Cheltenham Festival

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The Dragon
07 Feb 18 19:36
Date Joined: 12 Mar 05
| Topic/replies: 38,642 | Blogger: The Dragon's blog
un deux sceaux must win this suley bit skinny price but im on

yorkhill at 12/1 might be intersting but?.....
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Report BigField February 7, 2018 7:52 PM GMT
Bennie Des Dieux is interesting to me, but think it may run in the mares so going to hold off backing it, having said that it could have a good chance in one of the 2 and a half mile chase handicaps
Report maam8mandingo February 7, 2018 8:02 PM GMT
Leaning towards Fox Norton in this! Excuse his run last time that was a bridge too far and he’s got top form!
Report lucky22 February 7, 2018 9:02 PM GMT
have to agree with maam here, really like Fox Norton for this on good spring ground. Think 2m4f is his trip, beat UDS at Punchestown, and only just failed to reel in Special Tiara in the Champion Chase last year, you feel he would have won had it been 100 yards further.
Also an ew price to boot! Has to go close.
Outsider for me is Balko Des Flos if he goes for it, travelling well when falling last year.
Report buddeliea February 7, 2018 9:10 PM GMT
Winner not been mentioned yet !!
Report maam8mandingo February 7, 2018 9:39 PM GMT
Only problem is lucky, the Tizzard team have had a relatively poor season in my opinion! Is the horse going to be as good this time round! Nice price if so!
Report impossible123 February 14, 2018 5:53 PM GMT
"Winner not mentioned yet"

Very probably, Douvan could do a Vautour. He's been backed into 10/1, and quite a few takers queueing up to back him at slightly bigger prices. Probably nothing and purely a coincidence...connections are identical!
Report maelduin February 14, 2018 6:24 PM GMT
Top Notch for me. Ran a cracker to ??? (sorry can't remember the name) in the JLT last year and will appreciate the extra furlong of the Ryanair. Would be very wary of Coney Island if he went here.
Report buddeliea February 14, 2018 6:45 PM GMT
Been mentioned now!!
Report HaylingBilly February 14, 2018 7:57 PM GMT
Always feels to me that Top Notch has a habit of finding a way not to win when it comes to the big Festival races. Really good horse but not a really really one.
Report maelduin February 14, 2018 8:42 PM GMT
Can't argue with that HaylingBilly. Only thing i'll say is that, although he may not be really really good, i do believe he's is good enough to beat UDS. Was not at all impressed with his Ryanair win last year and think he'll set it up perfectly for Top Notch.
Report buddeliea February 14, 2018 8:48 PM GMT
Think hes finishing his races off better now Billy, and has improved this season,and last time imo was his best performance so far.
Its a competitive race again this year though,with good and consistent horses.
UDS a worthy fav,but i have a feeling Top Notch will get him on the run in.
Report ReaseHeath February 14, 2018 9:21 PM GMT
I was impressed with the style of UDS's win last year, I've got reservations about the substance - Aso was third beaten 7.5 lengths...

It looks like being a deeper race this year - especially after Altior's reappearance on Saturday which surely means the Ryanair will be accepting a couple of Champion Chase refugees. I was n't overly impressed with UDS in the Tingle Creek either.

The Ascot Chase should give us some clues - my instincts say Waiting Patiently because he jumps so well but I would n't be surprised if any of him, Top Notch, Coney Island or Cue Card won on Saturday.

At least we pretty much know Top Notch and Waiting Patiently will run here - Coney Island could end up in the Gold Cup - and I still think they might be tempted to have one last (wicked) crack at the Gold Cup with Cue Card.

Then you've got the annual perm any 2/3 from 7 Gigginstown puzzle and the even more tricky conundrum of whether Good Fox Norton or Bad Fox Norton shows up on the day.

Personally could n't have Yorkhill on my mind for any Festival race at the momemt and you have to think if Douvan runs in this that they're taking a punt because they don't think he can beat Altior.

So I have n't got a clue really - but I might have by Saturday night...Happy
Report ACStafford February 15, 2018 10:16 AM GMT
UDS looks too short for me. He's not done a lot wrong this season, but he's had his conditions and hasn't had too much to beat, so it's difficult for me to determine whether he's at the same level as last season or has regressed. As a 10 yo, I'm going to assume the latter to some degree. Add that to the fact that last year's Ryanair looked a weak renewal and there's some interesting new competition this time round, he should be bigger imo.

