Cheltenham Festival

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17 Nov 18 11:56
Date Joined: 06 Mar 12
| Topic/replies: 618 | Blogger: HaylingBilly's blog
Was glued to Cheltenham all day yesterday on the look out for an eye-catcher for March. Not a lot to be honest but did take note of a Tizzard 6 year old Novice Chaser, WHITE MOON, who ran in the 2m4f. Jumped really well but didnt look anywhere near quick enough for first 2m3f of the race and then after second last he looked to be coming to win the race and fell at the last when blocked off. Looks all about stamina and after when Tizzard interviewed he said he thought he struggled to keep up with the pace but looked strong at the end. Could be a real option for either RSA or 4 Miler. This year Tizzard had Elegant Escape (3rd in RSA) and Sizing Tennessee (3rd in 4 Miler) so he is keen to have a real go at both races. I am going to have a go on WHITE MOON in 4 Miler. Thoughts ?
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Report Outlaw1 November 17, 2018 5:18 PM GMT
Was struggling to keep up so defo wants a step up in trip i agree there, biggest issue is Tizzards tinkering always putting horses in what many would say is not the obvious choice. Then again who am i to judge a gold cup winning trainer lol
Report HaylingBilly November 17, 2018 5:56 PM GMT
Must admit I went big last year on Elegant Escape in the 4 Miler. Was gutted when he ran him in RSA. Still think it was wrong decision. But like you say who are we to question Mr T.
Report sageform November 17, 2018 6:09 PM GMT
Ibis de Rheu could be a candidate. Stayed on well and jumped economically today. If P Nicholls has a better one for the RSA he might run in the 4 mile.
Report HaylingBilly November 17, 2018 6:38 PM GMT
Agree with that sage. He ran after my original post and I was thinking exactly the same after watching his race. I liked the 2nd too. I always like trying to get good bets going in both the Arkle and the 4 Miler. Sets me up for rest of week if things go my way. 50/50 over the years ! GrinGrinGrinGrinGrin
Report Quevega06 November 17, 2018 7:59 PM GMT
Ibis De Rheu was a pleasure 2 watch 2day completely different horse and one to watch over extreme distances
Report Ibrahima Sonko November 17, 2018 8:33 PM GMT
I was also on Elegant Escape for the 4miler, a superb jumper. Think White Moon is a bit too classy to aimed at the 4 miler.
Report differentdrum January 11, 2019 2:33 PM GMT
Gamble on OK Corral. No doubt inspired by the booking of Derek O'Connor for tomorrow's race.
Report Can't Catch Me January 11, 2019 3:07 PM GMT
No doubt. Crazy price now mind you.
Report duffy January 11, 2019 3:20 PM GMT
I like OK Corral for the 4 miler but Warwick would be a question mark against him, he was a green gangly horse over hurdles and looked much the same first time up over fences, I can see him being caught out by the sharp nature of the track tomorrow as well as the step up in class. If he can overcome this tomoz he'll be a reasonably strong fav for the festival 4 miler I'd have thought.
Report Can't Catch Me January 11, 2019 3:31 PM GMT
I wont mind if he gets a bit outpaced and stays on for a place in the context of the 4 miler duffy. Doesnt need to win tomorrow to justify his price!
Report duffy January 12, 2019 2:02 PM GMT
Hugely impressive from OK Coral, track no hindrance at all, I'd be considering the RSA if he were mine, certainly good enough and I'd have a worry that he'll pull himself out of the race over 4 miles, they couldn't go quick enough for him there today, going a little slower again he could pull his race away.
Report differentdrum January 12, 2019 2:39 PM GMT
I have backed Delta Work for the RSA and happy to stick with him but it would be a nonsense if OK Corral didn't target the RSA. On that evidence he is a quicker horse and better jumper than Santini. If they really want a horse for the four miler then it is Santini who should be moving in that direction.

If I was pricing the RSA I would have Delta Work slight favourite over OK Corral and Santini at least double the price of those two. At the time Santini's Newbury win didn't look that great given Kilbricken Storm ran a shocker and it looks even worse now.
Report Can't Catch Me January 12, 2019 3:33 PM GMT
Be surprised if NJH will want to run him against Santini... and Degsy got a great tune out of him today so why not stick with him? That was the. Plan before today and no reason to change it imo.

