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Golden Era Or Generally Mediocre?

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  • #6038
    stilvi
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4518

    There was an interesting letter in the Post this week highlighting how often horses are undeservedly tagged as being ‘great’. I have to agree. There seems a constant need to hype the sport by liberally throwing around superlatives.

    For the purposes of this discussion I am just considering the current batch of three mile chasers – so no mention of Tingle Creek chases please.

    Denman appears to have developed superstar status overnight but where is the actual evidence to substantiate this claim. I make no apologies for mentioning Arkle as the benchmark of greatness because he gave two stone to Gold Cup horses. By contrast Denman, impressive though the style of victory was, demolished a field of average handicappers – as I mentioned at the time Bible Lord may be good enough to win a useful race but on the day he didn’t stay. As for last season it is not stretching it too much to say the staying novice chasers were generally useless. Ungaro beat Boychuk in the Grade 1 at Kempton – has either of them won a race since? Only Aces Four put up any fight against Denman and his stamina is questionable.

    I put up the thread regarding Looks Like Trouble because I really believe at the distance in question his form was considerably more solid than Kauto Star. How good Kauto Star is at three miles really depends on how highly you rate Exotic Dancer. For my liking he went from high-class handicapper to top-class performer rather too quickly.

    What else is there around? Look at the betting markets and the answer is pretty much nothing. The fact that The Listener can go over and plunder top Irish prizes says everything about the better Irish horses.

    The old adage says you can only beat the best around but does that make you a ‘great’ – not in my opinion.

    #131655
    % MAN
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5104

    I think if Kauto Star pulls off the "treble" again this year, he would deserve the "great" epithet, if only for his versatility in winning over such a range of distances and for his general consistancy at the top level.

    Beyond that I can’t seen any other current horse in training, in either code, being deserving of the epithet

    #131665
    doyley
    Participant
    • Total Posts 567

    Hello,

    As with literally everything in life, including racing, Television has guided us to our perceptions.

    All of a sudden mediocre or ordinary performers in any sphere are "Superstars" or "Great"

    Adjectives [or are they Nouns now?], such as "Brilliant" and "Magnificent" are also thrown about at will.. :(

    In History the only name to attach Great to was a guy who conquered the known world, went by the name Alexander, I believe, :)

    and a Country who owned a quarter of the world, Britain..

    But now the description is attached some dull cretin who wins a Celebrity Show or can dance in a ludicrous ottfit… :(
    Or even worse, an uncouth youth who happens to project a ball into a net..

    Therefore leading on, Racing will also be tarnished with the misuse of the "Great" word….

    Just imagine if Golden Miller, Arkle, NIght Nurse, were given as much media time as today’s horses’, great would be an understatement!! :wink:

    regards,

    doyley

    #131668
    Flash
    Member
    • Total Posts 1144

    Totally agree words like "Great" are easily thrown around when they shouldn’t be.

    Denman for example has won a Sun Alliance and a Hennessy. In both those races what established top horse did he beat? Yet some are already calling him great.

    Its just silliness to be honest.

    #131690
    PAULCS
    Member
    • Total Posts 529

    Yes great is thrown around all too easily these days but if you have a Gold Cup, King George, 2 Tingle Creeks and 2 Betfairs in the bag at the age of just 7 as Kauto Star has, you can be called a great IMO.

    #131692
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total Posts 1198

    Just imagine if Golden Miller, Arkle, NIght Nurse, were given as much media time as today’s horses’, great would be an understatement!!

    They are and thats the problem. We have a super Champion like Istabraq but those with tinted glasses who love to remind us about how great the past superstars were (must be the only sport in the whole world were athletes in this case horses are not improving and considered better than the predecessors) point out he couldnt be better than Night Nurse etc. And the same again with Kauto Star who imo opinion at his best could give any of the "greats" a run for their money.

    #131706
    doyley
    Participant
    • Total Posts 567

    Hello,

    Hi Aiden, but didn’t Isatbraq "jump" only Eight Hurdles ??

    In my lifetime, most hurdlers jumped alot more, an amount I cannot say at present without being "brought down"

    Secondly, didn’t those hurdles happen to stay up? Not like the "pretend" hurdles that Isatbraq "jumped"

    Thirdly, when the "pretend" hurdles came into fashion, was this the magnet for failed, expensive Flat Horses…?

