February 8, 2024 at 17:43 #1680365
Just one final thought.
I assume the hope is that Ballyburn goes on to be a Gold Cup horse.
As far as I can see no Supreme winner has gone on to win a Gold Cup since L’Escargot, more than 50 years ago. Obviously, he was a bit of a freak, going on to win a National. Most Supreme winners are not 2m4f+ stayers. The last two winners have looked out and out two-milers.
There is a misconception that the Ballymore is something of a Champion Hurdle trial. Yes, it has been won by Hardy Eustace, Istabraq, and Brave Inca, but they were very much the exception, rather than the rule.
If he went in the longer race the pace would be no issue, and Townend could just dictate how much of a stamina test the horse needs. He wouldn’t leave himself in a position where he could be outspeeded, even if there was a horse capable of doing that.February 8, 2024 at 22:00 #1680394greenasgrassParticipant
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Good to see you back Stilvi.
I agree with you- partly pocket talking as I’ve got a Mystical Power Supreme/Ballyburn BB double on the go- but yes if he’s a future gold cup horse, he should be in the BB. I think he started over 2 as Mullins doesn’t care much for the first start as long as they’re ready to go and the ground is ok. Then at the DRF he was probably always going to go shorter as he knew he had the firepower to win the Nathaniel Lacy with something or other but wanted to secure the 2m G1 as well, and it’s easier on the horse.
Both races look weak, but one thing that might sway him is that the only horse to have beaten Ballyburn is Firefox over 2 miles. Ok the Elliott horse was race fit, Ballyburn has improved more etc but….Firefox is going to the Supreme and Mullins is gonna look a bit dopey if he runs Ballyburn there and comes 2nd to Firefox. I think Ballyburn has the beating of everything over 2 1/2. Plus JP wants to win the Supreme, why not give a good client the race he wants and try to do it by wiping Jeriko’s eye with Mystical Power. The only downside is that Townend wouldn’t be on a Supreme fav…but he’d have a superb chance in the Ballymore.February 9, 2024 at 09:25 #1680425
One of the greatest Gold Cup winners of them all… Best Mate would have won the Supreme with anything like a clear run… and that’s despite being the only one of the first five who did not race prominently. The winner Sausalito Bay making just about all. Best Mate was value for an easy win that day. So much so, a well known professional gambler (not AP) once told me that immediately after the race he had his biggest ante-post bet on Best Mate… to win the Champion Hurdle. Only for it to be announced soon afterwards he was going novice chasing.
Defeat in that way is extremely unlikely to happen with Ballyburn, as he always races prominently / tracks pace under rules.Value Is EverythingFebruary 9, 2024 at 09:35 #1680426
“The reference to pulling is not even a point when it hasn’t stopped the horse finishing strongly”.
“The analysis that you quote is a person’s opinion, not fact”.
Can’t be 100% certain of course, but I very much doubt the quotes I made are “a” person’s opinion, Stilvi. Suspect the Racing Post has quite a few race readers in Ireland. The only sole person’s opinion we definitely have of all the races is yours.
I’ve just watched the Grade 1 again and the way he travelled through the race and how he quickened away from them… imo They’d be crazy to up him in trip… At least until after Cheltenham. There’d be a real danger of him pulling his chance away over further. You’re right that being very free in his races didn’t stop the horse from finishing strongly, but that has been in lesser quality races (maidens and a point) – not grade 1’s and more so not Cheltenham’s Grade 1’s. So when adding in the fact it usually takes a better performance than anywhere else… and the fact Cheltenham is one of (if not THE) stiffest, most stamina sapping courses in the country… That all adds to the stamina needed to win there, and you’re asking for Ballyburn to go up in trip to 2m4f if not 3m when he travels so well at 2m.
How often are Cheltenham Festival races won by a horse that’s “pulled hard” or “took a keen hold”?
