Cheltenham Festival

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09 Nov 21 17:40
Date Joined: 23 Jun 07
| Topic/replies: 2,900 | Blogger: Hibore's blog
Starting up the Gold Cup thread to share thoughts for the big one in March.

Minella, Galvin and Chantry have all had a run and performed well enough. The Betfair Chase looks a cracker if they all turn up and King George likewise.

Not sure when APT will surface but expect it will be around Xmas.

Any early thoughts 4 months out ?
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Report WhiteHatJon November 10, 2021 8:45 AM GMT
I've backed Eklat De Rire ew @ 66/1 to win a right few quid.

7 year old from the all powerful De Bromkead/Blackmore combination, won at Wexford a few weeks ago and is now 40/1 best.

That will do for me.
Report irishone November 10, 2021 11:22 AM GMT
We have entered him in the race at Newbury, the Ladbroke Trophy, we just entered him in that this morning. He could possibly go for that, I'm not sure. We will take it one day at a time with him. Rachael said he was pretty straight today and we had him ready for it.  Henry De Bromhead
Report buddeliea November 13, 2021 8:52 AM GMT
Chantry House seems to keep improving for the step up
In distance. Jumps well and his supreme run behind a superstar and another good one, suggests a good deal of class.
Can he cut it over 3m 2 at Cheltenham though?
Hope so and huge player if he can.
Report impossible123 November 20, 2021 7:52 PM GMT
Have we seen the winner today at Haydock? He seems to have progressed from last season. At 4/1 what's not to like unless Champ is a racehorse again.
Report duffy November 20, 2021 8:20 PM GMT
Been saying for a while that the front two from last year are stand outs, 6 and 8's respectively.

However, if you haven't backed APT at 8's then you couldn't possibly back him at 4's at this stage, the opposition today was substandard relative to a GC and for all his impressiveness you could argue that he did what was expected and it certainly isn't the first time this race has been won with such a performance and indeed by horses without a GC claim that he has.

At this stage IMO MI should still be the fav and APT will have to prove he's as strong a stayer as last year's winner on the day, which is the big doubt.
Report Bentring November 20, 2021 10:36 PM GMT
Agree with above and ur post of 6 and 8 were 2 on the right side of the Irish Sea
Report Bentring November 20, 2021 10:47 PM GMT
Watched race and thought wow so hopefully saying wow when I go to Navan tomorrow
Report impossible123 November 21, 2021 11:25 AM GMT
'duffy', true. However, it's been a long while since an Irish talent overwhelmed its British counterparts. I was impressed with the way he walked away with the race so effortlessly.

The opposition might have undeperformed nevertheless the manner APT won must not be overlooked either.
Report irishone November 21, 2021 3:20 PM GMT
"it's been a long while since an Irish talent overwhelmed its British counterparts"

What like 8 months ?
Report duffy November 21, 2021 3:29 PM GMT
I was just going to say thatGrin
Report Hibore November 30, 2021 6:56 PM GMT
Champ looks likely to restart his career at Aintree Saturday. Looking at the horses he beat in the RSA it would be great for the sport if he could become competitive come March whether over fences or maybe hurdles.
Report impossible123 December 3, 2021 6:40 PM GMT
At this rate Champ would be an unlikely runner for this esp if a hurdle race is preferred. And, I've stopped listening to Hendo - a bookie's man.
Report sageform December 5, 2021 12:07 PM GMT
It is really exasperating, particularly if you have Shishkin and Chantry House in your 10 to follow! I shall think twice about putting any of his in next year.
Report strontium December 5, 2021 12:39 PM GMT
Hendo doesn't usually get going until the Hennessey meeting, but apparently it's been so dry he's only been able to get his horses on grass in the last week or so. However, he also treats his stars more like ornaments than racehorses nowadays.
Report strontium December 5, 2021 3:25 PM GMT
The way this season's going, might be few runners this time round.
Report sageform December 5, 2021 7:02 PM GMT
Gold Cup, 6 Irish 2 GB?
Report irishone December 6, 2021 7:22 PM GMT
However, " he also treats his stars more like ornaments than racehorses nowadays. "

Absolutely, in hindsight champs preparation last year was very poor , what happened to altior ? Why isnt Shishkin ready this time of year ?| I have heard he is a sick man, hope its not true.
Report sageform December 10, 2021 5:28 PM GMT
Nicky has lost most of his sight which can't help but he looked and sounded fine otherwise on Luck on Sunday. Not having a watered grass gallop has been a serious disadvantage but he has had 4 comfortable novice hurdle wins in the last week. Apart from Shiskin and Chantry House the chasers look pretty thin as is often the case.
Report impossible123 December 12, 2021 6:53 PM GMT
I'm sorry Hendo has lost most of his sight, and I did not know that. As a follower of his charges I've been dismayed about his communication on their well-being (fitness) and missing intended appointments esp Champ. Thank-goodness it's only horseracing and must not be taken too seriously.
Report sixtwosix December 15, 2021 6:19 PM GMT
Protektorat and Fiddlerontheroof are the two for me.

