September 1, 2006 at 12:19 #2948cormack15Keymaster
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I note in Greg Wood’s article in today’s Guardian that the new edition of Chasers and Hurdlers awards the dreaded squiggle to Kingscliff.
Does he really deserve that?September 1, 2006 at 12:33 #76143
I was at Haydock – where he completely tailed himself off (nearly coming to a standstill) for no apparent reason – then he proceded to put in an effort down the straight and ran on to finish a distant 3rd.September 1, 2006 at 12:42 #76144BrevityyMember
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It must be remembered that the squiggle means ‘unreliable’ and not always ‘ungenuine’ as Alner alludes to in the article. I think it’s perfectly fair to call to him unreliable, given he’s run to form once in his last five starts and it’s very hard to predict what sort of performance we’ll see next time he runs.September 1, 2006 at 12:52 #76145AnonymousInactive
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Quote: from Brevityy on 1:42 pm on Sep. 1, 2006[br]It must be remembered that the squiggle means ‘unreliable’ and not always ‘ungenuine’
<br>Agreed, but if that’s the case why doesn’t Beef Or Salmon get one, too? He is, according to Timeform, the best staying chaser in training but has only looked like that three times in the last two seasons.
Plenty of interesting reading coming up, judging by what Wood has revealed. Of most interest to me is the debate over the ground at Cheltenham; I must say that I side with the HRA on this matter. Horses these days tend not to have neither the stamina nor the constitution for National Hunt racing as it was; the better ground which prevails at Cheltenham these days Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â obviously helps them but, looking at things in the longer term, National Hunt racing will only suffer if things are allowed to continue as they are at the sport’s flagship meeting.
For the good of the game, the Cheltenham executive should aim to produce good or softer ground at the meeting; not only will this minimise the risk of injury but it will allow proper National Hunt-bred horses to reclaim their rightful place at the top of the sport, rather than the flat-bred types which appear to be taking a hold on the winter sport.
(Edited by yquem21 at 1:53 pm on Sep. 1, 2006)September 1, 2006 at 13:14 #76146
I wouldn’t say he was unreliable – becuase you can now rely on him being ungenuine. Hence the squiggle wiggle ;)September 1, 2006 at 13:26 #76147
Quote: from Grasshopper on 2:17 pm on Sep. 1, 2006[br]I wouldn’t put him in charge of my back-garden, let alone the heavy responsibility of ensuring that the Festival is conducted on ground which benefits National Hunt horses.
:biggrin:September 1, 2006 at 15:02 #76148DroneParticipant
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Quote: from Grasshopper on 2:50 pm on Sep. 1, 2006[br]The idea seems to be that watering, followed by rain, could leave the place in a quagmire, which may result in a ‘PR disaster’ for National Hunt racing.
Given the drainage at Cheltenham now I’d be surprised if it ever got heavy regardless of how much water they put on prior to the festival even if it tipped it down for all four days (an unlikely scenario).
Over the last eleven years the word ‘soft’ has appeared on one sole day at the Festival, in ’02.
And in the same period at all Chel meetings ‘heavy’ has appeared just three times, all at the January meets.
It would be much more of a pr disaster if the festival was run on firmish ground again.September 1, 2006 at 16:15 #76149
I think Grasshopper’s criticism of Simon Claisse is quite unfair. He and his staff produced ground that was officially "good to soft" on the Tuesday and that descriptrion was borne out by the race times, all a few seconds above the standard except for the Champion Hurdle. The ground dried out a tad throughout the meeting but only on the Friday could it be described as being on the fast side of good. Although the cold spring precluded the usual good covering of grass, I did not hear one single complaint throughout the four days about the state of the ground.
I do not buy the suggestion that the ground was in some way connected to the 11 sad fatalities. The HRA themselves state in their report that "no single factor, or combination of factors" was to blame, but yet see fit to issue this instruction which to my mind clearly falls into the "something has to be done" category.September 1, 2006 at 16:18 #76150Tete RougeParticipant
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I read somewhere recently (can’t remember where, but I have in mind that it was somewhere reasonably reliable :biggrin: ) that the drainage hasn’t made as much difference to Cheltenham as we tend to think – apparently only a part of the course has relatively new drainage, anyway. Could be complete rubbish, mind ..
Anyway, be that as it may, the last thing I would want to see is Cheltenham run on really fast ground. I’m not a fan of jump racing on anything approaching firm …
As for Kingscliff, for whatever reason he’s more in-and-out than a blue tit with 15 babies to feed – surely deserving of his squiggle!!September 1, 2006 at 17:24 #76151LingfieldMember
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Which other "dogs" are currently running on the flat or jumps? (not inc. Geo Washington!) <br>Dubawi from the Hannon yard once carried my money at my local track on the admittedly poor judgement that every dog must have its day. Never again and it still can’t win!<br>Pipe/Johnson also have a couple of dodgepots<br>September 1, 2006 at 17:29 #76152
Sorry Grasshopper, can’t agree with you on this. I’ve looked back to 2003 and there’s no way the Festival going could be described as "unreasonably quick" during that period. OK, it wasn’t as soft as the ground encoutered in many of the trials, but surely the objective at the "equine olympics" (a tired cliche I know) is to provide conditions as near perfect as possible so that fast-ground horses are not favoured over mud-lovers, and vice versa. So as far as I’m concerned any going description between good, good to firm in places and good, good to soft in places fits the bill. The last four Festivals have been run on ground which fell precisely within that description and the only major player that I’m aware of that was inconvenienced is Beef or Salmon (arguably).
I’m sure that the connections of Moscow Flyer, Hardy Eustace, Best Mate, Barracouda, Iris’s Gift, etc. would agree that their champions were able to perform to their best on fair ground, which is what Cheltenham should always be trying to achieve. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚ÂSeptember 1, 2006 at 18:34 #76153
Grasshopper, I’d be only too happy to shake your hand, maybe in the Arkle or Mill House bar?September 4, 2006 at 09:44 #76154AragornMember
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Kingscliff is definitely a squiggler… Alner’s wife is a bit weird in the way that she looks after him.. If they trained him properly rather than treating him like the family pet (Probably why he gives up all the time now) he’d probably be a great horse..
How many times this season do you think the Beef or salmon debate will come up? Personally I don’t get it.. The horse loves leopardstown, fair enough, difficult to beat round there but other than that what has it done? Nothing..September 4, 2006 at 11:05 #76155clivexMember
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Beef Or Salmon doesn’t travel – simple as that. And whilst I’d agree that it’s an Achilles Heel which has prevented him from reaching his fullest potential, it’s folly to discount those performances under his optimum conditions
Season not underway yet and here we are again :)
But has there ever been a jumper who so comprehensively fails when everything isnt just so?
And, Grass, that is some "achilles heel".September 4, 2006 at 11:09 #76156clivexMember
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Maybe instead of a squiggle against BOS what about a "big girls blouse" :)
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