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ali1959
15 Jun 22 17:45
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Date Joined: 22 Sep 06
| Topic/replies: 326 | Blogger: ali1959's blog
Could he possibly run well in the Nunthorpe if Coolmore elect to go that way after that performance?
Pause Switch to Standard View Little Big Bear - Nunthorpe?
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Report brandyontherocks June 15, 2022 8:33 PM BST
I think he will need further than the 5f of the Nunthorpe.
Report impossible123 July 6, 2022 7:34 PM BST
He's running in the July Stakes over 6f tomorrow. His main protagonist looks to be Persian Force who was runner-up in the Coventry Stakes; 13/8 both.
Report impossible123 July 7, 2022 2:55 PM BST
A late withdrawal because of the quick ground. Hence, a walk-in-the-park for Persian Force.
Report Jack Bauer "24" August 6, 2022 4:18 PM BST
Guineas winner in my view.
Report Figgis August 6, 2022 6:06 PM BST
Are you confident he'll stay Jack?
Report unclepuncle August 6, 2022 6:25 PM BST
Awesome performance (almost Frankel likeShocked) but, something I hadn’t noticed before, he is a massive specimen for a two year old, totally dwarfed his rivals, so it may be he has a big physical advantage now that may dissipate by next year.

Not too worried about stamina given his dams side and 6/1 looks fair enough if you fancy thing some moey up - will probably be 6/4 after the National Stakes.

The Nunthorpe talk is just the usual O’Brien / Coolmore fluff for the breeding catalogue quotes.Cry
Report unclepuncle August 6, 2022 6:25 PM BST
^tying some money up
Report Jack Bauer "24" August 6, 2022 6:30 PM BST
I had very little doubt he would stay after his previous win so backed him then for the Guineas. He has now shown he also has the class. The dam stayed 12 furlongs and is a grand daughter of Arc winner All Along, so he's from a middle distance family and No Nay Never has provided the speed.

He a beautiful looking horse with a lovely powerful stride, but the most impressive thing is the extra gear he seems to find at the finish as he powers away.
Report Figgis August 6, 2022 7:24 PM BST
After the race I found it surprising that O'Brien said they even were contemplating about him staying 6f at one stage. Admittedly he said Moore had no doubts after Ascot, but in the Anglesey they were testing his stamina before running him in this. Obviously he's proved that he does, but I find such talk unusual about one that may even stay a mile.
Report Jack Bauer "24" August 6, 2022 8:14 PM BST
It sounds to me like the usual nonsense we hear every year about how much speed they all have. I have learnt not to listen to it and rely on own eyes instead. I would be astounded if he did not stay 7 furlongs in the National Stakes and O'Brien didn't seem to think it would be an issue either. If he wins that and the Dewhurst impressively he will be a short price for the Guineas.

How does he figure on your speed ratings? I notice he won in a faster time than the sprint earlier on the card.
Report brandyontherocks August 6, 2022 8:40 PM BST
I too had a few pennies on him for the guineas after his last win. He really impressed me with the way he covers the ground. Have only seen a few horses like that in my time following this game.
But today , as impressive as he was was, I am concerned of his size and how he will be next year when others catch up with him.
Report Figgis August 6, 2022 8:42 PM BST
Well, mindful that I thought Native Trail was a Guineas winner in waiting before I realised my error, I have LBB's figure good enough to take an average running of the Guineas. On tv I heard comparisons with George Washington, and that this colt had put up an even better performance, but I don't agree. I had George Washington a couple of pounds faster, but he wouldn't need to be that good to take a typical Guineas. If he can replicate that performance over a mile then it would take a better than average winner to beat him.
Report A_T August 7, 2022 7:42 AM BST
the Scat Daddy line does not produce classic winners - he'll be a Caravaggio or a Tenebrism - not a Guineas winner
Report penzance August 7, 2022 11:38 AM BST
Good performance but his main rival lost it out the stalls.
Will be interesting if he can do that over 7F this season.
Report Jack Bauer "24" August 7, 2022 1:06 PM BST
Caravaggio and Tenebrism don't have the stamina in their pedigrees to counter the speed from the Scat Daddy line. That's the difference with this horse and is the reason I fancy him for the Guineas. I believe he has inherited that perfect blend of speed and stamina.