Protektorat could go Ryanair(the same could be said for three quarters of the hopefuls was a bad idea). he looks to improving at a rate of knots.

I do like a strong finisher for Cheltenham and  Fiddlerontheroof was not stopping at the end of the Henessey.
Report impossible123 December 18, 2021 4:41 PM GMT
Could Champ be in the field despite winning the Long Walk today? If so, APT and Champ for the finish. No????
Report strontium December 18, 2021 10:40 PM GMT
He'd have to get over the first fence properly this time.
Report FOYLESWAR December 19, 2021 7:46 AM GMT
2 to consider at bigger  prices have very  decent novice form   consistent and eyecatching runs this term janadil and protectorat ,janadil a very good 2nd to allaho in the jonny durkan ,allaho will prob go ryanire again lively outsider worth a crack at 3m plus and 40/1 each way.
also protectorat good novice form last term very good 1st time up this term and looked a strong stayer winning easily  at aintree last week.20/1 each way  both progressing well and more to come.
Report FOYLESWAR December 19, 2021 7:47 AM GMT
very good 2nd 1st time up^^^
Report impossible123 December 19, 2021 8:05 AM GMT
I think connections of Champ would be absolute bonkers not to go down this route given his age and his win in the RSA provided he's sound (back issue truly sorted) and can jump competitively. However, I do think he needs a pop over fences in a trial prior; The Stayers is not comparable to the Blue Riband; competition from Ireland is tough too. 

If Champ is not ready this year, next year could be more competitive given the younger pretenders from Ireland.
Report strontium December 19, 2021 9:38 AM GMT
My gut feeling is that Champ will go Gold Cup. Nick seems to think he's up to it, and JP is a sportsman. Yet the Stayers Hurdle is surely by far his best chance of actually winning at the Festival. Presumably it'll be the Cotswold Chase or the Cleeve Hurdle next, which would tell us what the thinking is.
Report impossible123 December 19, 2021 4:40 PM GMT
Did Hendo not re-affirm Champ was a Gold Cup horse and there might be another at the beginning of the season? Also, Champ was entered for the Betfair Chase and Many Clouds.

If Champ can jump competitively I cannot see a reason why he'd not be this way bound given his RSA triumph. The Stayers is no comparison; Thistlecrack was redirected this way despite unbeatable in The Stayers; Buveur D'Air reverted to hurdle because of Altior.

I think Champ is the best JP has for this race.
Report strontium December 19, 2021 5:18 PM GMT
But that's a huge "if". The horse is not a good jumper of a fence. The RSA he won fell apart because of the frantic pace - he win it in spite of his own jumping. He appears to be a considerably better hurdler, and he won a good-looking trial yesterday (including a very good yardstick of the Irish form). Nevertheless, because of his connections, I think he will end up in the Gold Cup unless Chantry House puts up a big run on Boxing Day.
Report impossible123 December 20, 2021 8:22 AM GMT
Indeed. The performance of Chantry House (CH) in the KG will have a significant bearing on Champ's participation here. Nevertheless, I just do not think CH is a big player; I'd not even rate him as high as Santini certainly not Might Bite. But for Champ the Irish have this race in the bag already, I firmly believe.
Report irishone December 20, 2021 9:16 AM GMT
Ronald pump ?
A good yardstick of Irish form ?
Not at three miles mate
Report strontium December 20, 2021 9:46 AM GMT
You mean the Ronald Pump who was second in the Stayers Hurdle and third over 3 m at the Punchestown Festival? Or are we talking about a different Ronald Pump? I didn't say he's the best of the Irish over 3 m, but that is the company he regularly mixes in.
Report paulo47 December 20, 2021 12:40 PM GMT
Personally think he will go Stayers for 2022  , dont know how severe the treatment was , but more time over hurdles now cannot hurt . Plus who knows what sort of a mental scar the previous Gold Cup  has left .
Report Hibore December 20, 2021 4:29 PM GMT
Champ had back surgery 2 years ago and the vet always thought he didn’t get all the fragments out. Nicky told me he went back in the summer to the same vet who performed a repeat op and found what he missed the first time.

