it's been

let's go chasing
erm no..tell you what? lets run over 2m 4f and plan for the world perhaps
erm hold on..won easy over 2m 4f and wasnt stopping so how about the champion?
erm it's now 6 weeks to go and I don't have a clue Rich..what do you think? You own her after all!
Report shockster January 27, 2014 3:16 PM GMT
Laugh  You were there for the conversation Bally.
Report Ballydoyle January 27, 2014 3:20 PM GMT
Of course, I was in the front row for the pantomime.Laugh

Seriously though, 6 weeks before the race and they've seemingly "no idea"LaughLaughLaugh
Report Ballydoyle January 27, 2014 3:21 PM GMT
Ach **** it let's run her in the Arkle eh?
Report shockster January 27, 2014 3:32 PM GMT
Come on Bally. Surely the 4miler. Let's be serious.
Report Ramruma January 27, 2014 3:47 PM GMT
Fact: Daryl Jacob has not sat on a Stewart-owned horse this year.

Mind you, only three have run in 2014.
Report Eeternaloptimist January 27, 2014 4:10 PM GMT
Rease

You'd have thought that all your contentions regarding the owner are true but one point I'd raise. If Annie Power runs in the champion there's no way Ruby is getting off The Fly at this stage. If she had run in the December race or indeed yesterdays and won by 5 lengths going away and under a different jockey with Ruby left in her wake on The Fly then I'd be pretty sure Ruby would have been on her in March.

So, even if she goes the champion hurdle route she doesn't have her regular jockey who is arguably the best round Cheltenham in the big races to add to the list I gave previously.

And if she goes for the stayers she goes for a race the owner didn't want having deferred a chase career and over a distance she has never raced over.
Report buddeliea January 27, 2014 5:32 PM GMT
Townend would be fine and theres Plenty of other decent jockeys that wont have a ride in the CH.

Cannot use not having the No1 jockey available as a reason not to run a horse that should be in the race.
Same goes for Un De Sceaux.
Its bl00dy embarrassing really, we are almost in Feb and we have 2 horses that connections are supposedly undecided as to what to do with,and one of them they admit they don't even know how good he is!!
Any other trainer,and I mean any other,would have entered these horses accordingly during then season,and would know their capabilities by now.
This smacks of protecting HFly and a 3rd CH,im bl00dy convinced of it. No other reason I can think of that makes any sense. Not that that does!!,and I could never prove it,and trainer and jockey would never admit it.
Report Ballydoyle January 27, 2014 6:00 PM GMT
Bang on
Report brandyontherocks January 27, 2014 6:42 PM GMT
shockster 27 Jan 14 09:44 Joined: 26 Oct 05 | Topic/replies: 1,076 | Blogger: shockster's blog
Brandyontherocks  - you state on The Champion Hurdle Thread that even though Capt CB (a 13 year old in a G1 Championship) finished close up all connections would be relatively pleased, yet on here it is a big negative for Knockara Beau to narrowly win in another slowly run race.  I don't think you can have it both ways.  Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying it is a positive in any way for KB to win, it obviously isn't, however it is not the end of the World (Hurdle).  At levels he would have won and I'm sure BB will come on a fair amount come March.
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Sorry Shock.
I think sometimes we twist things slightly to back our views.

My thoughts are; in the Irish Champion. The field was covered by just 3 1/2 lengths. The best horse still won the race but the runner up's connection will still have taken some positives from the race. But most importantly non of the horses had an overly hard race.

The Cleeve; there was 70 lengths from first to last. Big Bucks is entitled to come from the race but he was given a very hard race. I have never said he can not win. I was disappointed with the ride and he certainly looks like he can be beaten now unlike previously when he was a world away from his challengers.
Report Eeternaloptimist January 27, 2014 7:15 PM GMT
budd

