Cheltenham Festival

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23 Aug 21 01:23
Date Joined: 02 Sep 14
| Topic/replies: 1,091 | Blogger: Paterson92's blog
I’ve had this horse in mind for the Mares Novice Hurdle at next years festival when she won her second bumper at Limerick - BELLE METAL. She’s trained by Willie Mullins which is probably a decent starting point given he’s won the race 5 times in only 6 runnings since being first introduced at the 2016 festival.

She won her first bumper by 12 lengths at Naas on heavy ground in January. From the 8 horses in opposition, only 2 have won since however she was visually impressive. So much so that she was purchased shortly after the race by Kenneth Alexander (owner of Honeysuckle and coincidentally the winner of this years Mares Novice Hurdle winner Telmesomethinggirl).

She then won her second bumper by 8 lengths at Limerick on heavy ground in March. From the 8 horses in opposition, only 1 has won since but again she was visually impressive and worth noting that Patrick Mullins rode at 11st 1lbs which was his lowest riding weight in a fair while.

She was entered in a bumper at Punchestown, however bypassed the festival completely and can only assume she was put away with next season in mind. 4 of the 5 Mullins Mares Novice Hurdle winners were 5 year olds - Limini, Let’s Dance, Laurina and Eglantine Du Seuil. Concertista was a 6 year old when she won the race in 2020, however did finish 2nd by a short head in the race as a 5 year old. Given that Belle Metal will be a 5 year old by Cheltenham next year and almost certain to be sent over hurdles, this is the obvious route for her (assuming she’s good enough).

Belle Metal is currently best priced 20/1 with B365 and as short as 12/1 with BF/PP. When you consider horses such as Eileendover and Princess Zoe are shorter in the betting and are highly unlikely to ever jump a hurdle, I’d say 20/1 about her is fair enough at this stage to have a few speculative quid on each way.

Fingers crossed she turns out to be half decent, stays healthy and at the very least get a run for my money come March - it’s good to dream!
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Report ImSoLuckyLucky! August 28, 2021 1:00 PM BST
Its good to dream

Report Quevega06 August 29, 2021 5:41 PM BST
Good write up Patterson.. I like another for Mullins in the name of - Glen's Of Antrim.
Report Paterson92 August 30, 2021 7:58 PM BST
Thanks ISLL!

Agreed Q06, she’s another who’s got to be high up on the list. She was steadily backed before a fairly disappointing debut. However next time out against Stattler she was backed off the boards, I remember it well. She travelled strongly throughout the race and got outstayed on the flat (this was the day they omitted the last 3 hurdles at Leopardstown) - would have been interesting to see the outcome had they not been forced to bypass hurdles. She’s clearly been expensive to follow since but was far from disgraced in this years Mares Novice at The Festival.

I get the impression she’s highly regarded at home but just hasn’t put it altogether on the track for whatever reason. The fact she’s had Cheltenham experience can only be a positive and being a second season novice didn’t hold Concertista back after she was beaten the previous year at The Festival. Best of luck!
Report Quevega06 August 31, 2021 12:23 AM BST
You too !! Just can't wait until it all starts again..
Report Paterson92 September 27, 2021 5:36 PM BST
Patrick Mullins on Belle Metal:

“She’s a small filly, she handles soft ground very well. She is a mare who is better on the track than she is at home, and being a Listed bumper winner we hope that she will develop into a contender for the mares’ novice in Cheltenham. Both her and Grangee might just lack the scope of one or two of the other mares, but their bumper form is good.”
Report Paterson92 November 2, 2021 12:01 AM GMT
Willie Mullins on Belle Metal in his recent stable tour:

“She was very impressive at Limerick having won at Naas before that on very heavy ground. We put her away, she jumps very well and had done a lot of schooling before winning bumpers and she’s one of the novice hurdlers we’re really looking forward to this season.”

20/1 still available with B365 but as short as 10/1 with PP/BF.
Report irishone November 2, 2021 10:21 AM GMT
"might just lack the scope of one or two of the other mares"

Sounds like he has a few more irons in the fire for this race
Report irishone November 2, 2021 10:26 AM GMT
Princes Zoe
Never likely to jump a hurdle ?

"She’s owned by a great old friend in Paddy (Kehoe) with his sister Philomena (Crampton) and they are purely racing people so other considerations don’t come into it. Cheltenham is still to the forefront of their minds." ... Tony Mullins
Report Paterson92 November 5, 2021 1:54 AM GMT
That’s what I took from Patrick’s comments as well, irishone. Time will tell I suppose.

In relation to that statement from Tony Mullins, that was actually a direct quote from September 2020 after winning at Galway -

She then went to Longchamp the following month and won the Prix Du Cadran, then ran a gallant 4th behind Subjectivist in the Prix Royal Oak, after which Tony Mullins said Cheltenham plans were scrapped -

She was due to run in the Long Distance Cup at Ascot on Champions Day a few weeks ago but was withdrawn on the day of the race after being found lame after a morning canter. As far as I’m aware, nothing has been mentioned with regards to her future plans and I would still be very surprised if she jumps a hurdle this season, if at all.
Report Paterson92 November 5, 2021 1:57 AM GMT
I notice Princess Zoe is now the current ante post favourite on OddsChecker for the Mares Novice Hurdle after Elle Est Belle disappointed yesterday afternoon at Newbury.

I can’t see it myself, but it’s a game of opinions.
Report Paterson92 November 5, 2021 2:23 AM GMT
Just had a quick scroll through his Twitter and found this exchange from 24th October …

“Is Princess Zoe going to go over hurdles this year or is that a stupid question?”

To which Tony Mullins responded, “At the moment she is resting after her little injury but an attempt at hurdles is not ruled out completely.”
Report irishone November 5, 2021 11:02 AM GMT
The couple who own the horse were very positive about Cheltenham on the last Sunday at Galway,which may explain the money. Tony aint in it for the punters.
Report irishone November 5, 2021 11:05 AM GMT
Willie has another one though, i am fecked if i can remember its name, its only run once and peed in.  If its got a chance against PZ he will leave it in.
Report irishone November 5, 2021 11:10 AM GMT
Fair play to you nailing your sail to the mast anyways Paterson !
Report penzance November 5, 2021 11:24 AM GMT
Pink In The Park?
Report Paterson92 November 5, 2021 6:08 PM GMT
Pink In The Park was very impressive in her bumper and I assumed she would be going straight over hurdles but Mullins recent stable tour suggests she’s not for now.

“She was very impressive in a bumper at Listowel in September. We’ve given her a break with a view to coming back for Graded bumpers in the spring. She’s from the very good family of Morley Street and Granville Again and is by a very good sire in Walk In The Park, She has the potential to be very good.”

She’s definitely one to follow.
Report DontBeSakhee November 7, 2021 12:44 PM GMT
I quite like the Colm Murphy thing ‘Impervious’. I was at Down Royal when she won last time out in a G3, despite a doubt about the drop back in trip. Probably questionable as to what she beat and tougher days to come, but it’s possible they dropped her back to see whether she’d be able to cut it.
Report Paterson92 December 16, 2021 10:45 PM GMT
Belle Metal set to make her hurdles debut in the 12.05 Navan on Saturday.
Report Paterson92 December 16, 2021 11:38 PM GMT
For the record, Grangee was good on hurdles debut but I was particularly impressed with Brandy Love this afternoon.
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