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differentdrum
11 Dec 22 16:21
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Date Joined: 05 Oct 11
| Topic/replies: 18,184 | Blogger: differentdrum's blog
I started the season thinking she was the best ante-post bet to take back to back Mare's Hurdles.

Still no obvious reason to doubt that, but with the strong possibility of both Honeysuckle and Epatante both going back up in trip, might she target the very open Stayers Hurdle division?

All of that assumes that she is okay. She has been fragile in past, and by this time last year she had already run twice. Has Henderson mentioned anything?

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Replies: 67
By:
booster
When: 11 Dec 22 17:40
Haven’t heard anything but she had a couple of hard enough races in the spring so I’d have thought Henderson has been giving her an easier time before building up to March.
She looked like a proper stayer at Punchestown so I could see them trying three miles this time in which case the Cleeve could be a starting point.
By:
differentdrum
When: 11 Dec 22 18:12
This was the quote at the start of the season:-

I can only imagine we will go down the same road againthis season. I don't think she's one for chasing so it would appear that we will in all probability aim to retain her crown at the head of the staying mares and I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't find another furlong or two within her reach but I suspect Cheltenham will be the golden target.

In the Unibet stable preview which is probably about a month on he is now definitely talking about stepping up to three miles.

The problem is there is no talk of well being, or starting points. We are now well into the season. If I knew she was okay I would probably back her for the Stayers as well. Far sooner have her at 16/1 than Buzz at 12/1.
By:
Hibore
When: 11 Dec 22 19:35
She was 100% going Mares 7 days ago but following Honeysuckle defeat they have to consider Stayers is in the mix. They will run where she has best chance of winning which would not be against Honeysuckle if they can help it. The problem is the Mares is her best trip but her rating is quite a bit below HS which might make them consider going up in trip.

She’s due to run around Xmas and will be interesting what trip to start at.
By:
differentdrum
When: 11 Dec 22 21:35
I understand the thinking, but Marie's Rock could still be improving, and Honeysuckle could well be on the decline.

Can we assume Marie's Rock was always going to start the season late, and hasn't had a hold up?
By:
booster
When: 11 Dec 22 21:50
I think that’s OK to assume. Henderson always has Cheltenham as his aim, more so than any of the top trainers compared to Autumn targets.
She showed she could do the Cheltenham/Punchestown double this year so that would seem a reasonable target and Nicky does like to keep them fresh.
By:
Hibore
When: 11 Dec 22 22:41
Maries is fine and this was the plan. She’ll be out in next 3 weeks.
By:
differentdrum
When: 11 Dec 22 23:18
Thanks both. She is rising 8, but she has only had 12 races, so I am hoping that she can keep improving.
By:
irishone
When: 12 Dec 22 22:12
Unfortunately she is another one of hendos that he has campaigned poorly and then blames it on the horse ! Add her to the list .......

The haydock race couple of years back took a lot out of her  and if they had treated her right she would have won the mares hurdle two years back and followed Honeysuckle into last years champion hurdle.

Racing a horse round the inside at haydock in sh1te already dig up ground doesn't do them much good , a poor choice by Nico that day,  she won over 4 hurdles with a low sun at taunton a few weeks later but wasnt the same mare, raced too keenly .


When she comes back Hendo says "we lost her" , "she went walk about" ....... Truth was , like many we hear about from hendo, she was carrying an injury.

The mare is different class on her day . Shes won 200k ,if Gordon, Willie or Henry had her it would be double that.

She seems to want softish good ground and if she gets it at Cheltenham she is well capable of beating the best of the Irish, as she has done in the past at Punchestown and Cheltenham.
By:
differentdrum
When: 13 Dec 22 11:05
However many hurdles they jumped, she bolted up after she won at Haydock so I suspect that race didn't cause any obvious problems. The comments for the two races were 'impressive' and 'readily'. At that stage she was favourite for Mare's Novice. I know only too well because I was on at 25/1.

