Horse Antepost

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24 Nov 13 10:32
Date Joined: 04 Oct 09
| Topic/replies: 4,537 | Blogger: SEATHESTARS....NO1's blog
forgive me for using this i typed out yesterday from another thread but i think this race needs its own thread now and its a good starter point and have always left it up to an expert to start a big race thread

The description given to Cue Cards running in last years King George chs says:

Blundered 1st and mistake 2nd, soon tracking leaders

and the last bit says:

finished tired btn 20 lengths

I rather blindly took it in that he blatantly did not get the trip in that race. I did not back him at Cheltenham on the back of that and did not back him today on the back that i thought the same and possibly (even though he wasn't stopping in the ryanair) stupidly thought that 2miles 5f round cheltenham would be approx as far as he would like to go.


After watching him yesterday it is now my opinion that his undoing in the KG last year was in fact most likely down to the state of the ground together with them first two mistakes after all did he not almost uproot that first fence. I do not think there is anything anywhere in his form that says he does not like going right handed. Yes he has campaigned mostly on left handed tracks but as the above poster has pointed out he has won at Ascot beating Captain Chris easily by 6 lengths and it is just a coincidence and probably more to do with the races and where they are at that he has raced mostly on left handed courses than right.

I wouldn't put anyone off backing


Al ferof

but i really cannot see past Cue Card, if he jumps well enough, he wins in my honest opinion!!!
Pause Switch to Standard View ***KING GEORGE, Boxing Day, Kempton***
Show More
Report unclepuncle December 24, 2013 9:12 AM GMT
The COC has to say everything is hunky dory as firstly he doesn't want any of the big names to pull out if he mentions it's really heavy, and secondly if he were to suggest the meeting may be in doubt this might lead to people who were intending to go to make alternative plans for Boxing day.

I remember him being totally confident racing would go ahead in the build up to the meeting a couple of years ago when we had the big freeze - we all know what happened then.
Report unclepuncle December 24, 2013 9:13 AM GMT
^ I'm not suggesting the meeting is in any doubt assuming the forecast for the next 48-72 hours is correct, but it will definitely be bottomless.
Report twonky December 24, 2013 10:26 AM GMT
More than happy about my 33/1 ew on Menorah, though, wether hes good enough to win a grade 1 fto, remains to be seen. 

Reading quite a bit on here about the chances of Mount Benbulben, which I don't get. All his best form is when racing within about 3 weeks of a previous run. He's not run since Down Royal. I'd be more interested in him if he runs within 3 weeks or so of Kempton, providing there is a race for him in Ireland.
Report alleged22 December 24, 2013 10:39 AM GMT
hope its a cracker of a race and the best horse wins and they all come home safely Happy
Report breadnbutter December 24, 2013 10:52 AM GMT
The visored hat-trick seeking Long Run might have most to worry about from Dynaste .
Report lead on December 24, 2013 11:09 AM GMT
I agree with you,breadnbutter.People are writing him off on his two last runs,but he will be FIT for the first time on Thursday and he's never won before this time of year.At 10/1 or so,I'll take the chance on him.
Report Angel Gabrial December 24, 2013 11:16 AM GMT
Yes and he also ran a stone below his previous Betfair Chase form this year, despite having a pre Betfair Chase outing this year.

He has weakened 4 out and weakened 3 out in both races this year and never previously. If he suddenly shows last years KG form i will be amazed.
Report penzance December 24, 2013 11:38 AM GMT
Mount Benbulben would have gone close
lto,if not unseating.That was after a
6 months lay off.
Report lead on December 24, 2013 11:42 AM GMT
I just get the feeling he was never expected to get competitive at Wetherby or Haydock.
Report twonky December 24, 2013 11:50 AM GMT
Fell 4 out at Down Royal, so a bit too early to say where he would have finished. But that was a disappointing race, result wise and subsequent results from the horses that raced have been disappointing.

1 chase out of novice season and he fell, puts me off him even more.
Report penzance December 24, 2013 11:54 AM GMT
fallen the same amount of times
as Menorah.When he did comlete
over 3m+ he won by 22L.
Report Eeternaloptimist December 24, 2013 12:07 PM GMT
I don't see how anybody can be adamant about anything at the best of times seeing as horses tend to make mugs of us all at one time or another but throw in the watering shennanigans followed by the monsoon and the clerk now stating that it is only soft going at the moment and I simply couldn't have a bet until I'd seen what happens in the races prior to the King George. They could be legless by halfway. Laugh
Report ThunderRoad December 24, 2013 12:26 PM GMT
Didn't particularly rate Al Ferof's latest peformance, but if you read French Opera's form literally, he's got to be 170 minimum. That being said, I reckon Cue Card is a 175 horse and that the Long Run of last season is similar. Long Run is my bet @ 12/1. gl
Report ACStafford December 24, 2013 1:27 PM GMT
I want to back Long Run, as the price will look silly if he wins. However, his strong finishes used to be his best trait. This season he has finished his races in a manner that can be explained by one of three scenarios:
- He's lost interest
- There's something wrong with him
- He hasn't been fit for the first two runs

I was trying to convince myself that it was the latter of the three, but why would connections put on a first time visor if they felt he wasn't fully fit at Haydock. It's a shame to say it, but I think he might be gone.
Report Money Tree cost me thousands!! December 24, 2013 1:54 PM GMT
Menorah has f all chance. Look at her form.
Report Meadow X1 December 24, 2013 2:30 PM GMT
Well, that's my mind made up.  I'm backing Menorah.
Report BJG December 24, 2013 2:53 PM GMT
Trainer Paul Nicholls: "Al Ferof has been off for a while. His last two runs have been good. He won the Paddy Power Gold Cup and then he ran nicely the other day when he had just a gallop round. That would have helped in his programme to put him where we want him to be."

