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Emitdeb
19 Mar 21 15:18
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Date Joined: 28 Dec 07
| Topic/replies: 4,808 | Blogger: Emitdeb's blog
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Report cloone river March 21, 2021 1:39 PM GMT
Exactly jimnast people talking though they pocket like what happen last week.
Report GAZO March 21, 2021 1:43 PM GMT
so what did de bromhead say ?
Report 1st time poster March 21, 2021 1:45 PM GMT
wonder if noel meade,ox,bolger,tony martin,walsh snr etc are all out celebrating the irish celtic tiger racing boom
Report cloone river March 21, 2021 1:47 PM GMT
It will be on you tube later Gazo.You can watch and listen to it they.
Report GAZO March 21, 2021 1:49 PM GMT
so it wasnt as profound as you made out
Report cloone river March 21, 2021 1:53 PM GMT
What do you mean Gazo?
Report jimnast March 21, 2021 1:58 PM GMT
back to annie power cloone i have been lucky to see many amazing things at the festival over the years ,but everything that went with that day and that race, 60,000 plus in almost silence as the winner went over the line the utter disbelief around the racecourse probably makes it the one stand out memory,thankfully it was the tuesday which is a racing crowd,i think it would not of been very pleasant if it happened on the friday.
Report GAZO March 21, 2021 1:59 PM GMT
did he just saysomething like we simply have the best horses at present
Report 1st time poster March 21, 2021 2:12 PM GMT
said it was all about getting the best people to buy and train the horse ,wasnt asked or didnt offer an opinion on why trainers who were winning,/buying grade 1 c/classic winners when he was still sucking this thumb ,now apparently cant train anything to get in to the straight at the same time as the winner,s are passing the post
Report Steamship March 21, 2021 2:22 PM GMT
If we look at Brits in The Gold Cup

Native River though struggling nearly all through the race stayed on 4th beating non stayer Frodon both I think running up to their marks. Santini and Champ obviously not there in the head at the moment Lostintranslation disappointing all season.

So our best stayers are an 11 year old and a horse who doesn't stay 3m2f. No wonder 3 top class stayers waltzed past them.
Report cloone river March 21, 2021 2:30 PM GMT
The way Champ was campaign this year was very poor.Too many excuses made for not running in races.Hard to believe he could run as bad as he did.
Report Cash Is King March 21, 2021 5:00 PM GMT
This is what Brian Sheerin has posted on RP website:

Years of groundwork crucial to total Irish domination at Cheltenham Festival

Take an x-ray of the performance of the British at Cheltenham last week. Now, peg that into light. What do you see? A worrying situation.

There will be some serious questions asked this week. What is broken? What needs to be fixed? That may be the wrong way to approach things as there is no silver bullet here.

Instead, let’s concentrate on what the Irish have been doing exceptionally well and go from there.

Starting with the point-to-points. The culture surrounding this vital schooling ground for future stars is light years apart between Britain and Ireland.

Appreciate It, Shishkin, Honeysuckle, Bob Olinger, Sir Gerhard, Envoi Allen, Minella Indo, Monkfish, Chantry House, Telmesomethinggirl, Mount Ida, Vanillier and Colreevy share one thing in common – they all started their careers in Irish point-to-points.

Energumene and Blackbow are decent graduates from the British equivalent but, where did they end up? Ireland. Irish points have become commercial beasts whereas they are still very much viewed as an amateur pursuit in Britain.

What difference does this make, I hear you ask? And if you were about to point to Shishkin ending up in Britain, you would be right.

However, don’t tell me that being closer to the golden conveyor belt isn’t proving advantageous to the Irish.

The big owners want to be a part of Irish racing. Take Kenny Alexander and Cheveley Park Stud as examples. Their stars would shine in any stable, but they chose Ireland.

Even when it came to moving Envoi Allen, Sir Gerhard and Quilixios in the build-up to Cheltenham, Cheveley Park found homes in Ireland rather than Britain.

What makes Ireland so attractive for owners? In a nutshell, outstanding prize-money, competitive racing and gifted horse men and women, both in and out of the saddle.

Willie Mullins alluded to such on Sunday on Twitter in what was a classy appraisal of this year’s festival, in which Ireland’s champion trainer paid special thanks to Horse Racing Ireland’s Brian Kavanagh, who has always stressed the importance of quality in the programme book.

That quality shone through last week and it was by no means enjoyed in one small pocket. Far from it, in fact, with ten trainers getting on the scoreboard for an array of different owners.

There is a wide breadth of talent in Ireland, from the man identifying store horses to the woman riding six winners at Cheltenham, and last week was a major boon for everyone who played their part.

It was a job well done.
Report Cash Is King March 21, 2021 5:01 PM GMT
....and this is what Keith Knight (RP Letters) has to say on the subject:

Letters to the editor: here are ways to improve jump racing in Britain
After the drubbing of the British at Cheltenham there will now have to be some form of inquest. Here are my thoughts.

The Dublin Racing Festival is a success that the BHA would be wise to replicate. The easiest way of doing this would be to extend Trials day at ­Cheltenham into a two-day fixture as a mirror-image of the Dublin Racing Festival and staged either on the same two days or as a Friday-Saturday fixture.

As the second-half of the season is all about Cheltenham in March, the first half should culminate at Kempton at Christmas. To this end, the Tingle Creek should be ­downgraded to a Grade 2 and the Desert Orchid upgraded to a Grade 1. The ­Rendlesham Hurdle should also revert back to Kempton.

The Betfair Chase should be scrapped as a Grade 1 as it dilutes quality from both the Ladbrokes Trophy and to some extent the King George. The Betfair would serve a better purpose if it was restricted to the previous season’s novices and to help prepare those horses for the season ahead. Such races work well in Ireland and it should be of benefit here.

Point-to-pointing should be regarded as a feeder to the jumps and not considered merely a sphere for older horses. Over here the main race at a point-to-point is one of the opens, whereas in Ireland it is the maiden races that are the highlight.

Jumps trainers should be allowed to run horses in maiden points to create competition and interest as is the case in Ireland. Envoi Allen, Honeysuckle, Denman and so many other great jumpers have come from Irish point-to-points. At the moment there is a conveyor belt of young horses coming out of Irish points and somehow this has to be replicated this side of the Irish Sea.

One further point: it is no good hurling justified superlatives at Rachael Blackmore, adding that she has “changed the face of racing”, if the other current crop of promising female jockeys are not given their chance to shine on good horses in good races.
Report workrider March 21, 2021 5:03 PM GMT
Straight to the point Cash and all true , its an industry here over there its a hobby ...
Report Cash Is King March 21, 2021 5:04 PM GMT
Here's a link to what Willie posted on Instasnaptwatter:

https://twitter.com/WillieMullinsNH/status/1373370643643838471
Report workrider March 21, 2021 5:23 PM GMT
Cash, what he's saying is simply copy Ireland...
Report GAZO March 21, 2021 5:40 PM GMT
we have the races in place its the trainers who wont run their horses against each other and thats what needs to be looked,is it they are scared of getting too close to certain horses because of the handicapper ? you would think all cheltenhams meetings would have lots of runners to get experience of the course especially the novice races but they dont,why ?
Report jimnast March 21, 2021 5:42 PM GMT
good question gazo add to that the cheltenham fixtures fall at the right stages of the season.
Report duffy March 21, 2021 5:48 PM GMT
No good having a copycat DRF festival if there isn't the quality to fill it.

Prize money is the key, it would cut through all the other elements of the argument, if nothing else changed but the prize money was what it should be then the Irish point scene could still produce the quality but more of it would come to England.

Don't be getting too carried away with the discrepancy between the Irish trainers and English, that's b0llox, Nicholl's and Henderson have probably trained the 3 best chasers many of us have ever seen as recently as the last ten years in Kauto Denman and Sprinter .

If Nicholl's or Henderson had trained all those graded winners this week, guess what, they'd still have won, oh, ad Nicholl's might even have gotten CPS over the line in the Champion Chase too because he knows how to win that race whereas Mullins doesn't seem to.Devil
Report onlooker March 21, 2021 6:00 PM GMT
Steamship 21 Mar 21 15:22 

If we look at Brits in The Gold Cup

Native River though struggling nearly all through the race stayed on 4th beating non stayer Frodon both I think running up to their marks. Santini and Champ obviously not there in the head at the moment Lostintranslation disappointing all season.

So our best stayers are an 11 year old and a horse who doesn't stay 3m2f. No wonder 3 top class stayers waltzed past them.
---------------

Think again

If - "both Native River and Frodon - ran up to their marks"   .... then that means -

Minella Indo - ran to a BHA Rating of 202  - and A Plus Tard - 200

With Al Boum Photo - running to 195 ... 20 lbs Higher than it's Winning Rating for last year Grin


Arkle is turning in his grave.
Report Racingqueen March 21, 2021 6:34 PM GMT
Paul Nicholls is in semi retirement now.

David Pipe couldn't train Ivy up a wall. Hobbs can't either.

Young trainers in the UK are poor.

There is a definite skewing of the British handicap marks mainly due to their being way too much racing 99% of it uncompetitive dirge and the graded race programme over jumps in the UK is horrific.

The Challow etc are now won by horses struggle over 140 in the long term
Report Steamship March 21, 2021 6:38 PM GMT
Sorry onlooker that has not come out as it was meant the difference of 3lb between NR and Frodon has worked out, ignore the fact that they are rated so high in the first place
Report GAZO March 21, 2021 8:09 PM GMT
tizzard is in the post wanting some kind of drf in the uk around the end of january,yet we have trials day at cheltenham in the perfect spot and most of the races are pretty uncompetitive because the trainers dont want a supposed hard race so close to the festival
Report Cash Is King March 21, 2021 10:28 PM GMT
I agree with much of what Racingqueen has posted above.

