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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Diamond Geezer's Avatar
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    The Road To The 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup

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    "The owls are not what they seem"

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  3. #2
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    I like Minella Indo and Champ personally, but I could accept a case for 5 of the top 6 in the betting winning.

    I don't see how Lostintraslation turns the form around in a better run race, which it surely will be next March. I'd be all over that one for the Marsh if there was an unlikely switch in target.

    My haymaker for the race would be Saint Calvados at 66/1. I know he was second in the Ryanair last season only beaten a neck, but that's shaping up like a better race next season, and I don't see Min repeating or Saint Calvados improving over the same trip. Samcro and Allaho will prove tougher opposition. And either Defi or Fakir will go their too. Whittington and Brooks have Simply The Betts to take up the Ryanair mantle, and I felt all season that Saint Calvados would be seen to his best effect over further. I'm hoping they come to the same conclusion, that Simply the Betts is every bit as good as Frodon was in the season before that one won the Ryaniar, and Saint Calvados can improve again for a step up in trip.

    The other bit of value is Delta Work if he can jump better, which is well worth watching this season, as he may still offer some value. His novice chase form puts him bang in the mix alongside Santini, and he was the youngest of Santini and Topofthegame in their RSA. So at 8 he has the most potential to improve, and should now be hitting his peak.

    I'm also curious whether Gigi will be tempted to step Samcro up to do the job they bought him to do, or whether they'll stick with the Ryanair after his Marsh win. Because of the failed year they wasted over hurdles he'll be 9 next March in his first 'open' season, so surely this will be his only realistic chance of winning the big one. On that basis his price looks too big. Gordon already has Delta Work and Presenting Percy for the race, but O'Leary would presumably over-rule his trainer if he wanted to go that way, particularly as they allowed Elliott to mess up with his aborted Champion Hurdle campaign.

    It's possible that they've reassessed, and now have him down as a speedier type though that wants the intermediate trip rather than a proper stamina test. But the Gold Cup is probably 'one shot' this season for him so despite him being generally 10's for the Ryanair and 25's for the Gold Cup I'd say it's far from a done deal.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Euronymous's Avatar
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    I'm all over Minella Indo. He and Allaho went for it way too early in the RSA and both paid the price. I think it's optimal that he has a lead (Monalee ideally) which would of course help Santini as well. Let's hope they all make it.

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    Senior Member Grasshopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maruco View Post
    My haymaker for the race would be Saint Calvados at 66/1.
    Robbing my work again. Shameless.
    "Beat the price and lose. It's what we do".

    SlimChance, March 2018

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    Ah! you are still breathing......good news.
    Ah! but a man's reach should exceed his grasp......

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    Senior Member granger's Avatar
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    MI at first look.

    Wonder would Henry start him at DownRoyal?

    PP at Gordon's.. reckon he wins an Irish G1 this season
    Some people say heís the best since Arkle and thatís certainly true when you look at what heís done

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
    Robbing my work again. Shameless.
    I didn’t know you were on him too Nick. I might have to lay him off now then.

    I've backed him for the King George too. My other ante post bet for that race is Real Steel.

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    Other than St C at 66/1, I haven't really thought about the race but I'll be interested in seeing Topofthegame this season. It's in my mind to back him soonish as I half-expect him to win the Hennessy which would see his odds halve for March.
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    Are we going to go through another year of not mentioning the now dual gold cup winner as the one to beat?
    Last edited by HawkWing; 30th August 2020 at 9:47 AM.

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    Senior Member Euronymous's Avatar
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    I guess he is, but he was very well ridden in March and imo wasn't the best horse in the race.

  13. #11
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    Santini for me. Love this horse and he was agonisingly denied last year.
    tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito

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    Agonisingly for me too.
    Two's company, three's allowed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkWing View Post
    Are we going to go through another year of not mentioning the now dual gold cup winner as the one to beat?
    I’m not going to discount ABP HawkWing. He’s a dual Champion in his prime, and trained by a master.