Trainer Martin Keighley: "He has come out of the Peterborough really buzzing, which is a bit of a surprise and he is really well. As long as the ground isn't heavy and not as bad as last year, he will run and he could run into a place.”

Trainer Colin Tizzard: "I don't think I have ever seen him so well, his last run was the best he has ever run. I am not worried about the ground. It is a championship race but I think he has the best form.”

Trainer David Pipe: “It will be very tough but he proved last time he is a good horse. I hope he will come on a bit for that run. We know how effective he is at Kempton from last season. We know he handles the track and he will like the ground. On ratings it is very close so there is going to be a bit of luck in running.”

Trainer Nicky Henderson: “"We tried him in the visor on Monday morning. Nico [de Boinville] had a school on him and then Sam [Waley Cohen] and we were happy with how they worked. He has had cheekpieces on all the time and this is only one step further. He has done very well in this race in the past and he is in great form."

Trainer Philip Hobbs: "He has never been beaten at Kempton which is a plus. He seemed to stay three miles well at Aintree in the spring. We are hopeful he has a decent each-way chance. He had an issue with a knee in October time but that is all sorted out and he has been in good shape for some time.”

Trainer Gordon Elliott: "We decided on the King George as going right-handed suits him very well and there are few top races for him going that way. He has had no hold-ups and left for Kempton in good order. It will be a big test for him but we're looking forward to it."

Trainer Nicky Henderson: "It was a great performance at Huntingdon but looking back at his races, in the Ryanair two years ago he wasn't going to win anything at the top of the hill and he wasn't going to win anything halfway down the back straight at Huntingdon but somehow he did and if they help anyone it will be Barry [Geraghty]. Three miles will help him but he definitely needs some help and now he is getting it."

Trainer Paul Nicholls: "We have trained him for this race and our other target in the spring is the Gold Cup. Hopefully he has come on for that first run at Haydock where he looked to me like he half blew up jumping the second last and slower ground will help.”
Report Makybe_Diva December 24, 2013 3:34 PM GMT
Thanks for that, BJG.
Report SoYouThink December 24, 2013 9:37 PM GMT
Al Ferof's injury hasn't got enough coverage on this thread. He's 4/1 to win the race this year. Was he a similar price to win it last year before being ruled out? This year's version is arguably stronger. I think the Al Ferof supporters are entitled to think he'll win based on his novice form and his Paddy Power win but the year out injured would make me a little more suspicious - has he fully recovered that novice/PP form? It would take more than a match with French Opera to convince me.
Report Ibrahima Sonko December 24, 2013 10:25 PM GMT
you serious about his injury??

It was small tendon issue that would had put a horse out for 4 months. Grasping at straws if you think the injury is a problem, he returned well thats all we know.

In laymans terms his injury was no worse than the downtime during a season, but others would differ and grasp.
Report SoYouThink December 24, 2013 10:40 PM GMT
The horse missed a year's worth of racing due to the injury not 4 months. So yes if I was backing the horse, I would be worried. I've seen dozens of horses come back after injuries and their form wasn't the same. I wouldn't call it a problem but it would make me look elsewhere. I would have expected more to be made of it that's all. Anyway even allowing for the injury or downtime as you call it, beating French Opera is his most recent form, his penultimate race is over a year before. I think there's better value in the ace that's for sure.
Report alleged22 December 24, 2013 10:41 PM GMT
it was a tendon injury, tendons attach the bone to the muscles, the 2 most common tendon injurys are lacerations and bowed (stretching of the tendon) I believe they can stretch 8% often racehorses are affected with this, I believe the AF injury to be a small laceration (small nick), the biggest problem with lacerations is the scar tissue, and severe cases can often end a horses career,  (I believe chatterbox had a serious laceration to a tendon and is no longer with us Sad)
Report alleged22 December 24, 2013 10:43 PM GMT
I believe it to be 6 months out minimum for a tendon injury with daily exercise
Report Ibrahima Sonko December 24, 2013 11:05 PM GMT
i feel for you, hoping that his injury restricts his abilities.
Report alleged22 December 24, 2013 11:18 PM GMT
^^^^^^^^are you mad^^^^^^^^^

ffs im one of AF,s biggest supporters, and have backed him to win this race...

his laceration was minor (as minor as minor can be when you are talking about many more season ahead) but because he is basically a family pet who runs in high quality races every caution was made to his well being, this is not a negative but the highest positive as guaranteed the welfare of the horse has been paramount.
Report pedrobob December 24, 2013 11:51 PM GMT
RP 14th August - AL FEROF WE DIDN'T see very much of him last season, but the signs are positive that this season will show him in a much more prominent light. Al Ferof hasn't been on a racecourse since winning the Paddy Power Gold Cup in the mud last November, but he's on the way back.

"He's in very good order, he looks well, I think he's strengthened up again," says Lisa Hales, daughter of Al Ferof's owner John, who has been keeping a close eye on the grey's progress at home in Shropshire.

"He's been out in the fields here since May, along with Unioniste, Mac's Return and Fascino Rustico - they all arrived at the same time and so they all got on well together, no-one thought he was supposed to be the boss! A couple of months' summer grass is good for their stomachs and he's done well, put on a bit of weight.