Ten Sovereigns was also by No Nay Never and had some stamina on the dam's side, but he always looked like a sprinter and I didn't believe he would stay a mile as I stated on here at the time. This horse's running style looks different to me and I would be very confident that he will stay if given the chance.
Report Figgis August 7, 2022 3:49 PM BST
Apparently O'Brien said he doesn't use stride analysis when judging stamina limitations. In the last 10 years or so we know stables have been using Equinome's speed gene testing. In recent years Coolmore haven't made the same stamina mistakes they made with Mozart and Stravinsky, although they did try Ten Sovereigns in the Guineas. Caravaggio was never tried over further even though it was much speculated. Of course, there could also be a bit of self fulfilling prophecy about the test's results. If trainers believe in their predictions then they won't run those horses over further anyway, so we will never find out. Like any other predictive racehorse analysis, these things can only be a guide, but I'd assume they're at least a reasonably accurate guide. It's difficult to find an article concerning co-founder Jim Bolger that doesn't contain the word shrewd. It would be interesting to know what the results are for LBB.
Report A_T August 8, 2022 11:01 AM BST
O'Brien talking about the Morny or even the Nunthorpe - no mention of the 7f National Stakes. That says to me they believe he won't stay.
Report brandyontherocks August 8, 2022 11:30 AM BST
He did mention the Dewhurst as a possibility.
Report Figgis August 8, 2022 11:55 AM BST
It sounds to me like they're far from confident about him staying. The way O'Brien emphasised the horse's size and maturity also makes me think that, all being well, he'll continue to be given quite an aggressive 2yo campaign in the manner of Johannesburg, rather than one more race then put away for the Guineas, but we'll see.
Report penzance August 8, 2022 12:09 PM BST
Before and after R.Ascot never thought this was Guineas
horse.Now he's the 5/1 jolly.
Has there ever been a good one come from the Windsor Castle?
Report Jack Bauer "24" August 8, 2022 2:00 PM BST
“It was a very deep race but the closer the race got the more worried we were after what happened to him, but he has serious class. I can’t recall any winner we have had of this race winning like that,” O’Brien said.

“From day one we thought he was very special. He has serious power. He would have no trouble staying seven furlongs, even though he has so much speed and travels so strong. He could go to the Prix Morny, he could go to the Middle Park (Stakes), he could even go for the Nunthorpe (Stakes).”


They have Blackbeard and The Antarctic for the Morny and then the Middle Park, both have already won in France. If I owned them those two would be going to France and LBB would be going to the National Stakes and all being well the Dewhurst.
Report A_T August 8, 2022 2:00 PM BST
should be 5-1 he even runs in the Guineas
Report A_T August 8, 2022 3:53 PM BST
the 7f G1 now seems to be the target

' O'Brien said: “We’re looking at the National Stakes with him next month, that’s the race we’ve had in mind for a while, and it’ll be onto the Guineas then hopefully.” '
Report Jack Bauer "24" August 8, 2022 4:03 PM BST
Aidan O’Brien on Monday hailed the "brilliant'" Phoenix Stakes performance by Little Big Bear and is aiming for the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh on Irish Champions Weekend as the two-year-old's next target.

The No Nay Never colt recorded the best victory in the Phoenix Stakes for 21 years according to Racing Post Ratings, dismantling a high-quality field for a seven-length victory to give O’Brien his 17th success in the €300,000 contest.

His Curragh romp was the widest margin of victory in the race since George Washington won the 6f Group 1 by eight lengths in 2005. The ill-fated George Washington went on to win the National Stakes and 2,000 Guineas in his next two starts, and O’Brien is eyeing a similar route with Saturday’s sensational winner.

The champion trainer said: "I don’t think he could have been any more impressive. He was very impressive in the Anglesey too on the start before, but he was brilliant on Saturday.”

A potential tilt at the Nunthorpe Stakes against older horses at York next week was mentioned as a possible target for the Windsor Castle winner, as were the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes, but all roads will seemingly lead to the Curragh on September 11.

O'Brien said: “We’re looking at the National Stakes with him next month, that’s the race we’ve had in mind for a while, and it’ll be onto the Guineas then hopefully.”


Little Big Bear’s demolition of Persian Force, Shartash, Bradsell and Apache Outlaw saw him cut to 5-1 favourite for next season’s Qipco 2,000 Guineas, with six-time champion jockey Kieren Fallon stating on Monday that the market leader looks the likeliest winner of the Newmarket Classic.

