Cheltenham Festival

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19 Nov 22 14:24
Date Joined: 22 Sep 06
| Topic/replies: 54,924 | Blogger: irishone's blog
Poison Nicky and Nichols will bottle it

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Report brandyontherocks November 20, 2022 10:25 PM GMT
First day of?
Report irishone November 21, 2022 10:03 AM GMT
Pmsl LaughLaughLaughLaugh
Report sageform November 21, 2022 10:35 AM GMT
Don't think that Nicholls will bottle it after his interview with Chapman yesterday. He may not risk soft ground horses on good/firm but he will run as many as he can, provided they have a realistic chance. The problem last March was that he didn't think any of them would win. The interview with Michael Buckley yesterday was very revealing. Why would you risk ruining a 5yo potential champion hurdler in November when he might never be as good again if he is jarred up?
Report irishone November 22, 2022 8:16 PM GMT
Yeah but if thats the case you run the risk of a Best Mate scenario with everyone complaining they havent seen him run.

They are race horses so why keep them in the stable.
They are supposed to be out there racing.
Thats why they were bred.

Bottling the oppo will lead to much smaller fields.... eeerrrmmm hang on a minute
Report sageform November 23, 2022 5:50 PM GMT
Unless the rules of racing have changed, I was not aware that an owner was obliged to run his horse all season if he didn't want to. Until they restrict Championship races to horses that have run 3 or 4 times in either recognised trials or Grade 1 or 2 handicaps in the current season it will keep getting worse.
Report duffy November 23, 2022 6:47 PM GMT
I wouldn't be rushing to hail Nicholl's as the shining example......all we've heard from hm through the last few years is how Cheltenham isn't the be all and end all, which is really code for....I'm sulking because my horses aren't good enough and I don't fancy having a go?
Report irishone November 24, 2022 6:23 AM GMT
Nichols is second rate as a result

Only Nicky is in Gordons, Willies or Henrys league.

It is unfortunate that as a result UK  NH  has also become second rate
Report sageform November 24, 2022 11:32 AM GMT
Horses are bought by owners and there seem to be some very wealthy owners in Ireland willing to supply Mullins, Elliott and de Bromhead. Nicholls by his own admission had a weaker hand last year and his best prospects, Bravemansgame, McFabulous and Clan des Obeaux were not Cheltenham horses. He is rebuilding well and I'm sure he will run any horse that he feels has a good chance plus any that owners wish to take there for a day out.
Report irishone November 24, 2022 9:56 PM GMT
NICKY HENDERSON'S controversial comments over the state of the ground at Ascot on Saturday have been poorly received by many in the racing industry.

The top trainer withdrew the Champion Hurdle favourite Constitution Hill from Saturday's Coral Hurdle because of drying conditions.
In what was already a heated debate, after a number of high-profile non-runners this weekend, he turned up the temperature another notch with some strong words on Sunday morning.

When interviewed on Sky Sports Racing, he said: "If I had run Constitution Hill on that ground, he would have been in his box for a year wounded."

Those inflammatory comments did not go down well with some owners and trainers.

Several trainers and jockeys at Ascot - including Paul Nicholls and Gary Moore - agreed that the ground had dried out to something close to 'Good', having been described earlier in the day as Good to Soft, Good in places.
Report irishone November 24, 2022 10:13 PM GMT
Lydia not having it .......

On a point of stone-cold fact, it was not good-to-firm ground at Ascot on Saturday. Henderson is wrong, just as he was wrong when he called Sandown’s ground “heavy” when – to cite an episode to which he repeatedly alludes – pulling Altior out of the Tingle Creek almost two years ago. On Sandown’s chase course, it was on the cusp between soft and good-to-soft, on balance the latter. At Ascot, it was on the cusp between good-to-soft and good, on balance the latter.

Ground categories can be – and are – measured objectively via times. Whilst one might argue the toss over the difference between, say, ‘good, good-to-soft in places’ and ‘good’, there is no credible analysis of Saturday’s times that possibly results in labelling that ground ‘good-to-firm’. This is not a subjective interpretation. It is basic mathematics. And as we have all discovered to our cost in recent years, alternative facts are dangerously undermining of reality.

Subjective assessments of the ground as it might affect an individual horse are a different matter and therefore the language used to convey this point should change accordingly. It was entirely possible for Henderson to have said of Constitution Hill, as he rightly did on Saturday: “That ground is unfortunately not suitable for this horse.”

Yet what was said the following day risked a passing audience, or worse a hostile audience, believing the sport knowingly allowed racing to go ahead on ground anyone who walked it would have known was unsafe, and by extension that those trainers who ran their horses lacked judgment, and lesser horses are treated more expendably than Cheltenham Festival winners. As with the Altior scenario, he testily invoked “welfare” as a shield to deflect personal criticism when in fact he was unwittingly wielding a sword of self-sabotage for the whole sport.

King drew on his own professional assessment when stating: “We’ve only had a handful of runners at Ascot this season and most of them have come back with a problem.” He’s raced three horses over Jumps there to date this term, one of which – Betterforeveryone – he reported as having returned “jarred up” from racing there on Friday.

Using King’s own words, we must therefore conclude at least one of his other two horses developed a problem that he links directly with racing there. Statistically speaking, a sample size of three is not a sufficiently robust measure on which to base more fundamental claims. However, in making the decision to withdraw Edwardstone, again he did not need to go that far – albeit he is absolutely within his rights to express to Ascot any wider concerns he might hold.

To be clear: this is not an article arguing that Henderson, King and Venetia Williams – who withdrew L’Homme Pressé – should have run their horses. Those who might pretend otherwise are (again) missing the point. It is inarguably the responsibility of individual trainers to make such decisions based on the needs of their individual horses and their preferred campaigns.

Admittedly, there is a complicating ongoing narrative about small field sizes and a perceived lack of appetite among trainers to race their horses often enough to fulfil the upper echelons of the fixture list. However, again this issue is more complex than three Cheltenham Festival winners missing their intended comebacks.

It involves (but may not be limited to) matters such as the growth of ‘super-trainers’ collecting talent into too few hands, an inadequate population of suitable horses being bred, too many viable dual-purpose horses racing on the Flat around the globe, an uncompetitive graded programme in Britain, the trend of British-based owners basing horses in Ireland, whether there should be a joint Anglo-Irish Pattern, the part played by available prize money, and climate change.

Does the fixture list need to be reimagined to adapt to global warming? Where does Jump racing sit within this dynamic? Can summer jumping survive? Will it be ethically acceptable for racecourses to utilise vast quantities of water to maintain safe ground? These are the conversations we should be having with our leading protagonists
Report irishone November 24, 2022 10:21 PM GMT
lessons from altior .......
Report irishone November 24, 2022 10:22 PM GMT
"Last year was a disaster," he said. "He shouldn’t have run at Ascot in the first place and that was our own fault. It was a difficult situation with the build-up to the race, but if I’d taken him out on the morning, which is what I should have done, I’d have been lynched.

"One felt one owed it to the world to let him run and I shouldn’t have done. It knocked him for six and I don’t think it did Cyrname the world of good either.

"It was too early for such a dust-up. If they’d had a prep race it would have been a different ball game, but they shouldn’t have met each other at that stage."

Henderson, speaking to Unibet, added: "It took him a long time to get over it, but he did and everything was going terrifically heading into Cheltenham until four or five days before when he got this splint.
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