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cyclops
07 Dec 15 13:34
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Date Joined: 11 Apr 02
| Topic/replies: 15,798 | Blogger: cyclops's blog
Gone out to 8 here, with not a penny waiting to back him.
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Report miltons sophie December 28, 2015 2:57 PM GMT
greatness is not just about the races a horse wins - the rating has to be there as well winning 3 of any race doesnt make a horse a great if the competition was poor and the horse didnt achieve a high rating - also imagine a world where kauto star and desert orchid ran against each other at their optimum trip
Report duffy December 28, 2015 2:58 PM GMT
I know what you mean...I was trying to be funny without succeeding....400 already serves the purpose.
Report cause and effect December 28, 2015 2:59 PM GMT

Dec 28, 2015 -- 8:55AM, Gustavo_1000 wrote:


Last comment I promise,You say Annie Power was shoe horned into the world hurdle and she was, but you want to do the same for the champion hurdle!The race that she should have been in from the start is the mares hurdle against Quevega,  both running at IMO was their optimum trip. Now that would of been a race to remember. And the reason we didn't get this show down is  it's more important to run in the big 4 than win one of the other lesser  thought of races.. Strange??


No.. it was more important to clear the path for Fly and QExcitedSilly

Report timtin December 28, 2015 3:02 PM GMT
exactly depends on opposition! Vautour might win an average 2 mile chase, but going for Champion Chase is ridiculous when he lacks a turn of foot, going for GC seems reasonable now as he proved he stays 3m, whether he'll stay GC trip is another question that can only be answered on the day, and even then he might come short against 2-3 better horses(Don Poli, The Don, Cue Card). So the Ryanair trip where he's proven at could be the best option as there's no glory coming 2nd or 3rd in the GC but stands a good chance of taking the Ryanair, who was won by better horses in the past( Imperial Comander, Cue Card..) on their way of eventually winning the GC.
Report timtin December 28, 2015 3:03 PM GMT
*winning the GC or KG
Report maelduin December 28, 2015 3:03 PM GMT
Please stop using Vautour as an example as to why the Ryanair should be more then a hybrid race. He's the exception, not the norm. There will never be a case where 3/4 of the Best Chasers in the lands are competing in the Ryanair. Take Vautour out of this years race and you wouldn't even have a 170+ rated horse running. Horses are just not trained to be 2 1/2 milers. They fall through the cracks and end up in the Ryanair.
Report maelduin December 28, 2015 3:04 PM GMT
I'm off to watch the GC winner in action now. Go Don Poli!!!!
Report duffy December 28, 2015 3:05 PM GMT
who says he lacks a turn of foot?, UDS wouldn't get him off of the bridal and then he'd sail past him
Report miltons sophie December 28, 2015 3:06 PM GMT
by best trip i mean where they post their highest ratings which is why in an earlier post i used the 175 2 miles 180+ 2 1/2 miles and 175 3m 2 to provide context

duffy - last point maybe Laugh - this is not about vautour - i think he would beat uds i think he would win the ryanair i am not sure about gc but think it is a possibility - i would be all for him running in either the cc or gc - he is a young horse and we dont yet know what his best trip is conclusively - i am talking about horses where we do know and where we have 2 or 3 where we do know - so in a years time we may know what his best trip is and it may be 2 1/2 miles and there may be another similar 175 horse with 2 1/2 miles as best trip and if and when that happens in the future i will be grateful the ryanair exists
Report duffy December 28, 2015 3:06 PM GMT
Love
Report duffy December 28, 2015 3:13 PM GMT
MS, I know what you mean, how can a horse add anything to either the GC or CC when they have proven it is not their best trip and are only running in those races because there's nothing else for them....better they have a race that tailors to them specifically where they can show off their talents to the maximum
Report timtin December 28, 2015 3:16 PM GMT
"I'm off to watch the GC winner in action now. Go Don Poli!!!!"

The Don has nothing to worry after seeing his Poli run.

"who says he lacks a turn of foot?"
Trainer & Jockey & form over the minimum trip.
Report duffy December 28, 2015 3:22 PM GMT
^
when they had the agenda of running him over further....and anyway, who says you need a turn of foot to win a CC.....Sizing Europe didn't use that and if you don't believe me you can ask his trainer, because he said so straight after winning one.!!

Vautour would maintain a very high pace throughout that would kill UDS off.
Report timtin December 28, 2015 3:29 PM GMT
you may be right, over 2m fences the turn of foot is not an important requirement but when facing a horse like UDS who doesn't stops he may need it, if only to convince Mullins and Ruby to run him in the CC.
Report duffy December 28, 2015 3:37 PM GMT
Another potential problem they'd worry about is, with Vautour on his hammer pressing him they'd maybe worry about UDS's jumping, they wouldn't want to end up with a pyhrric victory for connections somewhat.
Report Pleasegivemeanailedontip December 28, 2015 3:47 PM GMT
Miltons Sophie - by best trip i mean where they post their highest ratings which is why in an earlier post i used the 175 2 miles 180+ 2 1/2 miles and 175 3m 2 to provide context

