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Straw Bear no brainer

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  • #6263
    carvillshill
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2778

    I read in the Post today that connections of Straw Bear say he may miss Haydock on Saturday to wait for the Irish Champion Hurdle. That would mean ducking the mighty Afsoun and a load of plodders to take on Sublimity, Sizing Europe, Harchibald, Jazz Messenger, Aitmatov, Al Eile and Hardy Eustace. A fine bit of placing that would be! I’m stunned none of the Irish big guns were given an entry at Haydock in what has to be the weakest Grade 2 hurdle of the season.

    #135375
    apracing
    Participant
    • Total Posts 3216

    Could it just be that JP McManus wants to have a runner – does he have anything in training in Ireland that would be suitable?

    Don’t worry about Haydock – it’ll be under water by Friday. Given the forecast, not even our old friend Kirkland Tellwrong will be able to pass it off as good to soft!

    AP

    #135382
    graysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6965

    I’ve just been on the phone to him – he reckons most of the firm patches have just about come out of the ground now. :lol:

    As regards Straw Bear, unless there’s another really obvious candidate I’ve overlooked I think AP has called it right.

    The Haydock race, meanwhile, might just have been the answer to Mullins’ prayers in finding another suitably winnable conditions race for Ebaziyan, whose prospects as a Champion Hurdle aspirant he seemed to have gone very cold on in the Post even after the gelding’s win last weekend. A trick missed, or perhaps he didn’t come out of the race entirely bucking and squealing.

    gc

    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    #135398
    AndyRAC
    Participant
    • Total Posts 369

    Could it just be that JP McManus wants to have a runner – does he have anything in training in Ireland that would be suitable?

    Don’t worry about Haydock – it’ll be under water by Friday. Given the forecast, not even our old friend Kirkland Tellwrong will be able to pass it off as good to soft!

    AP

    Blimey!! All the horses JP owns and he hasn’t got a decent 2m Hurdler other than Straw Bear. What does Frank Berry do? Nice bloke that I’m sure he is, but he does seem to have a lot of dross, and that’s being kind.
    With no AP to ride, I wouldn’t bother running him, seems slightly quirky.

    #135401
    carvillshill
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2778

    The Haydock race, meanwhile, might just have been the answer to Mullins’ prayers in finding another suitably winnable conditions race for Ebaziyan, whose prospects as a Champion Hurdle aspirant he seemed to have gone very cold on in the Post even after the gelding’s win last weekend. A trick missed, or perhaps he didn’t come out of the race entirely bucking and squealing.

    The last thing Ebaziyan needs is another quick race on bad ground- he hates Winter going and will be seen to better effect later in the season, as WP himself has said- I was thinking more of horse like Jazz Messenger, who would have been a short price in the race on soft ground if it went ahead.

    #135407
    graysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6965

    All perfectly true of course, Carvillshill; but in the light of Mullins’ tacit admission last weekend that the horse probably isn’t up to Champion Hurdle class on the balance of this season’s form, it just struck me that he could pot-hunt for – as has been suggested – what will most likely be a notably weak Graded contest, and one where he stands a better chance than most of getting away with it again despite the dislike of the prevailing going.

    After that, yes, by all means mothball him until the drier weather.

    gc

    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    #135410
    Smithy
    Member
    • Total Posts 720

    Straw Bear has nothing to fear from Harchibald and doesn’t have a lot to find with Jazz Messenger – and I believe Straw Bear has improved this season.

    I would think Straw Bear had plenty to fear from Harchibald – wouldn’t fancy him getting lucky twice.

    #135411
    the welsh wizard
    Member
    • Total Posts 352

    Straw Bear has nothing to fear from Harchibald

    A VERY bold assertion – I’d certainly fancy Harchibald next time they meet.

    #135419
    LetsGetRacing
    Member
    • Total Posts 1147

    I love the remark about Straw Bear being aimed at the Irish Champion Hurdle because the Haydock race has failed to produce Champion Hurdle winners, as if the race some how debilitates the victor, ignoring of course that the race is generally won by a relatively poor two-miler (there are a couple of exceptions of course including Inglis Drever, but as he’s never had the chance to contest a Champion Hurdle I’ll ignore his run).

    The fact is McManus doesn’t need the prize money, won’t fancy giving the horse an unnecessarily hard race (due to the ground) in an extremely weak Grade 2 and would just prefer to have an interest in a top class contest. And it will act as a suitable guide for Cheltenham, the chance to try a different tactic or two against a majority of those likely to line up against Straw Bear in March.

    #135466
    cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8966

    Straw Bear deserves to be tested against the best and it may turn out that his defeat of Harchibald was a bit more than just an inspired ride.

    #135469
    Irish Stamp
    Member
    • Total Posts 3181

    He has Captain Cee Bee :D

    #135484
    roland
    Member
    • Total Posts 302

    Straw bear just put up his best performance against a resurgent Harchibald, of that i have no doubt and as such it seems a pretty obvious step for me to go for the AIG.

    #135500
    colinf
    Member
    • Total Posts 144

    JP is still normally on hols in late January so I don’t imagine he will be too pushed either way ……..he was regularly absent when Istabraq was winning it.

    #135505
    carvillshill
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2778

    I reckon he’s more likely to get a hard race here in Ireland against our lot than running against a bunch of trees at Haydock. The ground is unlikely to be much better here- we were nearly off on Sunday and the forecast is not great for the next while. Surely their priority is the Champion and a handy spin now will be a better prep than coming down to the last with Harchi, Sizing and co. at Lep? Maybe it’s the Tony Martin in me but I’d take a handy Grade 2 over a mini- Champion Hurdle any day of the week at this stage of his Champion prep, especially given his history of bleeding.
    Of course it may all be academic if AP is right and Haydock is off.

    #135517
    Fist of Fury 2k8
    Member
    • Total Posts 2930

    The point would appear to be that the Irish Champion is a Grade 1, worth £70k. The Haydock race is a Grade 2 would £30k.

    Being by Diesis Straw Bear probably doesn’t relish soft ground (although he has won in it). If Haydock is on it will be bottomless.

    As Straw Bear has now proven himself a Grade 1 horse, it makes sense to target a championship event in Ireland rather than a trial at Haydock which for some years has failed to produce champion hurdle winners (Rooster Booster being the exception).

    Straw Bear has nothing to fear from Harchibald and doesn’t have a lot to find with Jazz Messenger – and I believe Straw Bear has improved this season.

    Sublimity ran poorly at Cheltenham so the jury is out, so connections are to be applauded for not ducking the issue.

    Of course carvillshill, I presume your infitinite knowledge of the programme book and the art of training and placing horses puts you in a far better position to judge than Nick Gifford and the McManus team!

    That s a bit on the nippy side Mansun but tell you what I am in a good mood so I won’t rubbish your post too much :P

    Joking aside take a long look at Straw Bear………the first time I saw him I thought he was CH material but he turned out to be what he is…..a decent horse when thing go 100% his way……when not he’s as moderate as moderate comes…He was a decent horse two years ago but I think he has done anything but improve in the normal way.

    Did it ever occur to you that the stable and JP realise he is no great shakes and the reason he doesn’t go to Haydock is simply he will probably get his ass kicked and JP has decided not to waste the fare?

    When he beat Afsoun he looked good, but on refelction we all know Afsoun is a professional loser. He never raised a gallop in the Champion and he beat Harchibald in what was best described as a farce.

    Put him in a real race with a few top class hurdlers and he won’t finish within 10 lengths of the likes of Harchibald IMO

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