Henderson does not look like a well man and at 70 years of age his future is a pipe and slippers not the next winner of the Supreme. Nicholls is hugely distracted by his complicated love life and the best that can be said about the likes of Pipe, Jonjo, King, Hobbs, Twister, Fry, Longsdon, McCain et al is "they were the future once".

Skelton looks as if he's making good progress and his horses ran well at Cheltenham in the main but were handicapped by being ridden by brother Harry who does not yet possess the ice in his veins that is needed to be a true top class jockey.
Report Cash Is King March 21, 2021 10:33 PM GMT
Absolutely agree that there is no need for a British equivalent of the Dublin Racing Festival. Britain's trainers would be better served heading to Leopardstown at Christmas and in early February.  It seems to work well for Irish-trained horses.

Britain's trainers just need to break with old habits, be more open minded and ambitious and target races in Ireland (and France) where the prize money will more than justify the endeavours of those with a sense of adventure.
Report Cash Is King March 21, 2021 10:55 PM GMT
It seems like a good number of people have got something to say on the question posed by the OP.

This is what Dan Skelton has to say, interviewed by Lewis Porteous in the RP:

(No mention of the poor rides brother Harry gave to any of last week's Festival runners which obviously didn't help Dan's cause.)

Dan Skelton: we've got to learn from Cheltenham drubbing and make changes

Leading trainer Dan Skelton has called on British racing to pick itself up off the floor after last week's Cheltenham Festival "drubbing" at the hands of Ireland, making an impassioned plea for everyone involved in the industry to start making the necessary changes that can help redress the balance of power.

The festival was a sobering one for the home team, yielding just five winners for horses trained in Britain compared to a record 23 for Ireland.

Skelton described that scoreline as a whitewash and the perfect illustration that racing in Britain is "on the slide", with serious change needed to safeguard the sport for future generations, while Gold Cup-winning trainer Colin Tizzard thinks now is the time for Britain to consider introducing its own version of the Dublin Racing Festival to help get some big-race practice in before Cheltenham in March. 

"There was a time when Britain won everything, a time when Paul Nicholls won everything and a time when Nicky Henderson won everything," said Skelton. "Now the tables have turned and there's a new standard. That standard is Irish-based."

While a number of issues, including the greater spending power of owners who support Irish-based trainers, and superior prize-money, have been put forward as reasons behind the seismic shift of power, Skelton believes systematic failure in Britain has been fundamental.

"What I think is more concerning than the fact of where the quality lies is that there's a systematic problem here, whereby the British system is top-heavy with handicaps and we need to have the ability to promote the better horses and sustain their careers better," said the trainer, who came close to making a small dent in Ireland's domination with Roksana, Nube Negra, Elle Est Belle and Langer Dan all making the frame at Cheltenham. 

"Everybody's got to take a look at themselves across the board in British racing. We're all guilty of allowing Ireland to be better than us.

"We've got to learn from this drubbing, pick ourselves up off the floor and say, 'Right, we've seen this situation and we're going to sort it', and actually implement some changes to better suit top-end horses."

He continued: "We need to be all in it together to make it happen; it's totally unachievable for just the trainers to say we'll sort it by ourselves – we can't do that.

"We've some great trainers in Britain, history has proved that, and we have very competitive racing, but we've got to up our game and concentrate more on the top end because ultimately, if the top end isn't there, there's nothing to filter through.

"There's no need to talk about it any more, the illustration is right there for all to see. If you're comfortable with what happened last week and play a part in British racing, that's not good enough. We've all got to up our game. Now is the time for concerted, widespread change to make sure this product is sustainable for future generations.

"We're on the slide and we can't sit idly by and think everything's going to be all right next year, because it won't be. Even if we change everything, it's going to take three, four, five years. It needs to start now."

Skelton, itching to come together with others to form a blueprint for future success, thinks there is a lesson to be learned from the way Ireland has gone from underdog to the dominant power in jump racing, and urged the industry in Britain to fight to regain that status.

"A whitewash isn't good for the sport," he said. "People don't want to know the result before they turn up – it's going to lose its appeal. We've worked hard as an industry on both sides of the Irish Sea to make it as competitive and enthralling as possible, and unfortunately festival week has shown that one side is doing an awful lot better than the other.

"There's no point dropping your head about that. You get up, you get on with it and you make it better. I'm not downbeat because of last week – quite the opposite. I'm invigorated and thinking, 'Right, we're going to go and get it now because we've got to change'.

"The results were so shocking that the only thing it can promote is change - anything other than change is completely unacceptable. We've got to get together and work out how to make this right.

"That's the one thing the Irish do – they all come together. Fifteen years ago when they were getting a hiding at Cheltenham they went home and said, 'We're going to get better at this'. And guess what? They did! That's what we've got to do."

Tizzard, who saddled three seconds at the festival, thinks British racing can learn another lesson from Ireland in the success the two-day Dublin Racing Festival in February is having as a trial ground for Cheltenham.

"We need to up our game," said Tizzard. "They put on this meeting in early February, where they all go, and they tune up there. I think we need to look at that in England.

"There are very few races for our top horses in that period, and it looks as though it's working for the Irish. We need a festival where we can take our horses and let them have a taste of top-class racing. Our novices are running around in ordinary races, not taking on the best."

He added: "I think we should be looking to run them at the end of January, first week in February, if the Irish are doing it.

"You've got to look at it matter-of-factly, and it's not just the horses. No owner or trainer shies away, those races are deep, there are eight or ten good horses in every race. They have a proper race there."
Report Cash Is King March 21, 2021 11:01 PM GMT
Here are some more pearls of wisdom as the "professionals" have their say:

(Even Mick Fitz, the sage of Lambourn, has an opinion on this subject.)

Where do the problems lie for Britain? Professionals have their say

A gulf in quality, prize-money levels, the handicap system and even race tactics have been put forward as just some of the reasons why Ireland totally dominated at last week's Cheltenham Festival.

With just five winners on the festival board compared to 23 for Ireland, the debate into why horses trained in Britain were comprehensively outgunned by their Irish counterparts began before the action at Cheltenham had even finished and is likely to rage on for months to come.

The majority of failings appear to be linked to the faltering prize-money levels in Britain, according to professionals, with British-based owners increasingly opting to send horses to trainers in Ireland where the prize-money on offer is more generous. 

Trainer Emma Lavelle
To me, the biggest worry is the fact that British-based owners are sending those top lots from the sales to Ireland and, if it's all about prize-money, which I imagine there's a big chunk of it that is, then I think we have every right to be heading to government and asking for the process of levy reform to be brought forward because otherwise this is only going to continue.

Good horses should be racing for good money and owners aren't going to stand for it. By no means do I think there's a silver bullet on this, but if anything highlights the concerns over prize-money, I think this is a big reason to be concerned.

Trainer Harry Fry
The Irish are doing everything better than we are – we have to congratulate them on a fantastic week and aspire to reach the heights they've hit.

There's going to be lots of conversations going on about the Irish dominance and we've started that from looking at the recruitment of the right horses, getting the right owners involved and everything that encompasses racing. There will be lots of British trainers looking at how we can raise our game and we need to otherwise we'll get left behind quickly.

Prize-money comes into it too. We have big owners investing in Irish racing because there is some sort of return, while there isn't really here. It's very hard to justify to owners when you're running around for £3,000 a race. I won the Tolworth with Metier and didn't even collect £20,000 for winning a Grade 1.

rainer Chris Gordon
It seems to be that the Irish have a lot more money at the moment and an awful lot of the owners in Ireland are British-based. The races are fiercely competitive in Ireland, but in top-end races the prize-money is better over there. As far as I'm concerned, our top trainers are as good as those guys. Maybe the handicap system does work slightly in their favour at the moment.

Trainer Charlie Longsdon
They've simply got better horses than us and it has to stem from prize-money in Britain. We didn't get it quite right in the handicaps, but I think prize-money is the main reason why all the top horses are being trained in Ireland.

Rider Jonathan Burke
It comes down to some great performances and fantastic horses from Ireland, but I think the style of racing might have something to do with it. In Ireland they don't tend to go quite as quick from end-to-end, but over here it's an end-to-end gallop from flagfall. They're very tough races from the start of their novice hurdle campaign and I'm sure that has something to do with it.

Former rider and ITV pundit Mick Fitzgerald
People will have to be better at buying these good horses. It's almost like fastest finger first to get them – you've got to source these horses before anyone else. So many of the Irish winners were superstars and the British trainers need a few more of them.
Report 3 valleys March 21, 2021 11:07 PM GMT
and tizzard puts his finger on a problem we have festival trials day ( could be easily extended to a 2 day meeting) when its not packed with the best taking on each other they'd rather duck and run somewhere uncompetitive that doesn't get them match fit for the hurly burly that is the festival with the obvious result
Report askari1 March 22, 2021 1:02 AM GMT
The bottom line reason is that horse racing is more popular in Ireland than England.

Off course betting revenue, racecourse attendance, the value of commercial sponsorships of prize money--all are up year-on-year. Betting duty brings in 95mill. EUR and the government gives back nearly two thirds of that.

Tote Ireland is a wholly owned subsidiary of Horse Racing Ireland, which the Tote isn't here. It's in a position to put the small punting racegoer first, which no one imagines the British Tote or e.g. Riponbet does.
Report duffy March 22, 2021 2:31 AM GMT
We haven't got the quality to fill two days top quality racing it would be farcical, take a CH trial of which there are 6 or 7 british trained horses out of 37 quoted on oddschecker for next years race, in order to encourage the bestLaugh to run at this so called festival you'd have to cull races like the kingwell, the haydock trial and probably move the Bula to Christmas in order to restrict options, so you'd have Fighting Fifth late Nov, Bula at Xmas and then the race at the new festival in late Jan.

