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 Cheltenham 2018 
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Group 2 winner

Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:58 pm
Posts: 819
Post Re: Cheltenham 2018
Day 3 review:

A fabulous St Patricks day to be an Irishman and memorable for Willie Mullins becoming the winning most trainer but the racing will hardly go down in Cheltenham folklore.

Ryanair: The winner is definitely an improving sort but the race may not have taken as much winning as it looked beforehand. Un De Sceaux had conditions to suit and was disappointing; to be honest even though he won his prep race ok he didn't appear to be at very best then. I think Cue Card still has the engine but he appeared to throw the towel in, he has been on the go for a very long time. I still expect them to run him at Aintree where he has always performed well.

Stayers Hurdle: A magnificent training performance by Willie (I seem to recall Martin Pipe doing it once in the 80's) but it was a very strange race. In 40 years I have never seen them go so slow, practically the whole field was in with a shout turning in. It is very difficult to rate the form, Penhill may well be the best horse but Supasundae ran a cracker on unsuitable ground. The favourite was given a bit of a shocker, he really needed to stretch them much more, his young jockey probably got a bit scared but he'll learn. They need to try something different with Yarnworth as the horse just cannot jump properly, he obviously has an engine but will always come up short on the really big days if he can't jump fluently.

JLT: This was probably a below par renewal but the winner is a likeable mare who unfortunately will probably not get a chance on the really big stage. The third ran well considering how hard he pulled and is a potential improver.

Mares Novice: Laurina absolutely bolted up and was a class apart although I don't think the opposition was that hot and the main danger, Maria's Benefit, went off too fast. Unfortunately she will no doubt be aimed at the mares hurdle next year.

It's ironic that the race is named after Dawn Run because the sad truth is that if Dawn Run was alive today and trained by Willie or Gordon and owned by Rich Ricci or Gigginstown she would be mopping up mares hurdles and not even run in either the Champion Hurdle or Gold Cup. Annie Power could have won more than one Champion Hurdle if given the chance, she only got the chance as a late replacement once.

Quick note on tomorrow, ONLY 9 in the Triumph. Maybe I'm too old and have got Martin's rose tinted specs on but I remember 30 runners and the race has been wrecked by the Fred Winter.


Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:40 pm
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Group 3 winner
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:29 am
Posts: 688
Location: Warwickshire
Post Re: Cheltenham 2018
Pommard wrote:
Day 3 review:

A fabulous St Patricks day to be an Irishman and memorable for Willie Mullins becoming the winning most trainer but the racing will hardly go down in Cheltenham folklore.

Ryanair: The winner is definitely an improving sort but the race may not have taken as much winning as it looked beforehand. Un De Sceaux had conditions to suit and was disappointing; to be honest even though he won his prep race ok he didn't appear to be at very best then. I think Cue Card still has the engine but he appeared to throw the towel in, he has been on the go for a very long time. I still expect them to run him at Aintree where he has always performed well.

Stayers Hurdle: A magnificent training performance by Willie (I seem to recall Martin Pipe doing it once in the 80's) but it was a very strange race. In 40 years I have never seen them go so slow, practically the whole field was in with a shout turning in. It is very difficult to rate the form, Penhill may well be the best horse but Supasundae ran a cracker on unsuitable ground. The favourite was given a bit of a shocker, he really needed to stretch them much more, his young jockey probably got a bit scared but he'll learn. They need to try something different with Yarnworth as the horse just cannot jump properly, he obviously has an engine but will always come up short on the really big days if he can't jump fluently.

JLT: This was probably a below par renewal but the winner is a likeable mare who unfortunately will probably not get a chance on the really big stage. The third ran well considering how hard he pulled and is a potential improver.

Mares Novice: Laurina absolutely bolted up and was a class apart although I don't think the opposition was that hot and the main danger, Maria's Benefit, went off too fast. Unfortunately she will no doubt be aimed at the mares hurdle next year.