Another son of No Nay Never, Blackbeard, was withdrawn from the Phoenix Stakes race due to an allergy, and O'Brien is lining up the Prix Morny at Deauville later in the month for the Darley Prix Robert Papin winner's next outing.

O’Brien said: “We’re looking at the Morny with Blackbeard later in the month. He seems well and we’ll make a call with him closer to the time but that looks his target.”

The trainer's eyes will be focused on the Curragh once again this weekend as Luxembourg is firmly on course to make his comeback in the Royal Whip Stakes on Saturday (3.30)

The son of Camelot, who was Ballydoyle's leading Derby contender before injury intervened, hasn’t been seen since overcoming a slow start to finish an encouraging third behind Coroebus in the 2,000 Guineas, and a tilt at the Irish Champion Stakes on September 10 remains his principal autumn target.


“Everything has gone well so far and we’re very happy with Luxembourg," O'Brien said. "This has been the plan for a while and he looks good to go."

Point Lonsdale is another Ballydoyle three-year-old yet to be seen since running at Newmarket in April, and he looks set to return at York’s Ebor Meeting later this month, in either the Juddmonte International or the Voltigeur Stakes.

O’Brien said: “Point Lonsdale seems well in himself. We’re looking at York with him he’s a few entries there, so that’s the line we’re taking."
Report Figgis August 8, 2022 4:04 PM BST
On the post race interview AOB mentioned Morny, Nunthorpe, Middle Park, Dewhurst, virtually everthing but the National Stakes. Gary O'Brien responded that he would've expected the National Stakes to be next but AOB didn't say yes or no. Now we hear that it was the plan all along Confused
Report A_T August 8, 2022 4:06 PM BST
he needed to consult with "the Lads" Grin
Report brandyontherocks August 8, 2022 4:26 PM BST
Never in doubt
Report Figgis August 8, 2022 4:53 PM BST
All of O'Brien's previous Guineas winners were horses with no real doubts as to stamina for a mile. When he's had Gp1 2yos where there were doubts they usually proved well founded. It's obvious that while they're hoping this horse will stay a mile they're not exactly convinced. My own feeling about the horse is that he could be more of a 2yo who doesn't do much later, like Johannesburg, who I had on the same figure as LBB. LBB's Phoenix Stakes win was clearly top class, but I have all his main opponents running below par. It wasn't quite up there with the likes of O'Brien's George Washington or Caravaggio. Nevertheless, it was about good enough to take an average Guineas. If an above average Guineas horse doesn't materialise, and LBB gets the mile and they can keep him in the same form next spring he will probably win. I won't be backing him but good luck to those on at big prices.
Report impossible123 August 8, 2022 6:07 PM BST
He was extremely impressive despite the mishap to the fav; Persian Force is no mug. And, he was not stopping at the business end either; National Stakes next. Hopefully 2000G after.

Pinatubo was particularly impressive in the National Stake (7f) on softish ground. But, he was found wanting over 8f at Newmarket.
Report Jack Bauer "24" August 8, 2022 6:38 PM BST
Pinatubo is the perfect example of a horse that looked more of a 2yo and then didn't really improve the following year as he had already peaked. LBB has far more scope to continue his progression. To my eye, he seems to have all the qualities required to develop into a Guineas horse so he deserves the opportunity to prove it.
Report Jack Bauer "24" August 8, 2022 9:34 PM BST
https://www.attheraces.com/blogs/kevin-blake/08-August-2022/little-big-bear


Analysing the sensational Little Big Bear
Last Saturday’s renewal of the Phoenix Stakes had a special sort of look to it. An array of leading form lines from Britain, Ireland and France were set to clash, and while Blackbeard was a late non-runner, the final field was a truly mouth-watering collection of talented youngsters. It promised to answer all sorts of questions and refine the juvenile pecking order in Europe, but what it delivered was something else altogether.

Proper “wow” moments are rare at the highest level of juvenile racing. Everyone will have performances that resonated with them, but my mind throws up Lady Aurelia in the Queen Mary Stakes, Rock Of Gibraltar in the Grand Criterium at Longchamp, Johannesburg in the Phoenix Stakes (when it was run at Leopardstown) and of course Arazi in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

In my mind at least, we saw a new one on Saturday.