"Last month he came back in for pre-training - he started off on the horsewalker twice a day, now he's on the walker once and is also being ridden out every day, trotting round the indoor school. I'm just treating him like a normal showjumper, really."

Al Ferof has only a couple more weeks of relative leisure ahead of him as he's due back with trainer Paul Nicholls a week before the yard's open day, when the eight-year-old will be one of the star attractions as the season begins to come into sharper focus. Unioniste has preceded him in his return to Ditcheat, but there's no rush for Al Ferof with his first objective being Kempton on Boxing Day.

"He'll be aimed at the King George, he goes so well fresh," says Hales. "And this year he looks so much better than he did 12 months ago - it's all quite exciting."

If he was out in a field in May, was it that serious (as tendon injuries go)?
Report duffy December 25, 2013 12:02 AM GMT
Always a surprise when you finally come down on the side of a horse that isn't usually one of "your horses",but that's what's happened with me here as I keep coming back to LONG RUN.

The first thing you've got to do is excuse him the first two runs, the first is easy to do because all horses can be excused one shocker... right, especially when the stable were slow to start with, now looking at the haydock run again, it wasn't as bad as we all assume, he jumped and travelled well, not something you'd expect to see from a horse that had "gone"...what actually happened was at the 4th last turning into the straight,all 3 speed horses got away from him, the grinders as he is, BW and TB were left behind, he still plugged on well enough and beat the still GC fave easily enough but couldn't live with that pace, that race certainly didn't look like it suited the grinders so I'm excusing him.

It looks very much like the KG is going to be the complete opposite to that race and turn into a slog, so will those 3 horses be travelling just like they did at haydock late on and do we see them as right old sloggers?? we tend to categorize horses one way or the other, the smooth traveller as opposed to the right old grinder, I'd say the first 3 home in the haydock race are all in the smooth traveller category so it raises the question as to what they would find in a proper fight on desperate ground.

We also know that the conditions will 100% suit LR, we also know that he has fantastic course form and that this race throws up multiple winners, you can also consider that the change of head gear may spark yet more life into him, we saw in this very race last year that he is a horse prone to thinking a bit, he idled and ran around when hitting the front but as soon as captain chris appeared and waley cohen purposely dragged him back alongside which the jock deserves maximum credit for, thus allowing LR to get into a fight should he wish to,  he responded and got back up.

AF is a complete unknown at the trip and in this company over this trip, but this is going to be a brutal race and I have to fancy that the last year won't have prepared him for this so soon, MB falls into the same category as LR with regards to his ability to get through this but I'm worried about him whacking one or two too many.... I don't see the others as good enough.

It all boils down to those that I see as speed horses being able to perform the very same way in an attritional battle, where LR has lots of factors very much in his favour....throw in the fact he's twice and 3 times the price and he has to be the bet for me.
Report Angel Gabrial December 25, 2013 12:52 AM GMT
‘I can’t understand how a horse can go from the level of form he showed at Punchestown in April (when second to Sir Des Champs) and seem to have fallen by 30 or 40lbs at Haydock and Wetherby.
‘From my perspective as a jockey he feels like he is travelling well in his races, he has just not been seeing them out very well.’

This is from SWC Duffy, something seems wrong to me rather than him just being outpaced. Dynaste should not be outpacing Long Run on any track. Long Run weakened 3 out at Haydock, he didn`t plug on. He has downed tools at Cheltenham twice since his GC win and it looks to me that he has decided racing is not for him but of course Kempton is his track and this is his acid test.
Report Meadow X1 December 25, 2013 12:53 AM GMT
I an a "value" bettor.  That doesn't mean I don't consider all the runners, I back favourites if I feel they fit the value bill.  There are doubts galore in this race and I will be backing Menorah and Long Run e/w and in a reverse forecast for small stakes.
Report Brooksielad December 25, 2013 10:56 AM GMT
Think Nicholls latest betfair video about his boxing day runners says it all, Silvinaco Conti not fit last time out always a stepping stone to regaining the King George, he blew up when traveling like a winner all the way round, people take that form way to seriously... Cue Card was a fit horse with already having a run under his belt. Pipe was wanting to prove a point with Dynaste so had him very fit to win his race. Cue Card still has to prove he wants this sort of trip imo...Al Ferof and Conti to battle out the finish both Dom Alcos that are gonna relish conditions and trip. Think Conti is the one though based on Nicholls body language.
Report BJG December 25, 2013 11:14 AM GMT
KEMPTON PARK - Jump (Updated:25/12/2013 at 07:43:38)   
(GoingStick: Chase 5.0; Hurdle 4.8 on Tuesday at 11:30)

6 yards of fresh ground on both courses.
All distances as advertised.

1 mm of rain overnight. 71 mm of rain in total
since Sunday 15.12.2013
Wednesday and Thursday; Periods of sunshine with risk of
showers and remaining blustery.
Friday; further rain pushing in from the west.
Report Angel Gabrial December 25, 2013 11:24 AM GMT
I am with Brooksielad, i am going to split the Nicholls duo. I like the way his horses are running and horses need to be bang on to win the KG.
Report sintonian December 25, 2013 12:28 PM GMT
SoYouThink 24 Dec 13 22:40 Joined: 14 Jun 11 | Topic/replies: 580 | Blogger: SoYouThink's blog
The horse missed a year's worth of racing due to the injury not 4 months. So yes if I was backing the horse, I would be worried. I've seen dozens of horses come back after injuries and their form wasn't the same. I wouldn't call it a problem but it would make me look elsewhere. I would have expected more to be made of it that's all. Anyway even allowing for the injury or downtime as you call it, beating French Opera is his most recent form, his penultimate race is over a year before. I think there's better value in the ace that's for sure.

