DICKIE DIVER (ultima)
Dickie diver is priced up as fav at 10/1 for the ultima handicap chase, he has had 1 so far, so would require 2 more and a handicap mark of over 145 to go there, (under 145 he would surely go for the Kim muir) there are other options such as the national hunt chase, If he was to jump unsatisfactory on his next start, then that would bring a pertemps qualifier into the equation over hurdles. His first run over fences was very promising, the way he stayed on there, I see the step up to 3m and maybe even beyond that, sure to seek further improvement, the reason dickie diver for the ultima at 10/1 fav is to be avoided, is why not take 20/1 to win any race with william hill?
ZANAHIYR Is currently best price 4/1 for the triumph hurdle, and imo although he was visually impressive last time, he has done very little to make him as short as he is.
His towering reputation seems to be built upon “experts” comparing the final race times of other races on the same card, something that if you have read the guides to racing on my site, that I dont agree with or do myself.
His time was 4.02
Where as Ballyadam’s win in the grade 1 was 4.12
Ballyadam race was ran at a slow pace, such as the proximity of the bunched field towards the last, you achieve very little by comparing overall race times.
In 2013 analifet won in a time of 3.52
Beating the time of the tullow tank and artic fire in the grade 1, she hasn’t won a race in 9 tries since. And was clearly an inferior horse to the 2 above.
In 2010 Toner D’oudaries beat the time of zaidpour, Toner D’oudaries took another 15 races before he got off the mark again, in a novice chase, where as zaidpour won a whole host of graded races and was rated into the 160’s
Therefore final time ratings are influenced by what goes on early in the race (the pace). Rather than the true ability being revealed.
What has zanahiyr actually achieved?
Well on debut, he beat dark voyager by 2.5L who ran a very poor race on his next start, beaten in excess of 20L
The race which he has been lauded for, he beat saint sam,
Saint sam won a poor race narrowly at clairefontaine, his irish debut was his 3rd race which qualifies him for the fred winter,
On saint sam’s form itself, The 2nd piriac hasnt won since and has been beaten on his latest start by over 30L
horse maha was held up way too far back off the pace, to be given a clear view at his hurdles after falling the time before, he was learning on the job here, and was made much more use of next time. He is a consistent yet limited horse, who imo certainly didn’t run to his best here.
Zanahiyr hasnt achieved the level required to be home and hosed, priced as short as he is, and lauded in the way he is.
There is other opposition that have ran in the market, However there are a whole host of horses that haven’t come out yet that are a long way clear of saint sam, having won at the premier french tracks rather than clairefontaine. Some of which have commanded large fees having won recently in france and therefore wont retain there novice status for next season, having paid the premium, they are very much expected to be seen this season and end up in opposition to zanahiyr.
Last years winner wasnt sighted until february, and I would be absolutely shocked and confused, if saint sam was anywhere close to no1 at closutton, nevermind the triumph. such as the talent the closutton team have bought themselves, and that’s without the countless juveniles in other yards.
There are far bigger tests ahead for zanahiyr and he is currently priced like we have seen all of his opposition.
As members will see in the members horses to follow section, He hasnt faced any of them.
Both his current price, due to the hype surrounding him for achieving little, using a method which imo reveals a very small part of the whole picture, (yet is made out to be the best way to analyse a race) all leads me to add ZANAHIYR as a horse to AVOID at anywhere near current prices.
BALLYADAM is now a firm favourite for the supreme novice hurdle at 6/1.
I believe it’s the right race for him and it’s all confirmed.
However do I think he is the likely winner?
He was a facile winner on hurdles debut, travelled very well and won with ease against minor opposition,
He stepped up to the top plate in the grade 1 royal bond, he travelled very well throughout, he diddnt jump perfectly, he was big at the 2nd and 4th. With mistakes at the 3rd and last however on the whole hes still learning and it wasnt a poor round of jumping
Breaking the race down itself, you had cask mate in a very close 2nd.
Cask mate had reappeared this season after 3years out through injury, patience has been rewarded with running up a sequence in minor races
Cask mate has beaten frontal assault and double Jemmy, the latter was beaten 8L by a 120 horse and 38L before that, the former has also been soundly beaten by an average bunch then narrowly beaten at a more suitable longer trip by a horse in the very low 120s.
Cask mate then stepped up in trip to 2 and a half miles and beat dewcup who was also in n here
He has won his races well but there has been nothing there at all of considerable ability in his races,
In a very close 3rd was Ngolo, won a couple of very minor races before winning the for auction grade 3. , imo this was a very poor renewal, in that race itself, annexation was 2nd who imo is of a poor standard in relation to graded races. The 3rd wide receiver isnt a 2 miler at all and has been fishing for a handicap mark to likely go up in trip at the Dublin racing festival and potentially the martin pipe later on.
