Forum Replies Created
The Greenham would seem one of the last chances for something to emerge as a realistic rival for Gleneagles, who is as low as 7/4 in places now. It’s amazing that a horse can contract so much without doing anything and it’s a sad indictment of these trial races that nothing seems to be emerging as a true contender and instead they are just being paid due respect by trimming the odds appropriately.
I see what you mean Stevie, re Gleneagles ‘without doing anything’ but there is another way to consider it perhaps. Aidan has won the Guineas 6 times and none of those winners had a prep run at three, so Gleneagles approach is pretty standard.
I wouldn’t go as far as to call his price restriction amazing as those 6 winners started at 7/2, 9/1, 6/4, 13/2, 12/1 and 15/8…and they didn’t do anything in public at three prior to the Guineas to bring the price down.
Gleneagles 2yo career is arguably superior to 4 of those winners and on a par with another in George Washington (6/4). Only Rock of Gibraltar had a more stellar juvenile campaign and he only started at 9/1 because of a stable mate in Hawk Wing who they thought the world of.
Gleneagles was still 10/1 in mid March and I then think a couple of things happened, firstly he must done pretty well in home work as the Ballydoyle team measure everything from lung capacity, blood circulation rate to recovery time so he was probably fine on all their numbers.
Secondly, I think there was a general realisation that (compared to the alternative candidates) he had been under rated as to his juvenile career which was not too shabby at all…taking in victories in Futurity, National and Lagadere. He was only around 8th best, I think, on European ratings for 2014 which I thought was surprising.
Also there was a dawning that the other candidates where not on paper the strongest on breeding or profile for first classic (Elm Park, Ol Man River, Faydhan, Estidkhaar etc.), a couple of others have dropped out.
Belardo and Ivawood could yet emerge as strong challengers but Gleneagles is a full brother to Marvellous and his dam was a full sister to Giants Causeway, he is bred for it and likely decent ground would really help him and disadvantage some others.
Its probably only one year in ten when the trials actually throw up a horse that moves up the market and wins, or even goes close.
Most bookmakers reckon he now has a about a 28% chance of winning at Newmarket …. and to me that feels about right.
Whilst Joseph has made plenty of mistakes, there have been no more than usual for a top jockey of his age.
I think it is the weight issue that has brought about the change rather than Joseph’s talent (or lack of it).
Great move for everyone really… Ryan gets the best horses, Ballydoyle gets the best rider and Joseph will keep on learning before he takes over from his father as trainer at Ballydoyle down the line, I think his composure, maturity and perceptiveness points to a way above average racing brain.
Godolphin have upgraded their riding arrangements this term and now Ballydoyle have done likewise…great season ahead and speaking as a Gleneagles backer I cannot say I am displeased .March 29, 2015 at 19:38 in reply to: Was Bittar right to protect Godolphin in the Zarooni case #870571
That’s an interesting analogy Joe but one I think that does not offer an alternative route but rather mimics the decision the BHA took over the Godolphin case.
Rangers, as far as I understand, where liquidated and therefore were not “thrown out” but rather were ‘let in’ at a lower level for commercial reasons.March 29, 2015 at 19:03 in reply to: Was Bittar right to protect Godolphin in the Zarooni case #870566
Commercial interests overcame justice in that case…whether it was in racing’s best interest is a matter of conjecture but what I think is absolutely clear was the message that establishment figures can expect a more forgiving treatment than the rank and file. See Nicky Henderson 12 week suspension (out of season) for systematic race day administration of drugs.
Everything from the unexplained importing of the steroids, the Al Zarooni ‘acted alone’ defence and the suspicious dismissal by MAZ of his own legal counsel during the investigation points to a possible cover-up.
Whatever else went on in 2012 a Godolphin trainer was found guilty of administering a banned substance to a runner in a classic and also may have affected a the outcome of a triple crown bid.
Did Bittar’s approach safeguard jobs and trainer revenue in Newmarket at the expense of integrity? Possibly.
Can I put forward another possible perspective?
It isn’t Davy’s talent as a jockey that is in question with Jim Culloty it is that he won’t ever do as he is bloody told.