I may be reading them wrong (very possible) but i cant find any Ryanair winners who achieved their best rating over 2.5 miles. Who are some of these obvious 2.5 milers?
Report miltons sophie December 28, 2015 4:04 PM GMT
please...... i was talking about the possibility of vautour (as an adjective) ending up with these ratings (or other horses in the future) it was my first or second post - i wrote that the winning rprs of the past 4 runnings of cc, ryanair and gc avaeraged out very close also the rprs of ryanair winners have been increasing significantly over time - it would not take a huge leap of faith to imagine a time soon when winners of the ryanair average 175 and some have ratings over this - without checking i would imagine uxizandres rpr in last years ryanair (174 i think???) was his highest rpr - also cue card had a high rpr and although he has betterred it since at the time it was one of his highest. the upward trend of this race differs significantly from the roller coaster of gc and cc which has regular peaks and troughs - this opens up the possibility that in the future ryanair winners could have parity ratings wise on average over time with winners of the gc and cc.

it may not happen and if it doesnt then i agree the ryanair may never take off but if the trend continues then soon there will be little doubt that this race has its value
Report Pleasegivemeanailedontip December 28, 2015 4:10 PM GMT
I think I am reading them wrong! The point about the average rating in the ryanair is fairly irrelevant to my point. I was saying that if a horse can run 175 in a ryanair but has or will achieve the same over 2 or 3 miles, then they arent one of these 2.5m specialists. And there is no need for a race for them. And the CC and GC will be better for it. Imo
Report The Headmaster December 28, 2015 4:11 PM GMT
I may be reading them wrong (very possible) but i cant find any Ryanair winners who achieved their best rating over 2.5 miles. Who are some of these obvious 2.5 milers?

The first two I looked at - Taranis and Fondmort - both had peak RPRs at 2.5m

We're not debating whether 2.5m can be the optimum trip of a racehorse are we?  Surely that was well established as a resounding yes way before the advent of the Ryanair Confused
Report Eeternaloptimist December 28, 2015 4:30 PM GMT
Most Ryanair winners are just shy of top class over any distance. If I remember correctly McCoy's first reaction after winning on Uxizandre, a very good winner, last season was to lament the fact that he hadn't been able to show his greatness in the big race the day before. Which says it all really.
Report maelduin December 28, 2015 4:31 PM GMT
MS you could at least go back to 2005 when the Ryanair began and give us a decent stat. Of course the last 4 years is surely much more convenient given it included the 2 lowest rated winners of the GC for the last 20 years. Grin

"this opens up the possibility that in the future ryanair winners could have parity ratings wise on average over time with winners of the gc and cc."

Seriously enough already. Crazy
Report The Headmaster December 28, 2015 4:39 PM GMT
Why would MS go back to 2005 - when it was a Grade 2 - to prove the point that the race is getting better and better.... CrazyWhoops
Report Eeternaloptimist December 28, 2015 4:49 PM GMT
Gustavo

I wasn't suggesting Annie should have been shoe horned into the Champion. She should have been there on merit but they sought to protect Hurricane and it blew up in their faces. Annie ran over the minimum at Doncaster, tanked along and won with her head in her chest. Not of course a champion hurdle trial given the opposition but more of one than a world hurdle trial seeing as she had never raced that distance before Cheltenham. Given the penchant for Neptune winners turning into Champions she should have been given her chance in my view.
Report maelduin December 28, 2015 4:59 PM GMT
Geez, let him go back to when it was a Grade 1 a couple of years later and show us the stats. He picked the last 4 years for a reason. Not my problem if you can't understand why. And his point was not just that the Ryanair was getting better but that the horses were "running similar standard of races" in both races. The stat included 2 of the lowest rated GC horses for decades. IMO using this stat is disingenuous.
Report miltons sophie December 28, 2015 5:31 PM GMT
i used the last 4 years for two reasons. trend analysts will tell you that the more recent info is FAR more significant  and secondly to illustrate how the ryanair is trending relative to the other two races and not to fudge any comparison - i suspect if you took the last 20 winners of the gc the average rpr would be similar to the last 4 (coneygree posted a 178 which is above average and sprinter posted 190) - go and do the maths mael instead of doubting my integrity and draw the trend line and you might just get it - ok if you are familiar with trend lines if you drew a trend line for all 3 races since the start of the ryanair the line for the gc and the cc would look fairly flat and the ryanair would be going up so to visualise the ryanair line would start way below the other two and we would see the gap closing and closing to the point where the gap now would be minimal. My point is that that trend would only need to continue for a few more years and there would be no gap at all.
Report Gustavo_1000 December 28, 2015 5:52 PM GMT
Eeternaloptimist I know what your trying to say, but I'm pretty sure they only turned up at Doncaster  for the free money, it was a penalty kick and an easy prep for cheltenham. If they ever really considered the CH as a target I can't believe they thought it would be an adequate trial. I see this more as getting paid for a race course gallop. That season she had been campaigned  for the mares hurdle and that's where she should of run.

I know there were trainer/jockey politics and lure of one of the top 4 races, but this is the whole point, where this whole discussion started, putting horses in the wrong races. If the connections aren't carful she'll be a forgotten horse.  If she can't get her name on something this year it's starting to become a  very disappointing  memory of a fantastic mare. Even if she goes on to win the mares next year and the 2 after that. She won't be able to match Quevega's record in the race. She'll need to win 3 just to be mentioned in the same breath as Quevega. They may have missed their chance for her to be remembered as a great.
Report Eeternaloptimist December 28, 2015 6:03 PM GMT
That's incorrect Gustavo. Annie was kept over hurdles for a champion hurdle campaign. Ricci said exactly that. He'd wanted to take her over fences but had been convinced to stay over hurdles for a shot at the big one. Then Mullins and Walsh pulled his pants down and after all that Hurricane ran like a drain and she got outstayed. Serves them right.
Report Eeternaloptimist December 28, 2015 6:04 PM GMT
And if these shenannigans continue we have plenty more of this nonsense to look forward.
Report Pleasegivemeanailedontip December 28, 2015 6:05 PM GMT
Hmm average race rating still doesnt help imo.

