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FOYLESWAR
18 Feb 16 19:42
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Date Joined: 09 Jan 11
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after yesterdays shenanigans the race has opened up and now has  an attractive shape to it imo with questions to be answered by just about every horse in the line up  ,with the fav sidelined its up for grabs and almost anything can win it  , last years 2nd arctic fire has an obvious chance but does not look invincible annie power has questions to answer regarding trip and a lack of runs this season just the egg and spoon race yesterday has not told us much  and if she lines up will be overbet ,nicholls canyon has his chance and could go close but he is a skinny price . peace and co has disappointed and the triumph form looks very suspect imo .
looking at the others one who appeals to me at a price is camping ground  right before you burst out laughing take a look back at his relkeel win its on youtube he absolutely hacked up on bad ground can he do it on better ground ? we don't know but he is a big price and I have paid to find out 25s nrnb  and over 33s on here  ,he is a big price for what he has achieved imo and he may be vulnerable at 2 miles but" plenty of good judges say you need a horse who stays 2m plus to win a champion hurdle ,ok he is handled by an "unfashionable " trainer in Robert walford and many will say this horse needs it heavy after pishing up in the relkeel over 2.4 miles . he patently did not stay in the cleeve when trying 3 miles for the 1st time but I have put a line through that .
he absolutely hacked up in the relkeel and had top notch well behind and there are  lines of form involving top notch peace and co, hargam and identity thief , that put camping ground in front of that quartet ,this horse jumps hurdles slickly and he absolutely powered up the hill in the relkeel and won in the manner of a decent horse  .he has been running on mainly very soft ground but he is flat bred and good to soft may not be a problem . he should be ridden prominently  near the front to let his stamina come into play and he could put it up to a fair few of these . at 25s with the bald one nrnb and a bigger price on here he looks a value call for me . selection CAMPING GROUND 1 PT EACH WAY CHAMPION HURDLE . .........as ever opinions and input welcolme and don't hold back I love an argument !

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Replies: 363
By:
Eeternaloptimist
When: 18 Feb 16 20:00
Nice performance when he won The Relkeel and it is an open looking year without a standout contender as yet. My concern with the horse was that he couldn't win a very average Imperial Cup off 150 on his previous try over 2 miles. My Tent Or Yours sluiced up in a decent Betfair off a similar mark and still couldn't win a Supreme if memory serves me correctly.
By:
delsie777
When: 18 Feb 16 20:01
I still quite like Sempre Medici eachway at a price. Under the radar with low profile prep, will improve on better ground, has a 5 and a half length beating of Identity Thief to his name and will have a hungry jockey - maybe David Mullins? I was on when Faugheen was still in the race and he'll do for me for an interest.
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 18 Feb 16 20:03
yeah maybe eternal but looks like  he has improved this season and was rated 163 after the relkeel  win .
By:
The Dragon
When: 18 Feb 16 21:29
i backed identity thief at 25/1 sometime ago ew . very happy with thatWink
By:
Eeternaloptimist
When: 18 Feb 16 23:38
Did he improve for the step up and softer ground is the million dollar question Foyles.
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 19 Feb 16 06:55
he may well have eternal and 2m may be a bit short for him but with the fav out many will fancy their chances and the race should be run at a frenetic pace which should suit ,the likely  going is a concern, but there is not a stand out horse in it, so all to play for,ifs buts and maybes about all the runners
By:
simdog84
When: 19 Feb 16 09:14
I think its a valid post, this has to be the most open CH I can remember going back 15 or so years.  The concern is the ground and the fact its run on the sharper of the 2 courses, if it comes up soft i'll be having a nibble but probs be around a 12/14 shot on the day and could get over bet. Id probs like to back him in running if he's in the box seat.
By:
timtin
When: 19 Feb 16 10:38
How is this an open CH?! Arctic Fire beat 2 former champions by 5 lengths last year, he's the standout of the lot and I doubt Ruby will be on something else unless he wants to gamble on Annie or Nichols. I'd give IT a good chance too as he showed signs of massive improvement in the Fighting Fifth and put up a ok display on muddy ground against Nichols but he'll be better on good ground and could be the one to put it up to AF.
By:
simdog84
When: 19 Feb 16 11:13
arctic fires not come close to repeating last years form this season though has he??

totally agree that his 2nd in last years CH is the single standout peace of form but he's not back it up since!

Nichols Canyon would have finished in front of him LTO if he had not tried to go with faugheen.
By:
buddeliea
When: 19 Feb 16 12:21
Arctic Fire was tried at 3m not so long ago.
He ran well to get 2nd last year,thats it really.
More than willing to take him on.
By:
timtin
When: 19 Feb 16 13:13
AF is ahead of NC by more than half a stone on his CH and Aintree runs, and on slow ground he beat him by 13 lengths but lets not forget how much he improved from that on better ground last year. I don't know if he's a bet at the prices but certainly is by far the one to beat.
By:
simdog84
When: 19 Feb 16 13:25
if he's the one to beat then 5.7 on here is a massive price in a 10 runner field come march!

my point is there are going to be 6-7 horses capable of running to a mark 162 ish which this year could be good enough.