Also, the 4 Miler is a race JP loves to win considering who it is named after.
Report duffy January 12, 2019 4:00 PM GMT
Wouldn't you be concerned about his keenness over the extra mile CCM, I would be.
Report Can't Catch Me January 12, 2019 4:03 PM GMT
Not really Duffy. That’s the first time I’ve seen him do it and they were going an absolute crawl early on today.
Report differentdrum January 12, 2019 4:04 PM GMT
Have you punted the horse?

I would like to think that if I had I would accept that the horse is clearly too good for the four miler. That is obvious from today. It shouldn't matter what the plan was beforehand. Why should JP move his horse in favour of a horse who doesn't look as good.

That said however logical that thought might be I don't expect it to happen and those who have backed him are probably safe.
Report duffy January 12, 2019 4:10 PM GMT
When asked about the RSA Hendo visibly squirmed I thought.
Report Can't Catch Me January 12, 2019 4:14 PM GMT
Dd. You are saying it will be a nonsense if the horse targets the Four Miler, but that you think he will?

I don’t think today proves he’s clearly too good. It was hardly a top class race. And you’d guess they know where they stand with him and Santini. Everything we know suggests they think Santini is the superior animal.

As I’ve said JP is desperate to win this race. I think he’d acatually rather win it than the RSA. So what’s the problem? He pays the bills. Minella Rocco was probably too good for this race and Cause of Causes and Edwulf, but all of them went for it and the first two won it.

Yes Ive backed him.
Report Can't Catch Me January 12, 2019 4:16 PM GMT
A lot will also depend on whether JP’s money is down... it could well be.
Report Outlaw1 January 12, 2019 7:48 PM GMT
Whilst i agree he's plenty good enough to go to the RSA judged on today's effort. What is all this nonsense about being too good for a 4Miler ? Last few years it's really proved to be a race not to just send old fashion stayers but some really top horses.
Report Quevega06 January 12, 2019 8:54 PM GMT
Can't see OK Corral going for any other race than the 4 miler especially after it's now called after the great JT
Report Quevega06 January 12, 2019 8:55 PM GMT
It should be around 2/1 chance atm,so the 4s abput could still be value
Report duffy January 16, 2019 1:58 PM GMT
Looking at it again I think there may be something in taking the bigger prices about OK Corral for the RSA, you can't get away from the fact that he pulled very hard at Warwick, on a stiffer track over an extra mile going slower would be a massive worry. I think it is quite noteworthy that he's having another run before the festival, I reckon that is because they are concerned and want to see if they can get him to relax more through the race. Yes JP wants to run him in the 4 miler, but they won't run him there if they come to the decision that he won't get home and it has to be on their mind.
Report duffy January 27, 2019 2:35 PM GMT
Both Ballyward and Champagne Classic running excellent trials today, just took the 25's on CC who'll looks very likely to run in this race with DW going for the RSA. CC traveled and jumped beautifully before getting an easy time when he tired after so long off...25/1 can't last long IMO.
Report Deptford January 27, 2019 3:08 PM GMT
Cheers Duffy just had a cheeky litte score at 28/1 with Lads boost
Report differentdrum January 27, 2019 4:49 PM GMT
If I was Gigginstown I would send Mortal here - dam showed good form at 3m6f - but O'Brien seems to think he is a JLT horse.

I think they have so many horses they are often guilty of just trying to fit them in rather than looking at best option for the actual horse.
Report duffy January 28, 2019 2:25 AM GMT

I loved Mortal last time against DW, he travelled really well and jumped likewise, he wasn't a stellar hurdler so has come to chasing under the radar but he looks to be one of these horses that is completely transformed for fences, he looked like he was loving jumping them, he traveled so well that the jock was taking pulls on him I thought.

I disagree about the 4 miler though, I thought he was outstayed last time and looked like a horse with speed to me, I'm not sure what to expect from him next week as he's 148 at the moment which I think they may like the look of with regards to running in the Brown Advisory, I've been backing him for both the handicap and the JLT, I reckon in the fullness of time he'll prove to be a better horse than DW.
Report differentdrum January 28, 2019 8:31 AM GMT
As I said it seems O'Brien is agreeing with you. Next week should provide a bit more evidence.