But there is no need to overthink this, the answer isn't a new festival to toughen us up and it's not some mystical force that the Irish trainers seem to exude from every pore, the answer is good old fashion money!!!

In recent years the prize money has been a growing problem over here and it's no coincidence that during the same time more and more of the best horses have been stabled in Ireland.

If the British trainers had the raw talent to begin with then the results at the festival would see improvement.

Surely no-one thinks that Envoi Allen is the horse he is because of some magic that only Elliott possesses do they and that someone like Nicholl's who is arguably the best trainer of a chaser either side of the Irish sea couldn't have done similar, you never know he might even have kept him upright last week?

Or Mullins, a trainer who despite training equine royalty in the shape of Douvan, Champagne Fever, Chacun Pour Soi, Vautour, Un De Sceaux and Min has managed to somehow fail to win a Champion Chase!!!! hell, he seems to have it all on just to keep half of them sound!!! whilst Nicholl's manages it with Politilogue and Dodging BulletsCry

And what about the new kid on the block de Bromhead, oh hang on, he's been around for 20 years but despite a few real decent ones like Sizing Europe and Special Tiara during the first 15 or so years it's only now in the last couple of years he seems to be banging in the grade 1's from every angle, has he suddenly become great or could it be something to do with the simple case of increased raw talent heading his way to begin with?

As much as some may want to over-complicate it, where the abundance of raw talent goes to be trained is where the best results will be found and it matters not whether it's England or Ireland, the best trainers either way will realize the talent just the same IMO....it's all about the money!!
Report 1st time poster March 22, 2021 9:16 AM GMT
tizzard missing the obvious point very few races in england for top rated horse in england in feb,so you,d think they,d have loads of runners, no they have 3,4,5 runner fields
Report 1st time poster March 22, 2021 9:21 AM GMT
so we,ll have a meeting
top trainer not enough hard races
top jock to many hard races
that went well
Report 1st time poster March 22, 2021 9:23 AM GMT
someone just saw an enhglish owner lay out over a million for 3 sloewboats
2 of them proven slowboats.
fools and money are easily parted
Report GAZO March 22, 2021 10:03 AM GMT
i think everyone just has to be honest and not just say what suits them,is there too many novice hurdle and chase races for the number of horses ? is there too many races for all types of races ? do they think they get handicapped harshly if they run at cheltenham,newbury ect compared to the smaller tracks ?,the prize money and the fact ireland is quite prosperous at the minute means the good horses will stay over there and that will probally not go away so racing needs to come together with some ideas
Report HistoricWarwick March 22, 2021 10:11 AM GMT
Irish horses are better prepared, better trained and definitely more astutely ridden.

English trainers in the main either hopelessly out of form, blaming Winter ground for Winter racing or not up to scratch.  There is too much uncompetitive racing in the UK (three NH meetings on a Monday???), the winners of which still command a handicap rise for beating trees.  The UK champion trainer wants to target other meetings and Saturday winners to be champion trainer - when only he is bothered about it.  Other than the Bowen boys I think British jockeys are average.  Some weak, tactically naive, rise too often, or thinking of one darling of the press, a one trick pony who only knows one way of riding.

But ultimately the better horses stay in Ireland and why not.  Personally I don't care if Ireland win all races at Cheltenham as for me it is about the horse and jockey, not the trainer or the owner.  Moreover, if Ireland win every race then perhaps it forces trainers to adapt or the authorities to assess the volume and structure of British racing.  Reviewing the handicapping system is not the answer as this papers over the cracks.

None of that will happen.  Instead Cheltenham's Jan meeting will become a two day event, eventually a five day festival and wealthy owners will spend more on horses from the irish p2p field and the same jockeys will continue making the same mistakes.

The only British yard that is worth noting is Skelton - they looked like they had a plan albeit they were let down for other reasons.  Sorry, Nicholls also had a plan, send them all to Aintree and Ayr instead.
Report sageform March 22, 2021 10:13 AM GMT
I can see some of this argument about money, but the total money for all GB races is far higher than for Irish where there are only around 8 meetings per week compared to 20 in GB. The chance of earning much money with the tenth best novice hurdler in Ireland is minimal which is why many are sent to GB trainers once they have been thrashed by the best from Mullins, Elliott, Harrington and de Bromhead. For the very best horses, Ireland is the place to be but, for 95% of Irish trained horses, the future is bleak. They have lost the chance to send their lesser lights to Perth, Carlisle etc. for the time being although that is likely to resume in the autumn.
Report 1st time poster March 22, 2021 10:15 AM GMT
obviously 99,9% of trainers ,owners at chelt and 99.9% of posters on here think youyr having a laugh regards the bowens
but thanks anyway mrs bowen
Report HistoricWarwick March 22, 2021 10:34 AM GMT
Sageform, isn't that the nub of the problem.  Volume.  If there are 20 races to go at compared to 8 you are merely diluting the product.  A four runner handicap chase at Fontwell might provide racing entertainment for some but, it doesn't create competitive racing or racehorses.  Moreover those 20 races are worth very little in isolation. 

Re Irish horses coming over, I am not sure pre Covid if that many did anyway outside of Stuart Crawford or GE?  The odd plot to Perth possibly but, perhaps more of them should.
Report 1st time poster March 22, 2021 10:37 AM GMT
lets be honest 99% of horses running in ireland are beat after one hurdle, you could remove 90% of runners and it wouldnt be effecting how a race was run, its competitive between half a dozen yards
Report sageform March 22, 2021 10:53 AM GMT
Historic, we are talking about a country of 65 million compared with one of 5 million! On that basis, Ireland has 5 times more races per head of population than GB. Do those 5 million people bet enough to provide the Irish prize money or is a lot of it taken from bets placed on GB races in the Republic? Spot on Ist time poster about the also rans although you could say the same about some GB novice hurdles.
Report 1st time poster March 22, 2021 11:05 AM GMT
people saying they want tougher .harder more competitive races ,when racings argument has always been tough races puts horses back

altior v cyrname
said to have ruined both horses

anyone think latest ex is a better, faster horse for seeing the backside of monkfish 3 times,
no evidence honeysuckle is making mullins hurdlers any better ,all regressing
Report cloone river March 22, 2021 11:06 AM GMT
Your point about 99% of horses running in Ireland are beat after one hurdle is false and not true.Ten different Irish trainers had winners at cheltenham.
Report HistoricWarwick March 22, 2021 11:09 AM GMT
Sageform, I am confused as to why the population has to do with anything?  Surely if there is a justification for nearly three times more meetings, it is because there are three times more horses in training.  I don't know the exact figures but, my understanding is that in total there are around 14k horses in training in the UK and around 9k in Ireland under both codes.  Even taking the flat horses out I don't think that stacks up.

On the lack of competition in Ireland, it maybe a problem in Irish racing but, it has no relevance to the topic in terms of the performance of Irish horses at Cheltenham.

Again, I don't really care if Irish horses dominate at G50 or if their is a monopoly in Irish racing, it all masks to me a lack of depth to British NH racing for many reasons.
Report 1st time poster March 22, 2021 11:11 AM GMT
10% of 1000,s of horses is still alot of horses ,but still doesnt take away from 90% of them are not effecting a race in any shape or form
Report sageform March 22, 2021 12:49 PM GMT
Historic, I thought that the number of races was governed by the demand from bookmakers and punters, not trainers or owners. Am I mistaken? Don't confuse the number of races with the quality of racing.
Report Ramruma March 22, 2021 1:21 PM GMT
The Dublin Racing Festival is a red herring.

For a start, only Willie Mullins takes it seriously. Remember all those comments about Mullins horses getting freebies in front?

Secondly, even if the Cheltenham Trials meeting had gone ahead and had filled all its races, what would it achieve in terms of more winners at the Festival? Answer: nothing.

It might have given us more interesting racing and more lines of form, but not a single extra British winner.
Report GAZO March 22, 2021 1:49 PM GMT
the funny thing with cheltenham trials day the novice hcap chase was pretty competitive most years and the winner of the novice hcap chase at the festival came from that race at least three time that i can recall (imperial aura,mister whitaker and irish cavalier) and cheltenham got rid of the novice hcap at the festival for the mares chase
Report workrider March 22, 2021 2:22 PM GMT
Ramruma, I think Skelton was made to pay in full for that comment...
Report thelatarps March 22, 2021 3:06 PM GMT
Okay
time to look at this in more detail..
Prestbury cup scores have been pretty one sided for a good number of years.
Think it was 17-10 (Easyland counted as french) last year and there was a 19-9 not long before that.

SO it could be argued that the 'Team UK' underperformed by about half a dozen winners..
Personally I like Ramrumas suggestion that the Irish contingent holed up in their hotel in a bubble had nothing to concern themselves but with the business of race riding.
Sort of what the great Italian football teams of yesteryear used to do. Before a big game or if the team was underperforming the whole squad would get packed off to the dolomites with nothing but training and team meetings to concern them. 'Ritiro' I think they called it.

Anyways.
The races the UK did win were all chases.
the score was 7-5 over fences. If you chuck out the Xcountry, which surely we must.
One of those 7 for Ireland was the new Mares Chase, like many of the newly added races with the 4 day meet this is a race likely to be won by the top yards who dont want to risk their pride and joy in a championship race.
So that makes it 6-5 over chases.
The Uk contingent might consider themselves unlucky not to have won the Queen Mother but thats offset by Envoi Allen falling.
SO 6-5 over fences.