Arctic fires best performances have been when picking up the bits after horses have gone with the leader (HF,F) theres no horse to drag the sting out of the other runners in this years field, He'll be staying on into a place I reckon.
By:
timtin
When: 19 Feb 16 13:51
Honestly 162 mark to win a CH is unheard of, there are 5-6 horses that have run around that mark and one has run 6 pounds higher so to say none of them will find the improvement(Top Notch, IT, NC) or their best form(MTOY, AF) to run much higher than 162 is very unbelievable.

Also, HF was never ridden prominently in top class company and when he was he got beat. HF was held up in midpack just a length in front of AF last year, thats the reason they both got placed and TNO and Jezki didn't. AF ran to 168 that day. If he reproduces it then someone needs to put an 170 performance to beat him and I suspect IT could do it thats why I wouldn't lump on AF.
By:
wellchief
When: 19 Feb 16 14:02
I'm not overly convinced about Identity Thief if I'm honest; I don't know if he has that much improvement in him from his last run by Nichols Canyon.

I backed him for the Supreme last year, and he didn't turn up, and then he was beaten at Punchestown by Sempre Medici (who had run at Cheltenham) and then by the 118 rated Walk to Freedom.

They were obviously not his true running, based on how he has ran this year, but if he does need to run to 170 to win, that is a 39 lbs improvement in 11 months - it would be some achievement.
By:
simdog84
When: 19 Feb 16 14:28
cant see any of the horses running to 170, AF is at his best running on late past tired horses...

the fact that he's been campaigned at 2.5-3 miles all season tells me the yard don't think hes a champion winner.

I've made my judgement on the fact AF & NC are the 2 horses capable of running to mid-high 160s but they've both had hard seasons and a tough race LTO. 162 on reflection might be a little low but theres not 1 horse that looks primed for a huge run and subsequent improvement.

without AF & NC your then looking at TNO MTOY and then a whole host of potential improvers rated 155-160.

That's why I think the race is wide open.

Just watched last years CH and if they switch TNO off he could run a big race, No need to chase the pace this year without F running. 10's ew could be a decent play and as many knockers as he has, could just do a binocular and pop up when not expected.
By:
timtin
When: 19 Feb 16 14:30
On his current form he only has around 9 lbs to reach 170, I think with better ground and ridden handy he can achieve it. I always thought he'll be the biggest danger to F, I had him on 2nd, P&C 3rd and AF 4th but with the form shown by P&C he wouldn't get involved so it'll be IT and AF battling it out. If AF brings his best and IT doesn't improve it will be easy to say afterwards.
By:
timtin
When: 19 Feb 16 14:38
TNO is a good mid-160 yard stick, if he runs his race and gets beat by 5-10 lengths there's your 170 winner. If he comes 2-3 lengths of winning there's your 165 winner. If he wins, there's your 163-4 winner, unless of course he wins by wide margin and comes back to his best form but he hasn't shown that since his `14 CH.
By:
simdog84
When: 19 Feb 16 14:45
Correct TT
By:
Arklearkle
When: 19 Feb 16 15:16
Its very open. NC to some degree looks the stand-out horse. I have a suspicion Cheltenham may not be his track for a whole lot of reasons. It was said that he was ridden the wrong way last year in the Neptune but if he was/is as good as we might believe he should still have won the race and he really never looked like he was going to win it. He did turn things around with Parlour Games at Aintree and I dont believe it was solely because of the ride.
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 19 Feb 16 15:33
some official ratings ......arctic fire 166. camping ground 163 the new one 161 .nichols canyon 160. identity thief 158. mtoy 161 .peace and co 155 .top notch 158 .sempre medici 156 . think these are accurate although not sure about my tent or yours rating of 161 may be wrong on that .
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 19 Feb 16 15:39
annie power 162
By:
The Dragon
When: 19 Feb 16 15:46
wide wide open peace and co surely cant be any worse than he has run this year, old gaurd may be in with a shout also and so on and so on. fascinating race to watch but not the best in quality terms
By:
Eeternaloptimist
When: 19 Feb 16 18:40
I'd certainly say it's now very open looking. You could pick four and not have the winner.
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 19 Feb 16 19:02
the thing is the defection of faugheen has turned  the race into a betting proposition and imo  a lot more will be taking a view on this race than when it looked a penalty kick for the short priced  fav .
By:
Eeternaloptimist
When: 19 Feb 16 19:08
Agreed. I'd put a line through it.
By:
timtin
When: 19 Feb 16 20:29
yes its open looking but on actual form AF is clear of the rest.
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 19 Feb 16 21:32
yes tim cant deny he has the best form and is top on ratings but if only it was as simple as that !
By:
GILLJAYSMOUSE
When: 19 Feb 16 21:57
Ive always been a fan of THE NEW ONE, thought he was a great each way bet last year....however.....if he wins this year i would be amazed. In fact i am going to lay the hell outta it for a place.
By:
timtin
When: 19 Feb 16 22:06

Feb 19, 2016 -- 3:32PM, FOYLESWAR wrote:


yes tim cant deny he has the best form and is top on ratings but if only it was as simple as that !


i'm naive what can I say... but I did say I expect IT to improve past AF so I don't really think its that simple but its not an open renewal because AF is clear of rest and they need to catch him. The attempt over 3 was Mullins desperation to find a WH horse, he would've beaten both NC and IT over the Christmas had he been allowed to take part in the Ryanair Hurdle.