Last time Mortal did travel into the race but for me the mistake at the last made it difficult to be certain about trip. He is definitely bred to improve over further. On the day I don't think Delta Work was at his best.
Report differentdrum January 28, 2019 8:41 AM GMT
Just going back to Delta Work he had previously beaten Le Richebourg (who I think is the most likely Arkle winner) over a shorter trip. He isn't slow. So at the end did he outstay or outspeed Mortal?
Report Ramruma January 28, 2019 9:00 AM GMT
Champagne Classic is in the JLT and RSA as well as the 4-miler, and is entered in both a hurdle and a chase at Leopardstown next Sunday, so it looks as if connections are feeling their way after a two year layoff.
Report foxy January 28, 2019 10:37 AM GMT
There can’t be many around who have beaten penhill presenting Percy monalee al boum photo
Report duffy January 28, 2019 2:00 PM GMT
Yes CC's win at the punchestown festival wasn't too shabby was it, he'd be bringing a deal of class into this race, and I'm still thinking that connections are concerned about him getting home by pulling his race away, I've took a chance and backed that one for the RSA, the 4 miler has gotten a lot stronger since the week end.
Report duffy January 28, 2019 2:01 PM GMT
Connections of OK Corral concerned about him pulling that should be.
Report differentdrum January 28, 2019 2:29 PM GMT
Champagne Classic travelled much better than Ballyward. I would go RSA as back up to Delta Work or even JLT ahead of this race.

I think even those who have backed him for this know that OK Corral should be in the RSA.
Report duffy January 28, 2019 2:47 PM GMT
He's running in the Reynoladstown now isn't he?, I don't believe that was the original plan, I'm guessing they want to have another look at him with regards settling. I don't see how over another mile going slower on a stiffer track isn't going to do anything but cost him and the race is now looking stronger.
Report differentdrum January 28, 2019 10:28 PM GMT
If OK Corral goes Reynoldstown where is Santini going?

I would view OK Corral as the main danger to Delta Work. If he were to win the Reynoldstown it would be very hard to avoid the RSA.
Report duffy January 29, 2019 2:37 AM GMT
Apologies, I was guessing Reynoldstown as Henderson said he'd have another run before the festival.
Report differentdrum February 3, 2019 3:14 PM GMT
National Hunt Chase got to be more likely for Mortal after that run. Definite trainer error running at 2m5f. Travelled and jumped well but absolutely no change of gear.

They have Delta Work for the RSA so given his pedigree it really should be this race for Mortal.
Report duffy February 3, 2019 4:05 PM GMT
Disappointing, I don't know what to make of him for any race after that, the one thing I'm clinging on to is it appears to me that this festival isn't going to hold up generally speaking when it comes to the festival, but it was a shocker from Mortal for sure, lifeless at the business end.
Report differentdrum February 3, 2019 5:06 PM GMT
I thought he ran well but I think he is a stayer. He travelled into today's as well as anything. Just lacks a gear. He jumps well, travels well and he wouldn't need such a change of pace over four miles.
Report Quevega06 February 3, 2019 9:04 PM GMT
IMO it'll be Delta Work JLT Hardline RSA and Mortal 4 miler
Report duffy February 4, 2019 1:08 AM GMT
I think Champagne Classic will run in the 4 miler.
Report Deptford February 4, 2019 12:25 PM GMT
I hope so ^
Report Quevega06 February 5, 2019 11:00 AM GMT
Classic would have 2 go 4 miler you'd reckon. Surely not go for the RSA after one run
Report differentdrum February 5, 2019 11:37 AM GMT

I don't see why having had one run should sway him in favour of any race.

To me he travelled like the best horse. Did he blow up or was he eventually beaten a stronger stayer?

