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Long Walk Hurdle 2016

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  • #1277173
    DBRDBRDBRDBR
    Participant
    • Total Posts 434

    The 2016 JLT Long Walk Hurdle is scheduled for this Saturday (17 December) at Ascot. Last year it was won by Thistlecrack in impressive style. After this race he became the clear favourite for the World Hurlde at Cheltenham. But Thislecrack has moved on to chasing, so there is no chance of a repeat of him winning again. However, we might get an impressive fourth win by Reve de Sivola, who won this race in 2014, 2013 and 2012. He is one of the remaining twelve entries for this Grade One race.

    Surtee du Berlais is availalbe at 50/1 to win and a clear outsider for the win. She won a listed race for mares off a big price. Despite one run at Newbury all of her starts of hurdles ended up with a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place, but in general that was no competetition similiar to this.

    West Approach is still in here and available a 50/1. However, with a run last Saturday at Cheltenham it does not seem likely that he will come to the start here. At Cheltenham – in the Albert Bartlett Novices hurdle – he ran well until he blundered at 2 out.

    Shelford is available at 33/1. He raced in France this year. There he won a listed race and ended up fifth in a Grade 3 race four weeks ago. His last race in England was the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham (2015) where he ended up fifth too. Can’t see him getting involved.

    The Romford Pelle is also available at 33/1. He has raced already three times this season. He won his first run in Newton Abbott, before a decent fourth place at Wetherby in the Bet365 Hurdle (grade 2). His last race was the Long Distance Hurdle (grade 2) in which he ran very poorly and was pulled up. A big revival is needed to run for the places.

    Zarkandar is available at 16/1 and is one of the two horses trained by Paul Nicholls. Last month he made his return after a absence of 16 months. In his first race he was just behind Un Temps Pour Tout before unseating his rider and only two weeks later he ended up fifth at the Ascot Hurlde (grade 2), where he couldn’t get involved. In both races he got some weight from his rivals. So he too needs a big step forward to get involved at the top places.

    Un Temps Pour Touts is available at 12/1 and is back to hurdling. The David Pipe trained horse has no problems to switch from fences to hurdles. His last hurdles was previously described with Zarkandar. He won this race by beating Mister Miyage, Vyta du Roc and Zarkandar. A few weeks ago he raced in the Hennessy at a mark of 159, he could not really get involved, but maybe he can back at hurdling. Interesting runner here.

    Reve de Silva is also available at 12/1. Like stated earlier the Nick Williams trained horse won this race an impressive three times. Last year he also ran well to get second behind Thistlecack. But at the age of 11 things might get a bit more difficult. In his last race a few weeks ago, the Bet365 Long distance Hurdle (Grade 2) he could not cope with the pace and ended up a far fifth. I don’t think the ground will be soft enough for him too play a decisive role this time. On the other hand, you cannot underestimate a horse who ended up 1-1-1-2 the last four editions.

    Ballyoptic is available at 8/1. The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained horse was one of the great stories of last season. After an unremarkable bumper race he won all his races over hurdles, ending with the Doom Bar novices hurdle at Aintree where he got the better of Bellshill. This season he started with a convincing win in the Silver Trophy (Grade 3). He then lost his unbeaten record by falling at the Bet365 hurdle (grade 2), where he looked beaten before falling. He came back with an second place at the Bet365 Long Distance hurdle, where he just could not follow UknowwhatimeanHarry. Certainly a key player here.

    Ptit Zig is available at 8/1 too and is the second horse of Paul Nicholls in the race. His last three races where in France, where he and Alex De Larredya were winning races. In the second last he outstayed Un des Sceaux. His last two starts in Britain were good too. He won a listed race by beating Silsol and ended up behind Thistlecrack at Cheltenham at January. We have to find out how good the French form is.

    Alex De Larredya is available at 7/1. This horse trained by Francois Nicolle fought out two battles with Ptit Zig in this season. He has never run in Britain, so we have to see how that will unfold. However he should be close to Ptit Zig and in that case he is someone to look out for.

