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Reply To: A golden NH era?

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#33308
The Market Man
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Quote: from NWRA on 9:50 pm on Dec. 10, 2006[br]

Quote: from The Market Man on 4:30 pm on Dec. 10, 2006[br]I’m going to be controversial now lol but I don’t think Best Mate was anywhere near as good as some people made him out to be. Ok he won three Gold Cups and by doing that that in itself can’t be argued with but what did he ever beat that was geuninely top class and loved the conditions of the Gold Cup? Best Mate was arguably no better than any other staying chaser at 3 miles, was very vulnerable at any trip under 3 miles and won Gold Cups basically because everything was in his favour at Cheltenham and he loved the conditions of the race whereas anything else top class didn’t i.e. Florida Pearl, Beef Or Salmon.

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<br>RE: ‘controversial’. I know the idea that the Internet is a repressive, censorious system, and you’re a hip young iconoclast here to bring The Truth to the brainwashed masses, is quite attractive, but… hark! didn’t people on here used to criticise Best Mate every other week while the horse was still alive?

Anyway, to your point; there are a few mistakes…

Yes, Best Mate’s ability seemed to decline as time passed, and subsequently he ended his career on a downer. However, far too many watchers have forgotten how classy he once was.

Personally, I think when he first started chasing, Best Mate was as impressive as Kauto Star has been in his recent performances. He was effortlessly cruising to victory in races at two miles (The Independent Novices Chase at Chelt., The Haldon Gold Cup), before he started winning Gold Cups.

And one of his greatest performances was in Ireland, The Ericsson Chase, where he easily beat Beef Or Salmon in the conditions the latter loves.

Search for the horse on the RP website. They have the evidence!

I always thought it was harsh to criticise Knight for the way she campaigned Best Mate. If he was more vigorously campaigned, he probably wouldn’t have achieved what he did. Some horses can’t take that much racing in competitive 3m+ chases; look at Kicking King, etc (and the way the subject did, y’know, collapse and die during a race).<br> <br>Oh, and the whole ‘Best Mate didn’t beat much’ thing. Now, when most of them have retired, and we have the benefit of hindsight, we forget that, at the time, many of the horses had potential and promise, and were threats; The Gold Cups seemed fairly open. But we only selectively remember the greats of the past, and not the horses who chased their shadows. The fields that Kicking King and War Of Attrition beat, and the majority of the horses in the antepost betting for next year’s Gold Cup, will not be thought of anymore favourably; and in the future will be unfairly remembered as having been ‘no hopers’. <br>

<br>Your reference to Kauto Star – Best Mate never won a Grade 1 over two miles. At three miles he was beaten 7 lengths by Beef Or Salmon at levels in Ireland, scraped home a short head ahead of the less than great Seebald giving only four pounds at Exeter. At two and a half miles he was firmly put in his place by Jair Du Cochet and even beaten by Wahiba Sands. Ok he gave six pounds that day but it was hardly the performance of a great.

His three Gold Cups – he beat into second Sir Rembrandt and Truckers Tavern horses that could barely win in handicap company and Commanche Court.

The question is at 2m4f – 3m would Best Mate have beaten either Desert Orchid or Kauto Star? I don’t think he’d have got within ten lengths of either.