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  1. #21
    Senior Member Lester's Avatar
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    Hard to split the Novices into races at this point so have put together a single 2012-13 Novice Chasers Video Form Playlist.

  2. #22
    Hoof
    Guest
    Arkle Trophy
    7-2 Simonsig (sportingbet, William Hill; 88-25, Betfair)
    8-1 Overturn (Paddy Power, Coral, William Hill), Captain Conan (bet365, Ladbrokes, Coral, William Hill)
    16-1 Oscars Well (Ladbrokes)
    20-1 Hinterland (BetVictor, Stan James), Sire De Grugy (general; 24-1, Betfair), Alderwood (general; 43-1, Betfair), Raya Star (Stan James; 123-1, Betfair), Allure Of Illusion (Stan James; ), Arvika Ligeonniere (20-1, William Hill)
    25-1 Montbazon (general; 66-1, Betfair), Cinders And Ashes (Stan James; 132-1, Betfair), Baby Mix (Stan James; 170-1, Betfair), So Young (Stan James; 189-1, Betfair), Staying Article (Stan James; 189-1, Betfair), Tetlami (Skybet; 89-1, Betfair), Binocular (Stan James; 113-1, Betfair)
    33-1 bar

  3. #23
    Road to Cheltenham Blog

    Wishing Oscar Well

    1pt Oscars Well to win the Arkle @ 16/1

    I love the Arkle as an ante-post betting race. 2m chases are incredibly specialist, because it’s all about jumping at speed, so they’re relatively predictable. Whilst you can’t be sure how well a horse will jump on the day, (I never thought Mulligan would fall nor that Tiutchev would jump well enough to win,) you can evaluate their jumping capabilities based on their previous runs.

    What you can do with much more certainty is evaluate whether they are quick enough. It’s a myth that Arkles are won by stayers. They are won by very fast horses, who can jump at that breakneck gallop. Some will stay much further, (especially as they mature,) but unless the ground is really soft or it’s a weak renewal, one of the fast horses is bound to jump well enough. That explains why favourites don't have a great record, but there's never an upset, (no double figure priced winners since the millennium.)

    As I've mentioned before, top class hurdlers have a fantastic record if turning up. Many don't jump well enough to get there but if you find one that does, then history suggests he'll be hard to beat. In the last 11 years, 6 renewals have had a horse that recorded a hurdles RPR of over 160 the previous season. Moscow Flyer, Azertyuiop, My Way De Solzen and Sizing Europe all won and Accordian Etoile was going well when falling. Menorah rather let that stat down last year, but his jumping problems were obvious before the race. I only take notice of stats I can explain, and the great record of top class hurdlers who’ve proved they can jump fences, makes sense.

    The other type of winner has been one of the previous season’s novice hurdlers, ie a horse that’s unexposed over hurdles and switches to fences before getting the opportunity to show top class form over timber. Sprinter Sacre, Captain Chris, Forpadydeplasterer, Contraband, Voy Por Ustedes, Well Chief & Tidal Bay all fell into this category.

    Simonsig (7/2) is unique as far as I can recall in that he fits into both categories. He was a novice last season but recorded RPRs of 162 in both the Neptune and the Mersey at Aintree. That ought to be a tip in itself and the vibes from Seven Barrows are that he’s held in similar regard to Sprinter Sacre, in which case why not stick with the obvious and take the 7/2?

    Whilst he has experience in points, he hasn’t jumped a fence under rules and he was running at around 2Ĺm last season. Connections chose the Neptune not Supreme to give him more time to get organized at his obstacles and you don’t get that luxury in an Arkle. The other concern is that the only time he really needed to battle, against Fingal Bay at Sandown, he didn’t find anything. I wouldn’t read too much into that as I doubt he was wound up that day, but there are too many question marks for me to think 7/2 is too big a price. He looks a cracking prospect though and I wouldn’t put anyone off who wanted to back him.