Bounce factor also a concern wherever he goes.
Report Quevega06 February 5, 2019 1:18 PM GMT
The RSA would tend to be stronger so a more battle hardened horse normally wins it. I get the race Ballyward won last time out Classic travelled well but Irish races are normally slower
Report Quevega06 February 5, 2019 1:19 PM GMT
They'll be taking a chance running an inexperienced  horse over 3 when also having the fav
Report Deptford February 17, 2019 3:37 PM GMT
Champagne ran well, got to be this race, cant see it in RSA
Report differentdrum February 17, 2019 4:12 PM GMT
I think Champagne Classic regressed a little. He didn't seem to travel or jump as well as he did last time. I would be less confident whatever race he runs in.
Report lockup February 17, 2019 5:37 PM GMT
would like to see Mr Malarkey entered in this not RSA from the family of Dubacilla must be right up his alley.
Report jedi sophie February 17, 2019 8:20 PM GMT
Didn't think Kennedy was very good on this one at all.
Poor in fact. No initiative shown at all,outridden completely by Rachael.
Report Quevega06 February 17, 2019 8:52 PM GMT
Personally that run from Champagne today will have him bang on for the 4 miler
Report impossible123 February 18, 2019 8:51 AM GMT
Have no opinion on this race yet, but the drum's been banging for Ok Corral.He's only 10/3 in a competitive looking race - justified?
Report differentdrum February 18, 2019 11:14 AM GMT
He is clearly in the wrong race. He should be Delta Work's main danger. Other people have argued that Santini is the slowcoach in the yard and I wouldn't disagree at all. I won't be shedding a tear if both are turned over.
Report maelduin February 18, 2019 2:04 PM GMT
You can bet your life NJH wants both of them to run in the RSA. The only reason OK Corral might go to the NH Chase is because JP wants him to run there. It's a race that he loves to target with his horses and he's been very successful in it. Not to mention the JT connection to the race. If he had another decent runner in the NH Chase he'd probably send him to the RSA. As it stands right now he doesn't so i understand why he might go for the easier option.

The NH Chase is looking like a really decent renewal. Ballyward form franked over the weekend too.
Report Deptford February 19, 2019 7:40 PM GMT
Good write up on S Life from Gordon Elliot, looks like Champagne running
Report resner not lesnar March 5, 2019 1:24 PM GMT
Sounds like the owners want Champagne Classic in the RSA from the preview evening last night. Elliott wants to run in 4 miler but sounds like the O’Leary’s might have got their way. Hopefully Gordon can change their minds
Report Deptford March 5, 2019 7:10 PM GMT
Delta be short now with Santini injury, be mad run Champagne as well
Report resner not lesnar March 6, 2019 4:52 PM GMT
Champagne Classic not declared here so presume he’s gonna run in the RSA.
Report foxy March 6, 2019 5:52 PM GMT
Report foxy March 6, 2019 8:10 PM GMT
Out of the festival
Report Deptford March 6, 2019 8:17 PM GMT
Must be injured, still entered in 2 races at moment, gutted, really fancied this, and Tout in Ultima and Gilgamboa in Foxy, all out
Report foxy March 6, 2019 8:28 PM GMT
I backed the horse after his good comeback at naas deptford and was fine with his run at navan others were a little disappointed,I thought this race was made for him,obviously a fragile horse which is a shame his hurdles win at punchestown is exceptional form,hopefully he will be ok and maybe go for the Irish national, I really thought he only had ballyward to beat.
Report Deptford March 6, 2019 8:34 PM GMT
Agree with all there mate, hopefully Ballyward to ease the pain
Report foxy March 6, 2019 8:44 PM GMT
Yes hopefully but not much of a price now and will probably go of favourite ,champagne 20/1 after naas
Report Tiger Tiger March 6, 2019 10:31 PM GMT
Anyone else think that Discorama has a chance in this? Would have won last time in my opinion but for being bumped and falling at the last when just half a length down at the time. The second in that race, Chris's Dream went on to beat Champagne Classic in a Grade 2. Looks a big price at 14/1.
Report foxy March 7, 2019 6:38 AM GMT
He ran well at the festival last year tiger 2nd in the Martin pipe beaten by slow by slow he was running really well at naas doubt he would have beaten ballyward but definitely a clear second 14/1 is a big price though there’s not many runners.
Report Mystic Wind March 7, 2019 7:21 PM GMT
Elliott has only got 2 left in this.

Blow By Blow has been disappointing this year and it would take quite a leap of faith to side with him, although Festival form counts for something I guess.

Elliott's other entry Gun Digger is interesting if he turns up in this though, having been campaigned at 2.5 miles all season yet looking as though he's crying-out for a trip.