She could still be going irrespective of jockey availability but I don't think anybody would argue that you'd rather not have her regular jockey on if the chance was there. Not allowing her to take her chance in December or yesterday prevented that possibility and may well have resulted in her missing a champion she could win. As you say it smacks of Mullins wanting the history of a third champion for The Fly which would be darkly funny if he gets short headed by one of the others and Annie runs out of petrol after the last in the stayers.
Report shockster January 27, 2014 7:40 PM GMT
No worries Brandy, it's all debate. The one question I would ask all on here is; We had the Irish Champion hurdle on Sunday and all 4 runners were race fit and whichever way you look at it a 13 yr old was within 3l of the winner and no horse had much of an excuse. The Cleeve hurdle on Saturday had question marks over several runners. Which of the 2 races will have its form upheld in March? I believe we all know the answer.
Report jasey January 27, 2014 8:13 PM GMT
There is a good stat being re-tweeted on twitter at present first highlighted by Timeform that horses who return from over a year off the course and run close to form have a 36% chance of doing so again on their second start back…which isn’t great. However, that drops to 11.4% for those who underperform on their comeback and Big Buck’s underperformed to the tune of 20lb.
Report Tory January 27, 2014 11:04 PM GMT
Jacob rode celestial halo at Newbury in November and also ride rocky creek on Saturday!!
Report alleged22 January 27, 2014 11:12 PM GMT
Jacobs knows more about that stable than any of us, what if he thinks zarks has the better chance.?
Report marychain1 January 28, 2014 1:42 AM GMT
At Fishers Cross for me
Report pratley8 January 28, 2014 12:24 PM GMT
At Fishers cross is too big. He is proven at Cheltenham. He is still improving
Report Eeternaloptimist January 28, 2014 12:31 PM GMT
You'd be hoping the ground doesn't dry out for that one as his jumping wasn't the best even on saturday.
Report buddeliea January 28, 2014 12:34 PM GMT
AFC had everything in his favour Saturday,fitness and ground.
He had to win that fairly well to be fancied to win the WH,imo.
Not be losing to KB.
Report The_Silent_Assassin January 28, 2014 1:06 PM GMT
Why is there no talk of quevega going for the world hurdle and annie power for the mares race. Surely this option suits all parties involved. Annie power is a chaser in the making so this seems a better option for the future and quevega still gets chance to continue her streak at cheltenham but gets a chance to finally win a big one.

At least we know Quevega stays 3miles and at this moment in time 2m4f seems the best trip for Annie.

To be honest odds wise I would have Annie Power shorter than Quevega in the mares race and Quevega shorter than Annie in the world hurdle.
Report Larry Sellers January 28, 2014 1:16 PM GMT
The_Silent_Assassin

If one (Mullins/Ruby) was trying to spread these three potential winners across three different races, this is spot on imo.

However, if I owned AP, I'd want her in the Champion Hurdle, likewise if I owned HF and Quevega would be going to the WH depending on how she looks in training.
Report Eeternaloptimist January 28, 2014 1:56 PM GMT
Quevega really should have had a pop at the stayers some time ago but at this point having won so many mares the logic seems overwhelming that they should seek to create more history with another victory. People remember multiple winners of big races.
Report cufcno1 February 2, 2014 2:37 AM GMT
I don't think knockara beau has been given enough credit for his victory,perhaps because it is a northern horse,maybe the wind op has made the world of difference
Report duffy February 2, 2014 10:59 PM GMT
Listening to the sunday forum on ATR, one thing you can be reasonably confident about listening to Ricci is that AP won't be running in the Mares race.
Report alleged22 February 2, 2014 11:04 PM GMT
fair play to chapman for keeping him on the line for so long..
Report Ballydoyle February 3, 2014 5:04 PM GMT
100/1 chance the thing was gonna run in mares anyway. Will be in World Hurdle and after all this fuss on this forum embarassing if she doesn't win
Report buddeliea February 3, 2014 5:10 PM GMT
the thing??!!!
Report duffy February 3, 2014 8:03 PM GMT
very good film...that bit when they were testing the blood was good!
Report Ballydoyle February 6, 2014 5:33 PM GMT
Annie Power 18s for champ hurdle so help yourselves if you feel like backin a non runner
Report hunter71 February 6, 2014 9:20 PM GMT
ANNIE POWER WONT RUN AT CHELTENHAM
Report jasey February 6, 2014 9:27 PM GMT
Lay her for both races then
Report alleged22 February 6, 2014 9:32 PM GMT
OK WE GET YA HUNTER Laugh
Report yeasty February 6, 2014 10:09 PM GMT
let's assume AP is a confirmed runner in the WH. And all the principals stand their ground. What's her SP do you think? I reckon 7/4 AP, 11/4 Big Bucks...
Report Ballydoyle February 6, 2014 10:13 PM GMT
He could be right - Hunter - but jesus it's been the World Hurdle from the word go if its any race. Can't actually believe there's been a debate about it. Those from across the water will fly in and batter AP down to 6-4 SP. If she turns up...obviously the ever so helpful Willie Mullins will keep us all up to date
Report jasey February 6, 2014 10:20 PM GMT
I would wager she would start fav.
If you think AP would take care of Big Bucks in his prime then 7/4 may be a good price.
I think money will come for BB as well
Report wellchief February 6, 2014 10:21 PM GMT
I personally think she'd win the World Hurdle, win the Mares and place in the Champion (although not all in the same festival Laugh)