If the RPRs are approaching grade 1 then this is diluting the championship races.
If the RPRs are not approaching grade 1 then the race simply shouldnt be a G1!
What would make me sit up and listen is some of these 2.5m specialists who can only post a G1 mark at 2.5m but not 2 or 3 miles. Who are they? Riverside Theatre maybe? Albertas possibly? Id look it all up myself but cant find them!

Without the benefit of ratings I can think of far more horses who raced it because they werent good enough over 3 miles. Cue Card, Dynaste, Al Ferof. Alan King said yesterday that he might be able to win a Ryanair with Smad place but has no chance in the Gold Cup. Smad place is a hennessy winner who's 2.5m form amounts to beating fingal bay! This doesnt look like a race for 2.5m specialists but I would genuinely re-evaluate it with some good examples.
Report miltons sophie December 28, 2015 6:10 PM GMT
and i can think of many examples of horses that didnt run in the ryanair because they werent quick or good enough at that trip- the quality of the ryanair is going up and if it continues too it will soon be on a par with the cc and gc if it doesnt continue to it wont how difficult is this to undrstand omg
Report miltons sophie December 28, 2015 6:21 PM GMT
and it is not diluting the other races if the horse cannot replicate this rating over 2m or 3m2. for fans of vautour on your behalf i truly hope that 2 1/2 does not turn out to be its best trip because if it does then irrespective of what rating it posts in these races it appears there are many that wont take it seriously.
Report Can't Catch Me December 28, 2015 6:58 PM GMT
Genuinely can't believe this subject has sparked so many strong feelings either way.

And that so many people have an issue with a top class race at the Festival. Pretty sure if any of the people anti the race owned a Grade 1 horse who excelled at this distance they would be very, very excited to be running in this race.

For me, I can't see a counter argument to The Headmasters post. The gap between Championship races at the Festival at 2m and 3m2f would just be too much. just because it used to be that way isn't an argument to me.
Report Pleasegivemeanailedontip December 28, 2015 7:22 PM GMT
how difficult is this to undrstand omg  Laugh

I thought you wanted to use RPRs to prove a point? So far youve only given one example and it was a fictional Vautour one you made up. And the pointless one about the race improving over time.

Who are all these specialists who can only post a G1 rating in a 2 1/2 mile race? Ive tried to help with two possibles.
Report miltons sophie December 28, 2015 7:38 PM GMT
i used rprs to show how the ryanair is improving and to state that the gap between the ryanair and the cc and gc is closing - and that this could suggest that if this improvement continues then the ryanair will be a serious race in its own right and not a mish mash hybrid or whatever the phrase was - not to prove any other point - i never once implied that a horse can only post a g1 rating in a 2 1/2 race i have consistently talked about the possibility of a horse posting its HIGHEST rating at 2 1/2 mile and if there are a few top class horses like this then i for one will be grateful that the ryanair exists - now either you are too lazy to read all my posts or you are just trying to wind me up - either way fair play to you
Report Pleasegivemeanailedontip December 28, 2015 7:48 PM GMT
Not trying to wind anyone up and you can have the last word after this if you want.

I would like to be convinced that the ryanair is a specialist race but there just arent enough examples of specialist runners to me. If you dont think its necessary to identify these types and that the race gaining grade 1 status is itself proof of its grade 1 worthiness then fair play to you. GL
Report miltons sophie December 28, 2015 7:59 PM GMT
they dont have to be 2 1/2 specialists just better at 2 1/2 miles than 2 or 3m 2 - for me the recent winners of the ryanair are good/very good/excellent horses (uxizandre, cue card, dynaste and riverside) and at the time they won it were imo better at 2 1/2 than 2 or 3 m 2 and if this trend continues then the ryanair will establish itself as much more than a mish mash hybrid - i am happy to see a horse post a rating of more than 170 which 3 of the 4 i mentioned did while also knowing they did not stay 3m2 or have speed for 2m (though think uxi would have been a massive runner in cc with that performance) - so i am not sure (again with exception of uxi - what harm these horses running in ryanair did to cc or gc
Report Eeternaloptimist December 28, 2015 10:03 PM GMT
Well you're saying it yourself miltons. The Ryanair is a mish mash. Some of us think that the owners of the very best horses should be aiming for the stars. That's the romance of the game. Would One Man have farmed the Chump Change Championship? Almost certainly. He didn't though did he? They aimed for the stars and came away with a Champion Chase.

Again there are many of us that think that Vautour is just too good. Especially seeing as he hasn't run in either of the big ones. It would just be a case of farming. No guts no glory. He had the speed to spread eagle the Supreme field. If for some strange reason they go yellow and bottle a shot at Gold then the sporting thing would be to see him race head to head with UDS and god willing the existing champ to create a race for the ages instead of a lap of honour in the Easyjet.

Let him take his chance in the Game Spirit.
Report Can't Catch Me December 28, 2015 10:36 PM GMT
The Chump Change Championship?

