Cheltenham Festival

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16 Mar 23 08:29
Date Joined: 27 Jun 10
| Topic/replies: 8,290 | Blogger: eric_morris's blog
Edwardstone left his race behind at the Cheltenham trials day at the start of the year. The jockey had his eye on Energumene in the race and let the leader go in front as he wished instead of having Edwardstone up there with him. Energumene wasn’t at the same level of preparation, far from it based on yesterdays result. The ground Edwardstone had to make up to try and win that race resulted in him being legless in the second enclosure i remember thinking is that his chance gone for March. Far from him being ‘buzzy’ i think King said and it putting him right, it totally hammered the horse.

Mullins did his owner a big favour running there and, if it was the owner with inside knowledge on the horses levels of prep, has probably massively assisted in the huge bet that was landed yesterday where the form was turned on its head.

Nicholls wouldn’t have been fooled so easily. Buzzy my @rse King was suckered in January.
Pause Switch to Standard View Alan King outwitted by Mullins
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Report strontium March 16, 2023 9:46 AM GMT
You may well be right that Edwardstone left his race in January, but it's hard to argue he shouldn't have run then. It was a Grade 1 race, and as the winner of the Arkle and the Tingle Creek, he should be running in Grade 1 races. Moreover, the horse has generally thrived on, and improved for, racing.

Also, from a public point of view, we want more races like the Clarence House - that is, top quality races outside the festival. The sport suffers when horses are pit away from October to March.
Report eric_morris March 16, 2023 3:24 PM GMT
You only want to see top horses if they are primed to win. I doubt Energumene’s owner wanted him there in top form for the public to see.
Report eric_morris March 16, 2023 3:26 PM GMT
Edwardstone suffered for that. I have rarely seen a horse standing so tired after a race that definitely affected him imo.
Report strontium March 16, 2023 3:49 PM GMT
^^Fair points.
Report irishone March 17, 2023 12:08 AM GMT
alan king wasnt outwitted at all
irish horses are trained for.march and april
they are at their weakest in terms of fitness earlier
honeysuckle , energumene not 100% until cheltenham
loads more if you go into it

king took advantage of that, as does nichols
Report eric_morris March 17, 2023 12:27 AM GMT
He didn’t he followed the wrong horse.
Report irishone March 17, 2023 10:28 AM GMT
Alan king werent riding was he ?
Report strontium March 17, 2023 12:07 PM GMT
Irish - you are right about that. Mullins and de Bromhead particularly get their horses ready for spring. The structure of the Irish season helps with that, with the Punchestown Festival being at the end of April, giving two (or three with Aintree) spring targets for the horses. In contrast, the GB season has a feeling of being mainly over after Cheltenham.
Report eric_morris March 17, 2023 3:30 PM GMT
Totally missing the point
Report eric_morris March 19, 2023 7:41 AM GMT
If it was obvious as you say that Energumene was there prepared at way below best form then King would have told the jockey to follow Editeur Du Gite and not have tons of ground to make up very late against a very good front runner in his big race on slow ground six weeks before the Champion Chase. He got to the front but was then headed again it totally knackered Edwardstone and was a totally dumb race to give him.

We have seen Shiskin similarly affected by having to make up ground late against Energumene in the Tingle Creek though he did get up he hasn’t been the same horse since that race.
Report strontium March 19, 2023 11:46 AM GMT
I don't think anyone said that Energumene was way below his best, merely that he wasn't 100%. The fact that he was well beaten by Editeur du Gite tends to support that conclusion. I do agree with you that Edwardstone left his race in the CLarence House, and about Shishkin.
Report eric_morris March 19, 2023 1:21 PM GMT
The point is that Alan King didnt think it was obvious to ignore Energumene and to follow Editeur instead. It paid off Mullins running Energumene as it had Edwardstone performing to his peak so close to the Festival. Trainers do threaten to run or do run below prep horses to try and affect the peaking of their opponents. Normally it results in the said horse being withdrawn late on however on this occasion he turned up so affected Edwardstone quite badly as a result.
Report irishone March 19, 2023 2:03 PM GMT
if you was a trainer in the uk
and you had to compete against irish domination at cheltenham
would you have your horses peaking for the festival ?
it makes no fiscal sense whatsoever unless you have
something extra special
edwardstone has never been in that bracker for me
Report irishone March 19, 2023 2:03 PM GMT
Report strontium March 19, 2023 7:02 PM GMT
Irish - that is Nicholls' philosophy exactly nowadays - try to pick up the prize money elsewhere.

