View Poll Results: Who will win the 2018 CH

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  • Buveur D'Air

    16 53.33%
  • Faugheen

    10 33.33%
  • Other

    4 13.33%
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Thread: The Road To The 2018 Champion Hurdle

  1. #481
    Senior Member swedish chef's Avatar
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    If they both turned up in top form it will be a photo-finish - BDA to win by a head.
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  3. #482
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    probably not less than 5 lengths if Faugheen gets there at his best, more than 10 lengths will be nice for his age.

  4. #483
    Senior Member Kauto Abu's Avatar
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    The Road To The 2018 Champion Hurdle

    Quote Originally Posted by reet hard View Post
    But my point is; he didn't produce when faced with top class opposition (could be inexperience, or maybe just wasn't up to it). Fair enough,He did in the CH, but only against 2 who had already given their all.
    Just my opinion, but it's BDA who has a mountain to climb, rather than Faugheen.
    Here is my answer to this, a topic which was given a lot of attention in last hears Champion Hurdle build up. There are, in my opinion, a number of reasons why BD finished 3rd in the Supreme Novices Hurdle.

    Firstly, unlike his stablemate Altior who had 4, and similarly last year when River Wylde had 4 runs, BD had only 2 hurdle prep races before the Supreme Novices Hurdle. This is totally against the Henderson mould of preparing novices but here it couldnít be helped. Buveur DíAir had met with a couple of niggly setbacks early in the season which delayed his seasonal reappearance until 27 November and again he met with more trouble after that Newbury reappearance, maiden hurdle win which kept him off the track until late January when he reappeared at Huntingdon, 2 full months later. So his stablemate had twice the preparation going into the Supreme racking up a nice sequence and gaining invaluable experience. Indeed I recall a quote from Henderson before the Supreme saying he wished he couldíve got another month into Buveur DíAir before the race!

    Secondly, when they first arrived it is widely known that BD was thought to be the better of the two between himself & Altior, a thought confirmed by BD finishing ahead of Altior in a Newbury bumper won by Barters Hill at Newbury in Feb 2015. By the time the Supreme came around the following year the stable view was that Altior had surpassed BD now probably owing to his trouble free passage and having physically improved in leaps and bounds too. This was confirmed by their official ratings at the time.

    Thirdly, recognising this Fehily, probably on the advise of Henderson, rode Buveur DíAir completely differently than he did in his previous outings by anchoring him dead last of the Supreme field. At the time I was angry about this and thought it was a poor ride but in hindsight, knowing how good Altior was and the interrupted prep Buveur DíAir had, they were riding him to place with a view to winning the Aintree Grade 1 Novice 3 weeks later.

    On top of that, the post below which dates back to last years Champion Hurdle thread, cleary shows Buveur DíAir ran an exceptional race to finish 3rd and if he had got luck in running (see photos below with Supasunday) wouldíve beaten Min into second and got nearer to Altior.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kauto Abu View Post
    You're forgetting how much petrol Buveur D'air used to get in that position tho Archie. It was more 3 or 4L than 2L coming down to the second last but it was nothing about not being able to kick, Supasunday literally came back on top of him as they turned in so he was forced around him turning in!! Fehily had gone for a gap but it closed. Being forced wide cost him another couple of lengths.

    The best way to demonstrate what I'm talking about is with a series of freeze frames from the race itself. I'm of the opinion that BD was not only given a poor ride but he also met with trouble at the business end. He probably wouldn't have beaten Altior but he would have beaten Min and cut into the 7L winning distance. Of that I'm sure.

    Min was second right the way around about a length off the leader Charbel where as BD was dead last passing the stands about 10L off.


    For some unknown reason Fehily decided to anchor him out the back!! At the 4th hurdle BD was 12 of 14, still out the back. Charbel still lead at this stage, min was second tracking closely followed by Supasunday. Petit Mouchouir was fourth and Altior 5th! Fehily still held onto Buveur at the tail.


    Approaching the sixth hurdle freewheeling down the hill Buveur D'air had moved into 10th while Altior & Min now held 2nd and 3rd place, a length off. Prime position. By the second last hurdle Buveur last he had taken 8th just behind PM 4L off the leaders. He had now made up 6 places from the start.



    Rounding the home turn as Altior & Min kicked BD had taken 5th place. Fehily went to follow Min and scrape paint around the inside but was forced wide around Supasunday after he fell back on top of him and with PM still on inside of him that gap was closed.



    He was now forced wide off the bend so had now gone from being one off the rail on the inside to 3 wide on the outside losing more ground.





