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Demise of the Victor Chandler

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  • #6139
    carvillshill
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2778

    Does anyone else think that it’s a real shame that this has become just another 2 mile conditions race? What price a small field, an odds-on fav and a school around for the Queen Mother market leader. Surely the top two-milers have enough conditions races already: it was top sport seeing the likes of Dessie giving away lumps of weight in this race and still gutsing it out after the last. I presume this is another misguided BHA initiative as it surely won’t suit the sponsor.

    #133252
    Fist of Fury 2k8
    Member
    • Total Posts 2930

    Been some great winners of the race in the past perhaps they feel owners don’t want their top horses giving away lumps of weight so close to Cheltenham.

    Dessie won it giving away 20 odd pounds to Panto Prince which was great to watch but that could hardly be described as the ideal preparation for the all important Cheltenham.

    It’s a case of them going with the times I suppose but I agree with you it is a shame.

    It makes for a great spectacle when a top horse wins a race such as this was. What you have to ask yourself is would you run your horse in it if there was an easier alternative with the same amount of prize money just around the corner.

    #133257
    Drone
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5411

    Doncaster have filled the void

    From the RP:

    TRAINERS pining for the days of the Victor Chandler Chase as a limited handicap have been given swift consolation after Doncaster confirmed details of a new £100,000 2m chase to be held early next month.

    The Williamhill.com Chase will become Doncaster’s most valuable jumps contest when staged as the principal attraction at the track’s Saturday, February 2 fixture.

    Edited to add: As it seems to have received little media coverage or comment, for those that don’t know all Donny’s fences have been rebuilt during the closure of the course and a fine sight they are. They’re ‘portable’ in the sense they can be lifted intact and moved to fresh ground as required. Haydock look and learn, or read and weep more like.

    #133270
    graysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6965

    Drone – does this Doncaster contest constitute a dramatic upgrade of the erstwhile Mansion House Chase (once fabulously described by a Racing Post Spotlight writer as "The March of the Living Dead" the year Green Green Desert beat a small handful of even quirkier rivals), or is it a new race altogether?

    Ta,

    gc

    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    #133278
    Irish Stamp
    Member
    • Total Posts 3181

    Too much of an obsession from older members of the racing community with "great weight carrying performances" concentrate on seeing the best take on the best at level weights rather than Arkle giving away 2 stone to the milkmans horse in the Whitbread :wink:

    #133279
    Friggo
    Member
    • Total Posts 1593

    I’m with Irish Stamp on this one. We have a hard enough time these days getting trainers and owners to run the best horses regularly without asking them to give weight away to rivals that normally wouldn’t be allowed on the same track. As much as it’s good to see a great weight-defying performance like Denman’s in the Hennessey, handicaps are for handicappers.

    #133284
    Flagship U
    Member
    • Total Posts 7

    So are you seriously telling me that you don’t think there is a place for a race like the VC?

    There have been some top class performances in this race – Desert Orchid as mentioned, Flagship Uberalles narrowly losing to Nordance Prince, Azertyuiop losing to Isio.

    These are the races which would give the likes of Kauto Star the chance to prove exactly how good they are – perhaps not only the best of their generation, but the best for several.

    The reason Desert Orchid is so well remembered is not only for his colour and his flamboyant jumping – it’s because he took on races like this over multiple distances and lumped top weight round to victory.

    #133289
    Irish Stamp
    Member
    • Total Posts 3181

    It’s this "prove exactly how good they are" stuff that annoys me. The handicap system is designed so that they all finish across the line at the same time (well that’s the theory anyway) – Kauto has beaten the best horse we’ve seen in a long while in Exotic Dancer and has the chance to beat a potential superstar in Denman come March whilst people want to see him concede two stone to Hoo La Baloo or Dempsey.

    Everytime I think about a horse conceding weight and how it might be a good thing I come to my senses and think "no there’ll be a load of people arguing that giving Hoo La Baloo 2 stone is a better performance than hacking all over Exotic Dancer at Haydock".

    FWIW by the measures set out by the fans of great weight carrying performances Kauto Star has already put in one – at Aintree last year.

    There is definitely a place for the Victor Chandler, but as a 2m handicap chase and not one designed to attract the very best. Why take in a handicap when there’s the Game Spirit and other big races?

    I would argue that the reason the public liked Dessie is as he was around for a good few years, was grey and ran in high profile races not because he won an Irish National under top weight or ran in the VC under similar circumstances.

    #133290
    Salselon
    Member
    • Total Posts 883

    With all the talk of a Denman winning the Henessey of a mark of 161, one wonders at the true merit of Well Chief’s Victor Chandler victory off a mark of 176, beating that season’s subsequent Ryanair winner Thisthatandtother, giving away 20 pounds. Some Horse, Well Chief.

