Cheltenham Festival

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15 Jan 16 20:31
Date Joined: 05 Jan 03
| Topic/replies: 293 | Blogger: Cuthbert's blog
hard held.
Pause Switch to Standard View Vautour will WIN the Gold...
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Report Pleasegivemeanailedontip January 18, 2016 6:26 PM GMT
But what would he have needed to do to convince he stays? Win by a nose?

Come on, lets get the vautour gloves back on and have this out! Angry
Report FOYLESWAR January 18, 2016 6:40 PM GMT
who has confirmed vautour a non stayer ? mullins ,walsh, ricci ,?
Report maelduin January 18, 2016 6:42 PM GMT
Great question Duffy but unfortunately the KG was never going to be the race to tell us whether he stays 3m or not. That question will well and truly be answered when he gets his optimum conditions in March i.e. Decent ground on a Left-handed track @ peak fitness.
Report buddeliea January 18, 2016 7:00 PM GMT
He's not a confirmed Non Runner at 3m2f,he's yet to run the distance.
He did not stay well enough to win at Kempton,but the horse came close to winning and none of us can be sure as to why that was.
Non stayer,ground,fitness,not feeling at his best,who knows?
We can all spout as much as we like,as we have done,but we really need the horse to tell us.

As I said earlier,just hope he gets the chance to tell us in March.
Report impossible123 January 18, 2016 7:12 PM GMT
The KG race is never going to affirm whether the horse jumping the final fence in front will stay the CGC distance (all things being equal) if it is not the victor - it will only encourage the opposite I'm afraid.
Report wellchief January 18, 2016 7:23 PM GMT
Matt Champman to Paul Nicholls "Of the Irish contingent of Djakadam, Don Cossack, Don Poli and Vautour, who would you like at Ditcheat".  Nicholls without hesitation, "Vautour".  Champman, "Why, for the Champion Chase", Nicholls, "No, for the Gold Cup. He has Gold Cup written all over him.  If Ruby ran that King George again, he would definitely have won, and he is a stayer."
Report Eeternaloptimist January 18, 2016 7:26 PM GMT
Nobody with any sense would write the horse off at Cheltenham. If the King George was 3 miles on a left hand course I think he would have won by at least 5 lengths.
Report impossible123 January 18, 2016 7:31 PM GMT
Interesting, I wonder how many trainers would agree with him.
Report FOYLESWAR January 18, 2016 7:33 PM GMT
interesting  well chief and thanks for putting it up , and the point of these threads  ,to glean little bits of info like this that might of gone unnoticed by me or the majority ,gives me a bit more confidence that vautour may well get the trip ,pumkin would know a gold cup horse more than most !
Report Satrus_Froot January 18, 2016 8:40 PM GMT
The ground surely has to be the key deciding factor on where he goes. It's probably left to a decision at the very last minute. He really wants it as good as possible. The spring he had in his jumping in the JLT was remarkable, the ground is the overriding factor for allowing that to happen, along with peak fitness of course. On good ground on a left handed track like Cheltenham he can take lengths out of almost every horse at plenty of his fences. If it comes up good I think he has a great chance, if soft he's very little chance. No guarantees either way.
Report buddeliea January 18, 2016 9:13 PM GMT
pumpkin thought Conti was a gold cup horse,he got stuffed by Lord Windermere!!

He has an opinion though,hopefully time will tell if he's right.
Report Arklearkle January 18, 2016 9:45 PM GMT
Ruby and connections while wanting no doubt to win the KG also wanted to find out if the horse stayed. The obvious way to test the latter was to make good use of him and force the pace if necessary. Unfortunately it didnt work. However if he had ridden it solely to win the race he would have taken it up before the last and won cosily. If he couldnt do it that way there would not have been any point in going for the GC. But as it is we, and they, are none the wiser. While no doubt he was fit enough to do himself justice in the KG I've no doubt there would be more to come by Cheltenham. After all Clarcam beat him a year ago yet Vautour went off at 6/4 at the festival. As Satrus says the ground may be the key. Re Silviniano Conti PFN had always maintained on numerous occasions that Cheltenham would not suit him even as far back as 2010 when he was still hurdling. Later on he may have said he expected him to win the GC but I reckon he was basing it on his form and well-being at the time.
Report wellchief January 18, 2016 9:48 PM GMT
I think it's a lot more easy for Nicholls to be impartial this time, as he is unlikely to have a runner.  I think all trainers and jockeys will always talk about their own horse through rose tinted glasses
Report buddeliea January 18, 2016 9:56 PM GMT
Well to be fair he did nearly win a Gold Cup,although it was a bloody poor one.