It is also true that by disobeying orders he won a Gold Cup and he should get all the credit for that but it is easy to paper over the cracks when things are going well but the signs that JC has been unhappy with Russell have been there for over a year.
Here is a quote from Jim Culloty….”Davy was getting the sack at halfway…” this is not from this year’s Gold Cup but following the 2014 victorious effort. What this revealed from a jubilant Culloty is that Russell did not ride to orders when Lord Windermere won the Gold Cup.
It has also been pretty clear that early this season Davy was holding up LW more than connections wanted, to the point he was told definitively to ride him more prominently in the Irish Hennessy. What then transpired (to my eye at least) was that having carried out the orders perfectly to the third last, where the horse travelled beautifully, Russell then inexplicably drove him into a premature long lead and he was unsurprisingly picked off in a race he could have won if ridden on a more orthodox manner. At the time I thought it looked like sheer bloody mindedness.
When a trainer is having such a bad time as Jim Culloty is, he even more keenly than usual needs to feel that he is in control and all members of his team do as they are told. It would have been impossible for Culloty to replace Davy before this years Gold Cup (given last year’s result) but I am pretty sure he would have if he could.
Early this year JC hinted that Lord Windermere was now fully mature and he was training him in a slightly different way. Perhaps different tactics were required in the trainer’s view.
Davy Russell can deliver rides of genius but in my view what he did not do was ride as he was told as he thought he knew better and given the current priorities and sensibilities of the trainer, the break up was inevitable.
That Douvan is an absolute Film Star…really knocks the eye out.
Re my theory Dodging Bullets not winning the QM because he was flat bred…I think I need another theory.
“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” …Yogi Berra.
Sorry, I didn’t answer your specific question on Faugheen and Holywell
On Faugheen he remains a hurdler, so it is a moot point for the moment, I certainly wouldn’t oppose hurdlers based on their pedigree alone. There are two many successful examples to try to make the case. The physical breeding required to jump fences doesn’t seem to be present (or anywhere near as strong) over hurdles, no matter the ground. Hadn’t thought of it before you mentioned him but might explain his jumping style and even connections decision to remain over hurdles this year. Although it is borderline whether he is a NH or flat bred horse.
Holywell is more interesting as he has, as you hint, an interesting pedigree which certainly looks a fair bit flat bred, on the dams side anyway with a stouter sire. Not sure is the answer (see weak point in theory mention earlier).
Two bits of key evidence from his runs over same C&D at Aintree…last April on good ground he did really well to beat Don Cossack, so if you consider him flat-bred that is a blow to the ‘theory’. However, this autumn again on decent ground he struggled with jumping in exactly the way you would expect a flat-bred horse to do when he fell early trying to keep up with a brisk pace behind Sam Winner in a high class chase.
On balance I would oppose him in the highest grade based on that evidence but as to whether he would qualify as flat-bred at all on pedigree I wouldn’t be 100% certain.
Ah, good question.
Basically I would consider Dubawi as a flat stallion and Kings Theatre for instance a jumps stallion, despite both running in Group 1s on the flat. I guess it is the distance they ran at and the way they are marketed. Not wholly scientific but a rule of thumb.
On the distaff side, I look at the mares race record (if she has one), if she ran on the flat particularly over specifically flat distances 6-12f, then her progency are flat bred, in my eyes. Sometimes the country of breeding is a pointer, for example (USA) mares almost certainly have no NH legacy. Dodging Bullets is by a miler out of an American bred 8-10f mare so not much doubt in his case.
I don’t have access to a one of those databases you can question so it is admittedly a bit hand woven and calling it a theory may be a bit grand. Also, so few ‘flat-breds’ reach the heights that DB has over fences that it rarely is a big poser.
Still, it is interesting to discuss these things and put forward your point of view and I will follow the ‘theory’ and next week will provide further evidence.
Also, there are a couple of analytical approaches that can provide a quantitative measure for pedigree and I have used these in the past for other purposes. I like numbers and they were useful, although I think they had severe limitations when used for other purposes, not related to the above.
Interesting theory RR. Would you apply even with ‘qualifiers’ who are normally good jumpers of a fence?