It's a Grade 1 race at the greatest meeting in the world. Clearly it doesn't have the prestige of the CC or the GC as they have been around forever. A bit of a ridiculous comment.
Report miltons sophie December 28, 2015 10:45 PM GMT
eternal - i was mimicing what a poster called it many many posts ago - my god one man was b****y years ago - my posts have all been about the steady rise in quality of ryanair winners since it started and the possibility of the ryanair being a top quality race in the future if (and only if) the recent upward trend continues and that way we will have three prestigious chase races at the festival not two and that is ok imo and the other two wouldnt have to become less prestigious or be threatened by it - like i have said repeatedly this is not about vautour as we dont yet know what his best trip is so if he runs in either cc or gc then thats cool but for the horses sake i hope vautour doesnt prove to be best at 2 1/2 miles (and not the best at 2 or 3m2) because it seems now that even his own fans will be thoroughly disappointed in him
Report miltons sophie December 28, 2015 10:51 PM GMT
tbh i am angry with myself for bothering when it doesnt really matter - i am just trying to be positive and optimistic about a race that i feel is showing signs of life and real promise when clearly some are so firm on their view. good luck to all those that dont like the race maybe time will prove you right, maybe not and if not maybe some of you will change your mind - i cant believe i have wasted so much of my time - note to self - stop being a moron
Report impossible123 December 28, 2015 11:32 PM GMT
With Djakadam in the same ownership as Vautour I'd be extremely surprised if Vautour runs in the CGC as he clearly was running out of puff in the King George despite its non perfect jump at the last fence; I reckon the Ryanair or the Champion Chase beckons.
Report Can't Catch Me December 28, 2015 11:39 PM GMT
I just can't have the CC as a viable alternative. They clearly think the horse stays... They've just run him in the KG and talk of him as a future GC horse. They have a crack two miler in the yard (albeit in a different ownership), they refused to take him on last year to win the more prestigious novice race. So while they have a Grade 1 race tailor made for the horse over 2m5f, why would they choose to take on speed merchants when the horse hasn't run over 2m for ages?

Seems inconceivable to me tbh.
Report Eeternaloptimist December 29, 2015 12:19 AM GMT
CCM

Only ridiculous if you park up your sense of humour but the serious point is that great horses don't target the Ryanair.
Report Eeternaloptimist December 29, 2015 12:23 AM GMT
Of course Vautour taking in the Champion isn't inconceivable. There's an old and very true adage that it often takes a horse which gets two and a half to emerge the best over two miles at that course in championship races. It's been proven so many times as to be incontrovertible to those of us who have followed the game for many years. Just trawl through the list of the winners of the top 2 mile races. Don't let Mullins the farmer muddy the water.
Report Eeternaloptimist December 29, 2015 12:26 AM GMT
miltons

I think you're confusing people questioning whether the cream should target the race and people not liking it. It's a fine race for horses in the low to mid 160's and can provide a very useful consolation prize for those not quite good enough to win the true championship races.
Report cause and effect December 29, 2015 12:42 AM GMT
wow!! Can't believe this is still going on ShockedShocked

Next season will be worse Cry Grin You ain't seen nothing yet! What happens if UDS, Vautour, Djakadam somehow all win? Does Douvan, Shaneshill, Killultagh Vic all need to go to Aintree? Laugh Perhaps Willie Mullins wakes up one morning trying to figure just who exactly is the best, goes bonkers and they all go Ryanair Love or campaign for 2m2f, 2m6f, 3m Tongue Out
Report Eeternaloptimist December 29, 2015 12:51 AM GMT
This is but the hors d'oeuvres which makes the main event all the greater. Where else do you get the back and forth of intelligent conversation about events still months away with none of us right until the actual event? It's almost as good as the event itself.
Report miltons sophie December 29, 2015 9:00 AM GMT
sorry cause i get this is tedious - i am actually boring myself so forgive me - eternal - so in the ideal world you put a condition on the race so that horses rated say 165/170 or over could not enter. that way you keep a race you like but force the horses you want either to the cc or gc or out of cheltenham. Cant remember who it was that talked about people in racings less than favourable attitude to the ryanair - so if you and they are right racing would welcome such a move with open arms.

the thing is without a condition like that it becomes a free market and if the ryanair starts attracting better horses which imo it is starting to do it is because people in racing (I am not talking about mullins and vautour) are entering their horses whether you like it or not - i posted stuff about rr not running his horses together in the vain hope it might influence him - why dont you campaign for a rating ceiling on the ryanair in the vain hope it will influence somebody
Report cause and effect December 29, 2015 11:31 AM GMT
I was joking in the latter but actually loving the passion on display here. As EO said, it's very rare to read a good debate anywhere especially on Cheltenham. MS, EO CoolCool
Report The Headmaster December 29, 2015 11:35 AM GMT
In a parallel universe 10 trillion light years away there is a National Hunt Festival, the feature of which is the Universal Chase over 2.5 miles.  It decides the Inter-Galactic Chaser of the year.  All the best 2 mile chasers and 3 mile chasers converge at this classic, championship distance to fight for top honours. It is difficult to get form books, being as they're so far away..but think Arkle v Flyingbolt v Dunkirk v Mill House....Badsworth Boy against Burrough Hill Lad, Pearlyman and Dawn Run.  How about Remittance Man and Viking Flagship versus Jodami and The Fellow?  Kauto Star, Denman, Master Minded and Moscow Flyer?  Or maybe Un De Sceaux, Sprinter Sacre, Cue Card and Vautour.  Still think 2.5m is an Intermediate trip lads?  Bit of a mish-mash hybrid? Sounds pretty tasty to me.

Unfortunately, back on Planet Earth, our forefathers missed this golden opportunity and we rarely, if it all, get to see these epic battles take place.  But fear not!  There is a new race in the programme that is steadily bedding in and might, one day, come close to giving us those stellar shootouts our alien friends have been enjoying for years.

