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Cheltenham Festival

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Paterson92
16 Oct 14 19:46
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Date Joined: 02 Sep 14
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So ... who fancies solving this puzzle?

A fortnight ago we discovered Faugheen will stay over hurdles according to Rich Ricci on ATR. Today we discovered Vautour will "probably" go chasing according to Willie Mullins on ATR.

In my opinion, Faugheen is definitely Champion Hurdle bound. Vautour is likely to be Arkle bound, however this is where Un De Sceaux comes in ....

UDS looks ground dependant but, in my opinion, the horse will not return to France this season. I also cannot see Rich Ricci wanting to meet UDS in the Arkle, which makes me think Vautour could go to the JLT Novice Chase. Of course, there is nothing stopping UDS from running in the Champion Hurdle either.

Going to try and make a prediction for Willie Mullins main contenders this year (including unraced horses) ...

Supreme Novice Hurdle - Allez Columbieres
Arkle Chase - Vautour
Champion Hurdle - Faugheen
Neptune Novice Hurdle - Tell Us More
Mares Hurdle - Annie Power
RSA Chase - Pont Alexandre
World Hurdle - Briar Hill
Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle - Shaneshill
Gold Cup - Djakadam

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By:
Smart Predator
When: 16 Oct 14 19:59
Don Poli 4 mile race
By:
maelduin
When: 16 Oct 14 20:41
UDS avoids Cheltenham again due to "ground concerns" thus avoiding Vautour clash so WPM/Ruby are happy campers.

They'll probably wait for another year to campaign Annie Power over fences so unfortunately yes he has to be Mares Hurdle, given that MOT looks like staying hurdling.

Vautour should have one target only i.e  Arkle, en route to CC domination

So much to look forward too.
By:
wellchief
When: 16 Oct 14 21:50
Both Vautour and UDS proved they stay further than 2m, so UDS can go JLT.

I think Vautour would always get first preference in the stable though.
By:
Paterson92
When: 16 Oct 14 21:54
A few people have said UDS can go JLT but can someone please explain why the horse isn't even in the betting for the race with any firm?
By:
Howdi
When: 16 Oct 14 22:10
UDS not half as impressive last year over 2.4
By:
Paterson92
When: 16 Oct 14 22:29
Would have to agree with you there Howdi. Just can't see another french campaign for UDS this year and in my opinion, Vautour and UDS would cut each others throat in the Arkle.
By:
Howdi
When: 16 Oct 14 22:35
^^^ interesting thought

jossies hill has been mentioned in everyones horses to follow this year, load up as these two go mental up front Grin
By:
HaylingBilly
When: 17 Oct 14 08:21
Totally agree Howdi. Have placed three single AP bets so far for next years Festival - Josses Hill/Arkle, Taquin Du Seuil/Ryanair and Silver Concorde/Supreme. Bit of risk in each ref final destinations but have convinced myself I have a balanced risk.   

In previous years by this time of the year I have normally placed numerous AP bets trying to snaffle the good prices. Taken the decision this year to ignore the drama surrounding the Mullins/Ricci horses ante post. Cant cope with the stress. Decided I will do them in a few doubles/trebles/acca multiples once we know their plans. I do think Annie Power, Faugheen, Pont Alexandre and Vautour all have great win chances whatever races they go for so decided my strategy for 2015 is to ignore them AP and double/treble them up when we know their plans and add 5 years to my life expectancy. All in all feels a winning strategy !

I would agree with most the OP placement of the Mullins horses at this stage of affairs. Would place Djakadam in Ryanair, Champagne Fever/Sir Des Champs both in Gold Cup, Pont Alexandre in JLT and add Clondaw Court in RSA…………and just looking at this reminds me why I opted for the new 2015 strategy ref Mullins/Ricci. Nightmare trying to guess where they all go. I am at peace ! LaughLaugh
By:
shockster
When: 17 Oct 14 09:45
I can only assume the owners of UDS are clueless about the game as Mullins is stringing them along.  Should def have run in last years Churdle but Mullins was trying to protect The Fly and this year looks like he will fit UDS in after he has planned and mapped out Riccis horses.

Just my take on it!!!!!
By:
Howdi
When: 17 Oct 14 10:17
GOOD HAYLING I DO ENJOY YOUR POSTS Excited
By:
ThunderRoad
When: 17 Oct 14 11:57
If I were O'Connell, I wouldn't be happy with Mullins' approach to races (i.e. I've got the best horse in that race already, so you're beast is going to run in the egg-and-spoon races in France).