Anyway I don't think Nicholls opinion is telling us the answer,but I guess it's nice for anyone who has backed Vautour in the Gold Cup to hear that from him.
I find it quiet interesting this riding of Vautour. He always seems to be ridden from the front as far as I remember,wonder how the horse would be if held up a tad to maximise his staying power,or they will simply ride him as normal and hope he gets home well enough to win.
Be fascinating.
Report wellchief January 18, 2016 9:59 PM GMT
Yeah, no idea how he will settle in midfield, as I always think of him as a front runner.  It took Cue Card a while before he learnt to settle, and he pulled like mad in his first few attempts.
Report stevo1 January 18, 2016 9:59 PM GMT
As Satrus Stated above jumping is key to Vautour,cannot see him being held up too far off pace if at all.
Report buddeliea January 18, 2016 10:05 PM GMT
Its pretty crucial for any horse to settle,especially one who is unproven at a distance.
I imagine they will know the best way to ride him for this race.
Be a tad daft to experiment !! Could go horribly wrong.
Report Satrus_Froot January 18, 2016 10:49 PM GMT
The question on my lips is will he have a prep run, and if so where? You'd think the perfect prep would be the Irish Hennessy, doesn't have to travel over the water, left handed on a track he gets on with at a trip he's going to have to see out. Obviously it'll never happen with Don Poli there, but yeah.
Report trigger3 January 18, 2016 11:58 PM GMT
Nichols comments are interesting considering that he has no realistic contenders in either the GC or the Ryanair this year and the therefore he has no vested interest in where he runs. There is no agenda with Nicholls, it's his honest opinion and he I can't think of anyone more qualified to pass comment on a staying chaser. As an ante post backer of Vautour I'm confident that all the signs add up to Vautour lining up in the GC. Personally I'd prefer if he went straight to the festival and I do think that will be the plan.
Report stevo1 January 19, 2016 12:12 AM GMT
Agree with that trigger, not going to go and have hard race with Don Poli before Festival.
Report duffy January 19, 2016 12:15 AM GMT
If he runs in the GC they can't take a view of poodling around and trying to save as much as they can on him, that's a recipe for disaster in itself as he's keen and will take Walsh there sooner or later, but in any case, if they run him they have to run him as a confirmed stayer and maximise his great strength of jumping and galloping and what will be will be, there's no hiding place in the GC.
Report DECALEC January 19, 2016 1:46 AM GMT
If they take their chance i would imagine the best place to settle would be in front,can't have this hold them up to get the trip lark you either do or don't so let him be ridden as is and die dog or shyte the license
Report buddeliea January 19, 2016 7:00 AM GMT
Yep that is my take on it,run his natural race,
He don't stay then so be it.
Report buddeliea January 19, 2016 7:03 AM GMT
Don't forget though.......even if he stays ,don't mean he wins.
But obviously at least it gives him a fair chance.
Report DECALEC January 19, 2016 7:55 AM GMT
Yes agreed bud
Report robbo69 January 19, 2016 8:05 AM GMT
Just Watched back his run at Cheltenaham last year. Jumped better than anytime this season (so far)
Looks like better ground is the key to him and to put the matter to bed just listen to the comments made by Walsh and Mullins after(RUK coverage)That will tell you all you need to know if the 2 people best placed think he will stay!!!!!
My advise is take the hint from them and take the price now, will go off Fav for the Gold Cup thats the NAP of the week.....HappyHappyHappy
Report The Dragon January 19, 2016 8:48 AM GMT
Report maelduin January 19, 2016 10:43 AM GMT
Duffy - Vautour doesn't always race keenly. His last 2 races though he has been very keen. Ruby doesn't give much away but you can tell by Vautours low head carriage that he is fighting with him to go on. I'm hoping when he gets optimum conditions he'll settle better and conserve energy for that grueling hill.