Eric - how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
Report duffy March 19, 2023 10:26 PM GMT
Don't want to damn the winner with faint praise because he is a complete pro who rocks up on the big day and runs his race, but for the second year running his main rival has under performed, having said that though perhaps Edwardstone has been over rated, his Arkle win looks a bit ordinary now, one way or another though the race did fall apart.

I almost feel sorry for Townend, he's got El Fabiolo looming on the horizon for this race next year, perhaps Jacob will be the big winner there.
Report eric_morris March 19, 2023 11:24 PM GMT
strontium i think it is fair comment that King should have been a bit more savvy on tactics in a race against a main opponent turning up six weeks before the event likely to be below best. At least savvy enough to know he might be sacrificing his chances for the main event shortly.
Report eric_morris March 19, 2023 11:27 PM GMT
If Edwardstone’s owners were happy to have their horse bottomed six weeks before Cheltenham fine. I wouldn’t have been happy if i were the owner to come 2nd in a Grade 1 with Cheltenham a write off.
Report strontium March 20, 2023 12:01 AM GMT
Hindsight is 20/20. At the time, they had a horse who badly needed a run (according to the trainer) and had the best piece of 2 mile chase form of the season. They reasoned (based on his previous seasons) that the horse would come on for the run. It didn't work out for them. Speaking personally, I' glad they ran him in January. We got an excellent Clarence House chase out of it. Admittedly, as Duffy says, we got a poor Champion Chase for the second year running. Having seen the way things panned out, I doubt Edwardstone would have beaten Energumene last Wednesday even if he had been at his peak. All this is a shame for Energumene - he's won two Champion Chases that have fallen apart and we still don't really know how good he is.
Report eric_morris March 20, 2023 7:52 AM GMT
Yes i suppose i would have preferred to see them both at the top of their game at the Festival taking each other on. Energumene’s connections circumvented that by turning up half cooked in January and King not telling his jockey to ride the race with that in mind for whatever reason.
Report eric_morris March 20, 2023 7:55 AM GMT
The bookies would also be quite happy to see all big race favourites have an exhausting run just weeks before the race. Earlier season fine but the Championship race is at the Festival and prep runs the top trainers normally have this in mind.
Report brandyontherocks March 20, 2023 8:28 AM GMT
Do you think if Energumene is in tip top form they would want him to go for a third Champion Chase and step El Fabiolo up to the Ryanair?
Report strontium March 20, 2023 10:08 AM GMT
That might depend on how Allaho is. El Fabiolo is my idea of the winner of the 2024 champion chase at the moment.

Incidentally, I see that one firm is quoting Gallopin Des Champs at 7/1 for the Ryanair next year, ante post. They should go and take a long, hard look at themselves.
Report duffy March 20, 2023 3:04 PM GMT
What do we want to happen??? Tom Cannon to reason to himself 2/3's of the way through the race in the Clarence House, I'm following the wrong horse here, EDG has got the jump on me, however at the risk of giving my horse a hard race and blowing the festival I'm going to instead let him come home in his own time and save him.

If we ever start to go down that road then the game really will be up.
Report brandyontherocks March 20, 2023 7:32 PM GMT
Agree with that Duffy
Report irishone March 24, 2023 8:21 AM GMT
The horse is turning out to be as dodgy as Shishkin

An "on his day horse".....

Injuries emerging after its got beat.

What were the excuses for coming second in three bumpers ?

Always a bad sign....... Slightly hampered ?
Report irishone March 24, 2023 8:48 AM GMT
“I was surprised that Edwardstone did not hit the line as hard at Cheltenham as he had done in the Tingle Creek, and, while he seemed fine afterwards, at 8 o’clock the following morning he was very lame indeed.