There's two I've had in my mind for this and they happen to be racing each other this weekend (TN & WP), so I'll see what happens there. It's not a race I'm particularly interested in getting involved with at this stage though, with the possibility of Douvan running messing the market up.
Report duffy February 15, 2018 3:03 PM GMT
I'd be staggered if Douvan ran in this, if he's right then he'll run in the CC, he won't be running at the weekend and I'd take precisely no inference of his Cheltenham target that Saturday's entry was over further.
Report firstimevisor February 15, 2018 3:47 PM GMT
If he runs this weekend and all goes ok then I'd expect he will run in the QM. If he doesn't run this weekend and therefore doesn't get a prep run in, then I think the Ryanair, rather than the QM, may be the target.
Report impossible123 February 15, 2018 4:05 PM GMT
If Douvan shows up on saturday and does himself justice then either the Champion Chase (CC) or Ryanair for him; bombs or do not show up then very unlikely he'd be Festival bound. But whichever race he goes at the Festival Min will not - that's almost a certainty. Let's not forget Yorkhill either, he could pitch up here too, if Festival bound, and prices for these two markets might change as a consequence for sure.
Report impossible123 February 15, 2018 4:27 PM GMT
Just realised the Red Mills is over 2m 4f and the going is heavy. It is going to be a helluva of a slog for Douvan, if he shows up; if so,, I think it is a make or break Festival race for him. The trip will suit Valseur Lido or possibly Our Duke (if strong early pace) similar to the one that Cooper set on Road To Riches in the Irish Gold Cup under similar conditions.
Report buddeliea February 16, 2018 12:13 PM GMT
Non runner Douvan.
Report buddeliea February 17, 2018 3:56 PM GMT
Top Notch not at his best today,hopefully be a lot better at Cheltenham.
One good thing,not had a bet on him yet aside from a multiple or two,so odds should be bigger now.

Impressed with the winner again, but will it be soft enough for him at Cheltenham?
Report duffy February 17, 2018 4:01 PM GMT
Didn't fancy the winner when it came off the bridal budd, wouldn't fancy it getting up the hill myself
Report buddeliea February 17, 2018 4:11 PM GMT
Yeh,maybe Duffy,also possible he needs to hit the front a bit later?
Jockey saying he got there a bit early may suggest that.
If i were a backer i would be worried about the ground more than anything.

Dont know what was up with Top Notch.Not his usual fluent jumping when the race quickened up and got beat by Frodon, who he beat easily last time.Gonna draw a line through it.......rightly or wrongly!!!
Report wellchief February 17, 2018 4:19 PM GMT
Four things for me from the race:

1. Hope Coney Island was non the worse and needs to go up in trip. Twice now it looks like it's all too quick for him over 2.5m

2. Winner looks a good'un, who's on the up, but proximity to an ageing Cue Card does let the form down slightly.

3. If you claim to be a racing fan and don't love Cue Card then you're not a racing fan

4. My support for Un Dear Sceaux in the Ryanair hasn't changed after today.
Report wellchief February 17, 2018 4:20 PM GMT
* Un De Sceaux; smart arse predictive!
Report buddeliea February 17, 2018 4:32 PM GMT
Rather concerned for Coney Island Chief,did not look good to me.
Cue Card showing some life in him still,good performance......bless him.
Yep,UDS worthy fav after that.
Report wellchief February 17, 2018 4:42 PM GMT
Yep, hope all is ok for Coney, looked injured when he was pulled up.

I wouldn't lost too much hope on Top Notch, although have to be disappointed. The very first fence, four of them jumped it in a line and he jumped it by far the worst; may just not have been a going day.

We know he acts around Cheltenham on good ground anyway and festival form means a lot.