    Lil Rockefeller is available at 13/2. This horse trained by Neil King is only 5 years old and the youngest to compete here. For the second time in his career he will tackle 3 miles, I think that shouldn’t be a problem. In March he was 7th at the Champion Hurdle, where he clearly lacked to speed to really compete. This season he made his return in the Bet365 hurdle in which he ended up 3rd behind Silsil and Native River, but he carried 8 pounds more than those two. His last race was the Ascot Hurdle in which he ended up just second behind the classy Yanworth. Richard Johnson will replace Trevor Whelan.

    Unowhatimeanharry is available at 11/10 and the clear favourite. The horse trained by Harry Fry didn’t show great promise in the first years, but has beeb mighty impressive since last season, winning every race. At Cheltenham he won the fascinating Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) and only a few weeks ago he won the Bet365 Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury without going flat out.

    ——————————-

    Lil Rockefeller is my bet here, I got him at 8/1 EW earlier this week. I think he is very consistent and should be able to finish within the top places anyway and with equal weights I’m hoping he might surpirse Unowhatimeanharry.

    #1277177
    botchy1botchy1
    Participant
    • Total Posts 3666

    My bet for the World Hurdle also at some pretty good prices on BF DBR so will be watching with interest without having a bet in this.

    I have followed him for a while now and believe 3 miles on ground softer than good will be perfect. He always seems to take a couple of runs to get fit ;-) and ran a great race giving Yanworth 4 lbs LTO.

    He will keep on improving through the year as well i think. Very underrated horse i think. :good:

    #1277193
    SteeplechasingSteeplechasing
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5769

    Nice work DBR.

    I’m with you on L’il Rockefeller. Hugely consistent and likes it here would seem hard to keep him out of a place although it seems Johnson has chosen Ballyoptic over him

    Never argue with a fool. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience, then onlookers might not be able to tell the difference. https://lazybet.com/

    #1277195
    joliffjoliff
    Participant
    • Total Posts 350

    I’d be very surprised if the favourite was beaten here, but probably a no bet race for me.

    #1277196
    Venture to CognacVenture to Cognac
    Moderator
    • Total Posts 17608

    Nice one DB :good:

    Until the emergence of Uknowhatimeanharry, I was mad keen on Ptit Zig for this years World Hurdle, but that run from Harry at Newbury had me running for cover. A no bet race for me therefore, and I’ll be hoping for a big run from Zig, to keep my (dwindling) hopes alive.

    #1277201
    ZarkavaZarkava
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4708

    Fact of the day – no Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle winner has won a non-novice Grade 1 over hurdles. Unowhatimeanharry has a fake reputation. He’s beaten…Ballyoptic? What’s he done? Another fake reputation (I actually backed him for the World Hurdle at 20s! He might still be good but he’s been beaten in 2 Grade 2 3m hurdles, hmmm). Lay the bugger out of this Harry thing, he’s really not that good.

    #1277204
    CharlesOlneyCharlesOlney
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2050

    Fact of the day – no Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle winner has won a non-novice Grade 1 over hurdles. Unowhatimeanharry has a fake reputation. He’s beaten…Ballyoptic? What’s he done? Another fake reputation (I actually backed him for the World Hurdle at 20s! He might still be good but he’s been beaten in 2 Grade 2 3m hurdles, hmmm). Lay the bugger out of this Harry thing, he’s really not that good.

    Harry may not be a Thistlecrack or a Big Buck’s but I’d certainly rather be a backer than a layer. He brings in the best form and is the surest stayer in the race.

    #1277208
    joliffjoliff
    Participant
    • Total Posts 350

    Ahh, the old “what’s he beaten?” adage – He’s beaten West Approach a fair few times, who’s since gone close twice at Cheltenham and rated 139 – I do seem to remember you saying it was strong form Zarkava! Ok this is a stronger level but He can only beat what’s in front of him, and I think he’s a worthy short favourite.

    One horse who seems far too big is Un Temps Pour Tout. I fancied him in the Hennessy but it was obviously too hot a race for him and back over hurdles he must have a chance off 156. I don’t think it will be soft enough for grand old timer Reve De Sivola unfortunately, a 4th win in this would be truly incredible, though.

    #1277213
    lionroars
    Participant
    • Total Posts 168

    even he now 13/2 i think lil rockefella is a fantastic ew bet. just cant see him being out the 1st 3. i think harry is a worthy fav but not unbeatable

    #1277214
    ZarkavaZarkava
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4708

    West Approach is good novice form yeah. Novice. This is a Grade 1.