Subsequent events would suggest she was never a Champion Hurdle horse. To get her back on course to win a Mare's Hurdle actually looks a plus for the trainer. She was never better than running through the line in that race so hard to believe she won't stay further.
By:
Hibore
When: 13 Dec 22 11:47
I saw her at Henderson’s in Oct 21 and she was a headcase even on the sand gallop. Wouldn’t drop her head and trying to do everything at 100 miles an hour. They were training her to settle in behind which took many months and that’s when she “ came back “ at Kempton at Xmas.

She stays 2.4 very strongly but it’s an unknown if stepping up will suit and perhaps why should she as she’s the current holder of the Mares. The only horse that gives them a headache is Honeysuckle.
By:
irishone
When: 13 Dec 22 22:26
Only thing that impressed me was the way she performed on the **** ground. Nico sent her up the rail at haydock and she had a bit of a squeeze getting through. She was iffy at her hurdles in both those runs.

My point Differs was that Hendo is poor getting them there from what he has had , you suffered from Epatante being pulled out of the same race I believe. Time after time, year after year , you cant trust him. Willie isthe first to say he hasnt got a clue where they are houng because
By:
irishone
When: 13 Dec 22 22:28
Its a discussion between patrick, davy and ruby that devides where and when.* Decides

Sorry about the trping ....travelling
By:
differentdrum
When: 01 Jan 23 14:44
Confirmation of what I thought at the start of the season. She should now be clear favourite for a repeat Mare's success.

Similarly to Blenkinsop you can race with enthusiasm and win comfortably. Much too often this is thrown up as an excuse.

Hopefully, that bit of enthusiasm will stop them going up in trip, and she will stick to the original target. She is lightly enough raced to take in the Stayers next year.
By:
differentdrum
When: 01 Jan 23 17:23
Just played back the replay of the ITV Racing. Chamberlin and McCoy were suggesting she should go for the Champion Hurdle. If that's the sum total of their racing knowledge neither should hold a microphone again. Of course bookmakers have responded by offering a price and there will actually be people stupid enough to back the horse thanks to this pair of clowns.
By:
duncan idaho
When: 03 Jan 23 13:15
fair bit of stamina in her pedigree...would fancy her a bit for the Stayers if they went that route
By:
differentdrum
When: 14 Feb 23 10:40
Anyone know where this going?

For me she will win the Mare's Hurdle easily, whereas she might win a Stayers. She should be clear favourite for the Mare's race. The race has been built up, but I think she is improving, and there is clear daylight between her and the rest. Both Epatante and Honeysuckle are on the downgrade, and Love Envoi isn't on the same page.

I find it worrying that according to the comments Henderson hasn't even heard of Blazing Khal. That seems ridiculous. How can you be having any discussion with such a lack of knowledge? In recent weeks the Stayers has become a tougher with Blazing Khal, and Teahupoo laying down markers, and the two-time winner seemingly back on track for a defence. It's a tougher ask, and a venture into the unknown. Why even think about throwing away a Grade 1?
By:
harry callaghan
When: 14 Feb 23 16:27
Not sure what this means or will help you differentdrum

She’s in very good form and it’s certainly possible that she could move up and run in the Stayers’ Hurdle. I’ve discussed it with Tom Palin (Middleham Park Racing) and there’s no doubt we’ll discuss it more, it certainly won’t be a decision that we’ll make in the near future.

There are a few contenders around. I’d say the biggest danger Teahupoo and you’ve got to always respect dear old Paisley Park. There isn’t a standout. In the Mares’ you’re going to have Epatante and Honeysuckle and we might even have Theatre Glory, so there is a bit to be said for at least considering the Stayers’ Hurdle, but we can sit on that.

It’s tempting to go for the Stayers’ Hurdle. I know I was saying with the filly (Luccia) I’d want to take the easier option and go for the Mares’ Novice, but I don’t think the Stayers’ is any more difficult with her getting the 7lbs. I know she’s never run over three miles but she won the Relkeel Hurdle on New Year’s Day and she stayed very well. I thought she was very impressive that day and she flew up the hill, so she’s fit and well and it’s something we’ll consider.
By:
harry callaghan
When: 14 Feb 23 16:30
Don’t suppose you know what Mullins is doing with sir Gerhard by any chance?