“Happily, it was just deep bruising and the x-rays were clear, and, though it took us most of that week to get him sound again he is fine now and we are firmly back on track.... "

In other words he aint got a fecking clue whats going on with the horse
Report strontium March 24, 2023 11:39 AM GMT
It may not matter going forward - the horse is 9 now, and run 24 times, so is likely regressive. Meanwhile, you've got El Fabiolo coming into the division, and possibly even Constitution Hill. Edwardstone might win another Tingle Creek, but I struggle to see him being a force in the next Champion Chase.
Report irishone March 24, 2023 9:52 PM GMT
The mother was a nutter and he falls into the 'i  will do it when i want not when you want"w

Plenty of them about
Report penzance March 25, 2023 9:04 AM GMT
That was the 1st time Edwardstone's been out of the 1st 2
on his last 10 completed starts,winning 6 of them.
Report irishone March 25, 2023 8:33 PM GMT
"completed starts"

so we ignore the brought downs and the unseats to make the figured look good eh ?
Report penzance March 26, 2023 12:33 AM GMT
No,your talking out your ar5e.
Report irishone March 29, 2023 9:02 AM BST
No ,I am not.
Here is his record , when did he ever when a race in a big field (once.....11 !!!!!), when did belfast banter and the shunter make mincemeat of him ? The horse demonstrates the massive gulf between english and irish trainers.

15Mar23 Che 16f Soft 5y+ S(400K)11-10[15/8]sr5th of 7
28Jan23 Che 16f Soft 5y+ S(91K)11-10[5/2]2nd of 6
27Dec22 Kem 16f Soft 4y+ S(100K)11-8[2/5Fav]bf unseated
03Dec22 San 16f Good to Soft 4y+ S(175K)11-10[5/1]1st of 6
19Nov22 Asc 17f Good to Soft 4y+ HcapCh(125K)non-runner
13Nov22 Che 16f Good 4y+ S(100K)non-runner
09Apr22 Ain 16f Good to Soft 5y+ S(120K)11-4[4/7Fav]bf 2nd of 6
15Mar22 Che 16f Good to Soft 5y+ S(182K)11-4[5/2Fav]sr1st of 11
12Feb22 War 16f Good to Soft 5y+ S(52K)11-5[10/11Fav]1st of 4
27Dec21 Kem 16f Soft 4y+ S(52K)11-7[8/15Fav]1st of 4
04Dec21 San 16f Good to Soft 4y+ S(75K)11-2[3/1]1st of 7
17Nov21 War 16f Good to Soft 4y+ S(20K)11-2[4/6Fav]1st of 5
05Nov21 War 16f Good to Soft 4y+ S(16K)11-2[13/8Fav]bf brought down
09Apr21 Ain 20f Good to Soft 4y+ HcapHdl(56K)11-11[7/1]3rd of 22
19Mar21 Che 17f Good to Soft 5y+ HcapHdl(75K)11-5[18/1]5th of 25
21Feb21 New 16f Good to Soft 4y+ HcapHdl(125K)11-6(Incl 5lb penalty)[14/1]3rd of 23
16Jan21 Mar 17f Heavy 4y+ HcapHdl(15K)11-12[1/1Fav]1st of 4
29Dec20 Don 16f Heavy 4y+ HcapCh(12K)11-7[11/8Fav]bf. unseated rider
07Dec20 Plu 17f Soft 4y+ S(12K)non-runner (Self Cert (Temperature))
15Nov20 Che 16f Soft 4y+ HcapHdl(80K)11-0[13/2]5th of 14
10Mar20 Che 16f Soft 4y+ H(125K)11-7[25/1]6th of 15
18Jan20 Hay 16f Heavy 4y+ H(30K)11-4[13/8]hd1sr2nd of 4
07Dec19 Ain 17f Soft 4y+ H(12K)11-4[6/5Fav]1st of 7
09Nov19 Win 15f Good to Soft 4-6y H(9K)10-12[6/1] 1st of 8
10Mar19 War 16f Soft 4-6y NHF(4K)11-2[3/1]2nd of 11
13Dec18 War 16f Good to Soft 4-6y NHF(4K)11-0[5/1]2nd of 14
08Nov18 New 16f Good 4-6y NHF(4K)11-0[25/1]sr2nd of 15

They are the facts, the horse runs second too often but dont put him in a big field !
Chris is a lovely fellah and a great bloke dont get me wrong but him and the Cannon aint got to the bottom of the horse after 4 years. Look at the breeding , the mare was as dodgy as feck.
Report irishone March 29, 2023 9:16 AM BST
*Alan not chris ffs
Report strontium March 29, 2023 1:15 PM BST
The horse is clearly a vastly better chaser than he was hurdler, as some are. He's also been good enough to win three Grade 1 chases.