She is a lot better than Voler La Vedette, who gave Big Bucks a mighty scare, and that was when Big Bucks had a smooth prep and was probably at the peak of his powers.
Report Ballydoyle February 6, 2014 10:30 PM GMT
I wrote almost the exact same on another thread a week or so ago. Agreed. If she stays she wins.
Report yeasty February 6, 2014 10:30 PM GMT
I've just taken some of the 11/4 NRNB with BVict. It's hardly the value bet of the century but if she runs then we seem to agree she's favourite, and possibly a v short price favourite. I love Big Bucks but every book will surely be out to get him and it will take an astonishing effort to win. Just not sure the rest are good enough.

My only concern is that I've never seen AP need to get stuck in and battle. But with money back for a no-show and the inevitable shortening if she's (eventually) given the WH as the target there seems to be little downside in the 11/4...
Report jasey February 6, 2014 10:43 PM GMT
You would expect a future gold cup winner to stay
Report alleged22 February 6, 2014 10:49 PM GMT
lets wait till she wins a worthy race before we proclaim her as the next GC winner, jeeesus Laugh
Report wellchief February 6, 2014 10:51 PM GMT
365 is the one to back her with if you want to have a little bit now.

11/4 NRNB, but they're doing B.O.G on the four championship races, so if for some reason she does run in the WH and drifts on the day, you'll get the better price.  It's antepost with no down side!
Report Ballydoyle February 6, 2014 10:51 PM GMT
Took 6-1 a while back NRNB
Report yeasty February 6, 2014 10:53 PM GMT
Thanks wellchief but i can get about 3p on with 365. It's clearly a better offer but if she runs and is bigger than 11/4 on the day then I reckon I'd be expecting to lose my bet anyway!
Report yeasty February 6, 2014 10:54 PM GMT
That's a good bet to be sitting on Ballydoyle. Nice one.
Report wellchief February 6, 2014 10:57 PM GMT
Haha, no probs Yeasty.  Luckily I can get on as much as I want with them, but that probably means I don't win enough and they're more than happy to accept my hard earned cash Laugh
Report Graeme83 February 6, 2014 10:59 PM GMT
I think she will go for the 2 miler
Report Ballydoyle February 6, 2014 11:05 PM GMT
Laugh
Report buddeliea February 7, 2014 7:54 AM GMT
Took 40nrfb last March for the CH,and have since taken 5 nrnb for the WH.

From a racing point of view I would love to see her in the Churdle,it would add to what will be a great race with or without her. The WH I don't really get excited about,its just a stayers race for me.
If the owner agrees with me which I hope he does,then we may get to see her in the CH,he certainly wanted that at start of season it appears.
I don't know where she will end up,at this moment none of us do,although some seem to think they do!!
If they are confident that HFly cannot be beaten by AP and her 7lb concession,then maybe the WH will be her race,thats if they are also confident she stays well enough of course.
Me,as I have said a few times now,i don't think any horse can give her 7lb(aside the unexposed UDS)and I would go for the biggie.
As also said,this season is a stepping stone to chasing,so go for the big one while you can Mr Ricci!!!

My gut feeling though is she wont be at the festival, I really hope im wrong.
Report Ballydoyle February 7, 2014 8:00 AM GMT
Me,as I have said a few times now,i don't think any horse can give her 7lb(aside the unexposed UDS)and I would go for the biggie.

So you reckon that Un De Sceaux would be able to give Annie Power 7 pounds and win but the likes of say Hurricane a Fly wouldn't? You must rate Un De Sceaux very very highly
Report buddeliea February 7, 2014 8:04 AM GMT
No, I meant hes unexposed Bally,which means its POSSIBLE HE COULD as I don't know how good he is,whereas Imo the others that are more exposed cannot beat her giving 7lb.
Report Ballydoyle February 7, 2014 8:10 AM GMT
I'd take Hurricane Fly in a match bet with AP and UDS all day long personally over 2 miles.
Report Tory February 7, 2014 10:35 PM GMT
11/4 AP NRNB has to be the bet in this race. If she runs and stays then i certainly think she wins.