    However I still don’t see him as the most likely winner. In hindsight 2019 was a weak renewal. Anibale Fly two lengths back in second says enough. And last year was absolutely run to suit. It was an agonisingly slow race and was won in a sprint. Lostintranslaton and Monalee, who both arguably had a better chance in the Ryanair were only beaten a length and a half.

    There is absolutely no way the likes of Henderson, Elliott, Nicholls, Texas al will allow that again. This year will be a proper test, and a significantly deeper race than his first Gold Cup. In my opinion it’ll be won by a proper stayer. That being the case I see Santini reversing with Al Boum Photo. Lostintranslation and Monalee out with the washing. Minella Indo and Topofthegame contesting up the hill. And Champ could be the classy staying type that excels.

    So assuming they all jump and run their race, and it’s the proper test I expect, I have Minella Indo, Topofthegame, Santini, and Champ all as more likely winners than Al Boum Photo. And for good measure I‘ll predict Santini will take them along and ensure it is, unless anyone puts a pacemaker in there and does the job for him.
    Last edited by Maruco; 30th August 2020 at 11:18 AM.

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  17. #14
    Senior Member Frankel's Avatar
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    Was Santini unlucky though. He lacks a gear which showed in the race. The winner missed a few in the race aswell. Santini would have been helped with more pace in the race. The winner though as we saw in his first Gold Cup where there was more pace during the race has won easily and more impressively. Clearly ABP will have to have the constitution to go through the wall yet again which we don't know.
    A chance both ABP and Santini will succumb to a novice from last season.
    All comers, all grounds, all beaten!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maruco View Post
    I like Minella Indo and Champ personally, but I could accept a case for 5 of the top 6 in the betting winning.

    I don't see how Lostintraslation turns the form around in a better run race, which it surely will be next March. I'd be all over that one for the Marsh if there was an unlikely switch in target.

    My haymaker for the race would be Saint Calvados at 66/1. I know he was second in the Ryanair last season only beaten a neck, but that's shaping up like a better race next season, and I don't see Min repeating or Saint Calvados improving over the same trip. Samcro and Allaho will prove tougher opposition. And either Defi or Fakir will go their too. Whittington and Brooks have Simply The Betts to take up the Ryanair mantle, and I felt all season that Saint Calvados would be seen to his best effect over further. I'm hoping they come to the same conclusion, that Simply the Betts is every bit as good as Frodon was in the season before that one won the Ryaniar, and Saint Calvados can improve again for a step up in trip.

    The other bit of value is Delta Work if he can jump better, which is well worth watching this season, as he may still offer some value. His novice chase form puts him bang in the mix alongside Santini, and he was the youngest of Santini and Topofthegame in their RSA. So at 8 he has the most potential to improve, and should now be hitting his peak.

    I'm also curious whether Gigi will be tempted to step Samcro up to do the job they bought him to do, or whether they'll stick with the Ryanair after his Marsh win. Because of the failed year they wasted over hurdles he'll be 9 next March in his first 'open' season, so surely this will be his only realistic chance of winning the big one. On that basis his price looks too big. Gordon already has Delta Work and Presenting Percy for the race, but O'Leary would presumably over-rule his trainer if he wanted to go that way, particularly as they allowed Elliott to mess up with his aborted Champion Hurdle campaign.

    It's possible that they've reassessed, and now have him down as a speedier type though that wants the intermediate trip rather than a proper stamina test. But the Gold Cup is probably 'one shot' this season for him so despite him being generally 10's for the Ryanair and 25's for the Gold Cup I'd say it's far from a done deal.
    I'm not sure he will win but that sounds awfully like what was said last year - that he won due to a unique set of circumstances unlikely to be repeated. And here we are. Think there is a counter arguement to seat we haven't seen the best of abp. He has far fewer questions to answer than other contenders.

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    I wouldn't have Easysland any bigger than 10s if pricing up the race.

  20. #17
    Senior Member barjon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankel View Post
    Was Santini unlucky though. He lacks a gear which showed in the race. The winner missed a few in the race aswell. Santini would have been helped with more pace in the race. The winner though as we saw in his first Gold Cup where there was more pace during the race has won easily and more impressively. Clearly ABP will have to have the constitution to go through the wall yet again which we don't know.
    A chance both ABP and Santini will succumb to a novice from last season.
    Not sure to which commentator I should attribute this, probably one of the ATR boys.