The money argument probably holds true for the fact that Ireland dominated the Group 1s.
As for the hurdles.
Hurdling program in the UK is pretty poor. Most UK Trainers use Hurdling as a prep for chasing imo. Little of any worth comes off the Flat and is aimed at the Champion a la Sea Pigeon. One would imagine that Stoute or Gosden could make hay in that division if they wanted but its not really worth their time or money is it?
Uk were fairly competitive in the handicap hurdles, I imagine the Skeltons are kicking themselves over Langer Dan in the Pipe race..

So thats my conclusion.
Little chance in the G1s apart from the Queen Mother because the big money is now in Ireland.
Fair peformance in the chase division
Poor results over hurdles mainly because most trainers treat the division as second class.
And Ramrumas Italian football 'ritiro' theory for how the Irish jocks applied themselves over the week leading to the lopsided 23-5 final score.

HTh
Report 1st time poster March 22, 2021 3:09 PM GMT
take out hendo,s wins in novice events in last few years,nichols not even competiting in nocive hurdles,arkle for years
Report workrider March 22, 2021 3:32 PM GMT
A load of rubbish thelartarps , trainers treating hurdlers as potential chasers is the norm everywhere.
Didn't a certain Irishman ride the Champion Chase winner or maybe I missed the fact that he wasn't a part of this bubble...Laugh..You can go into a training camp and do everything right but when it comes to the real thing and the training stops you need to be the best if you're going to win.
How come England have only won ONE World Cup and that was many a year ago on home soil , don't they have their bubble every time they go away yet a single return for all those bubbles seems a pretty mean return .Laugh
Report thelatarps March 22, 2021 5:06 PM GMT
Dont bother me WR me old friend
I am Welsh of German  blood so my antipathy for all things english probably matches yours.
BTW
your rugby team will never be as good as ours.
Report sageform March 22, 2021 5:54 PM GMT
Cut the prize money at the next festival by 75% and the Irish might not bother.
Report CROPSICK March 22, 2021 6:08 PM GMT
just imagine if the Irish weren't allowed to travey coz of covid then we would have Alex hales planning  for next years CH with his Supreme winner For Pleasure, Hughie Morrison saying this was the plan all along for CH winner Not So Sleepy, Nicholl's proclaiming Bravemansgame the best since Denman and Tizzard always new that Native River was back to his bestLaugh
Report Stevo March 22, 2021 7:49 PM GMT
Milkshake heaven, Ireland.
No inspections due to Covid for a year.
Only what i've heard mind....
Report Cash Is King March 22, 2021 11:19 PM GMT
Mark Boylan in the RP:

'It's a bit like Premier League versus Championship - we have the best horses'

Leading trainer Noel Meade and senior Irish jumps handicapper Andrew 'Sandy' Shaw believe the Irish domination at this year's Cheltenham Festival was built on strong prize-money levels, a robust programme book and horses west of the Irish Sea simply being too good for their British counterparts.

"I think it proves beyond doubt that we simply have the best horses," said Shaw after a record 23 winners from 28 races at last week's four-day meeeting.

"Back in the 80s, in the bad days as such when we were lucky to come out with one winner, it used to be the other way around. We didn't win any handicaps over there but it's turned on its head now and I think that's one of the main reasons – we just have the best horses."

He added: "It's a bit like the Premier League versus the Championship. It's a great tribute to Horse Racing Ireland and the programming committees that are there. We have the races in place to encourage people to come over; prize-money makes such a big difference as well.

"Sporting John's Grade 1 win in the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase was worth £20,000 to the winner and that would probably be €50,000 or €60,000 here. I think it's a straightforward situation, it's all about the economics. The money is here and the best horses are here, that's why we're so successful."

Meade, who sent out Jeff Kidder to land the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle last week, said he had expected a strong Irish showing at the meeting but was surprised by the level of dominance, saying there could have been even more Irish winners but for Envoi Allen's fall and a couple of Irish defeats by short heads.

Asked what could be done to make British-trained runners more competitive at the festival, he said: "There's no great secret in that whoever has the best horses wins the races.

"The best horses cost the most money and the most money is being spent by owners in Ireland at the moment. Whether that's because of prize-money, or if we're better trainers, or we're lucky that they want to have them here."

He added: "It's not just the prize-money – it's the set-up for the horses. When you have a good horse in Ireland, the way the whole system is put together is much better. They [the races] come up at the right times to bring you to Cheltenham."
Report Cash Is King March 22, 2021 11:24 PM GMT
Peter Scargill also in the RP:

Unstoppable force: what lies behind Ireland's total domination of jump racing?

As he toasted Telmesomethinggirl’s victory in the Parnell Properties Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle on Thursday evening, Peter Molony’s thoughts turned to the following day and whether it would be another seven races totally dominated by runners from Ireland.

“In the last couple of years it’s got to Thursday evening and you’re starting to actually want the UK to have a few winners because it’s become too one-sided which is never healthy,” says Molony, manager of Rathmore Stud in Limerick and racing manager for owner Kenny Alexander.

“The trend has been going that way for the last few years but when it actually happens it’s still quite hard to believe because we’re talking about Cheltenham. I’ve been going to Cheltenham for 30 years and when I started we were lucky to have one or two winners a week.”

The days of Irish-trained horses leaving Cheltenham with next to nothing could not seem more distant after last week when 23 of the 28 races, including all four championship events, six of the eight novice contests and the bumper were plundered by horses not trained in Britain.

Furthermore, seven of the nine handicaps went to Ireland, including horses who won at SPs of 80-1 and 33-1 (twice), while 60 per cent of the placed horses at the meeting had made the journey across the Irish Sea.

Willie Mullins was leading trainer for the festival for the seventh time in the last ten years – with Nicky Henderson’s 2012 tour de force the only time the award has not gone to Ireland in the last decade – while the outstanding Rachael Blackmore was leading jockey with six victories.

Mullins and Blackmore were only marginally ahead of a host of compatriots such as Henry de Bromhead, Gavin Cromwell, Paul Townend and Jack Kennedy who excelled at the festival and left British racing considering what has led to its equine and human competitors being so comprehensively outgunned during the biggest week of the National Hunt year.

Since the middle of the last decade, horses trained in Ireland have become increasingly dominant at Cheltenham, with more winners coming from the country for five of the past six seasons, including a previous record of 19 winners in 2017. It was a draw in 2019.

As the inquest begins in Britain a number of explanations have been put forward as to why the balance has shifted so markedly to Ireland: more competitive races allowing for horses to be gauged more accurately; better prize-money enticing and sustaining owners; an established and enhanced programme for mares; a larger breeding industry and many more. It makes the prospect of identifying and fixing whatever is broken in Britain seem a daunting task.

However, the simplest reason for Ireland’s power is also the most obvious – the best horses are based there. Better horses win more races, the more races that are won then creates a virtuous circle whereby others are drawn into wanting to be a part of that success.

British-based bloodstock agent Tom Malone, whose past purchases include Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Native River and Envoi Allen, has been facing this challenge over the last few years with his domestic clients, as he has battled with wealthy and determined owners prepared to regularly dig deep to source the very best horses to have in training in Ireland.

“There are more extremely wealthy owners in Ireland now than ever before,” he says. “You take something like Brian Acheson’s Robcour [owner of Ballymore winner Bob Olinger]. He’s got a significant number of horses in training now but he’s also stepped up what he’s prepared to spend on them as well in the last couple of years. This has resulted in him being a major player in racing on both sides of the Irish Sea.

“We have underbid and been involved in trying to buy so many good horses, which is so frustrating. The level of competition from Ireland for these best horses is absolutely staggering.”

Owners in Ireland and Britain have been increasingly prepared to invest heavily into Ireland due to the healthier returns they get from prize-money, along with generally lower operating costs, and the belief they have a better line into the top prospects available to buy.

The Irish point-to-point division certainly shone at Cheltenham with the likes of Appreciate It (Supreme), Shishkin (Arkle), Honeysuckle (Champion Hurdle), Monkfish (Brown Advisory) and Minella Indo (Gold Cup) among the horses who started there before being sold on.

Jon Hughes, co-founder of ownership pressure group Keep Owners In Racing (KOIR), believes British professionals are being set up to fail by a system that does not reward their owners.

“There are cycles but this is more significant than that,” he says. “When you look at the top owners in National Hunt racing the simple fact is that most of them elect to have their horses trained in Ireland.

“I don’t think they’re doing that because Willie Mullins and Henry de Bromhead are fundamentally better trainers than Paul Nicholls or Nicky Henderson. They’re doing it because there’s a better chance of a favourable return for them and also because they believe they have a better line into the important and influential Irish point-to-point industry. For anyone in Britain, this is a serious concern.”

He adds: “There is an emerging view that many owners in the UK are starting to become totally disillusioned with what’s going on over here and they’re voting with their feet. This is what we’re seeing and this is what we have to address.”

Paltry prize-money was also flagged by Ruby Walsh when asked about the results on ITV Racing last week, particularly in reference to British-based owners decamping to Ireland, with Molony pointing to it being an underlying issue for Kenny Alexander, who falls into that bracket.

“A huge part of this is the prize-money,” Molony says. “I know managing Kenny’s finances, watching what’s coming in and going out, that the costs are generally higher in the UK and the rewards, generally, are far greater here.

“You’re looking at your profit and loss for horses in the two countries and you feel much better about paying to have a horse in Ireland than in the UK. You do see some people getting sick of the game because money just keeps going out.”