Little Big Bear produced a genuinely remarkable performance to see off a strong field of rivals by no less than seven lengths. He made all the running at a settled and controlled pace, but there was nothing controlled about the way he powered away from some of the very best juveniles around inside the final furlong. It is rare to see a Group 1 won in such style, never mind one with this sort of depth. It really was sensational. Indeed, reports suggest that such was the speed with which Little Big Bear passed the winning line that the stand at the Curragh started whistling again!

There was a sad post-script to the race with it being revealed that the favourite Bradsell had sustained a season-ending injury, which was thought to have occurred when he stumbled on leaving the stalls, and again after a furlong or so. This is a real disappointment for all his connections and for the two-year-old division, as he had looked special in winning his first two starts. One can only hope that he makes a smooth recovery from his injury, and we get to see him back at the fullness of his powers next season.

While that is of course a relevant note to make when looking back on the Phoenix Stakes, it had already been widely concluded that Bradsell had run below himself to one extent or another. That he did doesn’t have a substantial impact on how the race is rated given that Persian Force and Shartash seemed to give their running or close to it.

What figure one puts on the Phoenix Stakes is very much a case of how high one is comfortable in going. To establish the context, we are dealing with here, Little Big Bear’s bare winning margin of seven lengths equates to 21lb. Given the runner-up Persian Force went into the race rated officially 110 and Shartash (½-length further back in third) was rated 106, the scope for Little Big Bear having run a giant number at the Curragh on the bare form alone is obvious, never mind any additional upgrades for ease of victory beyond the winning margin.


For further context, the highest-rated two-year-olds of the last three decades were Celtic Swing and Arazi on 130, with Pinatubo coming closest since then on 128. The earliest any of those wonderful juveniles achieved such levels of performance was in mid-September, so for Little Big Bear to have put up such a big performance in the first week of August is remarkable. While it would be a surprise if the official handicappers take such a positive view of the form at this stage, they should get another chance or two to assess Little Big Bear in the coming weeks and months.

Multiple potential targets were mentioned after the race, but it seems as though the more tried-and-tested route of the National Stakes at the Curragh on Irish Champions Weekend is likely to be his next destination. This imminent step up in trip will lead to a great amount of focus on Little Big Bear’s potential stamina and his likely optimal distance. For all the talk and racecourse evidence of Little Big Bear’s speed, I would be very much in the camp of giving him the opportunity to become a miler. 

No Nay Never may have been a sprinter himself but has produced high-class performers at a mile and beyond and seems certain to do so to an even greater extent over the coming years as his crops conceived at €100,000 and higher (Little Big Bear is from the first crop of these) get the opportunity to do their thing in the years ahead.

The dam side of Little Big Bear’s pedigree gives ample encouragement that he will stay a mile. His dam is by Bering who finished second to Dancing Brave in one of the greatest Prix de l’Arc de Triomphes of all time, and she herself was a stakes performer that stayed a mile-and-a-half. While she had been doing just ok as a broodmare prior to Little Big Bear, all her offspring stayed at least a mile and most stayed further.

Mind, for all that Little Big Bear’s pedigree is sure to be scrutinised to assess the potential limits of his stamina, racecourse evidence trumps everything else. Thus far, Little Big Bear has shown a notably relaxed racing character that will give him excellent prospects of staying a mile. In terms of his stride frequencies, he comes out in the range of a horse that is expected to be best at 7/8f. In short, the evidence supporting his claims of staying a mile is compelling.

We will no doubt learn more about Little Big Bear in the National Stakes, but make no mistake, this is already one of the very best two-year-olds we have seen in recent years in Europe.

I can’t wait to see him again.
Report penzance August 28, 2022 9:18 PM BST
N/R National Stks.
Report A_T August 29, 2022 7:41 PM BST
retirement beckoning?
Report layingisthewayforward September 1, 2022 4:25 PM BST
Transfered him into my ten to follow Sad
Report Figgis September 13, 2022 2:01 PM BST
Regardless of LBB's stamina prospects, I'm now beginning to question whether that performance was quite as good as it seemed. Mainly due to not wanting to underestimate LBB I was prepared to take an optimistic view of the other sprint time performances on the card. I'm certainly not a punter who will quickly downgrade a performance just because another runner hasn't gone on to frank the form. I won't be immediately downgrading Kyprios if Hamish flops next time, for example. However, with time ratings it's not just runners from the same race that you're looking to frank a performance, it's other runners on the same card form other races, particularly those over the same trip/part of the track. Nothing that has run since has suggested those sprints were anything but moderate.