Can’t form a tissue in any of the novices with this horse running or not running? I’d say if it went they’d probably go turners chase not sure they’d go up a mile in trip in one go would they?

Or after all the chevely park horses he has broken this season maybe he’ll step carefully. Hard to form a market in your head with him in 3 races?
By:
layingisthewayforward
When: 14 Feb 23 16:49
Mullins mentioned the RSA for Sir Gerhard last time he ran. Arkle it is then.
By:
harry callaghan
When: 14 Feb 23 16:53
Yeah I seen that but will he go up a mile in trip. Not sure I’ve ever seen an rsa winner with one run over 2 miles then straight in the rsa?

Not sure I can buy that myself
By:
1st time poster
When: 14 Feb 23 17:26
will she settle in a slow run stayers
will she stay in a well run stayers

they all stay in the stayers hurdle till they turn for home
By:
Hibore
When: 14 Feb 23 18:35
40% Mares
60% Stayers

Still in the balance. I’m sure they won’t want to take on the last 3 champion hurdle winners if they can help it.
Don’t think Henderson will want 3 horses in Mares either.
Tom really didn’t want to take Honeysuckle so I’d guess Stayers just edges it at the moment.
Lots can happen in the next 4 weeks though.
By:
differentdrum
When: 14 Feb 23 20:54
This is so frustrating. The people around the horse don't seem to have a clue. I would have her as the most obvious winner at the Festival outside of Constitution Hill.

She has already beaten Epatante. She has likely improved since, and Epatante has got worse. Why should she move out the way to benefit a horse on the downgrade just because it is owned by JP? I don't think even the best of Honeysuckle would beat Marie's Rock at this trip, and she is way below that best.

Why were they unafraid a month ago, and now they are scared even though Honeysuckle has subsequently been trounced?

https://www.racingpost.com/news/maries-rock-team-unafraid-of-honeysuckle-in-race-of-the-meeting-at-cheltenham-aJxUP5z3KBjm/?_sgm_campaign=fcs_ac017b2e36000&_sgm_source=N139961%7Cproduct&_sgm_action=search&_sgm_term=MARIES+ROCK

There is some absolute nonsense thinking going on, pretending this race is more difficult than it actually is. It should be Marie's Rock going for the Mare's and the others can move out the way if they should so wish.

I have now had to back Marie's Rock for the Stayers. She might win that, but it could easily go pear-shaped, and thanks to an idiot decision, she ends up winning nothing.

Could you imagine how much thought Mullins ever gave to shifting Quevega. He let her do what he knew she could do, and didn't see the point in guessing. That is exactly what should happen here.
By:
layingisthewayforward
When: 14 Feb 23 22:23
You seem very angry differentdrum.

If she was mine, stayers all the way, if anything it looks an easier race than the mares. Why would you not go for the more prestigious race ?
By:
differentdrum
When: 14 Feb 23 23:28
You can't afford to be angry about something you have no control over.

I started by saying it is very frustrating, I am not disguising the fact. If you are having to ask me why she should go Mare's then you haven't actually read my arguments. Even if the Stayers was an easier race, which it isn't, you are still guessing about her stamina at that trip. If you don't stay, you don't win. The Stayers has become a stronger race since they made that statement a month ago suggesting it was all systems go for the Mare's. There is nothing to be scared of in the Mare's race, distance or opposition. Everyone seems to be underestimating what she brings to the table. It looks from a distance as if connections either haven't got a clue, or they are being deliberately shunted aside to satisfy JP which makes no sense whatsoever when their horse is the superior of the two.
By:
differentdrum
When: 15 Feb 23 08:28
Just to add one last thing. Obviously, it is important to consider how the Stayers is going to be run. Flooring Porter has won the last two renewals having set a stop start gallop on the front end. There is no reason to believe he isn't going to attempt to do the same again, and those tactics will not suit any horse who is even slightly keen.