As per the ‘theory’ they appear to be good jumpers on soft ground.
On fast ground…not so much.
Forget anything <b>Dodging Bullets</b> did before his comeback in November,that is the answer to assessing this seasons Champion Chase.His form alone this year makes him Fav in my book but if you watch his Ascot run he was so laid back throughout,jumped perfectly,looked physically stronger than ever before and was never faized when the mighty ‘Sprinter’ lobbed alongside him,when push came to shove my fellow left the mighty one toiling and will do again.
I have my own theory on Dodging Bullets and for what it is worth here it is…
Dodging Bullets is flat bred (we will see a lot of Frankie Dettori, his breeder, on TV on Wednesday) as he is by Dubawi out of a 8-10f mare. Frankie certainly did not have Cheltenham in mind when he put mum and dad together.
Many NH horses are flat bred and many do well as steeplechasers but almost always at a lower level. There are very few top class steeplechasers with pure flat breeding like Dodging Bullets. The main reason being (not the ground, I will come back to that) but that their competitors are bred to do one thing and that thing is to jump fences at high speed. Over generations this is what sets apart NH breeding…the bone confirmation, muscle and stamina attributes delivered by NH mares…. with speed often injected in by high class staying flat stallions.
At the top level flat-breds are just not bred to jump over big fences whilst retaining top speed. However, there are mitigating circumstances that improve the odds of talented flat-breds who go steeplechasing and the greatest of these is slow ground.
It may be counter intuitive but flat-bred steeplechasers (based on my research) actually do better on slow ground. The reason being, in my view, is that slow ground takes away the fast jumping, gallop maintaining speed of the NH steeplechasers. On slow ground every horse is slowed down, fencing is less important and the flat-bred steeplechasers can often use their superior top speed to out sprint the NH types in the straight.
Dodging Bullets profile, often described in the media as ‘not being as good in the spring’ is actually consistent with this trend in flat-breds. Many in the media correctly say he prefers slow ground but often misdiagnose this as his preference rather than the impact it has on his competitors which I believe is the real advantage slow ground confers.
Due to the fact that not many horses who are bred to win over mile/middle distances on the flat make top steeplechasers there are not many examples but there are a few and to give some evidence of other similarly bred horses, with corresponding profiles… about 5 or 6 years ago Willie Mullins had a decent horse by Intikhab called Kempes.
A flat-bred miler sort he was a decent novice with soft ground chasing form and actually won the Irish Hennessy at Leopardstown in February on heavy going. He won that comfortably and many thought he would improve markedly when he got good ground (due to his flat breeding) in the Gold Cup. He started the Gold Cup in single figures at 9/1. Before anyone thinks this price was due to a weak renewal…this Gold Cup included Kauto Star, Denman and Long Run…so Kempes’s price reflected real confidence of his chances in the conditions.
He couldn’t keep up with the proper steeplechasers at the speed they were going on decent ground, made many mistakes and was pulled up at the top of the hill when miles behind.
I fear Dodging Bullets will be found out in a similar manner in the QM, although the shorter distance will probably mean he will not be pulled up but I see him making mistakes and his chance being gone relatively early.
To summarise, my experience is that looking at flat bred horses that are freakish enough to compete seriously against NH breds in top class steeplechases they can do it sometimes in soft ground but rarely (if ever) on fast ground and their profile therefore is misinterpreted as they ‘don’t like the spring’ when in reality it is their competitors that are able to do what they are bred for…jump fast at high speed…that enjoy the advantage at this time of year.
Just a theory.
…well I got that very wrong. Will have a word with myself.
Pleased for Galileo my favourite flat horse.
He has looked like a Derby sire for a bit now.
With Casino Drive’s injury….is Big Brown ever going to come up against a decent rival?
let it not rain,
let it not rain,
let it not rain…till the Derby is run.
Anon, 19th century
In my memory, this is the most exciting Derby eve I can ever remember.
What a fantastic field…there is often a lot of talk before the Derby that this years field is substandard. The truth is the time to judge the strength of the Derby field is about September but from this side of the race it looks spectacular.