It's ironic that the race is named after Dawn Run because the sad truth is that if Dawn Run was alive today and trained by Willie or Gordon and owned by Rich Ricci or Gigginstown she would be mopping up mares hurdles and not even run in either the Champion Hurdle or Gold Cup. Annie Power could have won more than one Champion Hurdle if given the chance, she only got the chance as a late replacement once.

Quick note on tomorrow, ONLY 9 in the Triumph. Maybe I'm too old and have got Martin's rose tinted specs on but I remember 30 runners and the race has been wrecked by the Fred Winter.


Spot on once again Darren. Triumph used to be the only non handicap that paid out 4 places once upon a time. Jockeys used to say it was the roughest race of the season, 30 speedy 4yos tanking around Cheltenham ... what a spectacle ... a rose tinted spectacle some would no doubt say !!

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Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:07 am
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Joined: Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:23 pm
Posts: 93
Post Re: Cheltenham 2018
The Fred Winter gives the horses with less ability the chance to win aswell at the festival, It was a good idea and they should keep it, Save the best horses for the Triumph


Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:50 am
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Group 2 winner

Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:58 pm
Posts: 819
Post Re: Cheltenham 2018
Day 4 review:

Despite betting the runner up I thoroughly enjoyed the Gold Cup, it was run at a proper gallop and thus a test of stamina and courage as well as class. The vast majority of Gold Cups over the last 20 years have been run at a relatively sedate pace and they have sprinted home. Today was the test it should be (in my humble opinion).
Native River was a deserving winner after jumping and galloping them all into the ground under a great ride. Maybe the horse wasn't at his best last year but I felt then that Richard Johnson had given him a shocker of a ride (akin to Sam Spinner on Thursday) by going far too slow and getting out-sprinted. He would have top weight but he would be tailor made for Aintree next year and that is missing from Johnson's CV.
Might Bite jumped and travelled like a very classy animal but just didn't get home. He gave the impression that on traditional Cheltenham ground he would be too good for all of these but he will be 10 next year and that is very old these days for a Gold Cup horse.
Anibale Fly ran a stormer although he was probably ridden to pick up the pieces. Tony Martin is probably secretly furious and must already be plotting how to get his handicap mark down to 150 :wink:.
Road To Respect also ran a great race on ground that would have been too soft and is still improving. He could easily better this result on quicker ground.
Of the others: Djakadam ran ok but is slowly declining, Our Duke doesn't jump well enough, Killultagh Vic was too inexperienced, Definitly Red was too slow, but Total Recall was staying on nicely and gave the impression he would of finished somewhere around the third or fourth. He could be interesting in the National if this hasn't left a mark whilst Definitly Red will have an impossible task of top weight unless it's really soft.

Triumph Hurdle: A bit of a damp squid this one and I wouldn't trust the form. Apple's Shakira and Stormy Ireland were both much too free and Redicean didn't handle the ground. I would expect to see a lot of swapping of finishing positions if the same horses turn up at Aintree or Punchestown. Maybe I'm just being grumpy because 9 runners is a travesty :) .

Albert Bartlett: Another race I wouldn't trust the form of. It became a real war of attrition and it may be significant that the 2 of the 3 oldest horses in the field finished first and second. I have no doubt that there are plenty of very useful future staying chasers in the field but it may have just been too much for them today.

As for the rest, two more female riders winning which can only be good for the sport and Pacha Du Polder must be an incredibly genuine horse as he galloped all the way to line with no assistance from the rider whatsoever. I thought at the time the jockey was very poor but it transpired that Harriet Tucker suffered an injury jumping the second last so credit where it's due.

Overall a decent if not outstanding festival. I enjoyed the fact that it was run on proper jumping ground for once rather than over-watered flat ground but there was an absence of superstars.
Altior is right up there with the very best I've seen and I probably shouldn't crab Buveur D'air too much as only really good ones defend their titles and Samcro has lots of potential.


Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:04 pm
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Group 2 winner

Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:11 pm
Posts: 876
Post Re: Cheltenham 2018
Day 1 Review.