0.3pt Gun Digger @ 16/1
Report foxy March 7, 2019 7:30 PM GMT
I doubt the trip will be far enough for blow by blow
Report irishone March 7, 2019 11:35 PM GMT
Think i have doneva fiver somewhere
At ridiculous odds last year
To win the 4 miler with blow by blow
It would help if he could jump fences
Report Catch Me ifyoucan March 17, 2019 1:46 AM GMT
OK CORRAL and the ‘at least 3 starts over fences’ National Hunt Chase stat…
If Ok Corral is to justify his status as favourite in the National Hunt Chase then he’ll need to be only the second winner in the last 22 renewals to do it off less than three career chase starts… Nicky Henderson’s 9yo has been all the rage for the 4-miler since his smooth success in a Listed event at Warwick in January, a race that was his second start over the larger obstacles. And that’s my sticking point with the 9yo; the fact he’s only had two starts over fences.

Is that enough chasing experience to land a race as demanding as the 4-miler? Especially when you consider the following…
20/21 winners of the NH Chase had 3 or more chase starts on their CV before landing festival glory
Those that lined up with 2 or less chase starts to their name return the following…
1/78 | 1% S/R | -£70.50 LSP – W&P 8/78 | 10% S/R – 80% below expectation
The only horse to defy the stat was Deejaydee in 1999.
It’s always a race with plenty of large field hustle and bustle and coming in ‘low’ on chase experience hasn’t been a good idea in recent seasons.
The defence…
He’s two from two over fences, he’s won five of his nine career starts, he finished second in the Albert Bartlett last year and he’s only been out of the first two in one of his nine career starts; on the face of things it’s not hard at all to make a case for him.
He’s always been a horse that looked like chasing was going to be his game and you suspect that had it not been for injuries and a slightly fragile body he could well have been contesting the Gold Cup this year, had he not spent long periods on the sidelines.
Whilst that makes him unexposed and potentially fresher than plenty of his likely competition I do just worry if his lack of chasing experience, and we have to remember both his chase starts have been in 4 runner fields, will find him out…
Report saxon farm March 22, 2019 9:30 PM GMT
To me, it is a terrible shame but the race will be abolished.
Until Golden MIller the  NH Chase was the race of the festival.

1860 first run, Only The Grand National was bigger.

The History of the National Hunt Chase 1860-2010 author Peter Stevens is a fantastic read, each race fully documented.
Apart from which: when, why & how NH Racing began, there are some amazing stories.

Let’s have evolution not revolution.
Report the bloob March 22, 2019 9:37 PM GMT
I've been saying for a while, shorten it to 3m 4f and make it open to all jockeys. I know that a lot of the carnage has happened earlier in the race but so many horses are on their last legs turning for home, shortening the race would help
Report irishone March 22, 2019 9:48 PM GMT
Wouldnt like to see the race removed
The codd and dereck are the finest jockeys
Neither wants to go pro
Its like their annual cup final
Report saxon farm March 22, 2019 9:55 PM GMT
the bloob
Fair point, but 30 years ago They shortened the RSA to 3m when previously it was Gold Cup course & distance.
It’s a right conundrum!
Being a progressive traditionalist.....
Report saxon farm March 22, 2019 9:58 PM GMT
I agree, but not for indulgent reasons.
Report Fashion Fever March 22, 2019 10:41 PM GMT
agreee with blob 3m 4f would be prefect
Report Fashion Fever March 22, 2019 10:41 PM GMT
agreee with blob 3m 4f would be prefect
Report buddeliea March 23, 2019 7:20 AM GMT
They have to and will take notice of what happened this year.
I would be amazed if this race is in the 2020 festival as it stands now.

Their will be pressure on stopping the combination of novice chasers going 4m with amateur jockeys.

Quiet how they go about it i really dont know but ideas of reducing the race distance and  open to all jockeys, will almost certainly be looked at.