Factually incorrect. Won in November 2012 and was then trained for the King George Dec 2012 but was pulled out 2 weeks prior, so basically had all the training before it. The season finished in April, after the King George he would have had a maximum of 3 runs, most likely 2. So he missed 4 months of the season due to the injury. Who knows, that may be a blessing in disguise? We shall have to see.
Report sintonian December 25, 2013 12:47 PM GMT
7/2 available with VC for Cue Card. Dynaste might go off favourite Crazy
Report alleged22 December 25, 2013 2:35 PM GMT
could last seasons gold cup have left its mark on a few horses???
Report sisyphus December 25, 2013 5:58 PM GMT
I hope Tom Scu dont need his whip tomorrow, cost me £10,000 when he dropped it aboard Monkerhostin approaching the last and got beat on the nod against Kicking King
Report sisyphus December 25, 2013 6:04 PM GMT
Barmy Clifford wants Colin Tizzard to know that they have had 72mm of rain in the last 10 days, what he dont want him to know is 85% of it has fallen in the last two days.
Report marychain1 December 25, 2013 7:03 PM GMT
How much has fallen in the last 19 hours?
Report Fallen Angel December 25, 2013 7:29 PM GMT
They forecast soft going for tomorrow. Looking at the original post I am inclined to agree, feel I may have under estimated cue card as he certainly not stopping at the end of the betfair. It looks a fascinating renewal, of all the horses I wasn't overly interested in Dynaste as felt he may have given his running in that race, wish I had taken the ante-post odds on Al Ferof as that peformance in the PP looks pretty decent to me now.
Report Brooksielad December 25, 2013 9:10 PM GMT
Conti could go off fav eeeeeee
Report sisyphus December 25, 2013 9:54 PM GMT
WHILLs going 4/1 co favs from 8 o'clock, Cue Card withdrawn after the first race and 20% deduction
Report CLYDEBANK29 December 25, 2013 10:14 PM GMT
What about Mount Benbulben?  Irish novice chasers got the better of their English counterparts at Cheltenham with the first 2 in the RSA and may well have had the first 2 in the Jewson had Marito not fallen.  This horse put up on the face of it the best performance by an Irish novice chaser in his last completed start in exactly the same conditions as he will face in the King George and to me shapes like a grinder.  His form as a whole is a lot better than it looks at first glance and as one of only 2 second season chasers there is potentially more to come.  Sure he has had jumping issues and he looks like he lacks tactical speed but he is 18/1.
Report breadnbutter December 26, 2013 12:23 AM GMT
been a long day ,left home early this morning with 3 big sacks of shoite (pressys) and returned home 16 hours later with 2 bags of shoite in exchange ,just climbed off the bog and need another  attempt at unloading  before i retire for the day .
pretty sober but just had a terrible flashback reading todays posts in the shape of Monkerhostin ,another haunting  ghost of King George,s past.Cry i loved that horse ,was on that fateful day and must have a mental block on the occasion .
Took months to get over that and how it got beat i will never know ,another shocking addition to the close but no cigar bnb kg collection .Think i was on at 28/1 .Plain
Report SEATHESTARS....NO1 December 26, 2013 12:47 AM GMT
Just watched the Betfair chase again and can honestly say i cannot see past CC! I hope i am wrong as i have despite my opening post have backed against him. Laugh magic ehConfused
There has been people on here posting and on other threads that that race could not possible have been 3 miles 1f but i have counted the number of fences jumped and it was exactly 18! Also the place where they started from was the 3mile about 1 furlong start post too. I know you will come on and say that they used the flat track etc etc and that may well have helped CC win that race but i personally cannot have it that it was any less distance! I honestly think we have seen the new superstar! Though for my pocket i hope i am wrong lol.
Report pedrobob December 26, 2013 1:28 AM GMT
do timefigures on the flat. Haydock is the worst track in the country for judging the correct going adjustment - mainly due to the the constant moving of the start and the running rails. Have absolutely no idea how far they are actually running despite the CoC's yardage bulletins.

If anybody thought the Betfair chase was run a furlong shorter or longer than stated 3m1f.... I couldn't say they were wrong.
Report daveygfc December 26, 2013 6:46 AM GMT
@RacingPost: The going at Kempton for King George day is now soft, heavy on the bend adjacent to the lake (from soft) after 4mm of rain last night.
Report ReaseHeath December 26, 2013 8:45 AM GMT
Three weeks ago Cue Card was 9/4 with C0rals and 5/2 generally for this race. Despite a lot of comment,analysis and media reports in the interim, very little has really changed.

Therefore at 4/1 this morning I have to be a backer, remember he drifted to 9/1 before winning the Betfair Chase.

Arguably the ground might be softer than ideal but he is actually unbeaten on ground officially described as soft.

Very scared of Al Ferof.