Reading between the lines they will see how Chantry runs on Boxing Day and then see if Champ needs to bolster their Gold Cup challenge or concentrate on the Stayers if Chantry performs like they think he will.
Report Hibore December 20, 2021 4:29 PM GMT
Champ has undoubtedly had his problems. A Grade One winner over hurdles (Sefton Novices’ Hurdle) and over fences (RSA Novices’ Chase, beating Minella Indo), he fell in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March and had a subsequent back operation.

His reappearance at Ascot after nine months off in the Howden Long Walk Hurdle was supposed to be something of a fact-finding mission for Nicky Henderson’s charge, a prep run for bigger things to come.

Yet he showed real determination, finding a second wind and coming back on the bridle to win with ease. The official verdict was a length and three-quarters, but in truth he simply broke runner-up Thyme Hill’s heart.

In this calendar year, Champ has had three runs – the Game Spirit Chase, Cheltenham Gold Cup and Long Walk Hurdle. An unlikely trio if ever there was one.

So now connections have a problem. The nine-year-old – named after 20-time champion Sir Anthony McCoy – is such a talent that he has McManus and Henderson in a quandary.

“Which race to go for – the Gold Cup or Stayers’ Hurdle? We’ll leave it to Nicky,” said McManus.

“I’ve no problem staying over hurdles and equally, if he goes over fences, I have no problem with that.”

Unusually, he candidly added: “There are few horses in training that give me as much pleasure as this horse.

“He is named after the man he’s named after (McCoy) and he is a slow or late-maturing horse who has had niggly problems all his life, but Nicky has shown tremendous patience in dealing with them and giving him the time.

“No horse gives me as much pleasure. We deliberated a long time before we put it (McCoy’s nickname) on a horse, so we thought a lot of him from the start.”

Champ has won six of his eight races over hurdles now and the Stayers’ Hurdle is certainly on the radar, especially since Henderson has lost – for the time being at least – his top hope Buzz. The ante-post favourite was ruled out with a pelvic injury on the eve of the Long Walk.

Though immediately cut to 4-1 favourite for the Stayers’ by Coral afterwards, another crack at the Gold Cup remains a possibility, should his jumping not hold him back.

For Henderson, it was merely a relief to get him back on course after his back operation and McManus was keen to pay tribute to the veteran trainer.

“It was a great training performance by Nicky,” said McManus.

“After Cheltenham last year, it was challenging. I wouldn’t know much about the injury, but he had a back injury and Nicky did a tremendous job to get him back and I have to give him full marks.

“Champ summered well and he came back in good form, and we hoped that this is what he would do, but you never know, especially after that run in the Gold Cup, which was a disappointing run for everybody.

“It is back to the drawing board, but he looked to enjoy himself.”

While Henderson felt his class may be an asset ahead of the Long Walk, he insisted he would need the run.

McManus added: “Nicky had him fairly ready in fairness. He doesn’t leave too much to chance.

“I would say he will be better for the run and it was exciting when he ran a little bit free about 10 furlongs out – I said, ‘God, not so early – there is plenty of time for that’.

“But he did well to see it out and get his second wind and see off Thyme Hill.”

Of course, the billion dollar question remains.

“I would like to do the right thing, whatever that is,” said McManus.

“I’d like to do the right thing for the horse, whether it is the Gold Cup or the Stayers’.

“Let’s see how he comes out of this. It is a high-class problem!”

And in Henderson, McManus and McCoy, there is no better team to solve it.
Report duffy December 21, 2021 5:13 PM GMT
but in truth he simply broke runner-up Thyme Hill’s heart.

I thought TH half chucked it in.
Report irishone December 23, 2021 5:52 AM GMT
Hardly irish form mate the stayers hurdle ?

Last time I looked Cheltenham hadnt been moved
Report irishone December 29, 2021 12:39 AM GMT
Indo needs a left handed course, only won once right handed at punchestown on dodgy ground that caught a lot out.
Report duffy December 29, 2021 5:25 PM GMT

What were the cheekpieces for and do you agree that Rachael's insistence on hassling Frodon at every point the pace seemed to slacken messed with the horse a bit.