I'm adamant she'd stay but if she doesn't run then it's big bucks for me. The others just aren't good enough
Report duffy February 9, 2014 2:04 AM GMT
Had to have a little bit on fingal bay at 130..just in case he rips it up tomorrow and he turns out to retain all his potential and ability and emerges as an outsider with a squeak.
Report BJG February 12, 2014 12:00 PM GMT
The Ladbrokes World Hurdle
Class 1, Grade One, £275,000 Total Prize Fund, three miles. Cheltenham,
Thursday, March 13, three miles. For four-year-olds and upwards which are allotted a
rating of 130 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses
entered and after taking account of races run up to and including March 6 - horses which
are not qualified for a rating in GB, IRE or FR may also be entered (such horses may be
eligible providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse's racecourse performances
up to and including March 6 would merit a minimum rating of 130 - the decision of the
BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final). Weights: 4yo: 11st; 5yo+: 11st 10lb; fillies &
mares allowed 7lb. Entries closed January 14, entries revealed January 16 (29 entries).
Scratchings deadline February 11 (24 remain), £13,750 supplementary entry stage &
six-day confirmation stage March 7, final declarations 10am, March 11. Form figures
supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Monday,
February 10.
Form Horse Age Owner Trainer
1111-111 ANNIE POWER (IRE) 6 Susannah Ricci Willie Mullins IRE
1111-4U2 AT FISHERS CROSS (IRE) 7 J P McManus Rebecca Curtis
4022314 AWAYWITHTHEGREYS (IRE) 7 Karen Bowen, Saith O Ni & The Hedonists
Peter Bowen
11111/1-3 BIG BUCK'S (FR) 11 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
2/11FF-16 BOSTON BOB (IRE) 9 Andrea & Graham Wylie Willie Mullins IRE
426-161 CELESTIAL HALO (IRE) 10 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
3/2F0-44 COTTON MILL 7 Bloomfields John Ferguson
112/12r-1 FINGAL BAY (IRE) 8 Carol Skan Philip Hobbs
124-32U1 HOLYWELL (IRE) 7 Mrs Gay Smith Jonjo O'Neill
r121-231 MALA BEACH (IRE) 6 Chris Jones Gordon Elliott IRE
411P-22 MEDINAS (FR) 7 Frank & Hilda Bell Alan King
35/223-P MEISTER ECKHART (IRE) 8 Atlantic Equine Alan King
Report BJG February 12, 2014 12:01 PM GMT
1P-U5113 MICKIE 6 Ludlow Racing Partnership Henry Daly
113/121- MONKSLAND (IRE) 7 Patricia Hunt Noel Meade IRE
1-111 MORE OF THAT (IRE) 6 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
1/111/11- QUEVEGA (FR) 10 Hammer & Trowel Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
42-01314 REVE DE SIVOLA (FR) 9 Paul Duffy Diamond Partnership Nick Williams
12P-1421 RULE THE WORLD 7 Gigginstown House Stud Mouse Morris IRE
115-222 SALUBRIOUS (IRE) 7 The Johnson & Stewart Families Paul Nicholls
10-54111 SAPHIR DU RHEU (FR) 5 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
632-405 THOUSAND STARS (FR) 10 Hammer & Trowel Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
132-4033 TRUSTAN TIMES (IRE) 8 Mrs M E Armitage & Peter Armitage Tim Easterby
23-03216 ZAIDPOUR (FR) 8 Susannah Ricci Willie Mullins IRE
141-222 ZARKANDAR (IRE) 7 Potensis Limited & Chris Giles Paul Nicholls

24 entries remain after February 11 scratchings deadline
8 Irish-trained

THE FOLLOWING 5 ENTRIES HAVE BEEN SCRATCHED:DEDIGOUT (IRE), RETURN
SPRING (IRE), RUBI BALL (FR), SMAD PLACE (FR), WHISPERING GALLERY

Timeform Ratings (Weight-Adjusted)
187 Big Buck's
185p Annie Power
181 Quevega
176 Zarkandar
174 Celestial Halo
174 Thousand Stars
174 Monksland
173+ Saphir du Rheu
Report wellchief February 16, 2014 2:22 PM GMT
Shame Dunguib hasn't got an entry in this
Report wellchief February 16, 2014 2:29 PM GMT
^^^ Good to see the old fella back in the winners enclosure again.  Looked something like his old best, but what a week for Fenton with Last Instalment as well.