Good luck, all.
Report ACStafford December 26, 2013 8:56 AM GMT
4/1 about Cue Card does seem generous. I'm pretty convinced that he's the best horse in the race. He may be better left handed as he seems to take the odd fence off to the left, but not violently.
Report buddeliea December 26, 2013 9:07 AM GMT
Yep,ive just gone in at 4's,too big a price to resist.
Report FOYLESWAR December 26, 2013 9:22 AM GMT
have also just popped over to billys for the 4s on cue card ,its too big !
Report buddeliea December 26, 2013 9:34 AM GMT
Looking at the Betfair again,i just don't see Dynaste or SC reversing that at all.
I have been thinking on the run up to this race that Dynaste might suit the course best and that CC might prefer left handed, but that Betfair run was so impressive I just think he is simply a better horse than Dynaste and also SC.Yeh,SC and Dynaste will both come on for that race, but CC had a lot in hand.
I have Al Ferof at 14, so in a position to back another,and CC at 4's is simply too big,and on form should not be the same price as the 2 he beat in the betfair.
Report alleged22 December 26, 2013 9:47 AM GMT
I cant wait to get back from the football and watch the race, don't want to know the result at all......
Report pedrobob December 26, 2013 12:09 PM GMT
very hard to back up at Grade 1 level in a 3m chase.

Since 2008, excluding Kauto Star, record of horses trying to follow up just 4-29. So Cue Card up against it.

race date    horse name    course name    position    race title
13/03/2009    Exotic Dancer    Cheltenham    3    Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase Grade 1 (1)
13/03/2009    Neptune Collonges    Cheltenham    4    Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase Grade 1 (1)
07/11/2009    Notre Pere    Down Royal    F    Jnwine.Com Champion Chase (Grade 1)
08/04/2010    What A Friend    Aintree    1    Totesport Bowl Chase Grade 1 (1)
08/04/2010    Imperial Commander    Aintree    U    Totesport Bowl Chase Grade 1 (1)
20/11/2010    Planet Of Sound    Haydock    3    Betfair Chase (Registered As The Lancashire Chase) Grade 1 (1)
20/11/2010    What A Friend    Haydock    5    Betfair Chase (Registered As The Lancashire Chase) Grade 1 (1)
28/12/2010    The Listener    Leopardstown    5    Lexus Chase (Grade 1)
18/03/2011    Pandorama    Cheltenham    7    Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase Grade 1 (1)
18/03/2011    Kempes    Cheltenham    P    Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase Grade 1 (1)
18/03/2011    Imperial Commander    Cheltenham    P    Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase Grade 1 (1)
18/03/2011    Long Run    Cheltenham    1    Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase Grade 1 (1)
04/05/2011    Nacarat    Punchestown    4    Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup (Grade 1)
05/11/2011    Quito De La Roque    Down Royal    1    Jnwine.Com Champion Chase (Grade 1)
05/11/2011    Bostons Angel    Down Royal    U    Jnwine.Com Champion Chase (Grade 1)
19/11/2011    Long Run    Haydock    2    Betfair Chase (Registered As The Lancashire Chase) Grade 1 (1)
28/12/2011    Quito De La Roque    Leopardstown    3    Lexus Chase (Grade 1)
28/12/2011    Follow The Plan    Leopardstown    6    Lexus Chase (Grade 1)
16/03/2012    Synchronised    Cheltenham    1    Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase Grade 1 (1)
28/04/2012    Quel Esprit    Punchestown    3    Thetote.Com Punchestown Gold Cup (Grade 1)
28/04/2012    Follow The Plan    Punchestown    2    Thetote.Com Punchestown Gold Cup (Grade 1)
26/12/2012    Kauto Stone    Kempton    P    William Hill King George Vi Chase Grade 1 (1)
28/12/2012    China Rock    Leopardstown    5    Lexus Chase (Grade 1)
15/03/2013    Sir Des Champs    Cheltenham    2    Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase Grade 1 (1)
15/03/2013    Long Run    Cheltenham    3    Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase Grade 1 (1)
24/04/2013    First Lieutenant    Punchestown    3    Bet Online With Thetote.Com Punchestown Gold Cup (Grade 1)
02/11/2013    Mount Benbulben    Down Royal    U    Jnwine.Com Champion Chase (Grade 1)
23/11/2013    Roi Du Mee    Haydock    P    Betfair Chase (Registered As The Lancashire Chase) Grade 1 (1)
23/11/2013    Bobs Worth    Haydock    6    Betfair Chase (Registered As The Lancashire Chase) Grade 1 (1)
Report duffy December 26, 2013 1:36 PM GMT
that race just then was about 3 secs quicker than last year.
Report SEATHESTARS....NO1 December 26, 2013 1:51 PM GMT
Never ever believe the clock NH racing! Every race near enough is run differently, if they go fast from flag fall e.g no matter the conditions they will post a slow time, if they get the fractions spot on then the time is bound to be that bit quicker!

I.e last years feltham/king george
Report Millerracing67 December 26, 2013 2:19 PM GMT
Done both Al Ferof & Cue Card this morn (Hills 4s).
Gd luck punters Cool
Report SEATHESTARS....NO1 December 26, 2013 2:58 PM GMT
Long Run
Al ferof

Not necessarily in that order but heres hoping Crazy
Report breadnbutter December 26, 2013 3:17 PM GMT
1.08 ...omfg Shocked
Report Ballydoyle December 26, 2013 3:17 PM GMT
Report FOYLESWAR December 26, 2013 3:21 PM GMT
well done winners !
Report penzance December 26, 2013 3:27 PM GMT
Report Ballydoyle December 26, 2013 3:40 PM GMT
From Stevos thread Cheltenham ante post

Ballydoyle 16 Dec 13 00:25 Joined: 23 Feb 02 | Topic/replies: 1,655 | Blogger: Ballydoyle's blog
My full list is quiet compared to yesteryears at this stage but will look to add as I go along :

King George & Gold Cup double - Silviniaco Conti 40/1

Report Ballydoyle December 26, 2013 3:41 PM GMT
Al Ferof ran well...hopefully all backers had e/w.