    When you look at Oddschecker’s Arkle market, there are only 6 horses that are quoted by all the bookmakers, which indicates there are currently few credible contenders. Of the next 3 there are 2 I’m looking to oppose at this stage. The first is the wonderful Overturn, (7/1). He’ll be 9 by raceday and horses that old just don’t win the Arkle. It’s usually a National Hunt bred (the last horse off the flat to win was Contraband in 2005) who is improving. Whilst you can’t knock his 2nd in the Champion, (RPR 164,) he shapes like a horse who might be better over further where he can gallop the finishing kick out of the quickeners and it wouldn’t surprise me if he ended up in the Jewson.

    The other is Captain Conan, (8/1). It’s hard to know how good 2m novice chasers are from runs in bad ground and it was very soft when he beat Sire De Grugy at Cheltenham. He jumped pretty well for a debutant but he hasn’t looked a horse with a real turn of foot so far and whilst I doubt he was trained too hard last season, he looks short for a horse who hasn’t shown star quality. Another concern is that he’s in the same stable as Simonsig. Nicky Henderson sees him as a 2 miler and it would depend on how the likes of Broadbackbob progress, but I can see him running in the Jewson, especially if Simonsig gets to the Festival looking bombproof.

    I’m much sweeter on Arvika Ligeonniere, (7/1). He was brilliant at Fairyhouse and given the pace he showed, there’s the promise of improvement dropped back to 2m. He jumps well and goes on good ground. He’s a tearaway though and with Overturn likely to employ similar tactics they could cut each other’s throats. He’s also been fragile and there has to be a sizeable risk that he doesn’t make the race. The Jewson is obviously also under consideration and with the potential for Simonsig to make the market, I’m holding back as I think he may be better value in the run up to the race.

    I don’t fancy Hinterland (20/1), who didn’t look to appreciate a fast pace when folding tamely behind Theatre Guide (well beaten since) at Exeter. The one I do like is Oscars Well (16/1) who recorded an RPR of 164 both when chasing home Hurricane Fly in the Irish Champion Hurdle and then finishing 8l 6th to Rock on Ruby in the Champion.

    He’s shown the toe for this and always looked a chaser in the making, before jumping well on debut and thrashing the decent Darwin’s Fox at Punchestown. He was 8/15 to follow up there but crashed out at the 3rd causing his price to double to 16/1, which looks an overreaction. Yes, the horse had a nasty fall and it’s possible that’ll affect his confidence and he could fall apart over fences because of it. But it’s more likely he’ll bounce back and learn a lot from it. Jessica Harrington has said he was fine after it and the fact she’s willing to run him 3 weeks after that fall indicates that he has schooled well since. Moscow Flyer came down twice as a novice before she produced him to win the Arkle.

    There is a school of thought that he might step up in trip, but looking through his form and his races again, I still think what he needs is a fast run race at 2m. If Overturn and Arvika Ligeoniniere line up, it could set the race up ideally for him. If you’re the sort of ante-post punter who wants to make a profit rather than worrying about getting a run for your money, he looks an ideal bet. If he gets the show back on the road tomorrow then his price will shorten a lot and he looks one of the few with the raw ability to win this, so 16/1 is huge. If it all falls apart for him, then we’ve plenty of time to find the winner from those that remain.

    Of course the winner might not be quoted at the moment, or just quoted in one or two lists. It’s probably not a good use of energy to try and trawl through every feasible runner and I’ve just looked through the other quoted runners and the official hurdles ratings for those rated over 140. Dynaste (16/1) has looked great at around 2m4f but given he was a 3miler over hurdles I’d be really surprised if he ran in the Arkle. My Way De Solzen did, but that was before the introduction of the Jewson. Sire De Grugy (25/1) couldn’t beat Captain Conan on his favoured testing ground so it’s hard to see him being competitive in the Arkle on the prevailing sound surface. The Real Article (33/1) is potentially interesting – he was a hype horse for the Champion Hurdle at the start of last season after winning a couple of early season Grade 2s. He tipped up on debut at Clonmel yesterday and I want to see him jump a clear round before considering him.