Looks like he'll be entered into the Coral Cup at Cheltenham now, according to the trainer.
Report Ballydoyle February 16, 2014 7:05 PM GMT
Couldn't seriously back Dunguib to win this surely?
Report Markphisto February 26, 2014 8:16 PM GMT
If the money on here is anything to go by Moreofthat is World Hurdle bound. 16's to 8's in the past  few days and AFC has been weak too
Report buddeliea February 27, 2014 7:32 AM GMT
Mount Benbulben an interesting late comer.
25 nrnb available if interested.
Report ThunderRoad February 27, 2014 1:14 PM GMT
A race that ultimately comes down to Willie Mullins and where his horses go. Big Buck's is my favourite horse of all-time, I followed him off a cliff for 3 years and he won me some great money. At his peak, he was clearly the best staying hurdler ever but those days are obviously passed. That being said, he was still the best horse in that Cleeve Hurdle. Sam sat too prominently off a strong pace [the ground was absolutely bottomless], kicked for home too soon and ultimately got caught by two stayers (who had each been held up and got a nice tow in). Add to that his 14 month absence and the fact he'll be much fitter at Cheltenham, combined with the likely better ground (BB goes in any ground, but his absolutely best performances have arguably come on good-to-soft/good) and nothing from that race will beat him again.

However, the one horse who could (and will) beat him if she turns up is Annie Power. I genuinely think Annie will prove herself to be one of the best mares we've ever seen, I don't doubt her ability to stay and the race is obviously Willie's aim for her (if not the owners aim). Receiving 7 pounds from Big Buck's would probably have been too much to concede at his very best, and I think she'll prove too fast for him if she goes the World Hurdle route. With the long-term aim apparently the Gold Cup, Mullins clearly doesn't doubt her staying power and I think she'll win if he gets his way and enters her. I have a bet an antepost bet on BB for the WH and AP for the CH, so my hope is that Annie goes down the Champion route, but it's looked ever more likely in the last few weeks that 3 miles is where she's destined.
Report Ramruma March 2, 2014 11:34 PM GMT
Jonjo might have been right that AP should have chosen More Of That rather than At Fishers Cross.

This race seems to be the antithesis of the Champion Hurdle. In the Champion, each of the runners has the ability to win on his day and granted racing luck. In this race, I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that none of the likely runners is good enough to win.
Report shockster March 3, 2014 12:45 PM GMT
Betfred 3/1 Big Bucks for a limited time.
Report BJG March 3, 2014 1:45 PM GMT
Noel Meade has withdrawn Monksland from the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival as he revealed several members of his string are under the weather.

Monksland has been sidelined since winning the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown in December 2012, but the County Meath trainer still hopes to get him back on the track this season, with races at Aintree, Fairyhouse and Punchestown to be considered.

"He's good, but he's just not going to Cheltenham," said Meade.

"We've got a bit of a problem here with a few dirty noses and temperatures and whatever, so he's not going to go.

"Liverpool is a possibility and there's Fairyhouse and Punchestown, hopefully.

"Any of the other places are possibilities. We'll have to see how we get on."
Report Ibrahima Sonko March 4, 2014 7:29 PM GMT
The Jonjo O'Neill-trained six-year-old burst on to the scene this season with an impressive display in a Haydock handicap in November.

A month later he was stepped up in class for the Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham, where he was a cosy winner under JP McManus' retained jockey Tony McCoy.

But with McCoy riding the McManus-owned At Fishers Cross in the World Hurdle, More Of That now requires a new jockey.


O'Neill has indicated a preference for using Richie McLernon, who has ridden the horse before, but the owner's racing manager Frank Berry said: "All being well, More Of That will run at Cheltenham. We haven't really thought about who'll ride him yet, we'll leave it late."

More Of That is quoted at 9/1 by Sky Bet to win the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, with Annie Power hardening into favouritism at 15/8.


After scaring us last week the view that RM might be in for the mount this is good new, BJG could be available.
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