Looking forward to this race even more now!
Report sageform February 17, 2018 4:45 PM GMT
Un de Sceaux vs Waiting Patiently and Cue Card. 16/1 bar 3 if they all turn up.
Report buddeliea February 17, 2018 4:49 PM GMT
Yeh Chief,i know Top Notch is a lot better than he showed today.Last time at Ascot he was really good.
16/1 would be nice Sage.
Report HaylingBilly February 17, 2018 5:40 PM GMT
Budd- is Top Notch your equivalent of "you know who's" Yorkhill ? Where's the nearest cliff !!!!!!
Report duffy February 18, 2018 1:46 AM GMT
I'd be against WP after today personally, even in winning, I just didn't like the look of him when he came off the bridal, also the interesting thing for me was that after 2 fences I was thinking that Brennan would be hounded out of town for the cut throat pace "it appeared" he was setting, I mean, speredeak couldn't even get to the front to start with.

WP was settled out the back and had nothing to do with it, I expected him to come through and easily pick up the pieces off those that had run their race, CC today ran with much of his old sparkle and I reckon that if Brennan had the race again he'd go it little easier leaving something left off of that home bend.

If I had to back something out of this race going forward to the Ryanair and on likely better ground I'd fancy CC to turn it around with the winner who today had the race served up on a plate with the way it panned out, the fact that CC hung in there for so long is a combination of his class and WP not quite at the top level.

The most exciting race I've seen for a good while.
Report duffy February 18, 2018 2:02 AM GMT
I wouldn't know if CC runs in the Ryanair but if he does then the disparity between him and WP, 6's and 20's is mad IMO, if Brennan went a stride slower early doors today I reckon he'd have had won.
Report buddeliea February 18, 2018 7:25 AM GMT
Ha ha Billy, i hope not mate!!
At least with Top Notch we have a very consistent horse that has been improving for his races.
Yesterday, i cannot explain, but he has shown hes much better than that and not that long ago,so i shall wait a bit ,see what his connections say, and then look at his odds.
Like i said i aint backed him yet,which is fortunate as his odds are now bigger.
Report sageform February 18, 2018 7:29 AM GMT
We all see it differently. Different ground might be an issue but to my eye, WP travelled superbly apart from one quite serious mistake at around half way which could have put a lesser horse out of it. He then came to CC on the bridle and looked a bit green having taken the lead which is presumably why he has to be held up. The noise of the Cheltenham hill could be an issue for WP but in terms of natural ability he looks to be on his own to me. A hood would seem a good idea as I saw the crowd and the noise as a reason why he wavered a bit on the run in but he was still going away.
Report buddeliea February 18, 2018 7:37 AM GMT
Yep, i thought he was impressive Sage.
The point the jockey made about getting there sooner than he would have liked told me he could have won that more comfortably.
I would not expect CC to beat him next time they meet.
The worry as far as this race goes,is they dont seem to be keen on running.
Is the because of normal festival ground not soft enough? Cheltenham?
He has got form on better ground,and he has won left handed,although not ran at Cheltenham.
Report wellchief February 18, 2018 8:40 AM GMT
I agree with Duffy more on this one.  The disparity between WP and Cue Card for the Ryanair betting is too big for me; Cue Card is even still bigger odds than Frodon and more than double the odds of Top Notch!

Paddy Power mustn't have been impressed with WP as they still have Top Notch a point shorter than him for some reason?

Like Duffy, I expected to WP to breeze past Cue Card once they were upsides, and when they crossed over each other before/after the last (can't remember) that certainly didn't help Cue Card as he was checked a bit (although probably wouldn't have effected the result).

It could be that Cue Card loves Ascot and it brings out the best in him, but I might throw a small bet on him at 16's nrnb - his 3m stamina reserves really kicked in when off the bridle in the home straight, and he looked to be enjoying his racing a lot more yesterday over the shorter distance.

My main worry as a fan of UDS and Cue Card is that they don't cut each others throats at the front and set it up for one who sits off the pace, although UDS is much less of a loon these days and settled in behind last time out, so may not be that big an issue actually.
Report wellchief February 18, 2018 8:56 AM GMT
Paddy Power mustn't have been impressed with WP as they still have Top Notch a point shorter than him for some reason?

Sorry, Oddschecker haven't updated PP's prices - on their site WP is much shorter than Top Notch now so ignore that comment!  Thought it was a bit strange.
Report jfromthewells February 18, 2018 9:22 AM GMT
i thought it was the performance of the season yesterday by WP . To give CC a 9 times grade one winner (who was given a brilliant ride ) roughly 1/2 a length a fence (17 fences) as  B Hughes got into the bottom of most fences and popped, except at the last where he  asked him and he made a mistake a good beating  . Waiting Patiently has got a  very serious engine
Report buddeliea February 18, 2018 9:28 AM GMT
Well strictly on yesterday the odds with Top Notch and Cue Card are wrong, but it werent Top Notch's true running so they have to be a tad careful re odds for him.