    He Passed Supasunday & Charbel in the straight.Turning in he was 4L behind Min who kept on the inside rounding the bend. At the line he was a length behind him having used far more petrol to get in a position to challenge and forced wide off the home bend.



    I think it was a super run by a horse given too much to do who also met with trouble at the business end. Thinking back previous supreme winners, not many have come from last to front. They were always prominent or very handy. Also Archie I think the kick of acceleration your talking about was very much evident at Aintree last year when Fehily hit him a few cracks after the last. Himself & Petit Mouchouir pulled well clear of a very decent mare.





    Moving on a year he clearly shows improvement to put 7 and a half lengths between himself and Petit Mouchoir in a champion hurdle. He had 4 and a half lengths between himself and MTOY in second. When you think that MTOY had been second to Annie Power in the previous CH, giving her 7lbs on his first start in 2 years in the fastest ever run champion hurdle! For BD to beat him by the same distance as AP off equal weights but this time with MTOY completely match fit is a performance ranked much much higher than a lot of you are giving BD credit for. MTOY Cheltenham record is right up there. In the 2016 champion hurdle he beat Nichols Canyon into second, a horse who was the only one ever to lower the colours of the mighty Faugheen just 4 months earlier.

    Buveur DíAir has no mountain to climb Reet Hard. Heís reached the summit. He is the Champion Hurdler.


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    Last edited by Kauto Abu; 7th December 2017 at 12:26 PM.

  5. #484
    Senior Member Grasshopper's Avatar
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    Not this lark again!

    BDA is no more than 3L (four maximum) behind Altior after jumping two out. Altior goes away from him up the hill. BDA is a hold-up performer - something you wholly-concede throughout this year's thread - and he ran his race. There are/were no excuses.

    As for luck in-running, Min propped at one hurdle, and finished the race with an injury. Again, there are/were no excuses.

    Clearly, BDA has improved since then, as you would expect a novice to do, but trying to retrofit reasons for his defeat in the Supreme based on this analysis, is simply not sustainable, in my view.
    Last edited by Grasshopper; 7th December 2017 at 12:14 PM.
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  6. #485
    Senior Member Kauto Abu's Avatar
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    The Road To The 2018 Champion Hurdle

    Thatís where opinions differ Grass. You accept yours is valid and I except mine is. For example I donít believe attempting to put a number of BD at Newcastle is valid either. Some will argue you have to.

    Itís just all opinions.


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    Last edited by Kauto Abu; 7th December 2017 at 12:19 PM.

  7. #486
    Senior Member Grasshopper's Avatar
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    Amen.
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  8. #487
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kauto Abu View Post
    That’s where opinions differ Grass. You accept yours is valid and I except mine is. For example I don’t believe attempting to put a number of BD at Newcastle is valid either. Some will argue you have to.

    It’s just all opinions.
    My number for BDA for Newcastle is 148++

    In other words, he still has four legs.

    The only other thing to consider is how much weight to give to Barry Geraghty's assertion that he feels as though he's improved again.

    Strange, though, how we can easily dismiss the form as meaningless whereas when Istabraq was doing it to donkeys people were gushing about it. Likewise Faugheen against non-triers.

    Two's company, three's allowed.

  9. #488
    Senior Member Kauto Abu's Avatar
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    Yes DO. Or making Annie Power a superstar for beating MTOY getting weight, but when BD beats him similarly drawing comparisons to a more competitive champion hurdle in 2016 as others would classify it, you get ďah itís just MTOYĒ!!


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  10. #489
    Senior Member Grasshopper's Avatar
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    More or less bang-on what I would have given him, DO (149 with previously mentioned boatload of ++'s, FWIW).

    I think you're being a little unfair to Istabraq though. Whilst he sometimes beat poor horses, he wasn't afforded high-ratings for it, and when he did meet good ones, he generally despatched them with similar authority. Certainly Moscow Flyer, Limestone Lad, and French Holly were all vastly superior animals to Irving or Flying Tiger.
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  11. #490
    Senior Member Grasshopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kauto Abu View Post
    Yes DO. Or making Annie Power a superstar for beating MTOY getting weight, but when BD beats him similarly drawing comparisons to a more competitive champion hurdle in 2016 as others would classify it, you get “ah it’s just MTOY”!!


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    Once again, MTOY had been off the track for 2 years when facing Annie Power, and was a 10yo by the time he met BDA.
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  12. #491
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
    More or less bang-on what I would have given him, DO (149 with previously mentioned boatload of ++'s, FWIW).