Its the world we live in now.
Report GAZO March 23, 2019 10:22 AM GMT
nobody would have said anything about the race if it wasnt for the bans,should 4yo be jumping hurdles after what happened to sir erec,limit the field to 10 in the gold cup as its becoming too hard a race,take the festival to newbury were we dont have a really stiff finish
Report irishone March 23, 2019 10:43 AM GMT
All about getting the balance right !
Report Autocue March 23, 2019 2:55 PM GMT
I don't think the future of the race will be helped by Kevin Blake. Talking about this year's event he says of the horses "They have shown themselves to be laden with stamina and have been conditioned to run extreme distances." Well most of the runners have never been in a chase beyond 3 miles, the trainers will often say they don't know if they'll get the extra mile and the evidence of my eyes was that only two of this year's runners showed they were laden with stamina and conditioned for extreme distances. I can see the argument that the race gives the good amateurs a chance to shine, but the likes of Codd and O'Connor shine in open company anyway. Most of the horses in the race have no chance and you can quickly narrow the field down by looking at what the best amateurs are riding. It wouldn't bother me at all if they dropped it. The race has a long history but that's not a good enough reason to keeping it going.
Report GAZO March 23, 2019 3:05 PM GMT
you could say the same about most of the grand national field
Report Autocue March 23, 2019 4:33 PM GMT
That could go as well. It's so far removed from the race it was they should do it under trades' descriptions. But I'm not going to stir that one up Devil.
Report the bloob March 23, 2019 9:49 PM GMT
there is no way to find out if your horse stays 4 miles as there simply isn't any novice races even close to that distance, the only horses that could have faced such a trip are second season novices like Impulsive Star that might have run in open races over longer trips

the race reminds me a bit of the Queens Vase at Royal Ascot, previously raced over 2 miles when there is not a race in the calendar beyond 1m 4f for 3 year olds up to that point. They finally saw sense and shortened it to 1m 6f and it's a much better race as a result, Stradivarius won the race the first year it was shortened and it's now a Group 2
Report impossible123 March 24, 2019 9:21 AM GMT
Confine novice chasers to a max of 3m eg RSA, simple! Is there any necessity for a novice chaser to be running further than that until they are more developed and experienced? None whatsoever in my book. Or possibly raise the handicap or quality of the runners, if needs must.
Report nocturnal March 24, 2019 9:28 AM GMT
Totally agree Saxon Farm.

One of the most Historically Important races of the whole NH Calendar.

Another example where the facts are being carefully manipulated,who does that suit?

Moved to the last race on day 1,after 3 previous chases,on chewed up ground,just who thought that would be a great Idea for novice chasers over the extended 4m trip.

Couple that with false ground, served up by a racecourse hell bent on ruining this marvellous meeting.

Just who gave them the right to determine what ground these horses should run on.

The "safe ground" angle was completely blown by the equine fatalities in 2018,that was the softest ground we have seen for many a Festival.

How many good ground horses have been denied their chance, since this mis-guided policy was introduced.

Lets blame the Amateur Jockeys,lets ban a few,the canny art of deflection.

This race has produced the likes of Tiger Roll and Native River in the last few runnings.

Nothing wrong with the race,the trainers go into it fully aware of the demands it presents.

There are other factors here that are being conveniently forgotten.

You reap what you sow.

Another programme change that has totally back-fired,clueless Is being kind.

Our beloved Festival Is slowly being ruined by backward thinking Simpletons.
Report Quevega06 March 24, 2019 10:36 AM GMT
Totally agree nocturnal don't understand why they even changed this from the wednesday. Have it as first race then no issues. Having it after a few chases on dead ground is mental in my opinion
Report Quevega06 March 24, 2019 10:39 AM GMT
You had Tiger Roll,Native River,Minella Rocco(placed in Gold Cup) then the likes of recent races Missed Approach & Beware the bear who have come back and won at the Fes
Report GAZO March 24, 2019 11:43 AM GMT
didnt sizing tennesse who won this seasons hennessy also run in the race last season,although i am fairly sure he was quite experienced for a novice.
Report irishone March 24, 2019 12:42 PM GMT
Agree 100% nocturnal, I think the
Major safety issues have been pointed out
Yet the bha continue to go by the skin of their teeth
The going stick readings are inconsistent
Parts of the track need remodelling
Bha well aware but would need to close course
Not on ,lose too much revenue

Might be that some gopd employees
Feel like they are banging their heads
Agaimst a brick wall
Report Catch Me ifyoucan March 27, 2019 4:05 PM GMT

TED WALSH agrees Devil
Report Mister Westsound February 27, 2020 3:24 PM GMT
Champagne Classic a gonner, injured !!!
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