WP is an improver with likely more to come,so can see the odds being a lot shorter than the 12 year old making sense.
Would say though,CC is a fair e/w bet.

Would not worry at all re UDS, he can lay behind Cue Card,although if CC aint going quick enough,UDS may well do what he did last year and take charge of the situation!!
Report maelduin February 18, 2018 11:30 AM GMT
Not sure what DJ was doing at the start on Top Notch but sure hope he doesn't do it again at Cheltenham. Absolutely no reason to tear down to the first along side the free going CC. He just never got in a decent rhythm after that. Could also have been tacky going but still was very disappointing.

Mighty race by CC and he definitely stretched WP stamina reserves. Don't think there was much left in the tank with WP and he looks like an out-and-out 2 1/2 miler to me.

The Ryanair shaping up to be some thriller so lets hope they all make it.
Report mokegibboni February 23, 2018 4:43 AM GMT
Flying with Ryanair is a gambol in itself!
Report buddeliea February 26, 2018 5:09 PM GMT
Fox Norton out rest of season.
Report impossible123 February 26, 2018 6:37 PM GMT
Shame about Fox Norton. He'd have been my selection.

I've never flown Ryanair. Do they charge for using the loo? I believe they are selling rooms too.
Report impossible123 February 28, 2018 5:00 PM GMT
Supporters of Waiting Patiently are feeling pretty pleased with themselves, I think - he is in demand here. A decision to participate at Cheltenham made perhaps. Let's hope so, he's more than good enough, and the ground is looking favourable too at the present moment.
Report wellchief February 28, 2018 8:10 PM GMT
^^^ Although the soft ground plays into Un De Sceaux's hands too, who has won twice at the Festival despite never having his preferred ground.
Report Desmond Orchard March 1, 2018 11:52 AM GMT
It does Chief, but he's not getting any younger and I wasn't hugely impressed with him the last day.
It's rare that a festival Championship race (and I think we can probably call the Ryanair that now) is won by a 10yo and plenty of great horses have tried - although obviously I'll be backing Cue card regardless Crazy
UDS has been a fantastic servant, but I suspect he might find something a little too sharp for him on the day. WP would fit the bill if getting his ground.
Report buddeliea March 1, 2018 12:07 PM GMT
Gets really soft UDS might not be in this race
Report That is all March 1, 2018 12:37 PM GMT
Agree on that Des - Balko Des Flos the one for me in this, think he might improve past UDS & as a 6 yr old has every chance of doing so, run behind Road To Respect last time good enough for me too (he's my idea of the GC winner) & think could outrun his odds for a surprise at 8/1 currently.
Report That is all March 1, 2018 12:38 PM GMT
*7 yr old
Report wellchief March 1, 2018 7:15 PM GMT
You may be right Des, but I still have faith in the old boy and I think he should be fav for the Ryanair.

I think 2m is plenty sharp enough for him these days, and I think he was likely not fully wound up last time (although it was a shocker of a Grade 1).  2.5m on soft ground at Cheltenham is right up his street imo; he settles so much better these days too and comes in relatively fresh after a light campaign.  If it comes up good, we know he acts on that too - there aren't many question marks over him.

I agree on Balko des Flos TIA.  I backed him at 3 figure odds when he got beat by RTR last time, and I was quite vocal on my support for him in last years RSA, but he fell in the JLT.  I think he's a 3 miler though, as proved by running the race of his life over 3m last time.

Still not completely sold on Waiting Patiently if I'm honest - if he wins I'll hold my hands up, but I'd rather side with the one who's been there and done it - Albertas Run?
Report Desmond Orchard March 1, 2018 7:19 PM GMT
Wasn’t Alberta’s 11yo, too, second time around?
Early days for the race though and I don’t think it attracted the quality of field it does nowadays.
Anyway, I don’t have a bet in the race yet, so can wish you luck and mean it!
Report Desmond Orchard March 1, 2018 7:19 PM GMT
Wasn’t Alberta’s 11yo, too, second time around?
Early days for the race though and I don’t think it attracted the quality of field it does nowadays.
Anyway, I don’t have a bet in the race yet, so can wish you luck and mean it!
Report wellchief March 1, 2018 7:38 PM GMT
Albertas was 10 when he won it last Des, but 11 when he got chinned on the line by Riverside Theatre as an 11 year old.