    I think you're being a little unfair to Istabraq though. Whilst he sometimes beat poor horses, he wasn't afforded high-ratings for it, and when he did meet good ones, he generally despatched them with similar authority. Certainly Moscow Flyer, Limestone Lad, and French Holly were all vastly superior animals to Irving or Flying Tiger.
    Don't get me wrong, GH.

    I was as big a fan of Istabraq as anyone but I wasn't blind to the mediocrity of some of his opponents and I didn't think some of the gushing about his wins in uncompetitive affairs was justified. As you say, he could also dismiss quality opponents with the same disdain.
    Last edited by Desert Orchid; 7th December 2017 at 1:08 PM.
    Two's company, three's allowed.

  13. #492
    Senior Member Kauto Abu's Avatar
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    A race fit 10yo who ran as consistently as ever. Giving his race record Iíd consider him a very fair yardstick. The New One is another.


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  14. #493
    Senior Member Grasshopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kauto Abu View Post
    A race fit 10yo who ran as consistently as ever. Giving his race record I’d consider him a very fair yardstick. The New One is another.


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    As you wish, KA.

    I just don't think you need to build these straw-man arguments to justify BDA's level.
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  15. #494
    Senior Member Kauto Abu's Avatar
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    The Road To The 2018 Champion Hurdle

    Iím not doing it to justify his level Grass, I donít need to do that. Iím confident I know exactly where thatís at is in my own head.

    This is a discussion forum where some have argued that BD has not performed against top class opposition and when he did it was as a results of others ďhaving given their allĒ at that stage of the race. Thatís generally what you do in Champion hurdle I wouldíve thought, give your all. If thereís a better horse so be it.

    My referencing tent & TNO was in direct response to the above claim to demonstrate that, in my opinion, he has run in top class company directly through, and with other form lines associated with those two horses and coped more than admirably. Thatís why officialy heís a few pounds shy of Faugheen after a handful of hurdle races in open company.

    There are very few ways to try and guage whatíll happen in March apart from having opinions. Both My Tent & TNO gives us clues if you care to interpret it like that, as theyíve been present in the last number of Champion Hurdles and are yardsticks. Some will, some wont.


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    Last edited by Kauto Abu; 7th December 2017 at 2:04 PM.

  16. #495
    Senior Member Grasshopper's Avatar
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    To be fair, you were inferring that MTOY returning from two years off against Annie Power, was the same horse running at the same level as the race-fit, but year older, MTOY beaten by Buveur D'Air. That's what I take issue with. It's just not a valid comparison, imo.

    None of it is relevant to BDA's chance this year though.
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  17. #496
    Senior Member Kauto Abu's Avatar
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    The Road To The 2018 Champion Hurdle

    Quote Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
    That's what I take issue with. It's just not a valid comparison, imo.
    And thereís that word again opinion. Youíre perfectly entitled to it and while I respect it I donít agree with it.

    Iím sure you wont agree but you could easily argue that a fit 10yo MTOY was in a much better place than a very fresh, coming back from injury, 9yo MTOY with no prep allowing for the history of tent pulling the arms off his jockey.

    None of it is relevant to BDA's chance this year though.
    We agree here somewhat. I used it as an example to show he has raced last year against consistently very good yardsticks which others here were knocking.

    The Champion Hurdle of 2017, early and all as it is to be discussing it, has worked out very well form wise. A lot better than many were giving it credit for.


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    Last edited by Kauto Abu; 7th December 2017 at 2:21 PM.

  18. #497
    Senior Member Grasshopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kauto Abu View Post
    The Champion Hurdle of 2017, early and all as it is to be discussing it, has worked out very well form wise. A lot better than many were giving it credit for.


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    Dangerous to draw a line between hurdling and chasing form, imo.

    As you say - some differences of opinion, except where it comes to BDA's level, which is all that really matters.
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  19. #498
    Senior Member Kauto Abu's Avatar
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    The Road To The 2018 Champion Hurdle

    Quote Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
    Dangerous to draw a line between hurdling and chasing form, imo.

    As you say - some differences of opinion, except where it comes to BDA's level, which is all that really matters.
    More so with Wicklow Brave winning the Punchestown Champion hurdle beating tent & Artic Fire, a formline which upholds the champion hurdle form and more with the latter and also The New Ones good consistent form this season in handicaps.


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    Last edited by Kauto Abu; 7th December 2017 at 2:33 PM.

  20. #499
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    The objective (?) atr formscan is mediocre but I'm not sure that objectivity has much of a place on this thread.
    The older I get the better I was.

  21. #500
    Senior Member Kauto Abu's Avatar
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    Melon looks like heís an intended runner in the International hurdle this Saturday along with TNO & MTOY, tho with forecast soft ground for the weekend the tent may well skip it.


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