robbo69 - yep he'll be fav once Ruby confirms he will be riding him.
Report Can't Catch Me January 19, 2016 11:17 AM GMT
Surely the 7-1 with bet365 NRNB is the way to go Dragon?!
Report The Dragon January 19, 2016 11:25 AM GMT
deceided to risk it (Not a big bet)for 1pt ccm. I think he will go GC
Report cyclops January 19, 2016 12:28 PM GMT
And he's unlikely not to pull when running in the longest race he's ever been in.
Report The Dragon January 19, 2016 1:01 PM GMT
i think he is he is a puller
Report miltons sophie January 19, 2016 1:06 PM GMT
if he pulls early which vautour backers are going to lay in running and which are going to let it slide?
Report FOYLESWAR January 19, 2016 1:28 PM GMT
depends how short he goes ? as a backer" IF " he went very short say coming to or jumping the last it would be sensible to at least lay of my steak !
Report miltons sophie January 19, 2016 1:42 PM GMT
i more meant which backers would be worried enough about him staying if he pulled early to cut their losses and which would still not be worried - i guess foyle you would not be worried but might consider laying late on if he got really short - i imagine some might not consider laying at any point because they have such faith in the horse
Report duffy January 19, 2016 1:53 PM GMT
He noticeably pulled last time as he was racing a stride slower than he was used to, GC will be likewise, also I disagree with this assumption that he'll be fav as soon as he's confirmed, don't see that at all.

At the very least the KG left his staying open to question, he'd be fav for the GC if he won it on the bridal going on strongly, it was anything but that, throw in DC standing up and he'd have been 3rd and I see this going off fav notion as a bit strange, I'm obviously in the minority though so the fault is probably with meCrazy
Report Can't Catch Me January 19, 2016 1:55 PM GMT
If he runs, then I'm positive Ruby will ride. That being the case, I just cant see him not being fav as Ruby will be getting off the current fav....

Had a few quid on at 7-1 NRNB as I could see him going off 7-2 / 3-1 fav. And if he does run, I think he will win.
Report duffy January 19, 2016 2:02 PM GMT

Maybe, you're betting that for Walsh to get off Djak it must mean that somehow they just KNOW, I take the view that the big doubt remains but Walsh simply wants to be riding Vautour come what may, he could stand someone else winning on Djak but not the other way's similar to him never getting off of Kauto for Denman whatever he may have thought about their respective chances....he's building that affinity with Vautour in much the same way.....all that being said, the KG run should supercede all that in punters minds and hold his price up.

I can see the initial contraction in price amid the furore but could then see it going the other way on the day.
Report miltons sophie January 19, 2016 2:06 PM GMT
ccm - how confident will you be if he pulls early
Report Can't Catch Me January 19, 2016 2:09 PM GMT
All about opinions mate. But if Ruby doesnt think Vautour can beat Djakadam, Vautour will run in the Ryanair. If he thinks he can, he will choose him over Djak and undoubtedly the horse will become fav imo. Why wouldn't any punter listen to the man who knows more than any of us?

As much as I agree Ruby has an affinity with Vautour, thats only because he probably thinks he's is currently the best horse in training. Which to my eyes he probably is. Its just about choosing the best race for the horse.
Report Can't Catch Me January 19, 2016 2:12 PM GMT
ms. Thats got to be a worry. Especially now Ruby has said he could have ridden him differently in the KG. If they try dropping him in I dont think that will be good news. He hasnt pulled the last two times at the Festival, so I think they should do a Coneygree and let him go on. And just trust that the horse has always been at his peak at Cheltenham in March. I think they need to ride him like they know he stays.
Report miltons sophie January 19, 2016 2:20 PM GMT
ccm - completely agree - either way his stamina is going to be tested to the limit - pulling will test it and winning a gc from the front is tough, especially if they all pitch up in top shape - total admiration if he makes all and others run their race.If others run their race or improve a little he'll have to post a 185 ish performance from the front to do it imo. I hope connections get this right and there is still a horse left afterwards.
Report maelduin January 19, 2016 2:21 PM GMT
"I take the view that the big doubt remains but Walsh simply wants to be riding Vautour come what may, he could stand someone else winning on Djak but not the other way round...."