Unfortunately though...some clown decided to call it the Ryanair Chase Cry
Report Pleasegivemeanailedontip December 29, 2015 12:17 PM GMT
Laugh Sounds amazing as long as they dont upgrade the 3m budget-rocket chase to tempt good horses out of it Cry
Report duffy December 29, 2015 12:33 PM GMT
It's a shame the race in space has as daft a name as it has down here on earth......why don't they split those horses up in the inter-galactic cup to see which ones are the quickies and which ones are the stayers , they could call it the Gold Cup and Champion Chase.
Report The Headmaster December 29, 2015 12:52 PM GMT
You don't like the sound of the Universal Chase and now you want horses being split up duffy?

Tough crowd Silly
Report Eeternaloptimist December 29, 2015 1:09 PM GMT
Not at all miltons. I respect the right of greedy trainers and owners to deprive racing enthusiasts, whose money keeps the sport going, of they want to watch in order to farm as many races as they can. That's their prerogative. As one of those enthusiasts I'm just pointing out that depriving people of what they want isn't really a recipe for growing a sport. In fact there are examples from other sports where the best don't take on the best thus depriving the sport of the oxygen of publicity and consequently the sport diminishes.

If you want to see the sport diminish and the top races farmed by super trawlers again that is your prerogative. Count me out.
Report Pleasegivemeanailedontip December 29, 2015 1:31 PM GMT
Hi MS, it wouldnt need conditions, it would just need to be downgraded.

I understand if you think that unfairly penalises horses who 'fall between 2 and 3' or wastes their talent.

fwiw i dont think any of this is tedious (but maybe that just means im tedious!)
Report Can't Catch Me December 29, 2015 1:38 PM GMT
EO. You really think 'racing enthusiasts' keep racing going?!
Report The Headmaster December 29, 2015 1:39 PM GMT
I don't understand this downgrading business.  Both the Mares Hurdle and Ryanair were Grade 2s that were promoted to G1s having passed the rigorous testing laid down and policed by the Jump Pattern Panel.  It hasn't happened on a whim.
Report Pleasegivemeanailedontip December 29, 2015 1:41 PM GMT
I always assumed they were upgraded for money reasons but happy to be educated otherwise
Report Can't Catch Me December 29, 2015 1:46 PM GMT
I'm just pointing out that depriving people of what they want

You're speaking for everyone again EO. It's not what I want. I think the Ryanair is an excellent addition and adds a lot to the Festival.
Report The Headmaster December 29, 2015 2:37 PM GMT
I always assumed they were upgraded for money reasons but happy to be educated otherwise

Nope.  The only race I can recall being parachuted in to the Pattern cos of £££s was the Betfair Chase - and even then Haydock had to give up two Grade 2s to get there.  If it was down to cash that abomination of a 100K Hurdle on the same card as the Betfair would be a Grade 2 rather than a lowly Class 2.

If anyone's interested I can post how it works?  It might take tedium to a new level though Plain
Report Pleasegivemeanailedontip December 29, 2015 3:23 PM GMT
Sounds like the Christmas ive always dreamed of!

Seriously I actually would be interested but it boils down to...'Could 'horseracing'/BHA/Clare Balding/someone get a race downgraded if they thought it was in the interests of the sport?'. Not that anyone here has remotely proved it is.
Report Eeternaloptimist December 29, 2015 6:21 PM GMT
No CCM I'm definitely giving my own opinion. I appreciate, the force, eloquence and wit can sometimes carry all before me but I can assure you that is as much curse as it is blessing. Wink

Of course I respect your right to choose not to see the best take on the best. That's your prerogative. However, for those with a sense of the romance of sport I ask, rhetorically of course, what would sport have been without Ali/Frazier, Borg/Supermac, Botham/Lillie, Moore/Pele, and all the rest?

There's a simple recipe. Find ot what the fans crave and give it to them. Great horses farming big prizes against three runner fields doesn't set anybody's pulse racing. We saw it today. The Challow hurdle. A fixture in the Christmas programme with four runners. The four runner novice in Ireland with three of the runners owned by the same owner. It's simply not good enough and it isn't even that big a problem. I could fix it tomorrow.

However, I digress. I want to see the best face off against the best I appreciate 2 miles to gold cup is a leap. 2 miles 5 isn't and what else will get people enthused ore than the question which would be on many racing enthusiasts lips more than will Vautour get home?
Report Eeternaloptimist December 29, 2015 6:24 PM GMT
On the issue of the Ryanair adding to the festival I'm ambivalent about that. Thursday is for the course's and bookies benefit and the meeting has been diminished by that added day in my opinion. Of course if your idea of a championship is a load of additional handicaps then I'd imagine you do enjoy it.
Report buddeliea December 29, 2015 6:26 PM GMT
Whats wrong with handicaps?? gets the brain working and nice price winners are a regular thing.
Seems fine to me.
Report buddeliea December 29, 2015 6:31 PM GMT
Ryanair gives us another Grade 1 to watch, and normally serves up a thrilling finish.
That seems fine to me as well.
Sure connections of horses that appreciate a championship race at the "middle distance" think it fine also.
Report Eeternaloptimist December 29, 2015 6:34 PM GMT
EO. You really think 'racing enthusiasts' keep racing going?!

