November 11, 2006 at 17:17 #427
He looks a class act, purposefully athletic and clearly in possession of an engine the likes of which Honda would love to offer Alonso next year.
However, unless they can train him to settle I’m afraid that the raw material may be in danger of being wasted. Ruby must have had sore arms after that race as he fought a real battle with the horse over the first mile and a half to two miles to stop him running away.
The 16/1 (well 16.5 if you wish to be pedantic) on betfair looks about right and, of the two up and comers at the same price, Monet’s Garden looks a safer option at this moment.November 11, 2006 at 17:33 #30541AnonymousInactive
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The alternative view could be that he’s given him a pipe-opener to get the freshness out of the horse, picked up an cosy 28k without incurring any penalty, and will now have him spot on for the Hennessy without giving him a hard race?;)November 11, 2006 at 17:48 #30542dave jayMember
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He ran like he had plenty in hand, pulling or not. I feel he could struggle against better opposition on faster ground.November 11, 2006 at 19:00 #30543KevinMember
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I was hugely impressed. Sure the horse was very keen but has already proven what it can do against better opposition on faster ground last festival.
As reet points out that was a nice little earner and those lucky connections must be very very pleased. Especially as they must be looking to peak in 2007.November 11, 2006 at 20:09 #30544rolandMember
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He has won a just won a listed race carrying 10st 6lb off a mark of 127. It has told me nothing that was unknown before and as yet i’m not getting carried away.
Still a no bet in the hennessy, but he’ll have to be something really special to pull off any sort of win carrying near enough top weight (if our vic doesn’t run) at the age of 5!! And its probably his age more than anything that has me against him at this time. Just like it did in the Sun Alliance, d’oh.<br>November 12, 2006 at 06:01 #30545AnonymousInactive
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Quote: from roland on 8:09 pm on Nov. 11, 2006[br]He has won a just won a listed race carrying 10st 6lb off a mark of 127. It has told me nothing that was unknown before and as yet i’m not getting carried away.
Still a no bet in the hennessy, but he’ll have to be something really special to pull off any sort of win carrying near enough top weight (if our vic doesn’t run) at the age of 5!! And its probably his age more than anything that has me against him at this time. Just like it did in the Sun Alliance, d’oh.<br>
He may only be a 5yo, but he is a French-bred 5yo and as such has already had one more race, (and, arguably, achieved slightly more) than Trabolgan had at this stage of his career, yet it didn’t stop the latter winning the Hennessey off 11.12. <br>Without implying he is the same horse as Trabolgan, Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â given decent ground he surely will take some pegging back if he takes his chance in 2 weeks time.<br>Interestingly,Ruby Walsh didn’t seem to think the horse intractable, just that the horse wanted to race against the inside rail when his jockey wished him to stay wide on the better ground.<br> Having watched the replay, I would suggest that Ruby’s view looks much nearer the mark than Simon Holt’s.November 13, 2006 at 08:40 #436apracingParticipant
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<br>Sta De Mohaison’s win at Cheltenham on Saturday highlighted two pieces of official stupidity that are only going to be changed if people protest – so here goes!
The first is the practice of allowing young horses that have clearly improved significantly whilst running over fences to revert to hurdling with a handicap mark based on ancient form.
Star De Mohaison had his last run over hurdles in April 2005, finishing third in a 2M juvenile hurdle at Cheltenham, a run that eanred him his current mark of 127. We all know about his subsequent success over fences last season, but for reasons known only to the authorities, all those big race wins over fences are considered irrelevant when he’s entered for the first handicap hurdle of his career.
Apart from being terminally stupid, this ruins a valuable race by turning it into a procession, and effectively defrauds the owners of the other runners. They have entered this handicap on the basis that all the horses will be weighted to give them an equal chance, but that deal has been ignored by the handicapper.
This is NOT a criticism of Paul Nicholls, who is entirely justified in using this approach to generate wins and prize money for his owners and did the same with Taranis in another valuable race at Chepstow.
The second isue raised by Saturday’s race concerns the runner-up Jockser, who stayed on strongly from the second last and clearly needs this sort of stamina test to show his ability. Three years ago, his run would have been a perfect trial for the Pertemps Final over the same course and distance next March.
But thanks to the witless ignorance of the Cheltenham management, as part of the move to a four day festival, the Pertemps final was moved to Thursday and is therefore run over the much shorter trip on the New Course. The management continue to insist that there is only a one furlong difference between these two tracks, despite the fact that the race times differ by around 50 seconds on average.
From his likely new mark of around 130, Jockser has almost no opportunities to employ his proven stamina – he certainly won’t be quick enough to win the Pertemps final, run this year in 5m 46s compared to 6m 37s for the race on Saturday. I can find only one race in the program over more than 3M and that, ironically, is the Pertemps qualifier at Warwick in January.