You're dead right Duffy BUT the money will still flood in based on the Willie/Ruby factor and the horses past performances @ Cheltenham, especially that breathtaking win in the JLT last year. Just because i think he will be fav doesn't mean i think he deserves to be fav. You have to account for the masses of sentimental money @ Cheltenham.
Report impossible123 January 19, 2016 2:26 PM GMT
It would be a great gamble to try another tactic in the CGC; I think good ground and a decent pace will also be appreciate by DC and RTR, maybe not so much for DP if he runs and beats RTR in the Irish Gold Cup in February.
Report duffy January 19, 2016 2:28 PM GMT

You're dead right too, I'm under-estimating that side of things, on his chances I've long thought that the way he goes through a race will prevent him from winning a GC, but I'd still much rather him in the race than the Ryanair, purely through the quality of the horse, I'd much rather see him in the CC rather than the GC though but I reckon that ship has sailedGrin
Report FOYLESWAR January 19, 2016 2:42 PM GMT
its not like he is an out and out trail blazer, his style of running shows he is comfortable at the head of affairs  and it would be unwise to disappoint the horse let him go off at a sensible clip and see how it pans out ,it was  his jumping in the jlt that gained him lengths ,he couldn't repeat the jumping as imo he is totally uncomfortable going right handed ,watch both the jlt and king George his jaw is cocked left he wants to go left ,as a result at Kempton it affected his normally electric jumping ,he wasn't as smooth and fluent  and got a bit close to a few fences , he has also shown his best form in the spring the last 2 seasons and good ground will help! if there is a potential superstar out there he is it ! wether he stays the gold cup trip we will have to see but he has a good chance imo .
Report miltons sophie January 19, 2016 2:47 PM GMT
until we know otherwise i dont think he is the only potential superstar in the line up
Report DECALEC January 19, 2016 4:03 PM GMT
What else  has that potential
Report miltons sophie January 19, 2016 4:49 PM GMT
if all/most of the main protagonists run to their best on the day then for me whoever wins, as i believe if that happens an rpr mark in the mid to high 180s or an OR in the low to mid 180s will be needed and that for me will put them in rarified space- i have two real hopes for the race 1) at least 3/4 horses run their race and therefore 2) whoever wins gets the credit they deserve rather than fans of the beaten horses screaming foul.

The 3 horses outside of Vautour that at this stage have the potential (to varying degrees) to do this imo are DC, CC ( both not a million miles away already) and Djak (arguably most upside potential) and I for one am not going to discount the possibility until they have had the chance. I actually think that Vautour is most likely to be the superstar but i am not going to close my mind to other possibilities before the race is even run.
Report kavvie January 19, 2016 6:10 PM GMT
non stayer?!?  remember the little kown best mate?btn in kg and they said he was a non stayer..!!??
Report Lion King January 19, 2016 7:15 PM GMT
On decent ground it is speed & class that generally wins races at Cheltenham. Agree with CCM above about Ruby influencing decision but unless Djakadam is very impressive in his trial, it could be a tricky one even for Ruby. The ground could then swing his decision.
Report firstimevisor January 19, 2016 8:56 PM GMT
Vautour is a star horse but I couldn't have him for a gold cup and I don't think he'll run in it. Over 3 miles he would take all the beating but no way can I see him getting home over 3m2.

Anyone thinking of backing him for the gc should remember One Man. He was similar to Vautour in the way he jumped and travelled. But he won two King Georges( by 12 and 14 lengths) and just like Vautour his stride shortened  at just short of 3m .Now take 5 minutes and have a look at youtube for Imperial Call's and Mr Mulligan's gold cups and see what happened to One Man over the last 2-3 furlongs both times. The last 2 furlongs must have felt like an eternity to Dunwoody.
Report Can't Catch Me January 19, 2016 9:11 PM GMT
First time visor. How can anyone say Vautour won't stay, or compare him to One Man after one run! One. And that was over 3m on heavy ground when he wasn't at his best.