I don't think UDS is a true Grade 1 animal, nor is he on the same planet as Faugheen or Annie Power, but he deserves to take his place in these races nonetheless
By:
duffy
When: 17 Oct 14 16:54
Champion Chase is where I'd be aiming Champagne Fever at.
By:
cufcno1
When: 17 Oct 14 17:37
Agree with you Duffy !
By:
buddeliea
When: 18 Oct 14 08:14
So UDS goes chasing and will run over 2m.
Lets hope he gets the chance to run in the TOP 2m nov chases.
Those hurdles in France are bigger than ours,so should stand him in good stead I would think.
Exciting!!
By:
Paterson92
When: 18 Oct 14 11:10
Can't see Vautour going JLT, reckon both he and UDS will run in the Arkle now. Interesting to see what Ruby makes of it ....
By:
shockster
When: 20 Oct 14 09:43
I wouldn't back UDS for the Arkle if Vautour is around.  We know Willie doesn't like internal competition for Riccis horses.  Come March we'll find out UDS is being saved for Aintree or the like.
By:
buddeliea
When: 20 Oct 14 17:34
Sound advice that.
Would not be at all surprised if UDS avoids Vautour when it comes down to the big races.
Still we have yet to see which will be the better chaser.
By:
cufcno1
When: 20 Oct 14 17:49
We probably won't see who is the better horse I suspect,they will be kept apart and un de sceaux will miss cheltenham !
By:
SEATHESTARS....NO1
When: 20 Oct 14 17:53
Exactly budd all this debate about whos we think is going to go where etc its only October and where i am a very firm believer that trainers ALWAYS know how good their horses are at home and when they come on tv etc saying that they don't is always utter bollox! However, there is always that very small chance that once on the track its a different story and so these trainers dont want to end up with pie on their faces!

I am also not going to say that just use the betfair exchange as a guide to where a horse is going to run and in what race, even though i still use it for 90% of my ap bets and do use it in that fashion also, it can though and invariably does make a fool of you! Though if one horse is 6s and the others 30s+ with nothing wanting to back it it kinda tells its own story most times
By:
wellchief
When: 20 Oct 14 20:08
It wouldn't surprise me if UDS or Vautour had a Champion Chase entry in the new year.  Not saying either will run in it, but Mullins only really has Arvika as a 2m chaser, as Ricci has already said Champagne Fever is stepping up in trip.

Who else does that leave for the Champion Chase?  Felix Yonger?  When the going got tough at the end of last year, he wasn't up to the job.  Djakadam and Ballycasey aren't 2 milers, so nothing springs to mind, unless I'm missing a really obvious one?
By:
Slabster
When: 20 Oct 14 20:42
I think Arvika may have been retired due to injury WC.
By:
cufcno1
When: 21 Oct 14 00:46
Well chief what about ballycasey,he said it would step back in trip maybe,Felix yonger was quite unlucky at Cheltenham,personally I think champagne fever would have a great chance !
By:
HaylingBilly
When: 21 Oct 14 07:29
I read somewhere that Mullins has an  8% strike rate at Cheltenham Festival with Chasers (6% overall with Chasers at Cheltenham). Got to be a factor in your thinking when considering any horse he sends over to the Festival over Fences. His Chasing team always looks fantastic on paper but he has three winners over Fences at last six Festivals - Cooldine RSA 2009, Sire Des Champs Jewson 2012 and Back In Focus 4miler 2013. When you consider the armoury he has that is a poor return. Having written in another thread my de-stress strategy for Cheltenham Festival this year is ignore Mullins horses with AP betting and trying to guess which race they will all go to I am now going to add another 5 years to my life expectancy by ignoring all Mullins Chasers completely. Net net if Mullins has a poor Festival I should be quids in and live a long life ! Thats the Billy Strategy for 2015.
By:
wellchief
When: 21 Oct 14 11:11
Yeah mate, Bally could drop back to 2m, but don't think he'll be anywhere near good enough to trouble Sprinter or SDG over the minimum trip.  I said before last years RSA that I didn't think he was a 3 miler, but I don't see him being a 2 miler either.

Cheers Slabster, had no idea Arvika had been retired.  One of the horses that I could never work out - looked to have all the ability in the world, but was only at 20% whenever he came over here.

Probably a good strategy that Billy - follow Mullins in the hurdles, especially novice hurdles, but his chase record is pretty poor.
By:
sintonian
When: 22 Oct 14 11:18
Is Vautour a better horse than UDS anyway? Looks it to me.
By:
CVByrne
When: 22 Oct 14 12:25
Very excited to see UDS go over fences, looks a dream Arkle horse to me.

Vautour is by Robin Des Champs same sire as Sir Des Champs won the JLT Nov Chase and came 2nd in Gold Cup.