1 1223-4 ALAN DEVONSHIRE 3 9-0
Hard to fancy this fellow, in fact, if pushed, I would go for Trevor Brooking in a match bet.
2 831-41 ALESSANDRO VOLTO 3 9-0
40/1! 40/1! can you believe it? can you ****in believe it?
Its just wrong, its just plain wrong. Son of Montjeu out of an unraced mare who hails from a good family.
Winner of Lingfield trial (ears pricked etc), wide on the bend…hmmm. Previous Ballysax effort can be dismissed due to
a low hanging saddle. A smashing specimen…it can win. Deserted by Johnny due to gallop performance at home,
AV has never looked the type to put it in on his own midden heid…badly done Johnny, badly done. It can win
3 34-53 BASHKIROV 3 9-0
Aidan O’Brien David McCabe
Odds: 200-1 Pacemaker
4 43-127 BOUGUEREAU 3 9-0
The Denis Law of the field… as he flopped badly in Italy last time out. Equipment problems apparently, badly shod.
5 1-1 CASUAL CONQUEST 3 9-0
This fellow can really move, he is a terrific athlete and any criticism of his leg cadence would be
well wide of the mark. A smashing physique and can quicken. The Derrinstown is a spectacular race for producing
winners, see below;
6 2215-1 CURTAIN CALL 3 9-0
I have been hard on this fellow in the past, calling him slow amongst other things. probably a bit harsh and
that is in part because the thought of removing a horse from the great Jessica Harrington to improve its chances is quite amusing.
7 221-21 DOCTOR FREMANTLE 3 9-0
Sir Michael Stoute Kerrin McEvoy
Odds: 9-1 Named after a draughty entity around Perth, which reminds me of a youth hosteling holiday of
my youth. I am a bit scared of this fellow but not enough to nominate him. I think he will flop tomorrow
and go on to have a great season.
8 18-2 FROZEN FIRE 3 9-0
Another one who has been backheeled by Johnny. I was at York on Dante day and cant say I was impressed by the normally starry trial. Head in the air a bit (not unusual for a Montjeu) ..can’t see it.
9 211-21 KANDAHAR RUN 3 9-0
No one would I enjoy Rock of Gibraltar having a Derby winner more than I (had the 2nd last year)
But dont think this is the year for another Derby winner for Scotland’s greatest trainer.
Yes, Henry Richard Amhurst Cecil is, in fact, scottish.
10 710-52 KING OF ROME 3 9-0
JM has gone for this one, RP trophy flop, Ballysax flop, Lingfield trial flop…but did win a Tipperary maiden…so its not all bad news.
11 0-5303 MAIDSTONE MIXTURE 3 9-0
Nothing to say except that Maidstone is a bit of a toilet.
12 111-22 NEW APPROACH 3 9-0
Champion 2yo, bred to stay, best form from 2 Guineas…so all good then?
Err.. no, the bird has flown, two hard races on firm ground, dodgy temperament, his lead pony has
recently appointed his own agent. Sweaty, hard pulling, eye popping flop tomorrow…12th.
13 1214-2 RIO DE LA PLATA 3 9-0
Zeppelin, Bismark, U-Boats, Enigma Code, Lederhosen…your boys took a hell of a beating.
Wont stay…cant win.
14 817-43 RIVER PROUD 3 9-0
Non runner, I believe
15 10-1 TAJAAWEED 3 9-0
‘A rose by any other name is still a rose’… thats bollocks actually, poorly named impressive horse
with the equivalent of a 14lb penalty across his saddlecloth
16 2-11 TARTAN BEARER 3 9-0
See Frozen Fire re Dante. Will apparently start favourite according to the latest news.
17 4-22 WASHINGTON IRVING 3 9-0
Must be something at home due to tall reputation and Derrinstown favourite. Looked outclassed
that day and hard to see a reversal.
The two to concentrate on are Casual Conquest and Alessandro Volta. On at big prices on AV and will go in a again tomorrow
but will have a substantial bet on Casual Conquest, plus a small forecast.
New Approach may be the only horse who’s lead pony needs a lead pony!
Well done Henry’