Malone is even more strident when it comes to assessing the impact of prize-money on where owners want to race their horse. He says: “I know people harp on about prize-money but now they need to sit up and take action. This simply isn’t good enough. Running around for three grand isn’t good enough for these owners wanting to get involved when they can look to Ireland or to France.”

Minimum prize-money levels in Ireland are €10,000 per race, while in Britain it takes until Class 3 level to attain a similar level of return.

Analysis by Proform Racing into prize-money for jumps races in the two countries between October 1, 2020 and last Saturday, excluding Cheltenham, shows the average winner of a race in Britain received £6,412 compared to £10,169 in Ireland – a difference of 59 per cent.

The influx of better horses into Irish stables has generated more competition between professionals and also provided a stronger pool of horses racing against each other more frequently, allowing connections to more accurately assess and plot routes for their horses.

Malone believes horses are not severely tested enough in Britain before the Cheltenham Festival and, more often than not, end up at the meeting with inflated handicap marks whereas Irish horses have been more accurately assessed by connections in their races.

“The system in Britain allows horses to stay away from competition so you could win three hurdle races in Britain beating nothing and be rated in the mid-140s when in fact if you were taking on horses in competitive races you’d be rated in the mid-130s and then competing in races at Cheltenham that you can actually win,” he says. “There is no question in my mind that there are horses here being overhyped and overrated for winning races with no competition.

“However, you take a horse like Galopin Des Champs. He had no option but to go against Appreciate It at Leopardstown and got beaten nine lengths. If you put a line of form through that then he obviously had a massive chance in the Martin Pipe, which he then won.”

A real push forward from Ireland in terms of Cheltenham success came around 2016 as Gordon Elliott, who was absent from Cheltenham this year after being suspended for six months for bringing racing into disrepute, enhanced his firepower with Don Cossack’s Cheltenham Gold Cup win and the arrival of the bulk of Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud horses from Mullins following a disagreement over training fees.

Elliott’s pushing at home and at Cheltenham lifted levels, while the likes of De Bromhead and Cromwell have increasingly become major players too, with Molony believing such competition “spurred an already excellent Willie Mullins on to new levels again”.

He adds: “He’s the ultimate competitive being so when these guys began snapping at his heels he seemed to click into a new gear.”

For his part, Mullins said that the "seminal week for Irish racing" came from the "long-term planning and vision" put in place by Horse Racing Ireland, which was also praised by Walsh during his ITV stint.

All this meant that when owner David Rabson, one half of KTDA Racing along with David Page, decided to indulge his passion for the Cheltenham Festival by starting to buy horses, one country ruled.

Like the late David Thompson at Cheveley Park Stud, Rabson and Page, who are based in Sussex, wanted festival success over anything else with results convincing them that Ireland was the only option.

“We decided we wanted a ten-year project and looked at it through a business lens,” Rabson says. “By 2018 we didn’t need an algorithm or anything as it was clear that the data was telling us that Ireland was the place to be in terms of the production base.

“We had one exam question that was at the front of our minds when it came to buying and getting involved in horses and it was ‘Will this horse get us to Cheltenham?’ When we then looked at which yards to go to it was the same – does the yard have the same ambition?”

Rabson and Page landed on Elliott and were rewarded when Mount Ida won this year’s Kim Muir, albeit in the name of stand-in trainer Denise Foster.

“It’s a trade-off for us [having horses in Ireland] as we’re forgoing the convenience of being able to go and see our horses as easily but for us it’s a perfectly acceptable trade-off,” Rabson says.

“All those other ingredient parts, such as being able to go to Sandown or to the yard, are helpful but they’re not persuasive because for us we’re focused on doing the best we can do to get our horses to Cheltenham.”

KTDA Racing is aiming to double its six-horse string in “the next couple of years” and Rabson thinks it would help owners with horses in Britain and Ireland if they met more regularly outside of the festival.

“You would like to see more integration between the Irish runners and the British runners more regularly,” he says. “Maybe if more British horses were running in Ireland more and vice versa we’d all have a better idea of how good each other's horses were before the festival.”

Mount Ida was one of seven mares to win at this year’s festival, all of whom were trained in Ireland, while all bar one running of the Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle, Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle and Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase have been won by a horse trained in Ireland.

Molony puts this down to a bigger, stronger breeding industry alongside a well-established programme and bonus scheme for mares, something the BHA and Thoroughbred Breeders' Association have set about replicating in Britain since 2015.

And while Molony does not expect Britain to ever compete with Ireland on National Hunt breeding – around three times more National Hunt foals were born in Ireland than Britain last year – he does believe there are means by which trainers and owners can seek to redress the balance, even if it is not likely to be a quick fix.

“Something you’d think they could do is if they don’t have the firepower to compete at the boutique sales they could take a step back in the production line and go back to the store sales,” he says.

“They’ve sort of allowed the top point-to-point boys to take over the middle market completely at those sales. The likes of Shishkin and Honeysuckle were bought for relatively modest figures as stores.”

He adds: “I do think it’s set this way for a little while though as the best young horses and the best novices are in Ireland, plus if you look at the sales for the last two or three years the vast majority of the top horses have gone to Ireland. They’re all still coming and that’s the bad news for anyone in the UK.”
Report Cash Is King March 22, 2021 11:29 PM GMT
To conclude, yet another piece in the RP. This one by Stuart Riley:

Trainers' chief urges Brits to be braver when campaigning horses

British trainers overshadowed by their Irish counterparts at last week's Cheltenham Festival have been urged to be braver and campaign their horses more aggressively against each other.

Rupert Arnold, the chief executive of the National Trainers Federation, believes that will help prime the top British horses before they face Irish-trained opposition at Cheltenham.

A 23-5 scoreline in Ireland's favour has resulted in much soul-searching within the sport in Britain, with Dan Skelton on Monday calling for an industry-wide effort to help redress the balance of power.

Arnold was supportive of change but also challenged the British trainers to take matters into their own hands as the results of any industry-wide alterations would not be immediate.

He said: "To pick up on one thing Dan talked about, he mentioned increasing competition at the top end and I think one question trainers have to answer here is if they're prepared to race against each other – even horses from the same yard – in the same races in the way the Irish do.

"I think we tend to shy away from that in this country, so are they prepared to do that?"

He added: "It's one of many questions and everyone's called it a wake-up call, which it certainly is. People are clearly registering that and I've no doubt the BHA will kick that into action pretty swiftly.

"I think the industry does need to do something. Dan's highlighting the need for action and British racing to have a look into the reasons behind the Irish dominance and how that's been building over a number of years and to take measures to be able to compete.

"He doesn't spell out anything particular about what that should be other than to focus on the top level and make sure we are providing effective routes to cultivate the best horses so they are able to compete with the Irish.

"What exactly that is remains for discussion but I'm sure we'd all endorse the general message that we need to pick ourselves off the floor and work out how to compete.

"I want to get the trainers together through our usual channels and discussion groups and see what people think, and hear what they have to say.

"People have mentioned some things like prize-money and I think there's a reason why some major owners you might have expected to have horses trained here have chosen to have their horses trained in Ireland rather than Britain, and we need to see what it is about the programme in this country that is not cultivating the horses at the top end in the way they were in the past."

2006 was the first year the Irish managed to reach double figures for winners, while as recently as 2012 the score was 22-5 in favour of British-trained winners. The same year Britain's five-year average peaked at 18 winners, while Ireland's was 8.2. After this week's festival those five-year figures have dropped to 10 and increased to 17.8 respectively.

Charlie Parker, president of the Racehorse Owners Association, feels there are a number of factors at play. He said: "It was a great week's racing but we got well and truly stuffed. It's easy to overreact after what happened but it was a pretty devastating week for the Brits.

"Prize-money has probably had a big effect and there are probably a few anomalies such as the late David Thompson buying all those highly expensive, very good horses and leaving them all in Ireland which has probably accentuated results.

"I think Colin Tizzard's comments about a festival in the build-up to get horses match fit is a good one and the structure of the season as a whole probably needs to be looked at. We have to up our game and really think about it.

"There's all sorts of changes needed in British racing, but structure and the whole way prize-money is filtered down is a factor, the handicapping as well. There are so many different factors.

"And where are the stallions? If you had a mare you were looking to send to a National Hunt stallion in Britain today, where would you go? Kayf Tara has retired, so you almost have to go to Ireland. But Brexit is complicating matters and horse movement.

"I'm sure the BHA will sit down in due course but I think prize-money is the major contributing factor and I'd be broadly in agreement with the fact we need to do something."

Case study: a tale of two chases
Two Grade 1 chases over the Christmas period either side of the Irish Sea paint a clear picture of the issue at play. The Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton attracted a field of nine compared to the Savills Chase, for which 14 lined up at Leopardstown, and there was a similarly marked difference in the quality of the two races.

The only horses Frodon beat at Kempton who ran at Cheltenham were Black Op (sixth), Lostintranslation (pulled up) and Santini (pulled up). The second, third and fourth – Waiting Patiently, Clan Des Obeaux and Saint Calvados – were all absent from Prestbury Park.

In the Savills, by contrast, winner A Plus Tard finished second in the Gold Cup, which was won by Minella Indo, who fell at Leopardstown. The fourth-placed Allaho won the Ryanair Chase in which Fakir D'Oudaries (pulled up at Leopardstown) was second and Tornado Flyer (fifth at Leopardstown) was third.

Kemboy (second), Melon (third), Balko Des Flos (sixth) and Samcro (pulled up) all ran en route to the festival while the likes of Delta Work, Presenting Percy and Easy Game added further strength in depth to the Leopardstown showpiece.