BTW Well done with that Galvin bet, very good class 1 chaser himGrin
Report Hibore December 29, 2021 5:54 PM GMT
Just watched Upping the Ante and must agree with the Irish boys that the Gold Cup may have left it’s mark on Minella. It’s run at Kempton was so bad…much worse than it’s runs last year around Xmas. De Bromhead form ? Too hard a Gold Cup ? We will see. Native River took a season to get over the race and Might Bite never recovered.

Backed Galvin yesterday but won’t be topping up my 20/1 GC at 7/1 at this stage. Surely won’t be much shorter on the day unless he runs and wins Irish Gold Cup.

APT is still in the mix. Anyone grabbing the 5/1 PP after the race yesterday as a decent bet at least ew.

The Cotswold Chase could be a key race now. At least we will see if Champ is going back over fences as there isn’t anything to scare JP off after the Xmas grade 1’s.

Apart from that Protectorat may be interesting. Wonder where he’ll go next.
Report duffy December 30, 2021 3:33 PM GMT
I don't go along with the race leaving it's mark, certainly not at this stage anyhow, if anything I'm probably more inclined to back MI again at his price now, the race looked a total mess from his point of view and with valid reasons to believe that he is a different horse at Cheltenham I wouldn't be anyway close to writing him off.

I mentioned before that a few weeks ago it didn't even look like he'd be coming over for the KG and I think there might have been an element of APT having to go left handed which meant that he stayed in Ireland leaving MI with no other option but to come over for the KG.
Report impossible123 December 30, 2021 6:37 PM GMT
I think it's fair to say (after 2 races) Minella Indo is not the horse of last season. However, some pundits are still latching on his big price as an incentive to back in an open renewal; Might Bite springs to mind.

Another one to be dismissed is Chantry House. Not only does he lack tactical speed his jumping went awry when the pace quickened. I believe he's just not good enough; track and going as excuses to save Hendo blushes.
Report Hibore December 30, 2021 6:45 PM GMT
Interesting to hear Ruby’s thoughts on the RTC tonight.
Report Bentring December 30, 2021 7:12 PM GMT
He could,it's possible,maybe,it's too early to say.
That about wraps it up.
Report irishone December 31, 2021 3:36 PM GMT
Its the "dont have a clue syndrome"
Or the
" just because I dont know it doesnt mean I'm not entitled to an opinion" syndrome
Report brandyontherocks January 5, 2022 9:25 PM GMT
This race is looking like a good betting heat unlike most of the other championship races.

Minella Indo despite his obvious Cheltenham form would take a huge leap of faith to back after his two runs this season.
I backed A Plus Tard last season as I like horses who haven't run in the race before. He didn't jump great in the big one last year and I don't see why he should go one better this year.
Champ can't be backed judging by his poor jumping in the RSA and his flop in this race last season.

As said above I like horses who are Gold Cup debutants and of last seasons novices the two who make most appeal to me are Chantry House and Protektorat.

Chantry House' run in the King George was too bad to be true imo. He wouldn't be the first horse to run badly in that race and bounce back in the big one. ( Looks Like Trouble, Imperial Commander, Lostintranslation).

Protektorat finished last season with a very good win at Aintree beating The Shunter, who had just won the Plate at Cheltenham, and Hitman.
Ran a cracker off top weight in the Paddy Power first time up then strolled home in the Many Clouds. (Admittedly not beating much)