    ďA steady pace would not have helped Santini who stayed on dourly to finish a narrow second behind Al Boum Photo in the Gold Cup and he would have won in a few more strides.
    Having just his sixth start over fences Ė and his tenth under rules - Nicky Hendersonís eight-year-old got a shade outpaced before the second last and had to switch twice in the straight which arguably cost him the race.
    The first-time cheekpieces was a wise move by connections and he found plenty under pressure, but he just lacked the speed needed at a crucial stage.ď

    I wonít comment since heís a favourite of mine and Iíd forgive him anything. Always dangerous to really like a horse!!
    Last edited by barjon; 30th August 2020 at 12:14 PM.

  21. #18
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    From my review of the RSA:

    I think Champ is far superior to the other two, who I think are pretty high class. Not a lot went right for Champ through the race, imo. He appeared to fiddle quite a number of fences while Allaho in particular looked very fluent. I backed Allaho ante-post and thought he was a good thing, to be honest, but the ew steal on Champ was sound insurance. I did think wherever MI finished Allaho would be in front but suspected Champ could surprise on a going day. I think the sectionals show (it's a few days since I read them) that the front two died up the hill and Champ merely stayed on. It reminded me of Synchronized's Gold Cup. The problem with Champ is whether he will properly take to jumping. I think the other two will be serious Gold Cup contenders.

    The Gold Cup:

    good enough race to watch but I wonder if there's any real class in it. Best Mate hoovered up three Gold Cups beating handicappers along the way and maybe ABP will get to do the same. I just hope Santini improves again next season. LIT has run well for a yard that had a disappointing week. Monalee got chopped up a wee bit at the top of the hill by Santini. I suspect this year's RSA principals will merit serious consideration next year, given normal progress.

    Santini was also hampered twice from the turn for home and would have won in another stride or two. Henderson later revealed the horse wasn't 100% ready for the race and expects much better with a clearer run at it.
    Last edited by Desert Orchid; 30th August 2020 at 12:49 PM.
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  22. #19
    Senior Member Frankel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barjon View Post
    Not sure to which commentator I should attribute this, probably one of the ATR boys.

    “A steady pace would not have helped Santini who stayed on dourly to finish a narrow second behind Al Boum Photo in the Gold Cup and he would have won in a few more strides.
    Having just his sixth start over fences – and his tenth under rules - Nicky Henderson’s eight-year-old got a shade outpaced before the second last and had to switch twice in the straight which arguably cost him the race.
    The first-time cheekpieces was a wise move by connections and he found plenty under pressure, but he just lacked the speed needed at a crucial stage.“

    I won’t comment since he’s a favourite of mine and I’d forgive him anything. Always dangerous to really like a horse!!
    More pace would have helped Santini, though would have been interesting to see how he would have travelled and if he could have held a position.
    Often the case when one lacks tactical speed they find trouble and are 'unlucky'.
    The question I would ask is that more pace in the race could also be a positive for ABP as we saw in his first Gold Cup.
    Santini clearly has less miles on the clock so could clearly go one better next year. I just wouldn't assume he will reverse the form with the winner.
    All comers, all grounds, all beaten!

    This perfect mix of poetry and destruction.

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    My view on that Frankel is that ABP will stay in a better run race, but my feeling is others will stay better. A feature of Al Boum Photo is his ability to put a race to bed with his kick, but if that’s taken out of him he’ll be beaten by a better stayer.

    He won his first Gold Cup in a better run race, but an ordinary time. As game as Anibale Fly is, he only beat him a couple of lengths, and you’d think a few of his likely opposition would be a good deal better than Anibale Fly.

    The counter-argument is ABP is a better horse now. That’s fair enough, but as much as I’d like to see and enjoy watching a triple champion, I don’t think I will in what will be a deep race full of quality, unless injuries have a major impact.
    Last edited by Maruco; 30th August 2020 at 2:44 PM.

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