Ryanair Chase shoot-out with Cue Card beckons....
Report marychain1 December 26, 2013 3:48 PM GMT
Still reckon they'll go the Gold Cup route with Cue Card. Better ground and a slower pace it could stay.
Report mac99 December 26, 2013 4:07 PM GMT
Cue Card won every round  until knocked  out  by stamina limitations  in 15th round , well done winners , Tizzard rode a fine race though, if he had settled in third from the off  he may have lasted a bit better in the very soft ground .
Report SoYouThink December 26, 2013 4:20 PM GMT
Cue Card went out like a light. Staying is all relative anyway but certainly in a Gold Cup, I would be fairly confident he'd get outstayed again this time by the likes of Silviniaco Conti, Long Run, Bobs Worth, Sir Des Champs at or near their best. If I trained Cue Card, I'd be looking at another Ryanair no doubt about it. That's my opinion.

Not sure Al Ferof ran that well either. For my eyes, 2 horses ran well, Silviniaco Conti and Cue Card. Mount Belbulben was okay and would probably improve with a longer trip. The rest were outclassed too far from home to say they ran well. I raised the issue that Al Ferof had been off the track a long time. That idea was dismissed. I think the question still stands. He missed a year's worth of racing. That has never been good for any horse.

Cue Card, Menorah and Al Ferof were 2nd, 3rd and 4th in Sprinter Sacre's Arkle. Were Sprinter Sacre not around, I'd say at least two of those would be running over shorter trips. Oddly though, Al Ferof looked outpaced in the middle stages of the race today though.
Report SEATHESTARS....NO1 December 26, 2013 4:42 PM GMT
Safe to say there are no superstars around in the staying steeplechasing division anymore. The Kauto Stars, Long Runs et al in the past. Now we have a bunch of (still very worthy) horses running at the top level beating each other in each others back yards same as it was when the likes of War of Attrition was winning gold cups imvho! The only people to claim that gold cup was the weakest race they had ever seen is the people that lost probably more than they could afford on that years race!
Stakes very much to a minimum in each ones books as confidence about anything really cannot be high on any race at next years festival.

Having said all that i have just been out and managed to grab some 5/1 off korals on that conti horse lol for the CGC Wink
Report SoYouThink December 26, 2013 4:46 PM GMT
I agree STS - no superstars but what we do have is some good honest stayers. Silviniaco Conti is a very good horse and he's consistent. Likewise Bobs Worth and Sir Des Champs. This Gold Cup will be competitive and that's also a good thing from a viewing/punting point of view. I don't think you can ever be too confident about anything. Not sensibly confident anyway.
Report buddeliea December 26, 2013 5:09 PM GMT
Al Ferof jumped a bit left,better suited by Cheltenham.
After watching that I will be amazed if hes put back in trip,looked a real stayer to me. Outpaced when the front 2 quickened,and passed by both MB and LR,,and then ran on again.Jumped the last really well and I really think the Gold Cup will bring the best out of him.
Report Swagger December 26, 2013 5:21 PM GMT
I think it ultimately comes down to the odds. S Conti was the correct price today in relation to his proven profile and the market. In the Gold Cup, perhaps Sir Des Champs or Al Ferof (if he doesn't run in the Ryanair) could be the correct price. I couldn't fancy Cue Card for the Gold Cup at all, he clearly didn't stay today regardless of ground and Gold Cup will only put more emphasis on stamina. Add in that he races handily which doesn't really suit a Gold Cup winner I really can't see how Cue Card can reverse form with the winner today.
Report Swagger December 26, 2013 5:22 PM GMT
Although I think Conti laid down a marker today for the Gold Cup, i was impressed how he won that going away at the end - in reality he ended up hacking up.
Report penzance December 26, 2013 5:25 PM GMT
can't see Al Ferof reversing the
form with the winner a Cheltenham at all.
Report SoYouThink December 26, 2013 5:36 PM GMT
I also agree that the only way forward with Al Ferof is to stay at the trip or else go up. But the thing with him getting outpaced is that he won a Supreme (albeit as a result of his staying qualities) and a Paddy Power over 2m 5f under a big weight. Plus a King Henry the 8th novices chase at Sandown. So why is he getting outpaced today in a King George? Maybe didn't like the ground. I've always thought of Al Ferof as a horse who prefers good ground. So maybe that's essential to him too. But is he as good as he was? I think that question remains unanswered as of this moment.
Report sintonian December 26, 2013 5:40 PM GMT
SoYouThink 26 Dec 13 16:20 Joined: 14 Jun 11 | Topic/replies: 584 | Blogger: SoYouThink's blog
Cue Card went out like a light. Staying is all relative anyway but certainly in a Gold Cup, I would be fairly confident he'd get outstayed again this time by the likes of Silviniaco Conti, Long Run, Bobs Worth, Sir Des Champs at or near their best. If I trained Cue Card, I'd be looking at another Ryanair no doubt about it. That's my opinion.

Not sure Al Ferof ran that well either. For my eyes, 2 horses ran well, Silviniaco Conti and Cue Card. Mount Belbulben was okay and would probably improve with a longer trip. The rest were outclassed too far from home to say they ran well. I raised the issue that Al Ferof had been off the track a long time. That idea was dismissed. I think the question still stands. He missed a year's worth of racing. That has never been good for any horse.