Think they offer the value at the moment for a little e/w punt.
Report Bentring January 6, 2022 3:25 PM GMT
Think u need the results of last year's festival and where they where housed.
Using the shunter as a form line is a positive as him being a h'capper for the English to find the level there at,unfortunately the Irish have grade 1 horses and the Shunter will never be 1 of those HTH
Report brandyontherocks January 6, 2022 8:41 PM GMT
I don't care where a horse is trained. I hate this Brits v Irish crap. I love horse racing and top quality horses. I couldn't care less where they are trained.
Plenty of trainers based in England can get a horse ready to win at the Festival.
At present most of the top owners are sending their horses to be trained in Ireland. Not because a horse HAS to be trained in Ireland to win at the festival.
Report Bentring January 6, 2022 9:22 PM GMT
The post was nothing to do with Brits v Irish,just the probability of the outcome of the GC,you like debutants but didn't mention Galvin which I found strange,you chose 2 that are trained in GB so I wish you well with that project.
The best advice is to wait as that pair will surely drift to bar.
Report brandyontherocks January 6, 2022 10:04 PM GMT
Only didn't mention Galvin is because his price is about right now.
I think Protektorat will run in either the Cotswold Chase or the Denman. A good performance there will see him cut I would think.
Report The Dragon January 7, 2022 12:21 PM GMT
Ruby thinks al Boum will win it im on at 16/1Cool
Report The Dragon January 7, 2022 12:22 PM GMT
btw brandy is spot onCool
Report impossible123 January 8, 2022 7:46 AM GMT
I think Protektorat has been flatted by his drubbing of Native River who's been retired immediately after. I believe Protekorat needs to improve at least 10lbs to be considered a serious contender for this race. Another Chantry House perhaps, but Chantry Horse does have a proven superior CV at Cheltenham.
Report irishone January 8, 2022 9:19 AM GMT
Another year where you can forget anything trained in England
Report brandyontherocks January 10, 2022 10:48 PM GMT
PriceWise on the Gold Cup tomorrow
Report brandyontherocks January 10, 2022 10:48 PM GMT
PriceWise on the Gold Cup tomorrow
Report Hibore January 10, 2022 11:10 PM GMT
Tom put up Protektorat 12/1
Report Bentring January 10, 2022 11:29 PM GMT
Protektorat has 'serious chance' in Cheltenham Gold Cup says owner John Hales.
So had one man John
Report Ramruma January 11, 2022 3:18 PM GMT
Will Protektorat get the trip? He has been mainly campaigned at two and a half miles, although he did of course win over 3m1f last time out, beating the soon-to-be retired Native River.
Report irishone January 11, 2022 5:16 PM GMT
Every year its the same, instead of listening to fred knowall why not do your own research, watch the races and form your own opinions ?

Tipsters got lucky once, they live off that.

If you knew of a guarenteed winner the last thing you would do is tell the world.
Report SHROPSHIRELAD January 11, 2022 6:45 PM GMT
A PLUS TARD for me

I think he should have won it last year, as good as Rachel undoubtedly is I don’t think she had her finest hour in last years race, at one point she tried to take him through a gap that wasn’t there and I also think think she put him wrong at two of the fence.
Report SHROPSHIRELAD January 11, 2022 6:45 PM GMT
A PLUS TARD for me

I think he should have won it last year, as good as Rachel undoubtedly is I don’t think she had her finest hour in last years race, at one point she tried to take him through a gap that wasn’t there and I also think think she put him wrong at two of the fence.
Report FOYLESWAR January 12, 2022 10:08 AM GMT
some of us do form our own opinions irish .anyway ruby mentioned al boom photo so its cut to 10/1 from 16/1 tom seagull puts up protectorat and its into 10s or 12s i gave it a mention a while back at 20s whatever value has gone now  cant see much value left in the race  atm ante post so prob wait until the day of race .
Report brandyontherocks January 12, 2022 10:38 AM GMT
I think most people on here would fo their own opinions,  I agree Foyles.
Interesting thing said on that podcast with Barry Geraghty and a fella called Tony, on how much value you can still get on the weekend before the meeting compared with SPs
Report FOYLESWAR January 12, 2022 12:09 PM GMT
yes just watched that brandy worth bearing in mind.
Report FOYLESWAR January 12, 2022 12:12 PM GMT
yeah i shudda said will  wait till the 2 day stage , non runner no bet will come into it and most will get cut again in the next 3 or 4 weeks .
Report irishone January 12, 2022 7:08 PM GMT
Whats galvin done wrong ?

Is it because hes irish ?

Will the haters be out seething for gordon ?

This horse was pointed out as the Irish bankerlast year

Ignored by most..... Would have thought we would have learned
Report brandyontherocks January 12, 2022 9:28 PM GMT
Nothing wrong with him as far as I'm concerned.
Report Ramruma January 13, 2022 10:13 AM GMT
Galvin is a best-priced 5/1 second favourite. In what sense has he been ignored?
Report Hibore January 13, 2022 11:46 AM GMT
I’ve backed Galvin after the 2nd to Frodon.

He’s one of only four individual AP bets covering all of Cheltenham I’ve made this year. I’d normally have 30 or 40 bets covering 8-10 horses on average by now.

Their is little to no value in any race. Worst year ever. Might as well wait till day of the race than risk horse not running.
Report FOYLESWAR January 13, 2022 2:09 PM GMT
the 4 championship races are non runner no bet but prices have been cut accordingly agree the firms are taking the pish!
Report saxon farm January 13, 2022 4:00 PM GMT
Not 365 who are NRNB BOG.
If you can get on?
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