    And, finally why didn’t those magnificent failed Flat horses continue, as in my day, most Hurdlers did, to the Chase regime..

    I will tell you why, NH was made very, very easy for a fast Flat Horse, and as a Dinosaur I completely disagreed with it, but I still love todays’ Champions, including Istabraq, but Night Nurse was a completely different animal in a COMPLETELY different game.. :D

    regards,

    doyley

    #131707
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total Posts 1198

    Istabraq would have been a better animal if there were 20 flights in a race…before his problems his jumping was awesome.

    #131709
    stevedvg
    Member
    • Total Posts 1137

    IMO, Kauto Star is the only jumps horse in the UK/Ireland that can be considered "great", but even then, what’s he beaten?

    For example, he’s never beaten another gold cup winner.

    So, while he’s the best chaser around (based on actual racecourse achievements) and he wins well, he’s never faced the pressure of going up against a genuinely exceptional horse.

    (e.g. Moscow Flyer, Best Mate, Kicking King, Beefy in Ireland)

    Steve

    #131710
    doyley
    Participant
    • Total Posts 567

    Hello,

    Aiden, Get a grip son. he jumped nothing.. :)

    Could you see him progressing to the Arkle, the the QM??.. :shock:

    Nope, let me say now I adore the Hurdlers, more so when they progress, and Istabraq brought me great delight, but as NH fan it was all a joke..

    Whereby when Florida Pearl won the bumper we knew we "had a proper horse"…

    regards,

    doyley

    #131712
    Fist of Fury 2k8
    Member
    • Total Posts 2930

    "Great" what a word, probably the most loosely used word in racing. It’s hard not to use the word……..I do it all the time.

    But we have to call our fav horses something. So I compiled 3 categories a long time ago for my own peace of mind.

    Magnificent,great and brillaint.

    Magnificent "Arkle"

    Great "L’Escagot" " Red Rum" "Flying Bolt" " Mill House"

    Brilliant "Dessie" "One Man" "Pendil" etc

    Kauto Star……..He is somewhere between Great and Magnificent he has achieved so much in such a short time the mind boggles on how good he could be. 2M 2m4f 3m 3m2f it seems to make little difference to him…..he does the same thing time and time again…..he has a best turn of foot I have ever seen in a chaser……..he is like Bula was over hurdles. Time will tell if he is going to be considered as highly as I regard him but if he never won another race he would still be a great horse in my book.

    Denman or Kauto could get stuffed this week, the difference being Kauto has Superstar status already.

    I can’t believe Denman is anywhere near as good as Kauto but the great Fulke Walwyn said the same about Arkle when he was challenging Mill House for supremacy.

    I wish the Listener was a proven stayer the the Lexus would tell us more than it might. I have had a close look at the Listener and he is a fair tool to say the least……if he does stay Denman better be good but the horse is on a hiding to nothing….if Denman wins 20 lengths they will claim the Listener didn’t get the trip and we will still be wondering how good he really is

    #131786
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total Posts 1198

    So its hurdlers you have a problem with, well thats a different matter but for all I loved Florida Pearl I know it will be Istabraq who will be the one most remembered in 20-30 year regardless of weither or not you think he "jumped nothing".

    #131804
    Fist of Fury 2k8
    Member
    • Total Posts 2930

    Istabraq was truly one of the best winners of the Champion Hurdles ever seen but in comparison to Dessie eg., was wrapped up in cotton wool.

    Not many hurdlers have reached "Superstar Status" to the extent Dessie Red Rum and Arkle did……… Persian War is probably the only horse who did but he ran in everything there was to run in.

    Of the others Danoli was probably the most popular with the public on both sides of the water, closely followed by Sea Pigeon who was also very successful on the flat.

    #131805
    Shergargardygargargar
    Member
    • Total Posts 14

    I Love Ibn Khaldun

    #131813
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total Posts 1198

    Istabraq was truly one of the best winners of the Champion Hurdles ever seen but in comparison to Dessie eg., was wrapped up in cotton wool.

    What races could Istabraq have ran in that he didnt?[/code]

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