SYT, do you know how a calendar works mate? If he missed a years worth of racing he would not have won the PP last season and been prepared for the KG. It's factually incorrect.

I backed AF ante-post and was a little surprised he managed to stay on for 3rd place. He never looked on a going day to me. Cheltenham will definitely suit the horse better, but these Grade 1 chases have a long history of horses staying on into the places and next time they don't seem to replicate it. I hope i'm wrong though. Cue Card would beat him silly in the Ryanair.
Report SoYouThink December 26, 2013 5:42 PM GMT
Last race 17Nov12. Didn't come back until 23Nov13. That's a year. He missed every race in between with his injury.
Report buddeliea December 26, 2013 5:44 PM GMT
Yeh,it is possible he aint as good since his injury,and I guess its possible he needed that run today having had only 1 run in an uncompetitive race.Its also possible he aint as good as maybe some of us thought he was.
I would stick with him if hes running left handed,and would like to see him in the pillar case at chelt next month and then form a more definite opinion.
Report sintonian December 26, 2013 5:44 PM GMT
yeah, I forgot the Ryanair etc were run in the middle of summer!
Report Giddy December 26, 2013 6:23 PM GMT
Would have no interest in any of todays runners,apart from the winner in the Gold Cup.  Cue Card has Wayward Lad, One Man, Florida Pearl written all
over him. Long Run looks a complete shadow of his former self. Mount Benbulben would stay but jumping lets him down badly. Al Ferof looks like he
could stay on pedigree,same sire as SC, but would take a huge leap of faith to back him in the Gold Cup
Roll on The Lexus, so we can see the Irish challenge
Report duffy December 26, 2013 6:27 PM GMT
Not an AF fan, but thought after his time off and playing catch up he ran well, to my eye it looked like he ran like a stayer, looks to me like the GC trip coupled with going the other way round will be right up his street...I thought he finished relatively strongly...he's definitely a contender for me now and hopefully will get an interesting price as it probably won't be a popular view.
Report JOCI Club December 26, 2013 8:28 PM GMT
Watched it again, and not totally convinced Cue Card didn't stay the trip. Silviniaco Conti just saw it out better. Cue Card kept on after the last, and SC didn't put a huge amount of daylight between him and CC after the last. Maybe it was just CC's class that kept him in the hunt.

Can't see him turning the tables on a stiffer track like Cheltenham, and over the longer trip though.

Ryanair again would be the race.
Report Angel Gabrial December 26, 2013 10:34 PM GMT
The difference today was that JT could not get a breather into Cue Card, SConti pestered him at every fence.

And the fact Cue Card is a `one trick pony` regarding tactics means connections of the other stayers in the GC will do the same to him at Cheltenham exposing his stamina limitations but if the ground was no worse than g/s i think he will still go the Gold Cup way.
Report Ballydoyle December 26, 2013 10:41 PM GMT
Congratulations to Silviniaco Conti. The best horse won. No hard luck stories amongst any of the horses.

Cue Card will not stay the Gold Cup trip

Al Ferof was 14 lengths behind. Simply outclassed. His trainer said he was tuned to the minute and he was beat fair and square.
Report duffy December 26, 2013 10:46 PM GMT
Good post angel...the breather point is a good'un....bit like a tricky winger that flourishes one season....the full back has now worked him out.Grin
Report alleged22 December 26, 2013 10:53 PM GMT
well done conti backers

I was impressed with alf after so long off and the public schooling at ascot, id imagine he will come on a lot from that race. forget ascot, out of novice company he has won a PP and 3rd in a KG, too soon to be written off imo
Report Eeternaloptimist December 26, 2013 10:57 PM GMT
Maybe but at different points different horses came to Cue Card at Haydock. I for one can't explain how he ran away from them after the last at Haydock and looked the strongest and clear best horse in the race over supposedly a furlong further and yet stopped going to the second last about three furlongs earlier today. Had he fallen in a heap One Man style the issue of blatant non stayer would have seemed clear cut. The fact is that Silvy took five lengths out of him in about 50 yards and then Cue Card seemed to stay on again. I also can't explain how Silvy jumped out to his left so badly in the Feltham here two years ago, it wasn't his course according to Nichols and he wouldn't run him in last years King George and today he jumped pretty much gun barrel straight.

Racing remains a glorious wonderful enigma and long may it remain so.
Report JOCI Club December 26, 2013 11:09 PM GMT
Dynaste was a disappointment for me, thought he would have put up a better showing than that after the Betfair Chase.

Ryanair bound maybe?
Report duffy December 26, 2013 11:28 PM GMT
Dare I say it...a touch of the grand crus's about him....if I was gevrey chambertain I'd be looking through the yellow pages for a decent exorcist......christ...he's even just won the same haydock race the other two both wonScared
Report JOCI Club December 27, 2013 12:06 AM GMT
Final Ratings:

Cue Card 87% (2nd)
Long Run 67%
Riverside Theatre 60%
Silviniaco Conti 58% (1st)

Captain Chris 54%
Dynaste 50%
Champion Court 38%
Al Ferof 32%
Prince De Beauchene 31%
Mount Benbulben 23%
Menorah 16%

First and second both in the top 4 rated horses, but no great shakes given only 9 runners. At least the low ratings for Menorah and Al Ferof seem to have bene justified. Long Run now looks to be past best, as seemed to have his track and conditions, but still seemed destined for 3rd or 4th at best. Riverside Theatre a faller, so inconclusive on that one.