Al Boum Photo, Min and Chris's Dream were the only Irish runners in the Gold Cup and Ryanair not to run in the Savills Chase.

In contrast, British-based Gold Cup or Ryanair competitors Native River, Royale Pagaille, Aso, Champ, Kalashnikov, Fanion D'Estruval, Imperial Aura and Mister Fisher all sidestepped the King George for one reason or another.
Report 1st time poster March 23, 2021 4:31 AM GMT
side stepped KG for one reason or another
5 arnt 3 mile horses
0ne needs 3 mile plus on heavy ground on a stiff track, and is older than your granny
royal pagaille is a novice who ran and won at kempton xmas meeting
and champ wasnt ready
Report Ramruma March 23, 2021 9:30 AM GMT
@Cash Is King re RP results -- it is true Ireland has more money and attracts richer owners. Rich Ricci is not noted for his deep Irish brogue, for instance. That is why it has been punching above its weight for years, not why this year was a whitewash.

And the Irish government subsidises racing in a way the British government does not.

But remember more than half the Champion Hurdle runners were bred in France, and the winner in Britain.

Hmm. Let's have a quick look at the Irish-trained Cheltenham winners, where there is public sales data listed on the Racing Post online results pages. Prices paid in private deals are not recorded. They may have been very high or depended on confidential pipelines.

Tuesday: two British-bred winners (Honeysuckle and Appreciate It); four winners sold for less than £100k which I shall take as the marker of affordability as it is the price of a posh car.

Wednesday: no data or expensive winners, apart from Put the Kettle On and Tiger Roll who were cheap.

Thursday: hard to say.

Friday: four winners including the Gold Cup winner could have been bought for less than £50k.


So you do not have to be rich to buy a Cheltenham winner. (Though some would say it is a numbers game: buy 100 and hope one is any good!)

Ireland typically pays more prize money which is one reason for keeping horses in training there. But all this has been going on for years and does not explain what changed in 2021. (hint:Covid)
Report kevo March 23, 2021 10:21 AM GMT
The OP suggestion that "feed" may be an influence into the Irish success hasn't been given much, or any credence on here by the look of it.
Report Cash Is King March 23, 2021 10:31 PM GMT
I sense that 4 days after Cheltenham has concluded, the attention span of this forum is waning. Perhaps Hereford on Wednesday is more important than the events of last week which have been consigned to history?

For those that are still interested, more pearls of wisdom. This time from the BHA as reported by Scott Burton in the RP:

BHA looking at bigger picture as it responds to Irish domination at Cheltenham

The BHA will not be launching any separate post-Cheltenham inquiry following the domination of last week's festival by runners trained in Ireland, with any review likely to be housed within existing considerations of the jump racing Pattern and the post-Covid-19 work on building a sustainable financial recovery for the sport.

Irish trainers broke records on almost every front over the four days of the meeting, with 23 victories shared between 11 different trainers. In comparison, the home side managed a paltry five winners, only two of which came at Grade 1 level.

A spokesman for the BHA congratulated both leading jockey Rachael Blackmore as well as the racecourse and broadcast teams at Cheltenham for "lifting the nation's spirits".

In addressing the alarmingly one-sided results, they said: "We are aware that, like all of us at the BHA, many parts of the racing industry will be reflecting on what happened last week and what can be done to improve the competitiveness of racing at the top level. However, this is about more than just four days in March.

"The health of British jump racing is always on our radar, and work is well under way across several areas. The Jump Pattern Committee, for example, decided last year that there were elements of the Pattern and Listed race programme that needed looking at, including the need to produce some more competitive races across the season.

"There are also important pieces of work across areas such as handicapping, and safety and welfare, which all feed into the longer-term objective of building a strong, competitive jump racing industry in Britain." 

Pressure has been building on the BHA to address the performance of the home-trained horses in the days since the festival was capped with a 1-2-3 for Ireland in the feature WellChild Cheltenham Gold Cup, a race where the first British-based runner, fourth-placed Native River, finished nearly 30 lengths adrift of winner Minella Indo.

Many leading trainers in Britain have had their say over the cause of the inequality in resources and results from last week, with Emma Lavelle and Harry Fry among those to identify poor prize-money as driving owners into the hands of their Irish counterparts, while Dan Skelton blamed "systematic flaws" in the system which favoured too many handicaps at the expense of races for potential Graded performers.

The BHA spokesman added: "The sport is currently working its way through one of the most difficult periods of its history off the back of the coronavirus outbreak, and the industry is working to an agreed plan for recovery from the pandemic, which includes a focus on the industry’s financial health, including the returns to owners.

"This plan also includes, in the longer term, sustainable recovery and growth for the sport. Over the coming weeks we intend to harness some of the strong views that currently prevail across the sport and engage further with our industry.

"We will listen to the views of owners, trainers, jockeys, breeders, racecourses and others. These views will feed in to ongoing work and continue to help shape what steps the sport will take to support the future of British jump racing."

On Monday National Trainers Federation president Rupert Arnold urged British handlers to be braver in their campaigning of horses and for the best to run against each other ahead of Cheltenham.

'The money is all in Ireland at present'

But former champion trainer Martin Pipe – a 34-time winner at the festival and a man often associated with being unafraid to run his horses – believes that prize-money rather than preparation is likely to be the key to reviving British fortunes.
Pipe said: "Well Chief only had one run over fences before the Arkle, and I remember Rolling Ball only had one run before winning the staying novice chase [Brown Advisory], while Cyborgo was first time out when he won the Stayers' Hurdle.

"The money [to buy good horses] is all in Ireland at present. It all comes back to prize-money. Horses have always been hard to find but the prize-money is better in Ireland and they don't have as much racing, compared to England."

Pipe added: "I was lucky to have some loyal owners and we bought some [nice] horses. But some of my Cheltenham winners came out of claimers, like Blowing Wind and Make A Stand. They weren't expensive.

"In Ireland we used to go to [Tom] Costello and David Johnson went across there and bought loads, untried basically. I used to go to the sales in Ireland and buy some store horses. They were all reasonable money, 20 or 30 thousand pounds.

"The trouble is, you don't realise the cost of keeping a horse and bringing it on. It costs a fortune and they've got to be trained. In that sense, when they've run and won a race, they're cheaper. It cuts out the risk, at least you know it can run. It's difficult to get a horse to a racecourse."
Report robo March 23, 2021 11:32 PM GMT
Justin Gatlin , Marion Jones , Lance Armstrong , Floyd landis , Ben Johnson , Tyson Gay , The Russians , The Chinese , and now “ El Paddy “
Report Emitdeb March 23, 2021 11:40 PM GMT
Would people put a price on medication Shenanigans? Must be a possibility.

Ive heard different stories of drug testing was less prevalent in Ireland..

Just makes sense where there's vast sums of money there's always going to be corruption.. I'm no expert and I'm not a detective..


waits for abuse...  Blush
Report Ramruma March 24, 2021 12:49 AM GMT
@Cash Is King -- from the RP report posted: "Irish trainers broke records on almost every front over the four days of the meeting, with 23 victories shared between 11 different trainers. In comparison, the home side managed a paltry five winners, only two of which came at Grade 1 level."

Taking a closer look at that, we see that British-trained winners came in:-
Shishkin -- Arkle (Grade 1 novice chase)
Vintage Clouds -- Ultima (Grade 3 handicap chase)
Sky Pirate -- Grand Annual (Grade 3 handicap chase)
Chantry House -- Marsh (Grade 1 novice chase)
Porlock Bay -- Hunter Chase

All chases. No hurdles. Two of the three championship novice chases. Five out of 13 chases.

I'm not really sure what this means. Why were British trainers competitive in chases not hurdles? Maybe the picture would change if we counted placed horses but I'm too tired right now.

You could argue Chantry House was lucky that Envoi Allen fell but surely several winners needed a touch of luck, but you had to be in it to win it. Jeff Kidder won the Boodles at 80/1.

And maybe what the BHA should be asking is why so many British-trained horses were NOT "in it to win it". A record number of small fields because British horses were standing in the stables so that if the favourite did not win, there were mainly Irish-trained horses to take advantage.
Report Ramruma March 24, 2021 12:54 AM GMT
@Emitdeb re Irish magic carrots.

Perhaps Irish testing is not up to scratch but Cheltenham is in Britain so we can probably rule out raceday doping, whatever might have been administered in the past. Steroids during training (whether given deliberately or through contaminated feed) might have had a longer-lasting effect though.
Report robo March 24, 2021 7:49 AM GMT
There was horses finished 3 mile races that would have gone around again , in every sport the doper was always ahead of the tester , until they were finally caught up with . If they aren’t testing for the correct substances well then they may as well have no testing .
Report Cash Is King March 24, 2021 8:05 AM GMT
I’ve cut and pasted several pieces which featured in the RP in the immediate aftermath of last week’s drubbing of Team GB at the Cheltenham Festival.

Apart from the weird suggestion (from a jockey) that Team GB’s performances might improve if  jumps races were run at the pace they’re run in Ireland, the great and the good seem to have formed a consensus and concluded that better prize money and tinkering with the race programme should turn things around in time.

I’m not sure it’s as simple as that and many who’ve posted on this thread have made suggestions which seem just as valid.