For sure CCM. I'm no elitist. The ten bob or ten pound flutterer is as much an enthusiast in my opinion as the super rich Ricci's and collectively the punter has put billions more into the game over the years than even the most keen owner. Without the punter you've got little more than the old days of toffs racing for match bets away from the pblic gaze. No huge prize money. No fancy courses. No bookies. Probably a tenth of the stables. No TV. Somewhere along the line they forgot to crown the true kings of the sport and also forgot what it is they want.
Report Eeternaloptimist December 29, 2015 6:37 PM GMT
I'm not saying there is anything wrong with handicaps Budd. We have them every day of the year. I for one don't want a championship event diluted by too many of them. This is a curse which I feel Punchestown suffers from which could easily be an event in itself to rival at least Aintree if they got rid of the amount of poor quality races.
Report buddeliea December 29, 2015 6:41 PM GMT
Fair enough mate. I quiet like the handicaps,gets me up at stupid o clock chelt week,then sit there with countless cups of tea,trying to work them out. They are part of the enjoyment of the festival for me, as well as seeing the grade 1 horses.
Report buddeliea December 29, 2015 6:45 PM GMT
Is there too many handicaps....maybe, maybe too many races altogether, probably better when 3 days, but its the way it is now and I still enjoy it all. Probably would if it were 5 days!!
But I am an addict my friend.
Report Eeternaloptimist December 29, 2015 6:49 PM GMT
It's funny. Once upon a time the midnight oil to-ing and fro-ing was what provided the juice for me as well but as time went on I became far more selective or just puzzled by them and now rarely bet in them. In fact I can't remember my last best in a handicap. In fact, whisper it but if memory serves me correctly I had a bet on the flat more recently than in a handicap. Shocked
Report wellchief December 29, 2015 7:09 PM GMT
I never get involved in the handicaps either - too many plots where one has been completely under cooked all year, only to get a miraculous burst of energy on the day where they bolt up with owners and stable staff on at big prices.
Report Arklearkle December 29, 2015 7:23 PM GMT
The handicaps were put in to satisfy the bookies. Did Edward Gillespie not accidentally let it slip at a press conference when announcing the extra day. Mostly the handicaps are bookies benefits. Its improved a bit in recent times because the poorer/plotted/pulled animals cant get in with the lower ratings. I dont have a problem with a race like the Ryanair in that there is such a difference between the CC and GC. I feel it would take away from the CH if they introduced a 2 and 1/2 mile hurdle race but I can see it happening when they move to 5 days.
Report Eeternaloptimist December 29, 2015 7:23 PM GMT
Exactly. It's not the winning that bothers me. It's the rider opening the champagne half a mile from home.
Report miltons sophie December 29, 2015 8:39 PM GMT
i take my daughter ice skating and come back and there are posts everywhere and i thought i had bored everyone senseless Laugh - eternal when you say best v best how are you defining that?
Report Eeternaloptimist December 29, 2015 8:51 PM GMT
I'd have thought an erudite man such as yourself would have immediately gleaned that from my other post miltons. Of course after the event we can say A and B equals C. Before the event I'd imagine most people will want to see the horses running in the biggest races which can set it up for being a race for the ages. Of course given his capitulation in the last 50 yards a horse like Vautour could run out of petrol going to the last in the gold cup. Equally the course itself, the ground, spring, natural progression and superior fitness could see him run them ragged. That's the romance of the sport. I'd imagine few would argue that he was probably the best horse in that race at Kempton. At six. The world is his oyster. Let's not hide him away in a backwater. Show the world. He's the best. Let's show it against the other best stayers.
Report Eeternaloptimist December 29, 2015 8:53 PM GMT
Going on from that and to reinforce my earlier point there would have been no Thrilla in Manilla without both Ali and Frazier. That's what it takes. Take Vautour out of that King George and what do you have? Cue Card romping home after Don Cossack fell.
Report buddeliea December 29, 2015 9:06 PM GMT
we also have to be careful about putting horses in races they are not suited to where they show their limitations.
With Vautour, having watched the KG,connections will not want to subject him to a One Man scenario,just to appease the general public,far better if they just do what they think is best for the horse,and put him in the race they genuinely feel is best for him in getting the best performance,and prolonging his career and getting the best career for him.
They have to decide which is the right campaign for him,and right now,in my view that ain't straightforward.
My feeling is Ryanair,as I feel that distance is perfect for him.
Be interesting what his connections decide.
Report miltons sophie December 29, 2015 9:10 PM GMT
Eternal - try and forget about vautour (or put it another way) imagine we are a year further forward and vautour has travelled like a dream in this seasons gc (with conditions in his favour) but not got home - he posted a rating of 175 but you know (and we all know) that he is capable of posting a 185+ over 2 1/2 - are you then a) hoping he runs in the ryanair next year b) wanting him to try the gc again and hope a 175 is good enough c) he is not one of the best horses so you couldnt care less  d) hope he runs in the melling chase and not pitch up at cheltenham or e) hope he runs in the cc the following year and hope he can post a 185 type performance at that trip
Report Eeternaloptimist December 29, 2015 10:51 PM GMT
I'll answer that in a different way but with honesty. If the ground comes up soft or worse for Cheltenham then as the owner I'd want him to run in the Champion Chase this season. As a seven year old he then has the scope to go up to the Gold Cup next year with another year under his belt. If the ground is good he'd take his chance in the Gold Cup this season and if he patently failed to stay I wouldn't hang around for two of three seasons banging my head against a brick wall and would campaign him as a champion chaser next season. If neither worked out I'd reluctantly take the consolation prize of the Ryanair in the following couple of seasons if necessary. I'd do it that way because as a super rich owner I would want the glory and wouldn't need the money. Many people remember a Gold Cup winner. A lot remember the Champion Chase winner. Only those who backed it and a few anoraks remember the Ryanair winner.
Report duffy December 30, 2015 4:12 AM GMT
How about this, Vautour solves the problem of the Ryanair and his participation sees owners of other horses running for cover and taking sanctuary in the CC and GC as they reason that the task of putting it up to a monster such as Vautour in a race that is less prestigious just doesn't make sense anymore....a beautiful irony.Grin
Report buddeliea December 30, 2015 6:01 AM GMT
I would like to think , as a mega rich owner,that I would want my horse in the race that gives him the best chance of oerforming at his best,whilst at the same time the best chance of winning.
Not easy and one does not always go with the other.
You can perform at your best and get beat,you can also not perform at your best and win,depending on opposition.