    Why are you talking about handicap marks? Is this a handicap?

    I agree, can’t see RdS winning.

    #1277219
    BigGBigG
    Participant
    • Total Posts 7136

    Fact of the day – no Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle winner has won a non-novice Grade 1 over hurdles. Unowhatimeanharry has a fake reputation. He’s beaten…Ballyoptic? What’s he done? Another fake reputation (I actually backed him for the World Hurdle at 20s! He might still be good but he’s been beaten in 2 Grade 2 3m hurdles, hmmm). Lay the bugger out of this Harry thing, he’s really not that good.

    Nice write up DBR :good:

    Wow Zark, that’s what I call sticking your neck out!! Fair play mate for saying it as you see it,
    but I can’t agree with you about UNOWHATIMEANHARRY. Any form prior to him going
    to Harry fry you can disregard, he was a completely different horse from day one, and has improved
    significantly with each run. In the space of a year that he has been with Fry, he has been raised
    42 lbs by the handicapper. I was there to see him win the Albert Bartlet, and he impressed he a great
    deal that day, and even then he wasn’t the horse he is now. So in kindred spirits with yourself, I’ll
    also go out on a limb and say that Harry will win comfortably on Saturday. I’ve got enough resting on
    him not to be interested in having a bet at short odds, but I’ll be hoping he continues his upward curve.
    If he improves from his last run, I can’t see him not being favourite for the World Hurdle.

    The horse I was hoping to see running as well was KOTKIKOVA, but I see today she won’t be in the line up.
    I’ve been waiting since the start of the season for her to appear, but Nicky Henderson has taken his
    time (as he often does) and it looks like she won’t see a racecourse until just after Christmas in the
    Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown. I bet her a while back at 14s for the Mares Hurdle, but might
    consider a saver e/w at the 40/1 that’s on offer in the World Hurdle before the Leopardstown race if
    there is any indication she might head there.

    #1277225
    ZarkavaZarkava
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4708

    Just had a look through Harry’s form. Let’s have a look at the horses he beat in his races last year, and their subsequent form.

    Started off his run at Cheltenham, beating Sharpour, whose subsequent form reads 5090.

    Then went and beat Milanisi Boy, who’s 1693 since, winning only a novice hurdle.

    Then Final Nudge. 5311, a novice hurdle + a chase.

    West Approach, 1235. A novice hurdle.

    And Fagan, 4.

    So in 17 subsequent runs by the horses who finished 2nd to Harry, only 3 have recorded a victory, none have recorded a handicap victory and none have recorded a stakes win.

    What about those who finished 3rd?

    Scoop The Pot, PF5
    Masterplan, 150065 (the win came in a handicap hurdle off the same mark he finished 3rd behind Harry on)
    West Approach, 5201235 (win came in a novice hurdle)
    Padge, 0
    Champers On Ice, 1 (novice chase)

    This ain’t great form.

    Add that to the ‘no Albert Bartlett winner has won a non-novice Grade 1 hurdle’ stat, and we’ve got ourselves a beautiful 11/10 lay in a Grade 1.

    With four unexposed, younger horses racing for me, as well as an ex-winner + Ascot lover, Un Temps Pour Tout and the very classy Zarkandar, I have plenty of ammunition to go to work with.

    BigG, I understand your point (that Helen Nelmes must be a frikkin’ useless trainer) but actually the fact that he’s gone up 42lbs is exactly another reason why I want to lay him. 1) Is that a legit rise of 42lbs? 2) If it is, how much more can he possibly improve in 18 months?

    I think the race at Newbury was a little bit silly, in that he was only really up against two opponents – one of them disappointed (again) and the other fell while cruising. Menorah 3rd? Ubak 4th? Was that really a good race? Take away the Ballyoptic hype and you’ve really got nothing there. Ballyoptic was still behind Menorah at the 1 furlong pole!

    Anyway, as per usual I will hold my hands up and admit if I’m wrong, and congratulate those who backed Harry and cheered him on to victory. Because that’s what makes this sport of ours so brilliant – the variance of view, difference of perspective and exchange of opinion.

