Cheltenham Festival

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29 Jan 23 04:14
Date Joined: 02 Apr 02
| Topic/replies: 767 | Blogger: muse's blog
I will turn my attention to Ireland this week, but for now the Cotswold Chase seems a decent kicking off point for the domestic contenders.

In the absence of L'Homme Presse, the 1-2 in the Cotswold might prove the two most significant challengers from the home team.

i though Ahoy Senor did less wrong than some seem to; he does adjust right but without losing significant ground.  His only serious miscalculation was at the 13th, but he was clever enough to right himself.  This probably represents just about how good he is (are we to believe that both Noble Nobfox and Protektorat seriously underperformed?); whether it is good enough to win a Gold Cup is a different matter.

More interesting, perhaps, is the runner up.  He travelled best to 4 out, and gave that fence a good old fashioned wallop when Quinlan tried to persuade him that human had a better plan than equine; although the RTV commentator said "he got away with it though" this was codswallop, and it cannot have failed to affect his finishing effort.  In the circumstances he did well to finish as close as he did, and all the signs are that he is still on a good upward curve.  If there was a 'Brit-only' market for the Gold Cup, he would be my pick.

All of which leads neatly on to Bravemansgame, who has done precious little wrong in his life.  No, he didn't win a (now) substandard looking Baring Bingham; yes the only vaguely undulating track he has won at is Exeter, and no, he is not copper bottomed over the trip.  He did a job on L'Homme Presse at Kempton, though, and that alone means he wants respecting.

Noble ****.  He wants respecting on the back of this effort, but the bald fact is he could not cope with the pace for some of this race.  He might be off his feet in a well run Gold Cup.  Add to that the fact that 10-0 will be a least 143 at Aintree, lessening the prospect of enormously well handicapped horses getting in of a silly mark, and he looks an absolutely cast iron contender for Aintree, even with lumps of weight.  Will they want to flog him dead to come 3rd or 4th in a Gold Cup???

With Galopin Des Champs unproven over the trip, A Plus Tard questionable, and Stattler and Conflated perhaps not quite good enough, this race might yet prove more significant that you might think.  No winner of this has tasted Gold since Looks Like Trouble, but Santini went close 3 years ago.

To conclude, Bravemansgame and Sounds Russian look the pick of the home team at present, though it will be fascinating to see what Conflated, Envoi Allen, Galopin Des Champs and Stattler do at the DRF.
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Report FOYLESWAR January 29, 2023 9:55 AM GMT
i put a thread up mistakenly on the ante post forum for the gold cup, well done for putting up on here as its needed , cant understand the love in with gallopin de champs not saying he wont win as he is clearly talented but looking back through his form he hasnt beaten much to my eye ok he would have beaten bob olinger comfortably if he had completed at the festival but bollinger has done nothing since and is back over hurdles today at naas .his other chase form he has looked impressive beating trees and we dont know for sure  if he will get the gold cup  trip he may hack up in dublin he is long odds on and the picture will be a little clearer ,around 6/4 for the gold cup makes no appeal to me. bravemans looks to be improving but just  questions of the trip and track for me . a plus tard was impressive in this last year but this race can leave a mark and thelook betfair run has also left questions to be answered not a bad price at all around 10/1 on here but comes with obvious risks attached . stattler looks to be progressing and this lightly raced type should have no problem with the trip just wether he will have the speed for this . conflated looks to me to be the value and he looks to have been underestimated a bit ,has won the 2 big irish staying chases the savills and irish gold cup and ran clan des oboux close at aintree around 16 on here isnt the worst price for one with his form in the book . will also mention minella indo a gold cup winner and 2nd in this last year who has tremendous course form over the years who could be worth an each way pop.
Report Bentring January 29, 2023 5:33 PM GMT
What was the point on the opening post?
Report penzance January 31, 2023 7:15 PM GMT
Race revolves around the wellbeing of A Plus Tard to me.
If 100%,he's the horse to beat.
Bravemansgame,can't see him getting up the hill in a taxi.
Fav' also has to prove he stays aswell,obviously hard to
beat if he does.Noble Ye',Ahoy Senor,Sounds Russian & Protekorat
have all been beating each other,very hard to nail 1 down to me.
Last year's rnrs have got to make up a lot of ground on A Plus Tard.
Hope he's fit & makes the gig.
   GL All
Report impossible123 February 1, 2023 8:01 AM GMT
I share your opinion about A Plus Tard (APT). Apart from Galopin Des Champ the others are much of a muchness. I hope APT would get a race or a public racecourse gallop prior.
Report brandyontherocks February 1, 2023 6:55 PM GMT
Really hope Stattler runs against Galopin at this weekends trials meeting in Dublin.

Be nice to see if the fav is as good a stayer as he is over the intermediate trip.
Report brandyontherocks February 1, 2023 6:56 PM GMT
If Stattler does not run we will not learn anything, I don't think.
Report muse February 4, 2023 6:53 AM GMT
So to the Irish, for whom the picture should be clearer later today.

