June 28, 2007 at 12:07 #2238davidjohnsonMember
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No great surprise or problem with the elevation of the 2m5f chase at the Festival and the 3m novice hurdle being given Group 1 status but the move to change the Victor Chandler from a limited handicap to a Grade 1 chase is wrong I think.
You already have a Graded race at Kempton on the 27th December (that was once a limited handicap at Wetherby, albeit poorly contested) so is there really a need for another one at the end of January, particularly with the Game Spirit coming just a fortnight or so after the Victor Chandler.
A far better course of action would have been to upgrade the Game Spirit, or if the BHB want to make the Grade 1 the feature of the afternoon rather than share the spotlight with the Aon and the Tote Gold Trophy, then the conditions of the Game Spirit should have been altered to make that a limited handicap.<br>June 28, 2007 at 16:21 #66677DroneParticipant
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Agree with upgrading the VC as it now means three 2m G1s with a similar gap created each side of the other two: Tingle Creek and Champion Chase, whereas upgrading the Game Spirit would skew the pattern too far from the TC and too close to the CC.
So we now have a tidy threesome of G1s at 2m and 3m+
The Desert Orchid (ex Castleford) at Kempton is a G2 and imo this should now be changed into a valuable open handicap to replace the VC thereby strengthening the second day of the Christmas meeting. I’m sure it would fill better run at Kempton than when a similar experiment was done with it at Wetherby.
Good to see the Ryanair upgraded.June 28, 2007 at 17:13 #66678runandskipMember
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thanks for letting us know. it seems the might of ascot could be at play here. at least upgrading the vc will give the january programme a much needed lift.<br>last seasons game spirit was a excellent race sadly its unlikley to happen again unless the vc is abandoned.<br>i would have liked to have seen aintrees betfair bowl upgrade to grade one and haydock lose grade one status for its betfair chase for using trolly fences.<br>as with the flat it seems the jumping "pattern" is anything but.June 28, 2007 at 18:12 #66679apracingParticipant
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<br>Don’t have a problem with the VC being changed, except that if (as usually happens) it’s called off, running it a week later at Cheltenham would effectively mean two Champion Chases in the space of six weeks.
At Ascot it does at least give those two milers best suited by a right-hand track a chance to shine, just as the King George does for the three mile chasers.
APJune 30, 2007 at 18:56 #105544davidjohnsonMember
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Considering the problems the jumps track Ascot has had with ground last season, is there not a likelihood the race will cut up in to a poorly-contested 4-runner affair.
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