As for field sizes, that's a paper tiger - how many top level 2 m chases have big fields? Generally, they're lucky to get 6 or 7 runners, even in Ireland. It's been a weak and thin division for years. It's nonsensical to compare top level chases with handicap hurdles.
Report irishone March 29, 2023 7:52 PM BST
The point i am making is that the horse is a dodge.... a true "on his day" horse that you as a punter will have to try and work out before hand if it is going to be his day.

The fact his mother was a nutter and his results point to it but lets leave it to the trainer ...

""I don't know," was King's instant reaction. "I've never been happier with a horse coming into a race. He was beat after two [fences]. I can't blame the ground, because he's gone on that before. His preparation, I promise you, I have not missed a beat the last month to six weeks. It just wasn't him, he was never going."

"I dont know"..... tells it the way it is !

"Queen Mother Champion Chase favourite Edwardstone was lame for most of last week but the issue is not a major concern for his trainer Alan King ahead of the Cheltenham Festival"
15:16, 7 FEB 2023

Alan is not predicting that history will repeat itself, but he was anything but down-hearted as he stood in the enclosure reserved for the runner-up.

“However, I am pleased because I needed to get this run into him in order to have him spot on for the March meeting......" January 28th 23

King said: “I won’t go up in trip unless I have to. Let’s see what happens on Sunday, but he’s got a lot of stamina in his pedigree and he’s relaxing much better now. Deep down, I hope we don’t have to go up in trip, but he’ll tell us.... "
December 22....

so the horse is calling the shots.....

Last season's Arkle winner had a delayed start to the season due to the warm autumn, with planned appearances in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham and in a handicap at Ascot scuppered due to quick ground...

Eerrrmmm .....the horse has won on good to soft !

“But it has not been an easy year – we’ve never got into a total rhythm with him because of the ground and the weather, but there we are. These things happen. I’ve been at it a long time to understand nothing is straightforward"

There you go .....Alan  knows !
Report brandyontherocks March 30, 2023 9:08 PM BST
Not sure I get your point, Irish.

Are you saying the horse is a dodge pot or A.King doesn't have a clue like all English trainers?

Since he has gone chasing I don't think you could call him anything but consistent to be honest.
Report irishone March 31, 2023 8:08 AM BST
He is a nice geyser to be fair but the difference is an average Irish trainer will have the horse ready on the day ,the horse will be well backed and it will be on its ground and it will have the right weight on its back. It has to be like that because of the dominance of mullins and elliot which means the average trainers have to be much more savvy on where they run them and how they train them

Meanwhile Mr King gets a half decent one, has it for four years and comes out after a race and tells it the way it is,and very honestly to be fair ....."I don't know.....I've never been happier with a horse coming into a race. He was beat after two [fences]. I can't blame the ground, because he's gone on that before. His preparation, I promise you, I have not missed a beat the last month to six weeks. It just wasn't him, he was never going. "

I find it hard to call 6 wins out of 11 consistent.
Report irishone March 31, 2023 8:34 AM BST
I dont know if you ever visit trainers stables Brandy, but normally in Ireland racehorses have manners put on them by the time they are three.  If you get one like Edwardstone  thats trying to take lumps out of you from its stable when you walk past it , that aint good mate !
Report strontium March 31, 2023 10:12 AM BST
I think by any reasonable measure, 6 wins out of 11 is excellent for a horse racing mainly at Grade 1 and 2 level.
Report penzance March 31, 2023 10:51 AM BST
Just boils down to an Irish v English agenda.
Fck all to do with the horse.
Report irishone March 31, 2023 1:26 PM BST
Not at all penzance, I am sure there are just as many Irish trainers just as bad

the difference is when thet get a good one....

marine national and the bumper winner are good examples this year , both well backed and up for it on the day

Its refreshing that Mr King came out and told the truth though.....
considering over there the trainers seem to always be scared about the media
and the image their stable promotes on the media  to the punters.
over here the trainers I know couldn't give two fecks about the media or the punters !
Report penzance March 31, 2023 2:28 PM BST
Bad trainers don't win the Stayers Hdle & then win the Arkle
with the same horse the next year.
Report irishone March 31, 2023 3:42 PM BST
good few years ago though wasnt it ?

did he have any festival winners in between
Report strontium March 31, 2023 3:59 PM BST
I belive he had 10 in between (he's trained 16 in total, including the winners of all four freature races apart from the Gold Cup). I think that total puts him 11th among all current trainers.
Report irishone March 31, 2023 4:35 PM BST
7 year drought .....7 years is a long time in horseracing.