It’s happened, but not often.Value Is EverythingFebruary 9, 2024 at 10:03 #1680428TomBarkley87Participant
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Lot of blue for Mystical Power here this morning.February 9, 2024 at 10:22 #1680429
Mystical Power wouldn’t be sure to settle / stay either.
…But (for Mullins) it would free Ballyburn and (for JP) Jeriko De Reponent to go to the Supreme.
Personally, if I were JP I’d have preferred to go to the Supreme with Mystical and the 2m4f route with Jeriko… However, I’d also have a stronger preference to avoid Ballyburn with whatever seems my best horse (Mystical).Value Is EverythingFebruary 9, 2024 at 10:28 #1680431FinalFurlong91Participant
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Jeriko is only entered in the Supreme as far as I knowFebruary 9, 2024 at 10:34 #1680432
It seems so, FF. Thanks.
Hadn’t realised that. Usually JP has them entered all over the place. LOL
That would probably be the reason for Mystical Power coming here then.Value Is EverythingFebruary 9, 2024 at 16:50 #1680478Cork All StarParticipant
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“You had Hislop asserting to Mullins that ‘surely it’s the Supreme’. That was just embarrassing. It’s her job to ask where the horse is going, not to tell him.”
Agree with that. A classic case of a journalist trying to make the news rather than just report it.
However, I expect she will be right and the horse will line up in the Supreme.February 9, 2024 at 23:27 #1680548
Lydia is more than a presenter, she has excellent racing knowledge.
Why shouldn’t she have an opinion?
She wasn’t “tell”ing Ruby what to think, she was effectively saying what her strong opinion was where Ballyburn should go… And effectively asking Ruby “do you agree with me”? He said “yes…” Ruby has made his opinion clear in other programmes too (eg the Paddy Power podcast) that the Supreme is the place to go with him.
Ruby, Lydia and I all have the same strong opinion… And tbh it seems obvious to me, am amazed anyone would have a strong opinion the other way.
But that’s what the game is all about.Value Is EverythingFebruary 10, 2024 at 06:36 #1680594Mike007Participant
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“And tbh it seems obvious to me, am amazed anyone would have a strong opinion the other way.”
No-one knows yet. They go on the Willie Mullins gallops near to Cheltenham and then its make their mind up time.February 10, 2024 at 09:57 #1680609
Nobody is suggesting that people can’t have an opinion, strong, or otherwise. It would be pretty boring if they didn’t.
However, Hislop defintely overstepped the mark with Mullins. Her job is to ask the question where the horse is going, not tell him. That’s exactly what she did. I don’t think there is much doubt that Walsh and Hislop have got together to push this Ballyburn should go Supreme idea. I think they also got together to push Impaire Et Passe as a two-miler. That hasn’t gone too well. They get plenty of things of wrong. Walsh has a limited record as tipster, and Hislop has a shocking record.
I haven’t read a single argument of any substance to justify running Ballyburn in the Supreme beyond Mullins trying to justify his original mistake in running the horse over the wrong trip, and getting him beaten. Trainers don’t make a habit of admitting mistakes, and he’s no different.
This reminds me of a flat trainer cutting back a mile and a half horse to a mile to try and increase his potential stallion value. Only difference being this is a potential Gold Cup horse, and there is no good reason to do it.
I don’t know how much you can read into markets. Ballyburn has been a false price for the Supreme ever since the chancers got on before the DRF. They just took a punt on a price even though I suspect a fair few know it’s the wrong option. He was a sea of blue on Oddschecker yesterday, presumably in response, at least in part, to Bloom trying to the force the issue. Wonder where his money has gone? Whatever the market looks like now if Ballyburn was confirmed for the Ballymore he would go off a shorter price for that race than the Supreme. In all likelihood there would be less than 10 runners, and Townend could dictate the race. He wouldn’t have that luxury in a Supreme.February 10, 2024 at 10:15 #1680612Cork All StarParticipant
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It is OK for Hislop to give her opinion on the “Road to Cheltenham”. That is what the show is about. But at Leopardstown on Sunday she was there as a reporter. It was her job to ask Mullins questions, not to tell him what he should do.