If I was pricing these two races I would make Marie's Rock around 5/4 for the Mare's, and 6/1 for the Stayers.
By:
harry callaghan
When: 02 Mar 23 17:15
Just for you differentdrum.

Not sure what they are doing with the mare now, it seems Henderson is keen on the stayers nowPlain
By:
geoff m
When: 02 Mar 23 18:31
5/4 for the mares different??? Is that to win or run in it??
By:
differentdrum
When: 02 Mar 23 18:49
Thanks Harry, for some reason the search didn't work for me. Looks like another one gone pear-shaped, but you always hope that sense might prevail until it doesn't.

I really think she is different class in the Mares'. Last season she was too good for Epatante and she has likely improved, Epatante hasn't. I don't think Honeysuckle at her best would have been good enough to beat Marie's Rock. Love Envoi is no better than a Grade 2 mare. Henderson talking the race up, and talking down the Stayers is clearly looking for any reason to shift her. Add in his gallop report and you can see the way this is going.

I just think why would you throw away a golden opportunity of winning another Grade 1 by taking a chance on her staying an extra three furlongs in a race very unlikely to be run to suit. Just because you are strong at the finish of one trip doesn't mean you will be over a longer trip. She is lightly raced, they can try her over three miles prior to Cheltenham next year. If she doesn't stay, no damage done, and she can go for a third Mares'. 

It's probably a done deal between Henderson and JP, and I am just hitting my head against a brick wall. Bet wise I would now win the same if she won the Stayers, but one bet is a good thing, the other might happen.
By:
jimnast
When: 02 Mar 23 19:03
Interesting opinion differentdrum that honeysuckle at her best would have been good enough to beat Maria’s rock.
By:
differentdrum
When: 02 Mar 23 19:58
The best of Honeysuckle has been over shorter, but even there she had been bossing a threadbare division. Her jumping took quite a time to sharpen, but I thought last time it had gone backwards again. Any zest had gone, and she was losing ground. I think it is worth adding that De Bromhead/Blackmore by their standards have had a very ordinary season. They need to step up markedly in two weeks time to be challenging Mullins, and in this case Henderson.
By:
jimnast
When: 02 Mar 23 20:32
Whilst neither of them have ever beaten a champion I do think honeysuckles best performance in terms of form may well have been when beating benie des dieux in the mares hurdle or even winning the 2019 Hattons grace when easily beating the likes of barcadys,apples jade and penhill both races over 2 1/2 miles .

However I do agree about both your bromhead/blackmore ordinary season and which race Maria’s should go for unfortunately betting Henderson horses in advance has become a quick route to the work house.
By:
differentdrum
When: 02 Mar 23 21:34
I backed Honeysuckle when she won the Mares'. I always thought Benie Des Dieux was one of those horses that Willie placed very well, but was never quite as good as her reputation. If I remember correctly didn't Honeysuckle get first run, and just manage to hang on? As for the other race not sure Bacardys was ever that good, Apples Jade was past her best, and Penhill didn't run his race.

I will quite often stick up for Henderson because I like the way he conveys a love for the sport. That said I was on the wrong end of that switch with Bobs Worth from Ballymore to Albert Bartlett. I could see the merit behind that change of plan, in fact I wish Nicholls would do the same with Hermes Allen. The Ballymore is the wrong race on so many counts, but he is clearly intent on trying to prove people wrong after the defeats in this race, rather than doing best by the horse.
By:
jimnast
When: 03 Mar 23 09:51
barcadys came into the hattons grace that year on the back of beating apples jade 9 lengths at navan ,apples jade herself after the hattans grace went on to win a grade one at leopardstown by 19 lengths,yes penhill did not run his race,
others to chase home honeysuckle on her 16 runs unbeaten were darver star placed in a champion hurdle,abacadabras won aintree grade one,sharjah placed in champion hurdles once the highest rated hurdler in ireland,epatante a champion hurdler.