Skelton made me laugh. He reckons top class horses will only run one or two races at their peak ability each season, so they have to choose targets very carefully.

Basically they are scared of running them if they aint going to win.

Irish trainers will run them out the back of fields , in unfavourable going , and when they are unfit.... mainly to get the rating down but often to train the horse on course rather than home gallops.
Report brandyontherocks April 1, 2023 6:40 AM BST
I think most trainers follow that line of thought these days.

Mullins will only run his horses 3 or 4 times a season.
Report irishone April 1, 2023 10:47 AM BST
for mullins it depends how old they are and how they do
when you are the champion trainer with his record
you dont give stablesp room to dodge pots
He only has to give them 3\4 runs to suss them
its a production line..... not an average Irish trainer
Report strontium April 1, 2023 12:01 PM BST
Mullins is the master of getting his horses to peak on the day that counts, which is normally at Cheltenham or Punchestown. They don't need to be at their peak to win many of the races they run in, and he is happy to use others, even Grade 1s, as a prep race (which is why he's won the Irish Gold Cup so many times, but hardly ever wins the Lexus Chase). He is also brilliant at developing novices by running them in races outside their optimal conditions. Don't mistake any of that for having the horses at their peak more than once or twice a season.
Report irishone April 2, 2023 9:50 AM BST
Sad thing is
he was bemoaned on here originally for continually winning the bumper at the festival
....then he started winning other races
then over the years people came on this forum and stated thats why mullins doesnt win the championship races
....then he won them as well
then it was ...thats why he never wins the queen mother
.....then came energumene
now its he cant win specific races elsewhere
mullins is a "GOAT" as they now put it ..... and that was once Tom Dreaper
that is how good this fellah is
be thankful we witnessed him
Report strontium April 2, 2023 10:55 AM BST
I am, and I agree. I think he's the best trainer in the world. His ability to adapt and improve is outstanding. It's rare, and a mark of true greatness.

But even he targets races he wants to win and manages his resources, because even he is constrained by what the animals can physically do. The fact that he's got 300 high quality horses to spread round helps, and disguises that somewhat.
Report brandyontherocks April 2, 2023 9:24 PM BST
Impossible to knock Mullins.

He is a high class trainer.

And like Henderson, Nicholls and De Bromhead only runs his top horses 3 or 4 times a year.

Perhaps Skelton is correct after all.
Report irishone April 2, 2023 9:39 PM BST
Mullins has routes, and calls the horses by their routes, most of the routes end up at Cheltenham. The routes are mainly based upon top grade Irish races over different distances.
Leopardstown at Christmas, Dublin festival, Gowran theystes meeting are such examples.

Some however end up elsewhere, particularly his good ground
summer horses,they tend to go Aintree, Punchestown, Galway, Killarney.
Report The Sawyer April 3, 2023 7:37 AM BST

you've missed Royal Ascot out of your good ground list
Report irishone April 4, 2023 10:13 PM BST
they would have to be good to go there wouldnt they ?
aidan obrien runs that show
Report irishone April 4, 2023 10:37 PM BST
i think you are right though
he definitely routes the cesarawich at Newmarket if he thinks he has one
Report strontium April 5, 2023 11:48 AM BST
There are a couple of marathon flat races at Royal Ascot (2 m 4 f/2 m 5f) where Mullins has done very well. As you say, he often has a good one in the Ces as well (and why not at £120k+ to the winner - better than winning a bumper).
Report irishone April 5, 2023 11:54 AM BST
Brown jack stakes ennit ? Used to be longest flat race in u k calender
Report strontium April 5, 2023 12:09 PM BST
It's the Queen Alexandra Stakes (2 m 5 1/2 f). Yes, it's our longest flat race. According to Wikipedia, it's the longest flat race run in the world. It's the last race of Royal Ascot.
Report duffy April 5, 2023 3:36 PM BST
Mullins and Elliott have won 6 of the last 11 runnings of the Queen Alexandra, Mullins the last twice with Stratum.
Report strontium April 5, 2023 6:05 PM BST
Before that, in 2020, it was won by our friend.... Alan King!
Report irishone April 7, 2023 8:45 AM BST
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