I’m intrigued to see what if anything will be different in 12 months time.
Report in hell March 24, 2021 8:07 AM GMT
UK trainers not racing horses, hosing up in 3 runner race and then getting ridiculous ratings. The Irish seem to running competitive races. The UK program book is geared up to missing each other.
Report in hell March 24, 2021 8:07 AM GMT
UK trainers not racing horses, hosing up in 3 runner race and then getting ridiculous ratings. The Irish seem to running competitive races. The UK program book is geared up to missing each other.
Report brigust1 March 24, 2021 8:19 AM GMT
Ram in Shishkin's race the Mullins danger never ran. In Vintage Clouds race I think the Irish only had two runners and both were exposed and not treated well. Sky Pirate was possibly lucky, the Irish fav was going easily when it fell and it only just won beating an Irish horse from the same stable as the favourite. Porlock Bay was only having his 2nd run under rules over here, he came from France. 
I think most of the Irish hcap winners were having their first runs in handicaps and were probably well underrated. I think two were having their second runs. It was not enough information for the handicapper to go on. The favourite that fell in Sky Pirate's race, Embittered, had just run in two Grade 1 races and was having it's first run in a handicap chase.
The Irish clearly planned it much better than us and the handicapper gave them a huge hand-up. The BHA have said they will look at things so I think the Irish will find it much harder to win handicaps next year. Kick the handicapper too many times and he will kick back.
Report Ramruma March 24, 2021 8:30 AM GMT
Alan King in the Weekender complains that he (or his owners) cannot afford to outbid the big owners in Ireland, which is probably true, so he is left to take on Ferraris with Fords. His own Ferrari, Tritonic, misfired in the Triumph Hurdle.

King says this is why he is concentrating more on the Flat. Can Alan King's owners really outbid Godolphin or Coolmore? Does he need the Racing Post to tell him that four of the past five Derby winners were trained in Ireland, and the fifth ran in Godolphin's blue silks?
Report GAZO March 24, 2021 8:45 AM GMT
dont think he means the top level flat racing
Report brigust1 March 24, 2021 9:51 AM GMT
Jeff Kidder never ran in a handicap before Cheltenham. It had finished 2nd in two maiden hurdles and won the third. It the ran in a Grade 2 finishing last of seven beaten only 8 lengths and was allotted 10st 8lbs. The second in the race was a Mullins horse who had come over from France ran in a Grade 3, Grade 2 and Grade 1 finishing placed then went into a handicap.
There was a time when a horse hadn't the necessary form to go on it would be automatically given top weight now the handicapper thinks he knows better but got absolutely slammed at Cheltenham.
Report robo March 24, 2021 10:23 AM GMT
Alan king is going to concentrate on the flat for the simple reason being that it’s much easier on the flat as the standard of trainer is so much lower . Look at the likes of Joseph o brien , one of the top flat trainers in Ireland but when he’s in against the jumping trainers , he wouldn’t train ivy up a wall . Bar John Gosden , there is no trainer of any real consequence in Britain , stoute is in the latter stages of his career , and the rest of them are basically bluffers . If Richard Hannon trained jumpers he wouldn’t train 12 winners a year , the same applies to clowns like fahey , Ryan , Burke , varian, Johnston , hills , crisford , Channon plus many more . All these bluffers are lucky that Mullins and co don’t bother with the flat because when they do like in the 2m 4f ascot handicap , the flat clowns don’t get a look in . There are plenty of duds in Ireland training on the flat with big reputations, Lyons is another failed jumps trainer , halford another waste of space
Report Cash Is King March 24, 2021 10:56 AM GMT
Maddie Playle in the RP:

The horse has already bolted - British racing needs to act now

After horses trained in Ireland won 23 of the 28 Cheltenham Festival races last week there is one question on everyone’s lips: why can’t the British compete?

There is no short answer, and anyone looking at the issue should take into consideration the extenuating circumstances in which this year’s festival took place.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t appear the playing field will be truly level for some time, and here is what I think British racing should do about it.

1. Condense the racing ­programme
The calendar in Ireland has an established structure. Big festivals punctuate the jumps season, which begins with Down Royal’s Champion Chase meeting and ends at the Punchestown festival.

Trainers have set destinations for their best horses and can choose to aim at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival, the Dublin Racing Festival, Fairyhouse at Easter or others in between.

British jump racing lacks depth, because there are too many Graded events which give connections too many opportunities to dodge other talented horses.
This, combined with the fact trainers are inclined to keep their best horses wrapped in cotton wool – they often choose racecourse gallops instead of a proper race – and away from the top handicaps, has created a watered down, unsatisfactory product.

Colin Tizzard suggested a British equivalent to the Dublin Racing Festival could be the answer, but I strongly disagree as it would only dilute the quality further, even if existing races were grouped together.

The aim should be to create a system which enables the British horses to be good enough to compete against the Irish – not to create more races, and for that to happen radical change is needed.

2. Address the prize-money ­problem
Britain has a prize-money problem. Only two per cent of owners cover their annual costs, while the median return via prize-money is less than 7p in the pound. This, combined with frailties in the ownership experience, such as limits on badges and antiquated racecourse facilities, illustrates the magnitude of the issue.

The fact several forward-thinking trainers – Sophie Leech and Richard Hobson among them – are now operating partially in France, showcases how detrimental the situation has become.

In October, Ged Shields and Jon Hughes released their ‘Blueprint for Racehorse Ownership in the UK’, in which it was stated poor prize-money was the number-one issue for owners. They suggested it needed to be tackled with new sources of funding, prize-money targets and allocation.

Gigginstown House Stud has led the Irish owners’ ranks in recent years, while more recently Cheveley Park Stud, Joe and Marie Donnelly, Brian Acheson’s Robcour and Noel and Valerie Moran have invested substantially, predominantly keeping their interests over the Irish Sea.

By dramatically reworking the fixture list in Britain and increasing prize-money in the right areas, racing will be in a better position to attract and retain owners big and small.

3. Transform British bloodstock
Once the biggest owners have been drawn in by the better returns and superior prize-money in Ireland, they have the security of knowing they have the pick of world-class bloodstock right on their doorstep.

Ranked by total earnings at the time of writing, Scorpion is the top active sire standing in Britain in 28th. Ahead of him ****, Getaway, Milan, Mahler, Westerner, Court Cave, Shirocco, Doyen, Sholokhov and Kalanisi all stand in Ireland.

Kayf Tara, who is responsible for the likes of Thistlecrack and Thyme Hill, has now retired from covering duties, while hugely influential sire Midnight Legend passed away in 2016 – both were among the best Britain had to offer.

The outstanding success of Irish horses starts from the ground up. While many years ago jumps horses were bought off the Flat or out of bumpers, these days the trendy, proven nurseries are largely either in France or, most crucially, in the Irish point-to-point sphere.

In the latter, the talent pool is so rich that those operating within it have become very efficient when it comes to identifying the best stock.

The superpower owners have established the best network of trusted advisers, meaning the top horses are ultimately more likely to reach the same pool of people.

Therefore, British owners need big bucks before they can compete, and even then are more than likely to have to part with six-figure sums to purchase the worst of the best bunch.

Foal crops were down in Britain and Ireland in 2020, although only by three per cent in Ireland compared to nine per cent in Britain. Overall, 4,236 foals were born in Britain last year, in contrast to 8,542 in Ireland, so not only do they have quality, but they have quantity too.

Britain desperately needs to work to secure it’s long-term future in the same way.

4. Re-evaluate the handicap system
Since 2010 there have been only two Cheltenham Festivals where the Irish have won more handicaps than the British – in 2017, when they saddled seven of the ten winners, and this year, when they scooped the same amount from nine. However, that doesn't tell the whole story.

A total of 194 horses ran in the handicaps at this year’s festival, with Britain having just two winners from 129 runners for a 1.55 per cent strike-rate.

Irish-trained horses won seven of the handicaps from just 65 runners for a 10.77 per cent strike-rate, despite being responsible for just 33.51 per cent of the overall fields.

This isn’t a new trend either, as in every year since 2012 the Irish have recorded a higher runners-to-winners percentage at the festival.

It is the handicapper’s responsibility to understand and solve this discrepancy. Are British horses being overrated for what they have achieved, or are the Irish horses still rated too low?

The purpose of a handicap is to put everyone on an equal footing, yet the statistics show we have a long way to go before reaching that reality.
Report robo March 24, 2021 11:15 AM GMT
Maddie talks some horses pisss. Reevaluate me arrse.
Report cloone river March 24, 2021 11:21 AM GMT
Thanks for posting that cash is king.Some interesting facts by Maddie Playle.British horses are being overrated and Irish horses are being  placed in the right races and being trained for a big day.Mrs Milner was a good example of how to plot one for a big handicapp.After the run in cheltenham in november they new what they had and looked after it.
Report brigust1 March 24, 2021 12:27 PM GMT
That is exactly what I have been saying the handicapper has been too easy on horses with little or no handicap experience to go on. Until a horse has run in a handicap they will have to treat it harshly otherwise we get what has just happened and that is a virtual wipeout of the handicap races in favour of the Irish.
The top class horses are a different problem. The Irish just have the better horses at the moment. There is nothing to be done about that. Just enjoy watching and betting on some really good horses.
Report cloone river March 24, 2021 12:54 PM GMT
And thats how the handicapping system works brigust.Mrs Milner had run 10 times before cheltenham.Heaven help us had 7 runs over hurdles and a one next to her name.Why should a horse be treated more harshly if it has not run in a handicapp?You handicapp a horse on what it has done not what you think it may do.
Report in hell March 24, 2021 1:12 PM GMT
Latest chase figures show UK horses to be overrated imo

Minella Indo 179
A Plus Tard 178
Allaho 178

Chacon Pour Soi 176
Bristol De Mai 175 ?
Al Boum Photo 175

Cyrname 174 ?
Clan Des Obeaux 173 ?