Have a look at last years GC for a horse that jumps and travels.... And p1ssed home!
Report buddeliea January 19, 2016 9:21 PM GMT
How do you know how he was on the day?
He certainly looked pretty darn good throughout the race I thought.
You mean maybe short of fitness to see it out?
Report Can't Catch Me January 19, 2016 9:28 PM GMT
Budd. I don't. But I know he is always at his peak on Spring ground at Cheltenham and WPM has repeatedly said he is being trained with one day in mind.

His two best performances by dome way have been in those conditions.
Report firstimevisor January 19, 2016 9:40 PM GMT
I love the horse and not knocking him at all. One run is all I need to make a judgement that he wont stay 3m2, or at least not stay well enough to be competitive in a gold cup. As I posted earlier, One Man could win the king george by 12l and 14l, and at the 3m mark in 2 gold cups he looked the winner but wasn't mapped either time. If the GC was run over 3m I would fancy Vautour out of the way, but 2 furlongs is a long, long way when your running on empty.
Report Can't Catch Me January 19, 2016 9:45 PM GMT
But how do you know he will be running on empty Confused
Report firstimevisor January 19, 2016 9:53 PM GMT
Because he was emptying out big time in the KG in the last furlong. I believe he wont stay any further. I may be wrong but thats where I am right now.
Report Can't Catch Me January 19, 2016 10:00 PM GMT
Did you write him off after Clarcam best him last year?!

Fair enough mate, totally see the point of view. I just think it's not worth putting too much emphasis on what he does in mid winter on heavy ground. He comes alive at Cheltenham in March and is capable of so much more there imo. I'm not prepared to consider him not staying until I see it at the Festival.
Report firstimevisor January 19, 2016 10:12 PM GMT
No he clearly didn't run his race against Clarcam. My one and only bet on Vautour was at 7-2 for the JLT last year.

My thinking on horses who have stamina limitations on soft or heavy is that they stay no further when the ground is good. They go faster on better ground and stamina issues remain.
Report Can't Catch Me January 19, 2016 10:18 PM GMT
My own thinking is that 3m2f on decent ground is only the same as 3m on heavy ground.

So if he can find a bit of improvement from the KG (which I think is a given), where he very nearly did it, he will get home fine.

But fwiw, despite all this I want him in the Ryanair! And still think that's where he will end up if Djakadam wins his nest race well...
Report Unforgettable Fire January 19, 2016 10:30 PM GMT
My tuppence worth ...

I think Vautour's participation in the GC is almost entirely ground dependent. Think he will run in the GC if the ground is similar to that of the JLT last year. If it's soft and Djakadam has won the Argento, they will go to the Ryanair and wait another year for the GC.

If he runs, Ruby will ride because he adores this horse and also because the ground will not only be in Vautour's favour but it will be the quickest that Djakadam has encountered. The latter is best with cut in my opinion. This will see Vautour start as Fav on the day.

Re the ground. I believe Road To Riches is flying under the radar. Bolted up on real good ground when winning the Galway Plate. I think he is a 4-7 pound better horse on this surface. The rain overnight on the Thursday last year tipped the balance in favour of Coneygree (who was likely winner anyway) and Djakadam IMO. On real good ground I would fancy RTR to reverse places with Djakadam whom I think is a few pounds inferior on a quicker surface. Some will point out that Djakadam beat RTR on better ground at Punchestown. But to my mind RTR was completely over the top at that point having been on the go since the previous summer (when winning the Galway Plate). He has had a light campaign this season affording him the chance to recover from last year's exertions. I have backed him to win the Irish Gold Cup as I'm not convinced Willie will run Don Poli before the GC after a hard enough race on very bad ground at Christmas.

In summary, the ground is massively important to this year's GC. Vautour NRNB is a decent price at 7/1 and as a fan I will be shouting for him if he lines up in March.
Report firstimevisor January 19, 2016 10:31 PM GMT
Really,look at those One Man gold cup videos and I bet you will change your mind as regards 3m2 on good being the same as 3m on soft.

I would love to see all the contenders turn up for the GC but I agree, I think Vautour will go Ryanair.
Report Unforgettable Fire January 19, 2016 10:43 PM GMT

Take your point re One Man but they're not going to die wondering if Vautour - potentially the best horse Willie has trained - stayed the trip or not. If the ground is like the Thursday last year I would expect them to go for it. If he doesn't stay they will aim at the KG, Ryanair and Aintree over the next few seasons and wins lots of pots. All IMO.

