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  1. #81
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    Leopardstown is a week on Saturday.
    The older I get the better I was.

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  3. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maruco View Post
    And don't forget this race is worth about 30k more than the County Hurdle and may be more winnable anyway, so why wouldn't they?
    If I were an owner that's the way I would think too but all too often the 'glory' of a Cheltenham winner appears to mean more to some operations. Perhaps Aintree/Ayr means more to the owner of Ch'tibello.
    Two's company, three's allowed.

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  5. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maruco View Post
    Of the novices, Didtheyleaveyoutoo has the right owner to have been targeted at this, and has a very lenient mark after what I noted as a very tender ride at Kempton behind Mister Fisher and others. If you're prepared to accept that the run at Kempton was for a handicap mark and write it off, look at his previous two hurdle runs and all of the cross form. It's stacks up particularly well.
    He already had a handicap mark (139) going into the Kempton race so were they maybe trying to get it down? If so they didn't succeed.

    I've just watched that race against Thomas Darby. It was more like a public gallop. The stewards should have had nearly every jockey and trainer in for an interview after that. It developed into a sprint between the only two triers in the race and there was nothing in it at the line.

    Highest Sun couldn't get near Al Dancer next time and Thomas Darby only went up 2lbs for subsequently finishing third to Mister Fisher who in turn struggled to beat Bright Forecast the other day. Next time out TD was 1/5 to beat a horse rated 16lbs inferior. He only beat him three lengths.

    I'm not convinced that amounts to 'stacking up' but I can believe DTLYOT may be better than we've seen. The problem for me is that the market already believes it to be gospel.

    I've spent some time with no luck trying to access videos of the races the day Saglawy ran third to see if I can get some comparative sectional times but for some reason there's no link coming up. To the naked eye it looked like a modestly run race and Saglawy did by far the best of the hold-up horses. Held up and slightly wide he tanked through most of the race and was still almost last turning for home. I'd actually forgotten he'd finished third that day and was basically saying to myself that it wasn't off an inch, then it came wide and closed impressively from the second last and was still going on at the line. It looked like Ruby thought he could win despite riding it like a non-trier. I don't imagine he'll be too happy with himself for that ride if he was supposed to win.

    I'm still not convinced the horse will come over, though. I'd like to think the owners (Sullivan Bloodstock) wouldn't mind winning the biggest handicap hurdle in the calendar.
    Last edited by Desert Orchid; Yesterday at 8:42 PM.
    Two's company, three's allowed.

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  7. #84
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    Managed to access the video replays. I'd been using the wrong date. What a fanny.

    Anyroads, watching it again, I realised I'd looked at these times a while back but it was interesting doing it again.

    As I said, visually, the handicap seemed modestly run. They were fairly tightly bunched most of the way and the times back up the impression. I thought they went modestly in the juvenile race won by Chief Justice but they were a second faster than Quick Grabim in the Royal Bond (sounds painful) to the third and they found another two seconds between the sixth and seventh but QG pulled those two seconds back between 8 and 9 and they went from the last to the line in the same time.

    The handicap was slightly faster earlier but then slowed down and were four seconds (20 lengths?) behind the juveniles at the seventh. From there to the line they matched Chief Justice. Quick Grabim was two seconds faster from the second-last to the last but again ran to the line in the same time.

    In the Hattons Grace over a half-mile further, Wicklow Brave went off at a proper pace. From what was the third flight in the shorter races to the sixth he was fully five seconds (25 lengths?) faster than the fastest of the other two races' leaders combined. As he started to fade Apples Jade took over and lost a second on the long run to the second last but was presumably being saved for the straight as she came home from two out in the same time as two the other races despite not being as hard ridden. Quick Grabim's 12-second sprint from two out to the last was two seconds faster. He clearly has a turn of foot.

    It should be noted, though, that Saglawy gave the leaders a good ten lengths off the home turn and made up most of them even though they were trying to quicken. He probably came home from the turn slightly quicker than Quick Grabim based on the distances behind the leaders at those stages.

    Of course, all of this stands for fvck all if the bastert doesn't turn up at Newbury
    Two's company, three's allowed.

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