    That should put Denman’s achievement firmly in perspective..

    #133292
    wilsonl
    Participant
    • Total Posts 862

    There is definitely a place for the Victor Chandler, but as a 2m handicap chase and not one designed to attract the very best. Why take in a handicap when there’s the Game Spirit and other big races?

    I would argue that the reason the public liked Dessie is as he was around for a good few years, was grey and ran in high profile races not because he won an Irish National under top weight or ran in the VC under similar circumstances.

    Dessie, Pearlyman, Katabatic, Sybillin, Deep Sensation, Viking Flagship, Waterloo Boy, Martha’s Son, Call Equiname, Flagship Uberalles, Well Chief, Azertyuiop…

    They may disagree with you mate.

    As for Dessie – the VC was IMO the race where the obsession began for many – myself included. His appearance and style of running had already made him hugely popular but the guts and determination he showed that day will never be forgotten. I would still put that down as my 2nd fav race of all time. Only personal opinion of course.

    I do agree with you re: the apparent need for horses to prove themself by running in handicaps but you have the Tingle Creek in December and the Champion Chase in March – do we really need another top class 2m conditions race in January ?

    Lee

    #133293
    AndyRAC
    Participant
    • Total Posts 376

    With all the talk of a Denman winning the Henessey of a mark of 161, one wonders at the true merit of Well Chief’s Victor Chandler victory off a mark of 176, beating that season’s subsequent Ryanair winner Thisthatandtother, giving away 20 pounds. Some Horse, Well Chief.

    That should put Denman’s achievement firmly in perspective..

    A terrific performance from Well Chief, remembering he isn’t the biggest of horses, a performance that has been forgotten. Wouldn’t have anything to do with being trained by MC Pipe would it?
    As I’ve said in another thread the days of the top horses humping huge weights are over, and who can blame connections for this. The "We’d know how really good how Kauto, Denman, Dobbin,etc" doesn’t wash, we know how good they are, they’ve beaten the best off level weights. Would the 2,000 Guineas winner run in the Golden Mile at Goodwood giving stones away? No, so why should modern day jumpers, I’m a Traditionalist when it comes to Racing but the rose tinted specs aren’t always helpful.

    #133294
    davidjohnson
    Member
    • Total Posts 4491

    With all the talk of a Denman winning the Henessey of a mark of 161, one wonders at the true merit of Well Chief’s Victor Chandler victory off a mark of 176, beating that season’s subsequent Ryanair winner Thisthatandtother, giving away 20 pounds. Some Horse, Well Chief.

    That should put Denman’s achievement firmly in perspective..

    I’m not in the habit of knocking Well Chief, and for all he defied 176, that was anything but a stronger Victor Chandler and surely Azertyuiop’s defeat off 168 is more meritorious than Well Chiefs in victory.

    Okay so he beat Thisthatandtother, but that horse was much improved earlier and later in the season for the step up in trip and was never asked to run over 2m again. The third Kadarann was already on the downgrade by then and has never subsequently been placed in a handicap, The fourth Golden Alpha ran only twice after and was below form on both occasions. Seebald was fifth and was on the downgrade by then and made little impact in handicaps afterwards. The sixth Turgenev did do something for the form, he won a handicap off 121 on his latest start, some 45 lb lower than the mark he ran off at Cheltenham. I could go on but don;t think I need to, Well Chief beat has beens in his VC or horses that clearly didn;t given their running, Non So found nothing and Armaturk jumped poorly.

    #133296
    Charlie D
    Member
    • Total Posts 500

    Well Cheif giving weight, Azertyuiop giving weight, Moscow Flyer against both off levels

    Which race shows you who was the best 2 miler around???

    #133297
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 170

    The Queens Mother champion chase.

    That is why it is the Champion chase – for the best 2 milers off level weights.

    I agree with the original post.

    If this was a handicap there would be a lot of horses running and a quandry trying to pick the winner. I read on the Post’s website that if it was a handicap Twist magic would have been 5/2 rather then 8/11 – so as a betting proposition it becomes much more interesting.

    #133298
    carvillshill
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2778

    Too much of an obsession from older members of the racing community with "great weight carrying performances" concentrate on seeing the best take on the best at level weights rather than Arkle giving away 2 stone to the milkmans horse in the Whitbread :wink:

    They don’t have to enter handicaps if they don’t want to. My argument is that at this point in the season, a 2 mile handicap is more likely to produce an exciting, competitive race than a level weights contest- there’s surely more logic in a bookie chucking money at a handicap than at the likes of the Game Spirit, and the extra cash should be the incentive for the good horses to give the weight away.

    I’m also a bit miffed at being lumped in as one of the "older members of the racing community". In racing terms, I’m barely out of nappies!

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