those who chased home marias rock in her 8 wins from 13 runs

balladame
the con man
midnights gift
an tailliur
get a tonic
queens brook
stormy island
dashel drasher

honeysuckles 2 deafeat were 2nd and 3rd in grade one company ,marias rock 5 defeats 7/9 newbury,3/6 doncaster,3/7 wetherby,7/19 cheltenham {greatwood hurdle}pulled up kempton {lanzarote}

now all the above of course does not mean if they were to meet in 11 days time {and i hope they do}that honeysuckle will win as like in any sport it often does not work out that simple.

which race would you send hermes allen in differentdrum ?
By:
differentdrum
When: 03 Mar 23 11:34
I think you could pick holes in that Apple's Jade romp. The second was barely a Grade 2 horse at that stage. She was a horse prone to winning big, a ten length win for her, is probably the equivalent of a two length win for Marie's Rock. Marie's Rock started impressively - I was on at 25/1 for the Mare's Novice, and she was a short priced favourite when scratched - it would be safe to assume she wasn't 'right' for quite a long period before bouncing back last season.

In general if you have a potential Gold Cup horse I think the best stepping stone is very likely to be the Albert Bartlett. Over the years the Ballymore has been a gateway to the Champion Hurdle. It is a test of speed rather than stamina. Hermes Allen is not a Champion Hurdle horse. On his hurdling debut Frost rode the head off him to win a poor race at Stratford. He then made all at Cheltenham beating Music Drive. He won nicely, but that form is light years away from winning a Ballymore. After the race Nicholls appeared to favour going up in trip, and I backed him for the Albert Bartlett. He then ran away with the Challow on dreadful ground. However you want to dress it up that was closer to a three mile test than a Ballymore. On the day only the first two ran their races. Any other form boosts are dubious. When Cobden came in, Snooty virtually told him he was going Ballymore and the jock replied by saying the horse could win over two miles. Yes, no doubt he could, but he wouldn't be anything like a Grade 1 horse at the trip. That effectively killed any chance of the horse going Albert Bartlett. Nicholls has made a habit of sending his best novice to the Ballymore and losing. You would think he might learn a lesson, but with him it is about puffing out that ample chest, and proving people wrong. The owners just follow like sheep. If he turned up for the Albert Bartlett it would likely be a straight face-off between him and Corbett's Cross.
By:
jimnast
When: 03 Mar 23 11:55
Puffing his
ample chest out Laugh

Yes he even got Denman beaten in the  (sun alliance) ballymore.

Hermes certainly looked strong at the finish at Cheltenham and Newbury
By:
breadnbutter
When: 03 Mar 23 12:26
Betting on the colour of Jolly Hockey Sticks hair on day 1 of festival would be an easier bet than working out where his horses might run, never mind finding a "hendo" winner.

                           
Chestnut.                  6/4.
Bay.                       1/1.
Brown.                     7/4.
Black.                     4/1.
Grey.                     50/1.                   



Could offer doubles with colour of socks and trebles on how many times he says macrophages.
By:
differentdrum
When: 09 Mar 23 10:40
Watched the Unibet preview last night and I got the impression shifting Marie's Rock is something of a done deal. I couldn't believe how clueless Henderson/De Boinville appeared regarding the merits of other runners. I am not sure what they are now waiting for before they announce it. It looks like Henderson and De Boinville are pushing for the Stayers which can only mean the owner wants to go Mares'. Surely the owner should be calling the shots? Anyway huge mistake on the horizon, and we end up with a Mares' winner by default.

At the same preview Andy Holding did suggest Albert Bartlett might give Hermes Allen a better chance of winning. The current 97 on the exchanges suggests Nicholls won't be seeing the light despite the market being all over Impaire Et Passe for the Ballymore. Ominous signs on the exchanges for Corbett's Cross running in the Albert Bartlett. It seems very strange/bonkers to purchase a horse not to run in race.
By:
strontium
When: 09 Mar 23 10:53
He's presumably purchased the horse for its future as a staying chaser.
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