Supreme - Don't think this race will turn out to be a vintage renewal where we look at it in a couple of years and we have 2 or 3 championship horses although I'm taking nothing away from the winner. He was a deserved winner holding up the form with Kalashnikov despite his wayward jumping. I'm just not convinced he will be a 2 miler, the way he stayed on up the hill i could easily see him staying a bit further in time. Getabird was a very disappointing favourite but he was just took keen and after watching him i think he might want to go the other way around. The two I'm taking out the race is Claimantakingforgan and Western Ryder. I don't think Nico had Claimantakingforgan best positioned and gave him an awful lot to do and Western Ryder was hampered at a crucial time. Both want better ground and further so I'll be keeping an eye on them for Aintree.

Arkle - Not an awful lot i can say on this really. Davy Russell and Aiden Coleman went far to fast early and destroyed each other's chance. Ruby gave him a great ride sitting off the pace, baring the one mistake he jumped well and won easy. Although on better ground he may need further than 2mile at championship level.

Ultima Handicap Chase - The one I've took out of this race for the future is Ramses De Tilliee. Only a 6yo and still a novice, i thought he ran a cracker. For a horse with little big field handicap experience, too still be pitching in there with a chance at the top of the hill, he showed more than enough ability to make me think there'll be a race in him when he matures more in the future.

Champion Hurdle - A race that revolved around Faugheen. Could he come back to his best and give Buveur D'Air a race. I gave a pretty big opinion before the race and I'm even more convinced now that he's finished, his injuries have just caught up with him and not the same horse. Melon ran a seriously good race and improved massively compared to anything he's achieved this season but I'm just not convinced by him. He just keeps getting beat which isn't something I like. The fact Buveur D'Air didn't run to his best and he still couldn't beat him just makes me think why should he beat him in the future. Buveur D'Air was quite close to the pace and was forced into a battle but he stays very well and showed he has a battle in him. Mick Jazz ran his usual solid race under a clever ride picking up the piece and earning some nice prize money. Poor old Yorkhill mustn't have a clue what he's doing this year. 3mile chasing, 2mile chasing then 2mile hurdling, he's been completely messed about and who knows what ability is left there.

Mares Hurdle - A little disappointing with several horses running below par. You could tell Apples Jade wasn't fully 100% happy from some way out. Le Bague Au Roi didn't run her race and I'm convinced she should have been running in the Stayers hurdle. Yes Benie Des Obeaux won but Ruby broke the rules which just doesn't sit well with me. I have no idea what the solution should be but just doesn't sit well.

4miler - A race i like for the future. I'm taking several horses out the race with a view they can improve for the future under suitable conditions. First is Ms Parfois, not the first time this season she jumped and travelled really well. The soft ground really suited her and i feel she improved again for the 4miles. She should definitely be a force in staying handicap chases, personally i'd start off in the old Hennessey with the view of going onto the Welsh National, which should be her main target. 2nd is No Comment, for a horse with so little experience over fences to finish where he did was very good. 4miles in soft ground won't have suited. I'd imagine he'll stay a novice for this season and handicaps over 3miles should suit next season. The Hennessey might be a early season target. 3rd horse is Pylonthepressure, for him to jump as bad as he did and still finish where he did was a credit to the jockey. He's well though of by Rich Richie, with some improvement in his jumping he might win a staying handicap chase in Ireland next season in soft ground.

Close Brother Novices Chase - Another race i really like with the first 4 surely going to win more races. I really like Rather Be, he jumped really well and travelled so easily but just got headed on the line. The ground won't have suited but he ran a cracker and the Grade 2 Manifesto Chase at Aintree must be a real option and ill think he'll take some stopping on better ground. Rocklander ran a super race also running all the way to the line just not having the finishing pace. I expect him to be suited by further next season. The same applies to b
Barney Dwan, he finally sorted his jumping out, goes on any ground and will ideally want 3miles.

No 1 for the future - Rather Be / Ms Parfois


Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:54 pm
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