On form A Plus Tard is still the king of the castle.  If he makes it, he must have a huge shout, but this has hardly been an ideal preparation.

Galopin Des Champs may well prove he is the best of the rest today, but still not over the Gold cup trip, which is a concern for a horse with such speed.

Noble **** looks an absolute boat to me, and while you do occasionally get a Gold Cup falling apart in front of a plodder, I am just not sure he will have the tactical pace.

Stattler remains open to improvement, but I remain unconvinced he is quite good enough (and the last day is clearly difficult to rate with confidence through Minella Indo).

Finally - and not running today - is Conflated, who is massively likeable, and should not be underestimated.

To conclude, Galopin De Champs is too short for me; A Plus Tard is MIA, and Conflated is the only other one of interest (albeit Minella Indo bouncing back is far from impossible given that he usually improves in the spring).

We shall see what today brings.
Report FOYLESWAR February 4, 2023 6:44 PM GMT
well what has that told us today .galopin gets 3m and he won well in the end but if fury road hadnt lost momentum with that mistake at the last he would have been closer to the fav though the fav woulda prob had the superior speed and still won it wasnt a breathtaking performance in my opinion and the books seem to agree keeping the fav virtually  unchanged . statler will be much more at home with the gold cup conditions and the hill and extra 2 .5 furlongs will be much more to his liking just a doubt about if he is good enough .not overly sure the gold cup trip and uphill finish will suit galopi n and its al to play for imo.
Report muse February 4, 2023 11:33 PM GMT
Agree Foyles. Though I would be as worried about GDCs jumping as anything else.
Report shlotter February 4, 2023 11:55 PM GMT
Galopin des Champs is a lay for me. His Gold Cup was today. Get all your sterling on Venn Ottery who will be supplemented. He has his prep at Southwell in the Facets for Golden Showers with a Switch Conditional Jockeys and Amateurs Chase.
Report impossible123 February 5, 2023 9:47 AM GMT
It baffles me the business opinions of some bookies post the Irish Gold Cup; Galopin Des Champ won yet his price has drifted. He was ridden with confidence, and result was never in doubt. I think with a more positive ride - he was toying with his adversaries yesterday - he'd have won with more authority than a mere 8l yesterday.
Report KevLoaf February 5, 2023 10:14 PM GMT
Surely you're happy about that then?
Report FOYLESWAR February 5, 2023 10:35 PM GMT
not if he took the 11/8 ante post ^^^
Report Andymca February 6, 2023 9:44 PM GMT
As expected we did not learn much after GDC's win at DRF. Bit the remainder of the field looks weak, unless APT is back at his best again. 13/8 NRNB looks a decent price.
Report muse February 8, 2023 4:15 AM GMT
I guess Stattler must be out of the argument now (if a boat is going to win it will be the Noble HMS Newsboy).

I still have Conflated in the back of my mind, but otherwise the relatively weak Irish challenge seems to come down to GDC, NY, Conflated and APT if alive and well.
The UK has  splashing of small but significant hopes: Bravemansgame; Ahoy Senor; Sounds Russian.

I must say, I am almost starting to come round to Noble Beercrates.
Report Andymca February 8, 2023 11:53 AM GMT
Elliott was very upbeat about Conflated, when interviewed after the Gold Cup on Sunday
Report duffy February 8, 2023 2:58 PM GMT
I don't think you can write off Stattler on the basis of the other day and likewise take for granted GDC's stamina, it wasn't a strongly run race, certainly wouldn't have suited Stattler.
Report shlotter February 8, 2023 4:44 PM GMT
Mad Moose will be coming out of retirement to be supplemented. He will have a prep run at Sandown.
Report muse February 12, 2023 5:34 AM GMT
Duffy, you are right of course: my point is that of the two strong stayers who could get done for toe, Noble Yeas looks to me to have more ability.  The NH Chase has a good recent record of horses getting placed, and I wouldn't want to put anyone else off it, but at similar prices, I would prefer NY.

Having had another look through, now that the dust has settled, I am finding myself coming round to the idea of Bravemansgame.  I think he has the strongest claim of the home team (admittedly this is not enough to place some years); he has a most progressive profile, and he has fewer questions to answer than almost anything else.  He is no shorter NRNB than not, and there is still plenty of time for others to fail to get to the race.  8/1 ew 1-3 1/5 looks the right price if all the others turn up; given how unlikely that is, it seems a pretty reasonable bet NRNB.
Report duffy February 12, 2023 3:43 PM GMT
Th critical horse in the race for me is Ahoy Senor, because he's the pace in the race and he'll insure a strong gallop, the problem with him is, I just don't know if he will survive long enough "by way of his jumping" for the stamina exertion that he will put into the race to take effect.

Last year was steadily run and there are a few horses in the top few in the betting that would "ideally" be happy with another steadily run race rather than a searching test, if I could convince myself that Ahoy Senor wouldn't do anything crazy and he was just OK at his fences I would be inclined to back him at 12's as I think he is the classiest of the real stayers in the race ad might be able to win it from the front.