By:
DECALEC
When: 19 Feb 16 22:11
But he scoped badly,so wouldn't have won at 2m eitherExcited
By:
timtin
When: 19 Feb 16 22:17
yea yea, who's being naive now? Excited
By:
DECALEC
When: 19 Feb 16 22:19
Laugh
By:
timtin
When: 19 Feb 16 22:22
they always find excuses when they mess up.. they messed up with Faugheen and took Ruby 2 weeks to admit his mistake and Mullins only before Christmas said he's not going to do again what he did to Faughenen. Same with AF they tried finding a 3 miler for the WH and when the horse was left out of petrol in the race, instead of admitting the gaffe they gave some bulls reasons, the horse is flat bred has finishing speed and best form over 2 miles.
By:
SoYouThink
When: 20 Feb 16 00:09
Totally agree about Arctic Fire. The race might have taken on a different complexion with Faugheen's injury but Arctic Fire is by far the most obvious choice.

I can't see how people can say he's only picking up the pieces and staying on past beaten horses. His style of racing is to be dropped in but it's not as if he's being dropped in a 20 runner handicaps. He's running in small fields like in the Irish Champion Hurdle when he was never more than 2L behind Nichols Canyon & Faugheen until the third last when Nichols Canyon tried to follow Faugheen and a furlong was cooked. There is no way Nichols Canyon was getting anywhere near Arctic Fire that day no matter how he was ridden!

Likewise in the Champion and Aintree Hurdles last year, small fields with a soft enough pace, more likely to inconvenience a horse like Arctic Fire than help him.

The problem with him is he is a poor jumper like a few others in the field (The New One, Sempre Medici).

Identity Thief is still in the unexposed category but on form with Nichols Canyon and Top Notch, I don't think he's good enough. Granted better ground will improve him.

The one to fear is My Tent or Yours because no one really has to go on. How good will be after his injury? Will he still pull? Will he still travel as well? He's 2 years off but we know at this best, he'd be more than capable of blowing this field apart.

I would be inclined to think Rich Ricci and his connections will stick to their guns and resist the temptation to shuffle the deck. They want to get a win into Annie Power and the easiest way to do that is in the Mares. He still has a runner likely to be competitive in Sempre Medici and Mullins/Walsh have a strong hand with AF/NC.
By:
buddeliea
When: 20 Feb 16 06:06
If Arctic Fire is near fav, it's an open race.
No world beater by any means.
By:
buddeliea
When: 20 Feb 16 06:14
Better ground will certainly improve Thief and he looks to be still improving,as is Top Notch I would think at his age.
How much further was Hargam behind Faugheen compared to NC and AF?
He's another that should still be improving.
Add in TNO and Tent, who will also be better for decent ground if we get it,  .............. Yep wide open
By:
Ming_the_Merciless
When: 21 Feb 16 09:11
If Nichols Canyon hadn't run in January he would be 2/1 fave right now... what everyone seems to forget that he made a mistake 3 out and weakened immediately after that point.

6 grade 1 wins with 3 over 2m (from 5 run attempts over 2m with one UR).

Combined Grade 1 wins for races including colts Arctic Fire (1 over 20f), Thief (1 over 2m) and AP (0) - that's 2 wins between them..... and only 1 over 2m.

MTOY has 2 grade 1 wins in 2013. TNO hasn't won a grade one over 2m.

NC also hits many stats, are we looking beyond the obvious here?
By:
SoYouThink
When: 21 Feb 16 10:28
That's a strong case for Nichols Canyon. He may look the obvious choice after the race. But it depends how you want to look at it. Arctic Fire has beaten everything put in front of him bar Faugheen in his last 7 runs bar the one time he was asked to race at 3m. I include the Aintree Hurdle in that as he almost certainly would've won that. Even before that, he  was finding only Hurricane Fly too good. That would make a pretty obvious choice too.

As timtim has said in finishing second last year he beat two past champions and last time while comfortably beaten by Faugheen, he destroyed Nichols Canyon and I do not buy the argument that NC lost second by trying to race Faugheen. Arctic Fire was no more than 2L behind them until the third last and about a furlong later, AF passed NC. That line of form makes him superior to Identity Thief and Top Notch.
By:
SoYouThink
When: 21 Feb 16 10:35
Also Nichols Canyon made the mistake 2 out and by that stage Arctic Fire was already closing on him. My reading of it was that he was weakening before the mistake.

Arctic Fire himself is a sloppy enough jumper which is what makes me think twice about backing him. I think he's the clear pick on form though.
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