It would be a simple matter for Cheltenham to revert to the Old Course for the final – simply switch this race with the juvenile handicap staged on Tuesday. But then it would also be a simple matter to return the Stayers Hurdle to it’s former glory, that race having been destroyed as a proper stamina test by a similar switch back in 1994.
Great names from the past of the Cheltenham festival, like Willie Wumpkins, Galmoy, Crimson Embers, would just be also rans in so called staying races run on the New Course. Poor old Jockser will never get the chance to join them.
AP<br>November 13, 2006 at 08:47 #30828MountyMember
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Couldn’t agree more….and not just because I did my cobblers when Star De Mohaison won on Saturday!November 13, 2006 at 08:50 #30829seabirdParticipant
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Alan, I made the same point, on another forum, about the loophole of running horses in handicap hurdles off a mark about two stone below that they would be expected to carry in a similar race over fences, quoting the examples of Star de Mohaison and Taranis. My point, as yours, was that the connections of the other horses were being denied the chances of a valuable prize because the playing field wasn’t level.
I have to tell you that, almost all of the responses disagreed with me!!!!!
Amazed ColinNovember 13, 2006 at 08:51 #30830seabirdParticipant
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Did you have a disastrous day then, Mounty?:cool:
ColinNovember 13, 2006 at 09:17 #30831astonMember
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For the 15 or 16 owners of the opponents there is a genuine gripe. For the thousands of us who backed the handicap snip, it is a welcome scoop.<br>Alan, as much as I respect your input, you sound as if your batting for the bookies on this one. Are us mug punters not entitled to a horse "thrown in" once in a while?November 13, 2006 at 10:19 #30832SwallowCottageMember
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Alan – I understand the point that you are making but how do you solve this problem – what if a good hurdler goes chasing without much success and achieves a lower chase rating – are you saying that the hurdler should then run off a lower mark when reverting to hcap hurdles? Some horses regularly switch from hurdles to chases and then back to hurdles.
The present system of having seperate hcap ratings for performances over hurdles and fences seems to be the fairest one even though there will be times when it can be exploited as was the case with Star De Mohaison. Anyway it does not always work and I’ve known of ‘hcap good things’ in the past which have failed in the same circumstances. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚ÂNovember 13, 2006 at 10:33 #30833
Tricky one this. It’d be interesting to see some stats regarding the analogy between chase form and hurdles form. Some horses will improve over fences, some will deteriorate and some will return a similar level of form, I guess.
The problem for the handicapper would be knowing which is which.
For every Star de Mohaison, who clearly benefitted, I’m sure there is another horse for whom a system such as proposed by AP would be detrimental.
Regarding Star de Mohaison. The 6/4 SP, while indicating that the horse had a strong chance, was by no means the price you’d associate with a certainty. The market, presumably, took the view that the horse may not be able to reproduce his chase form over the smaller obstacles (I do also appreciate that the fact that it was his seasonal debut would have been taken into account). This kind of backs up the difficulty the handicappers face in this situation. Almost a no-win for them.
I completely agree with the Jockser comments/arguments.November 13, 2006 at 10:40 #30834apracingParticipant
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<br>If a horse switches regularly between hurdles and fences, then it has recent form that allows the handicapper to set an appropriate mark for both options.
What seems obvious to me is that if a horse doesn’t run in a hurdle for more than a year, when it returns, it’s mark should be recalculated on the basis of it’s overall form, not solely on what happened more than a year ago. Particularly when the horse in question has never run in a handicap hurdle before. And I’d say that should apply regardless of whether it’s been successful or not over fences in the interim.
To deny the possibility that a 5-y-old has made physical improvement that affects it’s performance in both spheres seems to me to be blind to the facts.
As much as anything it’s the inconsistency that irritates – on the flat the separate turf and AW marks are changed in parallel. Also, a NH horse can run in a handicap on his chase debut with a mark based entirely on hurdle form – so where’s the argument against a hurdle mark being based on chase form?
You correctly say that handicap good things sometimes lose, but that’s not really an argument against allocating a proper handicap mark in the first place.
APNovember 13, 2006 at 10:56 #30835
Quote from apracing "As much as anything it’s the inconsistency that irritates – on the flat the separate turf and AW marks are changed in parallel. Also, a NH horse can run in a handicap on his chase debut with a mark based entirely on hurdle form – so where’s the argument against a hurdle mark being based on chase form?"
Can’t argue with any of that really.
However, what about a situation where a top hurdler goes chasing for a season and fails dismally (there have been numerous examples). Should he then be significantly dropped in the handicap when sent back hurdling?
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