UK horses look too high
Report Cash Is King March 24, 2021 4:23 PM GMT
Richard Forristal in the RP:

BHA to blame for festival mauling as it oversees a shocking race to the bottom

As expected, the twin obstacles of Brexit and Covid-19 prompted reduced Irish participation at last week's Cheltenham Festival, yet the travelling delegation still obliterated the home team and there are some illuminating take-outs among the statistics.

Total Irish runners fell from 181 in 2020 to 162, which, in the circumstances, equates to a modest ten per cent reduction. More predictably, the number of different trainers represented fell markedly, down 38 per cent from 37 to 23.

As we saw, the reduction in overall volume was of little significance, and you only have to go back to 2018, when there were 150 representatives from these shores, for a lower number.

What is far more alarming is the collapse in the number of British runners from 292 in 2020 to 239 last week, an 18 per cent contraction. It is a figure unparalleled in recent times.

Even if you go back to 1993, with the festival just three days and made up of 20 races with some notably small fields, there were still 252 British runners. In that context, last week’s fall in participation levels is mindboggling.

Despite the number of Irish runners dropping, they actually ended up with a greater proportion of participants than ever before, with the percentage topping 40 per cent for a first time, having been less than 38 per cent last year. Their win percentage soared to 14 per cent, the highest in recent years and up from nine per cent last year.

Of course, it’s not just a numbers game, but, when you factor in the extent to which Irish minds were concentrated so keenly this year about which horses to send, there are intriguing statistics.

Paul Nolan is a fine example of just how discerning Irish trainers were. He elected not to travel Latest Exhibition, partly due to the cost and hassle involved in taking on Monkfish again. Nolan’s Prestbury Park team ultimately consisted of a solitary runner, Mrs Milner, who dotted up in the Pertemps.

In the end, ten Irish trainers saddled winners, which is a joint record that has been achieved only once before. At two of the previous three festivals, despite yields of 17 on both occasions, just four Irish trainers were on the scoresheet.

Through that prism, what unfolded last week was clearly a resounding triumph for the industry in Ireland. Such dominance has been years in the making, and all the signs were there in the markets beforehand that the magic number of 20 was eminently achievable.

That success is built on a bedrock of passion for and understanding of the thoroughbred, two qualities not exclusive to Ireland. However, combined with government support – which cannot be taken for granted – and the structures implemented by HRI, which are not beyond rebuke but turn on healthy prize-money levels and a competitive race programme, the gene pool of human talent has been harnessed and been given a platform to flourish.

The opposite is basically true in Britain, which has persistently lost ground in the highest echelon. Consider this. In 2013, British horses accounted for nearly 77 per cent of the festival runners, yet it was the Irish horses who held sway for a first time, taking 14 of the 27 races. Ever since, the graph of British runners has steadily declined, dropping below 60 per cent this year and constituting just 61 per cent in the previous two years.

Likewise, the share of winners has similarly collapsed, with the onset of the four-day festival in 2005 a watershed moment. In essence, the harsh reality is that the more chances that have been created for success at Cheltenham, the fewer the British are winning, or even challenging for.

That is clearly a shocking indictment of the way the sport is structured in Britain.

If you were to sum up the fundamental policy of British racing, it is organised to promote betting and fund the levy. That means as many fixtures and races as can be accommodated and populated, otherwise known as a race to the bottom or putting the cart before the horse.

The Irish programme, which nobody is suggesting is perfect, turns on catering for the existing horses-in-training population, a stated ambition to promote quality and a centralised fixture list. It’s not a whole lot more complicated than that, and the suggestion that the thriving Irish point-to-point scene gives the locals exclusive access to the best produce is an absolute red herring.

British trainers have always found ways to identify and source the cream of the talent. The difference now is that the owners with the financial muscle to acquire that talent choose to keep the horses in Ireland, which is something you would think might exercise the BHA a little more than it has done.

On Tuesday, four days after its stakeholders were humbled on home soil, the regulator finally made a public utterance. It was certainly no rallying cry, instead a rather prosaic contribution that referenced long-term objectives and pointed to the difficulties posed by the pandemic as requiring urgent attention.

That is all well and good, but this is already a long-term, deep-rooted and systemic problem for its industry. In short, it will still be there long after the pandemic if it doesn’t give those willing to invest in the industry more bang for their buck.

The statement also lacked the teeth and urgency of BHA’s pre-Cheltenham intervention that saw it compromise another jurisdiction’s regulatory matter by rushing to announce that entries for Gordon Elliott horses would not be accepted until the IHRB had dealt with the picture of the trainer sitting on the deceased Morgan.

The IHRB had pledged to address the scandal promptly, and at the time Elliott had no entries ahead of Cheltenham, yet the BHA unilaterally and arbitrarily moved to condemn the trainer without due process, undermining the IHRB by forcing its hand.

In the days after Cheltenham, when the BHA went so noticeably quiet, the notion occurred that it's usually a good idea to make sure your own house is in order before you save the world. Just a thought.
Report loper March 24, 2021 4:55 PM GMT
A reasonable and well reasoned account, until it got to this unnecessary, jingoistic and partonising summmary.

The statement also lacked the teeth and urgency of BHA’s pre-Cheltenham intervention that saw it compromise another jurisdiction’s regulatory matter by rushing to announce that entries for Gordon Elliott horses would not be accepted until the IHRB had dealt with the picture of the trainer sitting on the deceased Morgan.

The IHRB had pledged to address the scandal promptly, and at the time Elliott had no entries ahead of Cheltenham, yet the BHA unilaterally and arbitrarily moved to condemn the trainer without due process, undermining the IHRB by forcing its hand.

In the days after Cheltenham, when the BHA went so noticeably quiet, the notion occurred that it's usually a good idea to make sure your own house is in order before you save the world. Just a thought.


British racing  and breeding is in a systemic mess, but at least it is light years ahead of the IHRB in policing the sport.
Report Gordon63 March 24, 2021 11:08 PM GMT
loper it may be, but as it's record on cocaine use amongst jockeys, countless 'incompetent' rides on almost daily basis (at least the shunter got pulled in for his tipperary run, when was the last similar action by BHA?), reported bullying on and by jockeys, etc smacks more of PC Plod than '24 hours in Police Custody'
Report cloone river March 24, 2021 11:31 PM GMT
The shunter was having its first run for E. mullins that day after a break.I had the shunter down as a bit of a rogue when he was with his first trainer.Emmet turned him around.It may have been a blessing in disguise the ban the horse got.The horse that finished third that day should have got a holiday along with the jockey.
Report robo March 25, 2021 8:53 AM GMT
The last few years is littered with handicap winners who just loitered around all season waiting for the big bazooka on the big day that really matters . Irish racing is a farce from top to bottom , you only have to look at the last minute injunction taken out to stop an exposal of a big name trainer by a journalist in the Irish times , just before Cheltenham . Irish racing is the new cycling , and is about as credible as it too .
Report olddesperado March 25, 2021 1:24 PM GMT
To be exposed for what ?
Report sageform March 25, 2021 2:12 PM GMT
One factor seems totally overlooked in all of the furore. How many of the win and place Irish trained horses were bought in France? That should be a level playing field unless some Irish agents/trainers have signed up for a monopoly of French breds. The French didn't provide that many winners but the runners up in the Gold Cup (2-3-5), Champion Chase, Champion Hurdle, Arkle, Mares, Ryanair (1-2). Ballymore were all French breds as was Blue Wind who would have been second in the Supreme. Perhaps the post mortem should centre on who is buying the best from France.
Report robo March 25, 2021 2:28 PM GMT
Exposed for the use of cobalt
Report know all March 25, 2021 3:24 PM GMT
p nichols has some serious money horses but he does not prepare them for the one meeting cheltenham like the irish trainers do, that is the big difference above anything else, the irish trainers will be planning and plotting now for next years cheltenham, english trainers running them into the ground come cheltenham they are a spent force, its really simple, patient owners one meeting one goal
Report workrider March 25, 2021 3:27 PM GMT
I can't really agree there Know All , Irish runners have plenty of runs before Cheltenham , yes they do Photo been the exception with only 2 runs before arriving most of the other runners had more..
Report loper March 25, 2021 3:28 PM GMT
know all

know all
25 Mar 21 16:24
Joined: 13 Dec 03
| Topic/replies: 2,689 | Blogger: know all's blog
p nichols has some serious money horses but he does not prepare them for the one meeting cheltenham like the irish trainers do, that is the big difference above anything else, the irish trainers will be planning and plotting now for next years cheltenham, english trainers running them into the ground come cheltenham they are a spent force, its really simple, patient owners one meeting one goal

That's weird, most people have come on here saying exactly the opposite!!!Laugh
Report Gordon63 March 25, 2021 3:29 PM GMT
nicholls shortest priced runner of the week bravemansgame - 4 runs pre-christmas and not seen in 2021 till Festival, next shortest runner Houx Gris one run for Nicholls in January 2021, hardly a tough campaign!!
Report cloone river March 25, 2021 8:07 PM GMT
Did that trainer have any winners at cheltenham Robo?
Report robo March 25, 2021 8:37 PM GMT
No cloone
Report cloone river March 25, 2021 8:44 PM GMT
Would he have a couple of close relations that also train?
Report olddesperado March 25, 2021 9:04 PM GMT
Shark and j o b already in the public domain so I doubt it's either of those.
Report olddesperado March 25, 2021 9:07 PM GMT
If it's a top trainer and didn't have a chelt winner then it narrows it down a bit.

Can't be too many didn't have one. Grin
Report robo March 25, 2021 9:27 PM GMT
He’s not related to a proper national hunt trainer anyway cloone, that is for certain .
Report Emitdeb June 16, 2021 12:05 AM BST
Some of these replies seem to have more merit than they've been given on this fred!.

There are none so blind as those who will not see...
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