Re will he stay ... a number of points.

Yes he was collared at Kempton but going right handed he was losing part of a length at every fence. That's 18 parts of lengths. In the previous two seasons Vautour was 7-10 pounds superior in March than in the winter.

On real good ground, going left handed on a track where he is 2/2 and a race in March IMO definitely gets him past 3m. Whether or not it gets him first past the post up the hill after the final fence is another question. But they won't know the answer to that question if they don't try.
Report Can't Catch Me January 19, 2016 10:49 PM GMT
Ftv. But one Man wasn't really a Cheltenahm horse. He hated the hill and always excelled at flat tracks.

That's not Vautour.
Report Can't Catch Me January 19, 2016 10:50 PM GMT
Good posts UF.
Report firstimevisor January 19, 2016 11:05 PM GMT
He came back and won the Queen Mother the following year so it wasn't the track. It was stamina, or lack of, pure and simple,for the GC trip and yet he bolted up in two king georges.

UF, yes I accept he will prob be better going left handed. I think he's one hell of a horse and I would be absolutely delighted to be wrong but I just cannot see him getting further than 3m this year at least.
Report Unforgettable Fire January 19, 2016 11:11 PM GMT
CCM - thanks.

VFT - you may well be right. Love the intrigue of this time of the year.
Report Can't Catch Me January 19, 2016 11:12 PM GMT
Have you watched that race though ftv? His class won him the QMCC imo, not the fact he didn't mind the track. He is cantering all over them and ten lengths clear and going away at the last. Then it's as if he's been shot as he goes up the hill and only wins by 3-4l. He's literally going up and down on the spot for the last 50 yards. And that was only 2m.
Report firstimevisor January 19, 2016 11:27 PM GMT
But in his gold cups he was cantering over everything at 3 miles...and was beaten out of sight both times.

To put it all another way, the champion hurdle is run over 2m but to win it you need to have a horse who stays much further than 2m (2m4 at the very least), similarly to win a gold cup you need a horse who stays 3m4 at the very least. Any stamina issues get exposed.
Report trigger3 January 19, 2016 11:53 PM GMT
FTV how can you be so certain he won't stay. There is only one way of finding out, if they re-direct him to a Ryanair with conditions in his favour then they may as well just abandon the GC dream altogether since who knows what the landscape will be in 12 months time. As for your assertion that a GC winner has to stay 3m4f minimum that's a bit like the annoying footballing phrase of 'giving it 100%. The race is 3m2f, let's not try and exaggerate for effect.
Report trigger3 January 19, 2016 11:54 PM GMT
##giving it 120%!
Report duffy January 20, 2016 1:09 AM GMT
This thing about Walsh and Mullins knowing best and trusting them as they know the horse best, well, after Ascot, with regards the edging out to the left, Walsh told us all that that was no problem and it was all down to the angle of the fences!!! ermm yeh, ok.

Secondly, people are talking about him as if he was half fit or something, that's rubbish, he travelled through the race every bit as well as he did in the JLT, jeez, he was pulverizing them turning in and jumping the 4th last. It was the KG and they would have had him 100% on the day and fit enough to run his race.

I accept that Cheltenham is a track he excels at but he's got to go an extra 1/4 mile with an uphill finish and no amount of fitness can shorten that. People are putting a lot of store in what he did in the JLT as evidence for him winning a GC, but it's not like for like, an affinity with the track only gets you so far, it certainly doesn't add stamina and on the most recent evidence we have you have to conclude that he is a doubtful stayer.

It was an archetypal non-staying performance.

FTV's points about One Man are really good ones, he's simply trying to point out how something can win so easily over 3 miles but then completely fall apart over the extra distance and Vautour probably travelled more powerfully into the straight at Kempton than One Man did.
Report buddeliea January 20, 2016 7:17 AM GMT
Yep,that's pretty much summed it up for me.

The fitness thing is crucial,and a horse that travels all over  the King George field like he did has to be fit to do that. To then fail  to hold on at the end of a race it looked like winning easily was a classic case of a non stayer.
Having said that,he may be an absolute freak and manage to perform as he did throughout the race,whilst not fit.
If that is the case the others are in trouble come March.
Report Can't Catch Me January 20, 2016 8:28 AM GMT
Ftv. Exactly! Even after 3m in a GC, he was cantering over everything. He stopped when he hit the hill... Again.