So taking Vautour,for me the scenario of oerforming at his best and winning would be a race around the two and a half mile distance.However,cicumstances may get me thinking about other races he could possibly win at a different distance.
His only attempt at 3m showed to me he's a very doubtful stayer over 2 furlongs longer with a hill finish. As his owner I would dismiss the Gold Cup,not right for my horse.
The Champion Chase would tempt me as I know he has speed,and I would give him an entry and wait and see what the going is when I need to decide. I would not want to take on UDS on soft ground,but decent ground I may go for it.
Whatever I decide I would want to be happy with my decision,and would not be bothered what others think or indeed bothered about whether people remember him in later years .
Report sageform December 30, 2015 6:55 AM GMT
If I was Mr Ricci, I would run Djak in the GC and Vautour in the Ryanair in March assuming both were fit and well
Report impossible123 December 30, 2015 8:12 AM GMT
I concur.....Vautour stands a much better chance of collecting in the Ryanair or the Champion Chase rather than the Gold Cup; I'd be amazed if the likes of Don Cossack, Djakadam, Cue Card and Road to Riches do not finish in front of him.
Report sageform December 30, 2015 8:50 AM GMT
Ricci does not have an obvious alternate for the QM until next year when presumably Douvan might run in it so he might be tempted but if Ruby and Willie tell him he has no chance with UDS, he still might prefer the Ryanair with Ruby riding. If UDS was a non runner it would be a very different argument.
Report miltons sophie December 30, 2015 9:06 AM GMT
thanks eternal - i didnt want to presume your answer but guessed what it would be - i love seeing the best against each other but i also love seeing horses at their very best and i think it was duffy (apologies if i am wrong - will the real poster stand up please) that spoke about how very occasionally a horse puts up a performance that makes your hairs stand up on end - and that vautour gave him that in last years jlt - clearly duffy couldnt give a monkeys that it was only the jlt - it was the performance he focused on and not the race - i think vautour has the potential to post a 185+ performance and i for one hope we get to see it and if the 2 1/2 mile trip is needed for us to see it i for one am ok with that and i would be gutted if we never see it because he tried to win races that werent quite right for him. Yes like you i would prefer him to post this kind of performance in the gc, i just dont think it is as likely as it would be in the ryanair or cc from what i have seen so far. That said i do think he could win a cc but i dont think he is capable of a 185 over 2 miles - i could be wrong

and no ratings are not everything but 185 type performances are so rare and because of their rarity need to be cherished and as such are as significant imo to a horses legacy as winning a cc or gc 

duffy - your last point spot on - i was saving that one and you got there first Wink
Report maelduin December 30, 2015 10:48 AM GMT
"His only attempt at 3m showed to me he's a very doubtful stayer over 2 furlongs longer with a hill finish. As his owner I would dismiss the Gold Cup,not right for my horse."

What if someone told you the connections didn't fancy Vautour one bit and that he wasn't lighting up the gallops like he has done? Believe or not but this was the strong word around Leopardstown yesterday. Personally i'm a believer as i remember the strong word for the horse in the week leading up to the JLT. If i recall correctly electric was the superlative used the describe his work then. What a monster performance in the KG if true.

"If the ground comes up soft or worse for Cheltenham then as the owner I'd want him to run in the Champion Chase this season. As a seven year old he then has the scope to go up to the Gold Cup next year with another year under his belt. If the ground is good he'd take his chance in the Gold Cup this season and if he patently failed to stay I wouldn't hang around for two of three seasons banging my head against a brick wall and would campaign him as a champion chaser next season. If neither worked out I'd reluctantly take the consolation prize of the Ryanair in the following couple of seasons if necessary. I'd do it that way because as a super rich owner I would want the glory and wouldn't need the money. Many people remember a Gold Cup winner. A lot remember the Champion Chase winner. Only those who backed it and a few anoraks remember the Ryanair winner."

10/10. Bravo!!!!!!
Report wellchief December 30, 2015 10:53 AM GMT
My only worry if they drop him back for the QMCC and he is not quick enough they then start to repeat what they did with Champagne Fever and mess him about tripwise.

Now I know Vautour is in a different stratosphere to Champagne Fever, but it can't do him any good stepping him up, dropping him back, stepping him up again etc, then maybe dropping him in to conserve energy etc.

I think that for now, he is a 2.5miler and then maybe try and step him up next year when he is a year older. He did it the hard way in the KG, front running. That is how Cue Card used to run, but he happily settles in mid field now. If Vautour can do that in time, I think the trip will pose no problems.