I generally take the view when there is no real concrete evidence to the contrary that the question as to whether a horse will relish a tough GC test will be answered in the negative until proven otherwise and when you add in the fact that the horse in question is the 13/8 favourite it's easy and probably correct to take that view, 13/8 is short enough without the stamina question to answer, let alone with it.
Report impossible123 February 12, 2023 3:58 PM GMT
I think one could lump Bravemansgame and Protektorat in the same category ie good handicappers, but not genuine Gp1 horses run in a true tempo. I believe had Allaho (market indication is good) participated in the King George and/or A Plus Tard had a satisfactory Betfair Chase Bravemansgame would not be in the reckoning at all.

As always horseracing betting is an opinion game. Each to his/her own.
Report FOYLESWAR February 12, 2023 5:36 PM GMT
good handicapers ? bravemans won the king george ,some handicap that!
Report The Sawyer February 13, 2023 1:34 PM GMT
After todays news I wouldn't be surprised to see Conflated heading for the Ryanair.

Would've likely finished 2nd last year and with no Allaho well who knows
Report impossible123 February 13, 2023 8:25 PM GMT
Last year's King George was no classic. The main protagonists underperformed eg Ahoy Senor (inconsistent), with L'Hommes Presse unseated at the key moment. The others including Hitman were much of a muchness and clearly not Gd 1s.

Will Nicholls train a winner in this year's Festival? Any betting on it?
Report shlotter February 14, 2023 2:38 AM GMT
1 Venn Ottery
2 mad moose
3 vodkatini
Report muse February 14, 2023 3:17 AM GMT

Fun fact: Timeform rate the King George winning run the 2nd best chasing performance in UK and Eire this season. Only Edwardstones Tingle Creek is ahead, by 1lb.

You may well disagree with that verdict, but it might also suggest just how far you have over egged your pudding.
Report FOYLESWAR February 14, 2023 8:05 AM GMT
punters me included get something into our heads about a horse /horses and pigeon hole them into a bracket = wont stay ,wont act on the course etc and its hard to shake those thoughts off and change that opinion .bravemansgame is obviously grade 1 class and around 2nd fav for this he must be respected ,his trainer has won enough gold cups to know what it takes and he seems bullish. wether he can beat the best of the irish is another matter but we will see .
Report duffy February 14, 2023 4:41 PM GMT
totally agree and one of the hardest mindsets to shake is the one about the opinion that a horse won't find off the bridal when the chips are really down
Report pipedreamer February 26, 2023 12:00 PM GMT
I wonder if Bravemansgame is a speed horse.He has won on mainly speed tracks such as Newbury,and run at Aintree.Newcastle.He run last year came 3rd behind Bob Olinger.
He won a novice hurdle at odds on at Exeter,and placed at Ascot in a Bumper.I would have liked to have seen him run more at Cheltenham and Sandown.
Conversely Lost in Translation liked a stiff strack and disappointed in the King George at Kempton.
Horses for TYPES of courses.Detroit beaten fav in the Champion hurdle never run in top company on a stiff track.Yet He won the Ces on the wide open galloping Newmarket.Vintage Crop won the Ces and the Melbourne Cup.In between he ran and was never sighted in the Champion Hurdle.
Noble Yates is a typical horse that needs a long galloping track like Liverpool.lto he only got going late when he hit the straight.Madison Du Berlais won the Hennesey at Newbury and was it Denman or Kauto Star he beat at Kempton ?.Inbetween he ran unplaced at Cheltenham.The Trainer said that he couldn't get into  RHYTHM because of the ups and downs of the track.
Nicky Henderson gave the game away when asked why one of his leading chasers got beat,he replied that the horse MUST have a hill at the end of a race to be seen at his best and it was that that day that mean't the difference between victory and defeat.
It's not a hard and fast rule,but it needs considering.
Report Bentring February 26, 2023 3:58 PM GMT
12pm strange time of the day to be half cut
Report pipedreamer February 26, 2023 5:05 PM GMT
Bentring.Is there in truth no beauty ?.
Report Bentring February 26, 2023 5:44 PM GMT
Eh what?
Report irishone March 4, 2023 10:24 PM GMT
To my.mind there is plenty of dross in this race this ywar.  I have whittled it down to 5 and will be on Willies two.

Ahoy Senor (IRE) 12/1
Bravemansgame (FR) 13/2
Galopin Des Champs (FR) 11/8
Shishkin (IRE) 12/1
Stattler (IRE) 8/1

I am guessing to some extent but there is one thing I know for certain. If Galopin des champs is lit up by Cheltenham as he was last year I will be laying him for sure once I see how he goes down and his first few jumps. He was overjumping last year and you wont get away with that at Cheltenham. Shiskin at 12s is big but cant back Nicky. Ahoy Senor is a possibility but like the favourite you dont know what you are going to get on the day. BRAVEMANSGAME 13\2 is the absolute dogs bollux on his day and I have been nibbling away for a year at him. At 8\1 STATTLER is also a very good bet and again I have been nibbling away for some time. I believe that you will get a very good run for your money on the latter two each way this year.
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