It was blatantly obvious from time comparisons, and even just watching the race, that LBB's main opposition underperformed on the day. The difficult question was just how much. I now think it was probably even more than I'd accounted for. It also seemed a massive leap from the LBB that narrowly won the Windsor Castle to the beast of a performance we saw in the Phoenix. Not that such massive steps forward haven't been achieved by past 2yos. And given the sheer size of his appearance last time it wouldn't be incredible, but it's not exactly the norm. LBB is obviously still a very good sprinter, but until proved wrong I'm taking the view that he probably isn't THAT good.
Report A_T September 13, 2022 4:28 PM BST
no more this season for LBB - running him again would only risk his chances of being champion juvenile
Report Jack Bauer "24" September 24, 2022 7:38 PM BST
Won't be running again this season.

https://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/little-big-bear-remains-aidan-obrien-star-juvenile/203859


Blackbeard plundered yet another Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes for Aidan O’Brien – but the lingering feeling is that sidelined stablemate Little Big Bear remains top of the charts in the juvenile rankings at Ballydoyle.

Scoring at the highest level for the second time this season, and having his eighth outing, Blackbeard arguably put up his most impressive display to date.

In beating Richard Hannon’s Persian Force by three and a quarter lengths – almost three lengths further than he had in the Prix Morny at Deauville – it is clear for all to see that the the No Nay Never colt is still improving.

However, while delighted with Blackbeard’s progress, O’Brien also gave mention to Little Big Bear, who slammed Persian Force by seven lengths in the Phoenix Stakes in August, but was recently ruled out for the remainder of the season after returning from his exceptional Curragh display “a little bit sore.”

“Little Big Bear is great and he’s a horse to really look forward to for next year,” said O’Brien.


“He’s by No Nay Never as well, but there’s plenty of stamina in his pedigree on the dam’s side, whereas this horse today is fast on the dam’s side.

“Ryan (Moore) said after the Phoenix that Little Big Bear would get seven furlongs standing on his head, so he’s the horse we’re thinking about for the Guineas next year and he’s got a great chance.

“His season finished early and that’s always a big help to a horse.”

It was more what O’Brien did not say than what he did. Unfortunately Little Big Bear will not be running again in 2022, but he currently heads the betting for next year’s 2000 Guineas at around 5-1.

Blackbeard was up to his usual antics down at the start at Newmarket, stamping his feet and leaving nobody in any doubt who was in charge, but O’Brien insists there is no malice in his actions.

The 100-30 chance bounded up the hill, followed home by stablemate The Antarctic, with Persian Force back in third. The favourite Marshman was only fourth.

It was a record seventh victory in the race for O’Brien, who added: “He’s very genuine and like everybody, he’s just not keen on waiting and likes to get on with it. If you start curtailing him he’ll slam his foot into the ground and start goose stepping, which is unusual for a colt but he’s always done it. He can do whatever he wants, really!


“I’m not sure if he’ll run again this season, he’s very valuable to us. He’s so precocious, fast and strong and he has been very busy. I’ll see what everybody wants to do.”

O’Brien views Blackbeard as a sprinter, and concluded: “In all fairness he has run a lot of times. I’m not sure (as regards to targets next year). I’d say he is fast and I wouldn’t be sure he would stay. He looks a five or six-furlong horse, but you never know.”

Despite O’Brien’s impressive record in the Middle Park, it was the first time Ryan Moore had won it.

“He is a straightforward horse to ride and he has never run a bad race all year. He was still a bit green when he ran in the Coventry and we were still learning about him,” said the jockey

“He has won two Group Ones, but he is a character. The horse is never going to cause any harm and he is a pleasure to ride as you know what he is going to do.

“He has just got his own personality but he has got ability and he has won two Group Ones now and a Group Two and that was his eighth run. He is a hardy individual and tough. He just keeps turning up and performing.

“I think he just does what he has to at the moment. He has got plenty of pace but at the same time he has seen out that stiff six well today.”
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