    #1277234
    joliffjoliff
    Participant
    • Total Posts 350

    I’m only referring to handicap marks for context really-UTPT I think is a grade 1 performer and think he may do better over hurdles than fences for the time being. I don’t think Harry has to find that much more to win…

    #1277244
    BigGBigG
    Participant
    • Total Posts 7136

    Just had a look through Harry’s form. Let’s have a look at the horses he beat in his races last year, and their subsequent form.

    Started off his run at Cheltenham, beating Sharpour, whose subsequent form reads 5090.

    Then went and beat Milanisi Boy, who’s 1693 since, winning only a novice hurdle.

    Then Final Nudge. 5311, a novice hurdle + a chase.

    West Approach, 1235. A novice hurdle.

    And Fagan, 4.

    So in 17 subsequent runs by the horses who finished 2nd to Harry, only 3 have recorded a victory, none have recorded a handicap victory and none have recorded a stakes win.

    What about those who finished 3rd?

    Scoop The Pot, PF5
    Masterplan, 150065 (the win came in a handicap hurdle off the same mark he finished 3rd behind Harry on)
    West Approach, 5201235 (win came in a novice hurdle)
    Padge, 0
    Champers On Ice, 1 (novice chase)

    This ain’t great form.

    Add that to the ‘no Albert Bartlett winner has won a non-novice Grade 1 hurdle’ stat, and we’ve got ourselves a beautiful 11/10 lay in a Grade 1.

    With four unexposed, younger horses racing for me, as well as an ex-winner + Ascot lover, Un Temps Pour Tout and the very classy Zarkandar, I have plenty of ammunition to go to work with.

    BigG, I understand your point (that Helen Nelmes must be a frikkin’ useless trainer) but actually the fact that he’s gone up 42lbs is exactly another reason why I want to lay him. 1) Is that a legit rise of 42lbs? 2) If it is, how much more can he possibly improve in 18 months?

    I think the race at Newbury was a little bit silly, in that he was only really up against two opponents – one of them disappointed (again) and the other fell while cruising. Menorah 3rd? Ubak 4th? Was that really a good race? Take away the Ballyoptic hype and you’ve really got nothing there. Ballyoptic was still behind Menorah at the 1 furlong pole!

    Anyway, as per usual I will hold my hands up and admit if I’m wrong, and congratulate those who backed Harry and cheered him on to victory. Because that’s what makes this sport of ours so brilliant – the variance of view, difference of perspective and exchange of opinion.

    Hi Zark, yep I’ve seen all his races and appreciate who he has been up against, which is why
    I backed him for the World Hurdle and not them. I think the thing with Harry, which I mentioned
    earlier, is the improvement in the horse. He’s improved from the decent horse who won the Albert
    Bartlet to (IMO) a serious Grade 1 horse. He was to my eye really impressive first time back out
    at Newbury to the extent that he even surprised Harry Fry “It was a bigger performance than we
    expected”. It would have been good if Snow Falcon has stayed on his feet, but I’m in agreement
    with Ginger that Harry would only have pulled out an even more impressive performance, I think
    he won with the greatest of ease. I don’t disagree with any of the facts you mentioned Zark, I
    think what we maybe disagree on is our interpretation of the ability of Harry. He’s level in some
    books and probably no bigger than a point in others behind Faugheen for the World Hurdle, so it
    looks like I’m not alone thinking he is possibly the best 3 mile hurdler on the go.

    As you rightly said Zark, it’s all about the variance of views and opinions and I’ve read
    enough of your posts to respect yours. I think Saturday’s race will give us an idea of where
    he is going, but I’m very hopeful that he’s as good as I think (or hope) he is :good:

    #1277245
    charlie87charlie87
    Participant
    • Total Posts 804

    Nice one DB :good:

    Until the emergence of Uknowhatimeanharry, I was mad keen on Ptit Zig for this years World Hurdle, but that run from Harry at Newbury had me running for cover. A no bet race for me therefore, and I’ll be hoping for a big run from Zig, to keep my (dwindling) hopes alive.

    You couldn’t have put it better VTC. You know I feel the same way about Ptit Zig – I haven’t given up complete hope, but some of the names now being thrown into the WH are starting to make me more pessimistic

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