March 16, 2008 at 15:20 #7123RobinFromIrelandMember
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I see Mr Nicholls reckons the rematch won’t happen until the 2009 Gold Cup.
However there is the small matter of the Â£1 million Betfair-sponsored triple-crown bonus of the Betfair Chase, King George and Gold Cup.
A million quid is a million quid (which, we must remember, Denman cost Mr Smith with his win). Surely the owners of both horses (esp. Mr Findley) believe their charges are justified in going for this sum and therefore it is, dare I say it, inevitable that they will meet at Haydock.
If indeed that does happen what if Kauto wins? Then I can see each horse following similar routes to Cheltenham as this year. However should Denman win, what to do with Kauto Star then?
In fact if Betfair were clever they would boost the bonus to something much bigger. It would be the most anticipated rematch in decades; the Betfair Chase, largely to determine (in the public’s mind) the eventual winner of the Betfair bonus.
The value of the publicity alone would cover the cost.March 16, 2008 at 16:11 #151828mrcjevansMember
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i dnt think there is anyway Denman could win all three, to sharp for himMarch 16, 2008 at 16:25 #151834PAULCSMember
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The Lexus is also part of the series so he wouldn’t need to run in the KG.
IMO Denman would probably have won at Haydock this season in those conditions and therefore scooped the million.March 16, 2008 at 16:43 #151842davidjohnsonMember
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Whilst I’d love to see the rematch at Haydock. The prospect of seeing Denman in the Hennessy off 185 is almost as appealing.March 16, 2008 at 18:24 #151874FriggoMember
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I’d have to say I think Denman running in the Hennessey off 185 would make for a farce of a race, although the inevitable sight of him trotting up the finishing straight at Newbury on his own again is one which I will struggle to ever tire of.
And I’d forgotten that the Lexus was an alternative to the King George in the BF Million series. That makes things very interesting in terms of a Haydock rematch, as now the BF chase over 3m at Haydock becomes Denman’s weakest race of the three and I wouldn’t say that’s anywhere near as ill-suiting to The Tank as the King George would be.March 16, 2008 at 19:02 #151895BosranicMember
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Denman for the King George. Both he and Kauto Star could have a prep run beforehand and take each other on again at Kempton.
Denman may be ill-suited by the King George, but great horses can win under any conditions, like Kauto Star. Never be a great horse to me unless he can show some sign of versatility.
Oh well, I guess it’s always going to be left-handed, galloping tracks on soft ground for Denman…March 16, 2008 at 19:18 #151899The JudgeMember
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I think there’s almost no chance of them clashing at Kempton, why would connections when there’s two nice pots to chase at Kempton and Leopardstown over Christmas? Three miles at Leopardstown seems a match made in heaven for Denman, off this year’s performances. For me, the only chance of a clash is the Betfair Chase because of the cash on offer.
If you owned Denman, and on the back of Friday’s win, would you be tempted to have a pop at Haydock’s cash carrot? I would be…March 16, 2008 at 19:51 #151913LetsGetRacingMember
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Harry Findlay has already said that Denman won’t go for the King George, for the simple reason that he knows they can’t beat Kauto Star over a flat 3m – and I doubt whether Haydock represents a more realistic chance of success.
If I were Clive Smith, I’d do the unexpected and send Kauto Star to Ireland for the Lexus…just to rock the boat a little bit.March 17, 2008 at 10:17 #151983graysonscolumnParticipant
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I’m sure the “new improved” Haydock represents no more realistic a chance of success, LGR, and the Nicholls camp was pretty emphatic in the Post yesterday that that course is too sharp for Denman now in its revised incarnation.
The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.March 17, 2008 at 12:27 #152008RobinFromIrelandMember
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But that’s exactly my point. Mr Nicholls may think its "too sharp" but the owners may insist. If the bonus was in fact Â£2 million, then I can’t see how the owners’ would turn it down.
To be honest, perhaps it would tempt the trainer also – he would get his share of the prize also, a not inconsiderable sum. And having two chances is better than one.March 17, 2008 at 12:34 #152012DroneParticipant
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Purely a bit of amusing speculation of course but my crystal ball suggests that by next season connections will have realised that these two very different horses will only contest chases that play to their strengths, and allow their 180+ form to surface:
Denman – Hennessy, Lexus, Gold Cup
Kauto Star – Betfair, King George, Ryanair, Melling
So will Cashman’s decision to offer 8/1 KS for the GC be proven inspired or foolhardy?
I err on the side of inspiredMarch 17, 2008 at 13:10 #152025graysonscolumnParticipant
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I concur, Drone.
Robin, I genuinely think both owners are as candid and aware of the relative optimum conditions for their respective animals as the trainer is in this instance, and I’d rate it unlikely that Findlay would overrule Nicholls – and in all probability Barber as well – and insist Denman took in the Betfair Chase. He certainly gives the impression of wanting the kudos of (part-)owning a multiple Gold Cup winner more than his share of an extra million quid.
The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.March 17, 2008 at 18:49 #152097Neil WatsonParticipant
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From a personal point of view i would love to see Denman run in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby so all Northern racing fans can see the champ run and have Kauto in the Betfair at Haydock which is my local.
Although the James Nicholson at Down Royal is an option i do hope he comes oop northMarch 17, 2008 at 18:57 #152099Ten PlusMember
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I’d love to see Denman and Kauto in the North too! Preferably Haydock!
March 17, 2008 at 21:24 #152132KendalCavalierMember
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Mind you if both big guns do appear at Haydock hopefully Stormez will come out of retirement and someone will puncture the tyres on the fences on the morning of the race thus ensuring that they are rendered immovable from the centre of the course for the entire day and Stormez will prevail at the princely price of 1000/1.
It could happen you know.
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