Those interviews become pointless when in turns to future plans anyway. Mullins was never going to commit the horse to a race six weeks beforehand.February 10, 2024 at 12:09 #1680637MarkTTParticipant
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” Nobody is suggesting that people can’t have an opinion, strong, or otherwise. It would be pretty boring if they didn’t.
However, Hislop defintely overstepped the mark with Mullins ”
Judging by his reaction, I’d say she didn’t overstep anything.
She’s more than a reporter and has known Willie for years
The Supreme being a starting place for stayers is often stated and yet mistakenly so
Sizing John, placed, the only Gold Cup winner in years and prior to that we had three winners placed in four renewals but that was 20 years ago.
Since then, we’ve had Binocular, Jezki, Sprinter Sacre, Douvan, Altior, Buveur D’Air, Constitution Hill and others being champion hurdlers and Grade 1 winners over fences at 2 milesFebruary 12, 2024 at 21:33 #1680972
What reaction, basically he just ignored her assertion. He was never going to call her out in front of a camera. She has asked him questions, that’s a bit different to knowing him. She rarely goes to Ireland, so I doubt they have spoken that often.
Just nicked this quote off another forum: ‘pedigree wise you would say Baring Bingham, but looking at his races you would say Supreme’.
That’s really puzzling. He has had two runs over the minimum, been beaten by Firefox, and then on his latest start produced the weakest finish of his career, presumably because he had been asked to go faster than ideal in the earlier stages. He bolted up when allowed to run over a more suitable trip earning an ‘impressive’ in the analysis quoted above. I think it’s pretty obvious which of the three runs was the most impressive performance. Pedigree wise and performance wise you would be looking at Baring Bingham. The whole thing has now turned into something of a farce with the talk of other horses being shuffled around to try and apply pressure. All of this could/should have been easily avoided.February 12, 2024 at 22:41 #1680975
When assessing which race a horse is most impressive in… surely you take into account that one is a maiden (albeit a good one) and the other is a good Grade 1? By far the best race Ballyburn has ever run in. I am certain connections ran Ballyburn in the Grade 1 race over 2 miles because they wanted to find out how he’d cope with the test of speed… There were obvious question marks going into last weekend’s race, beforehand I wasn’t sure what the result would be. He answered every question – and then some.
ie Had Ballyburn either lost the race or been pushed along to go the pace and then stayed on to get up near the line… Am sure the Baring Bingham would be his obvious target right now. However, that was far from the case. In fact, Ballyburn travelled with considerable ease through the race. Better than all his rivals… And then quickened clear once asked seriously for his effort. In no time putting 7 lengths between himself and the second (who may well incidentally start favourite for this Baring Bingham on the strength of that 7 lengths beating). With 7 lengths also between the second and third.
I’d say Ballyburn “bolted up” in the 2m Grade 1.
Not only that, but Ballyburn has also been free and in one race very free in three of his four races under rules prior to last weekend’s majestic performance. When assessing pedigree a horse’s temperament has to be taken into consideration. Lethargic / relaxed horses tend to stay further than their pedigree suggests. Enthusiastic / free horses often don’t stay as far as their pedigree suggests. Stepping Ballyburn up in trip for Cheltenham would imo be asking for trouble.
Every year we get Mullins’ other novices being shuffled around his best novice. So of course it will be the same this time around… Ballyburn is Mullins best novice.Value Is EverythingFebruary 13, 2024 at 20:36 #1681025Mike007Participant
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“Stepping Ballyburn up in trip for Cheltenham would imo be asking for trouble.”
I would disagree a bit. I think he looks a shoo-in for the Baring Bingham, whereas I have this nagging feeling if he ran in the Supreme something would beat him, maybe for a bit of speed or maybe a jumping mistake which would be more costly over 2m compared to this race. Mullins has had good horses finish 2nd in the Supreme before. If it was a ‘downpour’ year, however, he might be alright.
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