Mount Benbulben, despite never threatening, at least ran better than the trends suggested.

Well done Silviniaco Conti backers.
Report brandyontherocks December 27, 2013 8:18 AM GMT
Well done Conti and backers.
Thought it was a cracking race. I could not see Conti reversing the Betfair form pre race, but he did and in style.
He served it up to Cue Card from the off and stayed on his shoulder through out. He looked like he was struggling three out but stuck on well.

Cue Card appeared not to stay and you would think he'd be brought back for the Ryanair now. He stayed well at Haydock though so connections might hope better ground will help.

Dynaste was bitterly disappointing. He never ran a yard. I will forgive him this run and still think he deserves a crack at the top table.

Al Ferof proved to me, that his early impressions of being slow are correct. As I said before I don't back horses who have been injured especially at a crucial stage of their development. I have not watched the race back yet but I read on here he was jumping to his left. Maybe he is still feeling something. Do not agree he will be better off going left handed track. He has success on right handed course and apart from the canal turn I can not think of any other fences that are on a bend. Could be a hard horse to place now. 

Again well done to Conti. A deserved Gold Cup fav now.
Report Angel Gabrial December 27, 2013 10:20 AM GMT
I for one can't explain how he ran away from them after the last at Haydock and looked the strongest and clear best horse in the race over supposedly a furlong further and yet stopped going to the second last about three furlongs earlier today

He had a soft lead at Haydock and JT could fill his lungs up while dictating the pace. In the KG Conti was hassling Cue Card and it was more brutal without being able to get a breather. I think Cue Card was struggling for breath after the 2nd last when he faultered but then managed to get some air and managed to at least stay on one pace.
Report sintonian December 27, 2013 12:07 PM GMT
Agree Angel. PFN basically said that woould happen before the race and reiterated it afterwards. Great tactical plan from them. A tremendous trainer. 8 King Goerges now! And he had the 3rd home too.

Underestimate Silvio in the Gold Cup at your peril imo. Sir Des Champs is the only other i'd consider at this stage to be honest.
Report Brooksielad December 27, 2013 12:09 PM GMT
I always said you'd see a diff Conti in the King George, He was never fit that day travelled out wide giving ground away the whole race and travelled like the winner until blowing up 2 out. Conti closed on Dynaste after the last in the betfair, so I always thought Conti had dynaste covered,you could tell pipe had Dynaste trained to win the betfair and pick up an early grade 1. Typical Pipe trains his horses to the hilt and ruins them for the rest of the season. Always thought Conti would line up and out stay Cue Card and that proved to be the case yesterday, I couldn't see Cue Card reversing form if they're both 100% fit come March, the only way he could is if Conti makes a mistake. Will Cue Card line up in the Gold Cup... i think it's quite possible. As i say it only takes a mistake and perhaps they could try holding cue card to save a little instead of trying to make all. The gold cup looks to be between Bobs Worth and Conti and if Bobs Worth lines up in form we could be back to the feltham form Conti beating Bobs Worth by 2-3 lengths which personally is what i thought would of happened in last years gold cup.
Report breadnbutter December 27, 2013 12:17 PM GMT
Haydock time was all about the speed they crossed the start line ,they lined up well back from the tapes and came in at a very fast pace ,noone hassled CC and he was allowed a breather before getting his  wind and ,think horses who have the high head carriage can suffer from wind probs and also have to  put more in due to lack of natural action ,the head should go up and down ,not remain stationary or just come up even higher .The time of yesterdays KG and other races suggest the ground was nothing like as testing as last year .
Haydock going was faster than described ,and i reckon the distance ran if correct was even further due to the fast rolling  start.
Decent going is key to CC .Maybe the trainer has been lax in not getting the horse to settle early in his career but its too late now ,the dye is caste .Also horse did not stop ,CB said he put his head up in the air ,his head is always in the air .CC kept on , faltered slightly but kept on after the last ,the winner produced a huge surging finish .
Report Millerracing67 December 28, 2013 2:31 PM GMT
Was counting my £££ jumping 2 out (Cue Card) looked all over the winner for most of the race. Seemed to stop a bit to easy for my eye, did he dog it?? does he need a wind op??
Interesting to hear if anything comes to light with him or if its just the case that he ran out of gas over a true run 3mile on soft ground.
Report Angel Gabrial December 29, 2013 10:04 AM GMT
Pretty certain he needs to get a breather at 3 miles in top class company, SC gave him no room for that.
Report A_T December 29, 2013 5:39 PM GMT
just didn't get the trip as well as SC - still a good second though. Should send him to the Queen Mum which looks for taking now.
Report dj876 December 30, 2013 6:11 PM GMT
Any reports or comments from David Pipe since the King George??Future plan?
Report Makybe_Diva December 30, 2013 6:26 PM GMT
This is from David Pipe's website

Sadly Dynaste was unable to perform to his best in the King George VI Chase at Kempton yesterday.  It just looked like a bad day at the office for our grey gelding, who split the first two home at Haydock last time out.  He is only seven years of age so there will be plenty of other days for him to prove this running to be all wrong.
Report Angel Gabrial December 31, 2013 1:40 AM GMT
Much of these top races are decided by the trainers. Like him or loath him Paul Nicholls is the best trainer in the country for priming his horses when it matters.
Report Giddy December 31, 2013 5:17 AM GMT
Well said AG.  I like  him and I don't think he wants to put anyone away, unlike some other trainers
Say's it like it is, and gets it wrong sometimes, like we all do, but love his candid approach to the game
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