4th and 5th places were the afore mention dew cup and annexation. The 6th placed the very man, was still there going to the last befor making a horrendous mistake, he has being on the go all through the year, pot hunting winning minor races narrowly and has subsequently been awarded what imo is a very inflated handicap mark of 138. He came into this in poor form after being beaten 46L by she wearsitwell and falling last time out in a handicap hurdle.
I dont think the horses behind ballyadam here would be finishing anywhere near winning the supreme novice hurdle.
Ngolo and cask mate imo do not bring solid grade 1 form to the table, that will hold up in the spring.
Ballyadam has more natural pace, he travelled the best of all, got 1st run when quickening up in what turned out to be a sprint finish, such was the proximity of the horses behind going to the last,
Ballyadam wasn’t going away at the line, and imo diddnt have masses left in the tank. The distance he put between himself and the placed horses was lost after the last, and as mentioned before, I dont see them featuring over 2 miles come the spring.
I strongly feel that N’golo certainly isn’t at the top of the pecking order at clossuton for 2 mile races, ballyadam is the fav that makes the market for me.
The supreme winner may not have even appeared on a uk race course yet this season.
I personally feel the standard set by ballyadam is very achievable to be bettered come march and I certainly wouldnt advise taking the current odds of 6/1 for the Supreme Novice hurdle
ELDERADO ALLEN is short enough at around 16/1 for the arkle, he beat stormy ireland on his novice chase debut, where stolen silver who was back in 3rd, has done very little for the form. Last time out imo he would have been beaten by gumball, but for a fall at the 2nd last. Elderado allen was hard ridden a long way from home, and despite staying well at the 2 mile trip, imo he was hard at work, and doesn’t have the change of gear which is needed to come off the pace and quicken to the lead in a grade 1, I believe they would have to go off at a ridiculous pace, and the leaders fall in a hole for him to have a chance to get there.
In his last race itself, the only other opposition to him, quel destin, was on his chase debut and was badly hampered by the faller gumball, therefore the winning margin over him is greatly exaggerated imo and not to be taken literally for future form assessment.
Put the kettle on is currently 8/1 for the QMCC, it won’t be a popular view, however being a realist, imo she is one of the worst priced horses of the Cheltenham festival, I think last years renewal of the arkle was poor, and nothing I have seen this season has changed that for me, she narrowly beat duc des genievres in the schloer chase which has seen her cut to 8/1 across the board for the big one, and I just don’t see it.
Her form for me, is not that of a win contender. I see her being well dispatched by the likes of altior, chacun pour soi, and maybe even politologue, on the big day itself. I wish connections the best of luck, she’s a good story, however she certainly isnt a bet for me.
in the Arkle
Envoi allen (10/1) no chance he runs here. ANNAMIX not sure why he is in the market with unibet, he is ineligible. It’s the same for sizing pottsie. Sharjah at 14/1 he wont be running. Neither will concertista, saldier, chantry house, protektorat, Phoenix way, column of fire…….
Gypsy island is as short as 7/1 for the mares novice hurdle, she was a notable absentee from peter Fahey’s stable tour, she missed almost all of last season through injury, and despite being clearly talented, i feel on all honesty it would be foolish for anyone to now, or to previously already have backed her antepost for chelt. I would be making it odds on, that she will not be making it to the mares novice hurdle in march. Not the sort of price you want to be taking chances on.
champion bumper (ineligible). you can scratch the following horses straight away. Fiston des issards
L’autonomie she is currently priced up for the mares hurdle as 3rd in the betting at around 8/1. I don’t see her travelling over from france, she has had a busy and productive season as it is, and lately on her last 2 starts she has been jumping out to the right, much more markedly than usual, which previous horses apples jade, getabird and asterion forlonge, have showed that the left handed track at cheltenham certainly wouldn’t be up her street.
Champ. Gold Cup I’m a big fan of champ and was all over him antepost for the RSA chase this year, so was delighted when he powered up the hill to victory, He seems popular in the market at 12/1, however I wouldn’t advise taking that myself. He went into the RSA as a mature horse, an 8 year old novice chaser with 12 prior runs under his belt, that was the angle I was going in with, and i believe this was the difference in him winning, he was battle hardened and knew his job. Therefore I dont see a huge chunk of improvement now moved up to the top table. I dont think the RSA was a great renewal, it wasn’t imo a performance which would have beaten al boum photo, so therefore that leaves me to wonder where the improvement is coming from, and also question whether he would be able to lie right up with the pace and choose when to move into contention like ABP because the latter wouldnt be stopping up the hill. All things considered, Champ at odds of 12/1 antepost, is a NO Bet for me.
