January 20, 2008 at 00:27 #6331
Did anyone think we may have seen next years champion hurdle winner today at Ascot.
Binocular to me looked a real prospect. Absolutely brilliant jumper and a real race horse.
Grabbed 10/1 for the Triumph right after the race and best priced now 8/1 which wont last longJanuary 20, 2008 at 02:19 #136492LetsGetRacingMember
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Whilst there’s no arguing with the manner of Binocular’s victory, it’s difficult to see where he goes from here. His action says he needs soft ground (being French-bred would back that up), and there would appear to be little improvement to come in terms of his jumping.
And was it, in all honesty, that great a race?
The winner was far superior to fellow debutant Norman The Great on the flat (who, as an American-bred, probably struggled on the ground anyway), and seemingly had nothing to fear from those with experience. Crack Away Jack had run well enough behind Soliya on his debut, but didn’t achieve a great deal, and Approved Force’s rating of 123 is more than flattering (a 4l beating of Starbougg, and a hard fought victory of Hibiki, isn’t exactly worth shouting about). The only one who could seemingly have posed a threat was Metaphoric. He was decent on the flat and had made a promising debut over hurdles, but I can’t believe for one second he gave his true running.
McManus introduced a similar type last season in the shape of Tritonix – bought in as a Listed-class flat performer from France – who looked an absolute superstar in winning his first two races over hurdles, but failed miserably to improve when pitched in against the likes of Katchit. And the same could be said of Nicky Henderson, whose Punjabi looked like he was really going places after victories at Ludlow and Kempton, but ultimately disappointed at Cheltenham.
I’d leave 8/1 well alone.January 20, 2008 at 06:39 #136500
I can’t see what McManus introduced last year has to do with this horse. MF never had to ask him to race the horse did it all by himself. Obviously totally in love with the game.
No doubt something will be lurking in the shadows that could be better than the front two as the Triumph is famous for it. Of the three I much prefer binocular.
I wasn’t really impressed with Franchoek at Chepstow he was workmanlike but looked a far cry from a future champion to me . The second horse looked to be going up and down on the same spot and I would have liked to have seen the winner put more distance between them.
Maybe someone can help me with Celestial Halo and why he is second fav. Unless I am missing something, he won what looked an ordinary race at Newbury on his debut. On the flat he started at odds of 16/1 to 33.1 in most of his races and was never sighted in most of them. I can’t see for the life of me why he is so short.
I wonder which JP is on?. Binocular was subject to an AP gamble for the Triumph and backed off the boards for the race yesterdayJanuary 20, 2008 at 09:00 #136506ClintMMember
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For what it’s worth, I have doubts about him for this year’s Truimph, let alone next year’s Champion.
First of all, he did look thoroughly at home on the ground yesterday, which makes me wonder how will he fare on better ground should it materialize at the festival. Also, yesterday’s race , as a time performance, was nothing out of the ordinary, which obviously doesn’t mean that Binocular couldn’t produce a far better display given the right circumstances, but it does make me worry about the worth of yesterday’s form. Ally these reasons, plus the worry of him not actually running in the Truimph (will JP run both him and Franchoek ?), and this makes him far too short at 8s, imho.
As for those who are with him at the forefront of the Truimph market, Celestial Halo, conversely,didn’t seem to be totally at home in the mud , but still won at Newbury in an authoritative manner, and , for us clockwatchers ,put up a decent performance in the process. In addition to this, there is a rumour circulating that says he is superior to Tatenen , who has close form with Franchoek , all be it in Chepstow’s unreliable mud.January 20, 2008 at 10:56 #136518stilviParticipant
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Ground would be a big concern for me if Cheltenham dried up again. On the positive side horses can sometimes ‘get away with it’ once. Very difficult to guage the value of the form particularly if he was the only one to appreciate the ground. In a lesser known yard he would still be 16/1 plus. Henderson has had a few horses dot up recently but his conversion rate at the Festival in recent years has not been that good.January 20, 2008 at 11:09 #136520GingertipsterParticipant
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I think I have seen next years Champion Hurdle winner, not at Ascot but Newbury, on the same card as Celestial Halo.
Khyber Kim.value is everythingJanuary 20, 2008 at 12:16 #136529AidanMember
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Jez guys, have we not been here before? A 5 year old winning the Champion Hurdle after a Triumph Hurdle season? Look elsewhere….January 20, 2008 at 12:35 #136534clivexMember
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Look elsewhere…at what exactly?
Current Ch contenders are a very mixed bunch indeed. I think its wide open for a horse of genuine quality to break through next year, regardless of ageJanuary 20, 2008 at 13:36 #136556
Couln”t have put it better myself Clive. I fancy Sizing Europe who could be a horse that could run like a boat or he might be progressive and go on. Apart from him and Katchit I don’t see any of them being contenders in 14 months time and they might not be either.
Whether Binocular is as good as I think is open to opinion, but everyone and their uncles were betting him before yesterdays race. They obviously think he’s special. Someone said he might not run I have no idea where they get that idea from.January 20, 2008 at 13:44 #136559seabirdParticipant
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They’re probably living in a fantasy world, Fists.
ColinJanuary 20, 2008 at 13:47 #136561
I am sure they are… but what I am not sure of is whether it is us fools that have backed the horses or the fools that say he wont run that are in fantasy worldJanuary 20, 2008 at 13:58 #136563FriggoMember
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Pardon my ignorance, but if this horse is so special (and thus a certainty for the Triumph) why did JP McManus buy Franchoek about 6 weeks ago? Is Binocular also a recent purchase?
He was quite impressive though.January 20, 2008 at 15:06 #136575Black Sam BellamyParticipant
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An eye-catching performance but he’s only beat a hurdling debutante who was rated in the mid 70s on Saturday. Similar profile to Punjabi and I suppose Henderson will go for the Adonis Juvenile at Kempton next.
Mamlook is 25/1 best price and Binoculor is 8/1. I know which one I’m sticking with.January 20, 2008 at 15:36 #136579stilviParticipant
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Not wishing to hijack the thread but as this has turned into a Triumph Hurdle discussion just watched Celestial Halo again and he looked to have an unusual head carriage. Was there ever a question mark about his resilience on the Flat?January 20, 2008 at 16:12 #136584LetsGetRacingMember
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My point, FOF, is that McManus introduced a horse with an almost identical profile to Binocular at a similar stage last season, saw him win a couple of (arguably) medicore races in effortless fashion before he was well and truly mullered by Katchit at Cheltenham in December. And, as I pointed out in my previous, exactly the same can be said of Nicky Henderson with regard to Punjabi.
Given how well Binocular jumped yesterday, his obvious need for soft ground (both action and breeding would suggest he’s better with give) and the lack of class in opposition, it’s difficult to see what he achieved and how much more there is to come.
At this point in time Ashkazar, Mamlook, Temlett, Beau Michael and even The Grey Berry rate far more interesting Triumph prospects – and all are priced above a daft 8/1.
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