The race does seem to have improved since then, although that Riverside Theatre renewal wasn't too bad, with Albertas (a dual Ryanair winner), Captain Chris and Forpady (both Arkle winners) and Somersby (a future 3 time QMCC runner up) all in the field.

I'm not a Ryanair snob, I love the race!
Report Desmond Orchard March 1, 2018 8:14 PM GMT
That’s right, a grand old warrior and proof of the old adage that you can’t beat festival form.
And yes, a decent field that, although you’d do well to find two worse Arkle winners than those two.
I think the race is getting better every year, principally because more trainers are seeing the sense of the Imperial Commander route to the Gold Cup - I’m sure that’s what was on WPM mind for Vautour and, I suspect, the potential route for Balco Des Flos
Report impossible123 March 6, 2018 5:17 PM GMT
Yorkhill gatecrashing a likelihood...triggering another rumbustious market adjustment, I'd think.
Report impossible123 March 9, 2018 3:57 PM GMT
Mullins is responsible for 7 out of the 14 left - really punter friendly!
Turning into right poker game this race
Peanuts to them for entire fee
Sit and wait for move
L’Ami still in thats nightmare to my
Dirty Yankee and ew dog doubles
Report deepingfox March 9, 2018 10:52 PM GMT
I like the 33/1 NRNB angle on L'Ami Serge each way in this race.
He has an excellent record of placing in his races, including quality graded races.
Report the bloob March 9, 2018 11:19 PM GMT
it does seem a very good angle, you would want a decent price on winning the race but the place part of the bet is an absolute steal. Who knows? there are a few doubts about the others
Report ACStafford March 10, 2018 12:14 AM GMT
Yep, he's a 12/1 shot if he runs here imo.
Report deepingfox March 10, 2018 12:31 AM GMT
Looks like 10 starters tops, that's why I like the L'Ami Serge 33/1 NRNB each way, I rarely bet EW but this looks the time to do so. I reckon B365s top price will be under pressure, if not gone, in 24 hours.
I don’t
I’m on dream for this
L’Ami for stayers
Both have major place chances
Can’t think what happens to my bet
If both line up in same race ffs
Antepost doubles
And Yankee ffs
Report impossible123 March 11, 2018 2:00 PM GMT
I think if one is certain UDS will run here it is never a better time to back him even if Douvan does show which is 1 trillion to one, in my opinion, as the latter has never run in this trip when he was sound and almost a zero chance now in his present physical state.
Report the bloob March 11, 2018 4:29 PM GMT
crazy how the market is assuming that Douvan runs in this, I can understand they are thinking about it but the market suggests a near certainty
Report Storm Alert March 11, 2018 4:33 PM GMT
Haven't connections all but said Douvan is running?  Appreciate they have also said Douvan was out for the season  / 50/50 to run this season / definitely going for Champion Chase, but when the owner is a bookie...
Report duffy March 11, 2018 4:39 PM GMT
Ricci is on get in later
Report p_r_e_m_i_e_r__f_a_n_t_a_s_y March 11, 2018 4:42 PM GMT
aye and Chapman will be all but licking his bellend
Report impossible123 March 11, 2018 4:54 PM GMT
I laid Douvan for the Champion Chase as I believe Min is 1st string and both were not race against each other. And I also have Altior as back-up in case the Closutton stable engineers a Min non-runner. However, it is a bit risky if Closutton stable does the same here with UDS as that will mean Douvan might start as short as 2/1.

If UDS was housed elsewhere I'd be laying Douvan for this race till thy kingdom come - I'd be calling Mullins/Ricci's bluff.
Report p_r_e_m_i_e_r__f_a_n_t_a_s_y March 12, 2018 6:32 PM GMT
Djakadam matched at 15 for this now
Report p_r_e_m_i_e_r__f_a_n_t_a_s_y March 13, 2018 8:14 AM GMT
matched at 11 now and money waiting at 11 Shocked
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