Goshen did very well in juvenile hurdles however the champion hurdle is a whole different ball game, current prices of around 4/1 is just way too short, firstly you have to take into account that he has to make it to the festival, secondly the horses which he has currently taken on (although he’s beating them very readily) just wouldnt be sited in a Champion Hurdle. Aramax won the fred winter handily in juvenile company with a rating in the 140s, he wasn’t sighted taking on the more seasoned campaigners, beaten 75L in the galway hurdle. That’s the sort of jump up in class of which we are talking about, when goshen will be taking on the very best. Goshens jumping out to the right, although it diddnt seem to be an issue in the triumph, wasn’t put under any pressure. Going a champion hurdle gallop fine margins are the difference between winning and losing, he certainly isn’t going to be making up ground in the hurdling department. Your solely relying on his engine, we have no idea how big that is, so a complete guess in hope that he is good enough at odds of 4/1 and 9/2 imo is a poor bet.
Hero’s d’ainay is current fav for the triumph hurdle, quite simply, he won’t be coming over here, so save your money. The same applies to Mogul. He won’t be running here.
I have seen a few people putting up sir gerhard for the supreme / ballymore. Imo I think he will stick to bumpers, at the bare minimum you’d want to see him declared for a hurdle race before even considering him for either of the 2 above races, as to put it frankly, its likely money down the drain. Please note that I’m definitely not saying to avoid him in bumpers.
Asterion forlonge didn’t enjoy going left handed in the supreme, he jumped markedly out to his right causing carnage. I can’t see anyway that he’s suddenly going to take to the track no matter what he does in races beforehand, just like getabird previously for Willie mullins, I’d expect asterion forlonge to avoid Cheltenham all together.
Salsaretta is 6/1 fav for the mares chase at the festival. It seems to me that she is fav because of her colours and connections alone rather than anything that she has done on the track. In November she beat galvin who was fishing for a handicap mark of <145 to get into the Nov handicap chase. She then rattled off 3 more victories in mares chases beating August gold, caravation and ask Mary. The best of which has a peak rating of 132. I think her form amounts to very little, the opposition was weak and she was well placed. I don’t believe that she has ran up to the level of the exposed current 20/1 shot happy diva. Without taking into account what potentially will be going chasing in the Coming season, Imo I don’t believe she is at the very top of the pecking order in her own yard let alone the race. Imo i Do Not see her winning the race and at current prices of 6/1 (general price) fav, she certainly isn’t for me. There are other horses from the same yard with different connections which do interest me…. But If the owner of salsaretta happened to have his heart set on winning the race, he’d want to be avoiding honeysuckle in the mares hurdle and pitching benie des dieux up here for a penalty kick, he has prior form of a last minute switch to a weaker race so it wouldn’t be a big surprise, all be it she’s currently priced like she won’t run.
The brother of sprinter sacre, Too green to do himself complete justice on his debut at Newbury, the €125.000 arqana purchase had to settle for second, as The winner Your Darling, (who was three lengths clear at the line) ran out a comfortable winner.
The five-year-old seemingly turned out to be a totally different proposition at Kempton next time, At Kempton the brother of Sprinter Sacre took to the Sunbury turf to demolish his field by five lengths,
he tanked through the race under Barry Geraghty before quickening smartly on the bridle to brush aside his rivals with the minimum of fuss.
However all is not what it seems,
In his opening race, his oppositions record under rules for races before and after, are 0-24. There was a real lack of quality in behind, which still didn’t stop him hitting the headlines for a run which achieved very little.
“Because of who he is (Flinteur Sacre) people expect to see some kind of rocket that’s going to fly past the world,” nicky Henderson
If you forgive him for his first run, he was lauded for his next, with calls for him to be supplemented for the champion bumper, with prices of a general 16/1.
But what did he achieve?
firstly he opened up at a price of 4/11 which indicated that it was a straight for ward task. There were only 2 other horses in the race of which didn’t touch 50/1.
Force ten who once again, didn’t finish out his race in the closing stages. And was beaten easily last time out, and le bateau, who was previously unsold at the sales shortly before this race at £95,000 and had been beaten in excess of 15L by grand roi, but with duc de bourbon just behind who was since 9th of 9, once again finishing tamely In a class 5 bumper.
Both starts he has achieved little of note in context to graded races. And therefore I see him massively under priced due to his name alone.
he isn’t sprinter sacre, just as faugheen’s half brother osmotic, isn’t faugheen. So the expectation level is way too high, and what he has done to date, has been blown out of all proportion.
you can fully expect him to be a popular choice to win the opening race of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival (currently priced at around 16/1)
However flinteur sacre is certainly one that’s not for me.