My Dad had a horse with Sir Gordon Richards and as One Man was my favourite horse, I used to talk to him about him. And he was adamant the horse just didn't want to run up that hill.
Report Can't Catch Me January 20, 2016 8:30 AM GMT
Trigger. Why do they need to abandon the GC dream if they go for the Ryanair this year?? He's only 7... And it clearly worked ok for Imperial Commander.

I think that's the wisest route. Win the Ryanair this year, then try and teach the horse to drop in and settle better next season when has matured a bit and try the GC at 8.
Report The Dragon January 20, 2016 9:35 AM GMT
just watched the king george again -what a great race still not sure how vatour did not win that
Report The Dragon January 20, 2016 9:36 AM GMT
i think theyll want to to go for the big one given that run why wouldnt you
Report The Dragon January 20, 2016 9:40 AM GMT
he who dares wins!!!!!
Report The Dragon January 20, 2016 9:40 AM GMT
horse is too good for ryanair cant see them going there
Report tomdeane January 20, 2016 10:01 AM GMT
The points about One Man not staying/not getting up the hill are moot in my opinion. Nobody knows whether Vautour will stay, but I don't think anyone can argue for sure that he won't. One Man was a different horse, racing in a different era.

I also don't think anyone is realistically suggesting Vautour wasn't fit in the KG, but it's pretty easy to see that he has been a better horse in March on spring ground at Cheltenham for the past two years, and I'm sure he will be again. He also very nearly won a KG despite fluffing the last.

The last thing I think should be mentioned is that Kempton takes plenty of getting, especially on soft ground in a top-class race. It's nonsensical to say that you need to stay 3m4f to win a Gold Cup but only 3m to win a KG. Apart from being a left-handed track, and the ground likely to be better, what Cheltenham gives Vautour that Kempton doesn't is a chance to freewheel down the hill and fill his lungs for that final assault over the last two fences. That could well be key as his class could easily have most in trouble at the top of that hill.
Report cyclops January 20, 2016 10:22 AM GMT
Several have stated that Kempton was "heavy". In fact, the official going was Good to Soft.
Agree with previous posts; the ground will determine his target this year. I'd be surprised if he goes for Gold in soft or worse going.
Report timtin January 20, 2016 12:01 PM GMT
that "freewheel down the hill" is where horses tend to do too much and have nothing left at the end. Ruby knows how to make horses stay the GC trip, gave Kauto a good patient ride in 2007 when the stamina was not KS forte and will do the same now. His problem this year is that its a far better renewal and Ryanair looks the choice with only 2-3 serious rivals that he's already ahead of and only a single possible danger in Simonsig if that's rerouted from CC. In GC he'll face the stamina test and 3-4 live dangers, he'll need a perfect ride and will need one of his rivals to jump bad and/or fall. It all depends on how Djakadam performs in his next start as that'll give Ruby a hard choice and Mullins will prefer to at least win a race and possibly 2, than to lose both.
Report maelduin January 20, 2016 12:31 PM GMT
Secondly, people are talking about him as if he was half fit or something, that's rubbish, he travelled through the race every bit as well as he did in the JLT

Actually no he was half fit for the Ascot race a few weeks prior. If you're suggesting a horse like Vautour could be primed for the KG in that length of time then i'm very surprised Duffy. Vautour is an anomaly. The sooner people realize this the sooner they can take the KG run for what it was i.e. a steeping stone to the GC. It's clear connections learnt nothing from that race and that is why they continue to target the GC.

This thing about a horse must be 100% fit to travel like that is ridiculous. He travels like that due to his makeup and soundness not because of how fit he is. The Ascot race was over 2m 5f and it looked like he may get caught going to the last by a inferior horse. Maybe he didn't stay the trip. Crazy
Report duffy January 20, 2016 2:14 PM GMT

Horses are gotten 100% for the King George, simple as that, whether it's the mighty mullins or not, it's the big mid season target, they'll then let them down again before building them back up again for the festival, I'd be surprised if he wasn't as fit as he will be at the festival....again, whether you like it or not, he put in the copybook performance that you would expect to see from a suspect stayer.