I would forget the QMCC, and accept he is a staying 2.5 miler and build his career aroud that
Report miltons sophie December 30, 2015 11:05 AM GMT
mael - i get it - my posts are not about vautour today - i have said multiple times we do not yet know for certain what vautours best trip is (many have strong views but that really isnt the point) - the point is sooner or later we will - and it is at least a possibility that it turns out to be 2 1/2 miles. i just hope too much time isnt wasted finding out and that injuries or time blunt his ability and we never see that truly amazing performance that i believe he is capable of because winning the 'prestigious' race becomes all consuming - i hope the connections get it right whatever right is (gc, ryanair,cc) and if they dont i hope they learn the right lessons and dont get it wrong a second time because after that it may be well be too late.
Report trigger3 December 30, 2015 2:24 PM GMT
Vautour is in a much better place than he was this time last year when he could be backed at 6/1 to win ANY race at the fetival after suffering defeat to Clarcam at Christmas. Mullins has stated previously that the horse is extremely hard to get fit and that he had to work him extremely hard in the lead up to last years festival to have him primed. Given that we know he loves Cheltenham and appears better on good ground then it is probable that the horse will improve on last Saturdays performance. However the decision on where to race him at Cheltenham will depend a lot on what shape Mullins had him in for the King George race. If he was at 100% fitness and failed to see out 3m then his ability to stay a longer trip, even on better ground, would be dubious. My own guess is that he wasn't in tip top shape and that on drier ground a fitter horse may yet still have a chance of seeing out the gold cup trip. The whole complexion of the Gold Cup race will change on this horses participation/non-participation given his running style. One thing for sure is that the likes of DC, CC & RTR would prefer to see Vautour diverted to the Ryanair. The purists will prefer to see him in the gold cup but the pragmatists will argue he has a better chance in the Ryanair. I would also argue that DC and CC would have better chances in the Ryanair but there is only one gold cup. I can see this argument running and running right up to Cheltenham as I don't envisage Mullins running the horse again before then.
Report Eeternaloptimist December 30, 2015 3:19 PM GMT
I can't see how Mullins could have had the horse 100% at Kempton so soon after running when he seemed some way away from peak fitness. Prior to the race Ricci himself said he would still improve for Kempton.
Report buddeliea December 30, 2015 4:25 PM GMT
well nione of us know how fit Vautour was,but I do know what I saw,and that was a horse that jumped well,travelled well and looked all over the winner,and indeed looked like winning easily.
So I think he was in pretty good shape myself.
Me eyes tell me he's a non stayer as far as the Gold Cup is concerned,but I accept I could be wrong of course.

Think we will have to wait on this lads.
Report duffy December 30, 2015 4:35 PM GMT
miltons sophie
     30 Dec 15 09:06

duffy - your last point spot on - i was saving that one and you got there first Wink 


Thanks Milton, you're new to the forum but I've just had that eerie feeling that I've just been touched by the hand of godExcitedExcitedWink
Report miltons sophie December 30, 2015 4:41 PM GMT
LaughLaughLaugh - not maradona i hope
Report impossible123 December 30, 2015 5:26 PM GMT
Did RR not say Vautour was 20kg lighter in the KG than at Ascot? I think Vautour was outstayed by Cue Card despite jumping the last several lengths in front.
Report Eeternaloptimist December 30, 2015 8:19 PM GMT
He did impossible. He also said there was more to come off.
Report Ruth December 30, 2015 11:23 PM GMT
Buddleia
Obviously Vautour may have failed because he was just not quite fit enough. You can make a case for it.

However there is a case for thinking of One Man as you did. One Man won over 26 furlongs at Newbury but always failed to get further than the last fence in the Gold Cup before weakening through lack of stamina.

Of course he had so much pace the Champion Chase was his race and I do wonder if it would be Vautour's race too. However Willie Mullins does have the favourite for that race. He may try to maximise his chances of winning the 2 championship races with UDS and Djakadam + taking the lesser race - the Ryanair with Vautour. The odds presently available suggest this is the  likely option. However, if he were mine he would go for the CChase.
Report kavvie December 30, 2015 11:29 PM GMT
intresting comments here.im a big vautour fan and my thinking about the king george is that hes better going left handed by a good bit.he also can jump better .  one intresting thing i recall is that when best mate got beat in the king george people were on saying he was a non stayer,he didnt do too badly after!!??  good ground.cheltenham.spring.ruby on board nothing gets close to him.don poli and djackdam simply arnt as good as him.and wp was pessimistic in his pre king george interview also.he said he was a spring horse..  im worried that pp are biggest at 12s tho as they have rubys ear..
Report Eeternaloptimist December 31, 2015 1:25 AM GMT
That's the issue kavvie. How much say does Ruby have? Of course he wants to have a favourites chance in all the big races. After all he's got to eat.
Report Mikael D'Haguenet December 31, 2015 9:27 AM GMT
Enjoyed reading the debate. I'm a dinosaur so the CathcartPlus will never be truly accepted. That said, of course if I owned a 2 1/2 miler, he'd be running in the Ryanair.
Report buddeliea January 1, 2016 1:20 PM GMT
Ryanair has certainly provided some good races last few years,not sure the same can be said of the Champion chase.
Yes,it's a more established race and worth more money,and potentially a more exciting race with 2 m top chasers running against each other.
But how often do we actually get that?
I can remember great races going back,with the likes of Viking flagship,Direct Route etc,and the period of Moscow flyer,well chief and Azertyuiop.
We have also had great horses,Badsworth boy,Remittance Man,and more recently Master Minded and Sprinter Sacre.
But now what do we have?
Last few years aside from the great horses mentioned,we have had pretty average horses winning the race,and the only competitive races have been poor quality with no superstars,as with the last one.
Maybe,just maybe we are entering a period (or already in it)where the 2m division for chasers will be less in quality than the Ryanair.
It's already less in competitiveness it seems to me,and I would be concerned the quality is going the same way.
Take Vautour for example,he could post a mid eighties in a Ryanait in my view,I doubt any 2m chasers will get anywhere near that right now.
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