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Matheson Hurdle 2020

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  • #1515697
    DBRDBR
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    • Total Posts 557

    After the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton gave us a suprise winner with Silver Streak all are eyes are drawn to Leopardstown for the Matheson Hurdle, also known as the December Festival Hurdle. Sharjah won this race in 2018 & 2019 and he will bid for a third win.

    Saint Roi and Abacadabras are two horses heading the market. This will be a rematch after Abacadabras just held Saint Roi in the Morgiana Hurdle. Complete field:

    * Abacadabras
    * Aspire Tower
    * Beacon Edge
    * Coeur Sublime
    * Petit Mouchoir
    * Saint Roi
    * Saldier
    * Sharjah

    I’ll go with Saldier at 10/1 EW. Obviously he has only races once in two years, but Willie Mullins is in flying form and surely he will be ready for this after such a long time. His last race (and only race in 2019) was in fact the Morgiana Hurlde which he won. In 2018 he won the 4-year-old-hurdle in Punchestown and fell in Naas when he looked better then Espoir d’Allen. And finally Paul Townend rides him instead of Sharjah.

    Saldier 10/1 EW

    #1515698
    thewexfordman
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    • Total Posts 1103

    I wouldn’t read much into the fact that townend rides saldier over Sharjah, I’d say it’s just a case of Patrick getting on well with Sharjah in the past.

    Saint Roi should be capable of leading home a Willie Mullins 1-2-3 here but if he gets anything like as bad a ride as he got the last day from Mark Walsh then that may not happen.

    Sharjah was the highest rated hurdler in training at the end of the season 2019/2020 at 164.

    He’s still only 7 and has won a Galway hurdle, a morgiana hurdle and 2 of these 2mile Christmas hurdles.

    #1515737
    charlie87
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    • Total Posts 872

    Saldier @ 10/1 EW

    I am surprised Sharjah is priced shorter tbh. Saldier brushed him aside with relative ease the last time they met – I’m not expecting positions to be reversed

    #1515740
    Mike007
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    • Total Posts 2694

    Reading Willie Mullins’ preview of the race he feels Saint Roi and Sharjah are his main hopes and Saldier has been off the track a long time and is best watched today.

    #1515746
    charlie87
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    • Total Posts 872

    Do you have a link to what Willie said Mike?

    I could only find what PM said which was fairly open – “Saldier is obviously coming back from a long lay-off, but we’ve got plenty of work into him. He still falls into the ‘could be anything’ category, so I wouldn’t discount him in any way, shape or form”

    Regardless of what’s said, I’d se surprised if Sharjah beats Saldier, and I’d be even more surprised if Saldier goes of at double figures on the exchanges

    #1515749
    Mike007
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    • Total Posts 2694
    #1515751
    Mike007
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    • Total Posts 2694

    I think the price difference between Saint Roi and Abacadabras is a bit crazy. 13/8 and 100/30. Don’t make sense to me. If Saint Roi was 5/2 I could understand it a bit more.

    Time will tell of course, and he may romp home as the price is suggesting, but I have my doubts.

    #1515752
    charlie87
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    • Total Posts 872

    Thank you Mike.

    I’m laughing to myself here as before I could even get down to Saldier he said re Concertista ‘She’s probably our number one here’ :yes:

    Yeh he doesn’t sound remotely confident on Saldier. Perversely that makes me even more confident :yahoo:

    #1515775
    greenasgrass
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    • Total Posts 3787

    I’ve joined you on Saldier Charlie. Hoping he has the class to win even if only 95% fit.

    #1515784
    charlie87
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    • Total Posts 872

    Sharjah, yuck! :-(

    Hopefully Saldier comes out the race well and takes him place in march

    #1515790
    thewexfordman
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    • Total Posts 1103

    Highest rated hurdler in training wins a race he has won for the previous 2 years. Shouldnt be a surpirse. The surprise is the price he went off at, particularly when bookies were offering 3 places in a 7 horse race.

    Abracadabras is not near that level, and only won the morgiana due to a brutal ride given to saint roi. Saldier had a decent comeback run before fading late on.

    #1515805
    He Didnt Like Ground
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    • Total Posts 951

    Wexford so why did saint roi win today ? , abracadbras run was to bad to be true so I reckon something is wrong , still not buying this saint ROI can win the champ hurdle

    #1515812
    FinalFurlong91
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2702

    He was throwing his head about when asked for an effort

    So hes either a dodgepot which he hasn’t shown before

    Or there was something wrong with him

    Gordon’s horses seem to be running terribly as you said so can probably put a line through abas run

    Be interesting to see if the trainers find any issues

    Brilliant hat trick from sharjah though, melon backers will be wondering where that patience was from Patrick yesterday

    #1515833
    Mike007
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    • Total Posts 2694

    Abacadabras was found to have mucus in his trachea post race.

    #1515835
    thewexfordman
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1103

    Saint Roi didn’t win today because I doubt whether he is quite good enough, although he was only 5 lengths off the highest rated hurdler in training so I wouldn’t draw a line through him yet, but he will struggle to reach his full potential until he has a top jockey on board. I have no doubt in my mind that he is a better horse than abracadabras.

    On what basis is the run of abracadabras too bad to be true? It’s only his 2nd race in open company and has yet to prove himself any better than a low 150’s horse. The morgiana he won is possibly the worst of all time and despite having the run of the race, he could only beat Jason the militant by less than half a length, and with race fitness on his side only managed to beat a dreadfully ridden saint Roi (who got into all sorts of trouble) by a short head.

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