Ruby will want to ride both those horses and Pont Alexandre in RSA. So all 3 will be kept apart imo.
By:
buddeliea
When: 23 Oct 14 18:58
Very excited too my old friend, I just hope hes given licence to show exactly how good he can be over fences.
If he takes to chasing hes gonna be great to watch bowling along.
By:
CVByrne
When: 23 Oct 14 19:09
All depends how he jumps, if he is slick and quick it'll be a stunning sight. I eagerly await his debut.
By:
wellchief
When: 23 Oct 14 19:15
One that I'm really looking forward to over fences is the Tullow Tank - entered into a 2m4f beginners chase next week.

Whatever distance he ends up in, he could have a few good battles with either Vautour or UDS.
By:
Paterson92
When: 23 Oct 14 20:02
UDS still needs to prove himself on good ground. Nothing stopping Willie putting him over a fence in Ireland then back over to France where he would get the softer ground. Not as though Willie is short of options for the JLT if Vautour goes Arkle and UDS misses Cheltenham ....
By:
Paterson92
When: 23 Oct 14 20:04
Although it is looking increasingly likely UDS - Arkle, Vautour - JLT, Faugheen - Champion
By:
Howdi
When: 23 Oct 14 20:59
wellchief • October 23, 2014 7:15 PM BST
One that I'm really looking forward to over fences is the Tullow Tank - entered into a 2m4f beginners chase next week.

Whatever distance he ends up in, he could have a few good battles with either Vautour or UDS.

with you there chief, slightly forgotten horse i feel.
By:
HaylingBilly
When: 23 Oct 14 22:23
My view. The Tullow Tank = Right Hand Harry. Cheltenham not his playground.
By:
brandyontherocks
When: 24 Oct 14 14:57
I can not see Vautour going for any race other than the Arkle.
He was a very impressive winner of the Supreme beating promising horses with ease. I think it was one of the best performance I have seen from a novice at Cheltenham and I can see why team Mullins talked so highly of him post race.
The Arkle is the prestigious novice chase and this is their number one horse.
By:
buddeliea
When: 24 Oct 14 16:44
Is he??
why would he be ahead of UDS?
He may be of course,but then again he may not be and we don't know which is likely to be their main hope at this stage. We have to wait for any clue that may arise,or at least wait till we have seen them jump a fence.
By:
Paterson92
When: 24 Oct 14 17:54
If UDS was the real deal, why was he not entered in the Champion Hurdle last year? And please spare the "Willie didn't want to interrupt The Fly's final crack at the Champion Hurdle" rubbish. Vautour needs to prove he is as effective over fences as he is over hurdles but imo UDS has far more to prove; good ground, effective over fences and face a serious rival. UDS looks like a strict 2 miler and the fact he is going over fences makes it very likely he is Arkle bound. I only hope Vautour goes the Arkle, would hate for him to go the JLT route for the sake of avoiding another horse from the yard and of course for poor King Ruby to avoid choosing between the pair!
By:
buddeliea
When: 25 Oct 14 07:19
You would have to ask his trainer why he was not in the CHurdle,he had an entry all season,and did nowt wrong on the track.Its unfortunate he was not given the chance to compete against the top horses,but he did have some form tied in with the Fly that put him right up there with a big chance.
We can all speculate,and I amongst others did plenty of that last season,but this is another season and its all best left now.
As for this season I do think his races in France over bigger hurdles will stand him in good stead,but I do agree that ground is still a question mark,although he did win a bumper on good/soft by his usual wide margin.

I just hope that horses run in the races I think they deserve to,but the problem there is that Mullins now has so much quality that its inevitable that some horses just wont be in their right races.Well right races as far as I am concerned anyway.
Personally I am not touching any of his horses antepost,unless I think its possible value,as in Djakadam at 40 for the Gold Cup,and will wait for NRNB.
As for Vatour,hes a novice hurdler going chasing so has plenty to prove.
We shall see as time progresses and the horses do the same.
By:
duffy
When: 27 Oct 14 17:25
brandyontherocks 24 Oct 14 13:57 
I can not see Vautour going for any race other than the Arkle.
He was a very impressive winner of the Supreme beating promising horses with ease. I think it was one of the best performance I have seen from a novice at Cheltenham and I can see why team Mullins talked so highly of him post race.
The Arkle is the prestigious novice chase and this is their number one horse.


In a nutshell.
By:
Howdi
When: 27 Oct 14 17:28
^^^ I agree think the whole thing is a smoke screen myself. His one lesser performance last year was over 2.4 makes no sense.
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