Incidentally, at Ascot he never travelled anything like the way he did in the KG and the fact that he wasn't fully fit absolutely contributed to it.
Report duffy January 20, 2016 2:23 PM GMT
I don't need to be convinced on how good a horse Vautour is, I have said many times I think he's a special horse and the best in training, he's not an anomaly, well not yet anyway, he'll be that if he goes and wins a GC and although he hasn't had a chance to win a CC, many of us believe he would be able too, that would make him an anomaly, to be equally effective over the two extremes...not there yet though.
Report maelduin January 20, 2016 3:23 PM GMT
Duffy - i called Vautour an anomaly because of his issues around fitness not because of his abilities. In general you don't expect to have a problem getting a horse to peak fitness. IMO it's not that simple with Vautour. Even last year in the runup to the JLT his connections said he only came alive about 2 weeks before the race. Anyhow we'll never know so it's all just speculation on our behalf.

Only way for me to win this argument is for Vautour to past the post first, as anything less will mean he didn't stay. Roll on March. GL
Report duffy January 20, 2016 3:27 PM GMT
Fair play..I'll be on here eating plenty of humble pieGrin I might back him now to help wash it down withGrin
Report duffy January 20, 2016 3:53 PM GMT
Only way for me to win this argument is for Vautour to past the post first, as anything less will mean he didn't stay. Roll on March. GL

or that he wasn't fit ..of courseWink GL
Report maelduin January 20, 2016 4:07 PM GMT
I promise never to mention his fitness level in the post-GC discussion. GL Laugh
Report trigger3 January 20, 2016 11:35 PM GMT
Imo only 2 possible factors will cause the horse to go the Ryanair route: 1) Djakadam to put in a monster performance nto and shorten into 5/4ish for the GC causing the Mullins to throw all their eggs in this basket or 2) the ground to come up soft at the festival. Otherwise I don't see the logic in not going for the big prize when the opportunity exists. It would be akin to a football team choosing to enter the last 16 of the Europa League instead of the CL simply because they thought they had a better chance of winning it. Never mind that the competition will likely be full of B listers not deemed good enough for CC or GC.
Report timtin January 20, 2016 11:49 PM GMT
Annie Power mistake won't be repeated. Unless Djakadam fails to win his next start, Vautour will be primed for Ryanair. Will put a performance by 5-10 lengths and people will have the exact same conversation this time next year.
Report duffy January 21, 2016 10:09 AM GMT
     20 Jan 16 23:35

Imo only 2 possible factors will cause the horse to go the Ryanair route: 1) Djakadam to put in a monster performance nto and shorten into 5/4ish for the GC

For Djakadam to shorten into 5/4ish for the GC two things would have to happen:

1. He would have to lap his opponents nto

2. Vautour, Don's Poli and Cossack, RTR, would all have to run off to join the circus.Wink
Report impossible123 January 21, 2016 10:12 AM GMT
If so, one might see NMH and/or MOT!
Report Autocue January 21, 2016 3:55 PM GMT
I'll be stunned if Ruby chooses Vautour ahead of Djakadam. The latter came a close second in a very good race last year and is entitled to improve on that as he was only six. If Ruby chooses Vautour he won't be a happy teddy on the long walk back after failing to stay.
Report maelduin January 21, 2016 4:20 PM GMT
Some of those french breds are precocious animals. Long Run arguably put up his best performance as a 6yo. I wouldn't count on Djakadam improving much. GL
Report maelduin January 21, 2016 4:23 PM GMT
And yes the same could be said for Vautour but i would never suggest such a thing. Grin
Report Autocue January 22, 2016 11:42 AM GMT
Long Run was trained by Henderson and all his horses go to sh!t after a brief period in the limelight Devil
Report Autocue January 22, 2016 11:45 AM GMT
Seriously, Ruby looks miserable at the best of times when he loses. If he gets off Djakadam to ride Vautour in the Gold Cup he'll be suicidal.
Report impossible123 January 22, 2016 1:54 PM GMT
Are we still debating Vautour for the GC? Yes, he will win if he turns up......only in the Ryanair!
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