  4. #24
    Simonsig (10/3), Arvika Ligeonniere (7), Captain Conan (7), Overturn (7), Dynaste (9), Oscars Well (12), Allure Of Illusion (20), Raya Star (20), Sword Of Destiny (20), Alderwood (25), Baby Mix (25), Binocular (25), Cinders And Ashes (25), Fago (25), Hinterland (25), So Young (25), Tetlami (25), Barbatos (33), Dunguib (33), Dylan Ross (33) , Empire Levant (33), Final Approach (33), Galileos Choice (33), Hazy Tom (33), Molotof (33), Punjabi (33), Rebel Rebellion (33), Salden Licht (33), Saphir River (33), Sire De Grugy (33), Solwhit (33), Staying Article (33), Tap Night (33), The Real Article (33), Twinlight (33), Colour Squadron (40), Lord Windermere (40), Montbazon (40), Rebel Fitz (40), Trifolium (40), Vulcanite (40), Cash And Go (50), Far Away So Close (50), Theatre Guide (50), Third Intention (50), Jenari (66)

  5. #25
    Yeehaa
    Guest
    GC

    Sprinter Sacre was around 2-1 for the Arkle after destroying Peddlers Cross in Kempton's Wayward Lad Chase last Christmas.

    Stablemate Simonsig is even money after pulverising Hinterland in the same race and it's hard to quibble with that price given the way he sauntered miles clear of a horse who had been beaten under four lengths in a Sandown Grade 1 won by Captain Conan on his recent start.

    Henderson will surely send Captain Conan down the Jewson route now, while it seems Harrington is also eyeing the latter race for Oscars Well after his good second to Arvika Ligeonniere in Leopardstown's Racing Post Novice Chase.

    Indeed, the mighty impression created by Simonsig in two chases so far will almost certainly see a few more Arkle hopefuls rerouted to the Jewson.

    Arvika Ligeonniere may well be Arkle bound - and he makes for a great sight letting rip from the front - but he did show a tendency to jump right which could prove problematic at Cheltenham and there will be no prospect of an easy time in front if the freewheeling Overturn goes for the Arkle.

    Let's hope Overturn continues his progress to launch a challenge to Simonsig on Arkle day, but he will need to thrive if Simonsig is as good as he looked at Kempton.

    In short, this was a performance that had Arkle winner written all over it.

  6. #26
    Yeehaa
    Guest
    GC Update

    Very good morning gents. We know plans can change quite dramatically as Cheltenham approaches but it will be a big surprise and a big disappointment if Overturn doesn't turn up for the Arkle at Cheltenham. He's best priced 7/1 at the moment and a huge amount clearly revolves around whether Simonsig is really as good as he's looked so far over fences. For what it's worth I suspect he is. Overturn is enormously versatile and shows the same courage over fences as he did on the flat and over hurdles. Donald is right to feel he shouldn't fear anyone with a horse who has finished second in a Champion Hurdle, but I do think Simonsig could be something very special. As regards tactics in the Arkle, we could be in for a real burn up if Arvika Legeonniere also makes it to the race as he is another natural front runner. Captain Conan may well be re-routed to the Jewson, along with Oscars Well, in which case we are then getting into the 20/1 plus shots. In short, Overturn would be a very strong Arkle contender in any ordinary year. But with Simonsig around, this may well be an extraordinary year.

  7. #27
    Yeehaa
    Guest
    David Lawrence before Overturn during the week.

    Regular readers of Talking Horses will probably know I habitually use a 140-rating benchmark for novice chasers and hurdlers when contemplating ante-post bets on the Cheltenham Festival.

    So far this season, over fences at least, around 20 horses have attained that figure, so the 2013 fixture in the Cotswolds - starting 12 March - seems sure to be among the most competitive of recent years.

    Except, that is, in the two-mile Arkle Trophy, because the Nicky Henderson-trained grey Simonsig has already achieved a figure (see rankings below) that sets him apart from his contemporaries.

    Simonsig's current mark of 160 would theoretically give him a fine chance of making the first three in the Champion Chase, let alone in the Arkle, where he will face much less experienced rivals.

    At evens, Henderson's charge clearly does not represent great long-range value for Cheltenham but, with Arkle second-favourite Overturn having a rating of 137, he justifiably dominates the market.
    Last edited by Old Vic; 01-14-2013 at 11:14 AM.

  8. #28
    Interesting debate on twitter last night about last horse to make all in the Arkle. Donald McCain and Graham Cunningham exchanging tweets . Seems last one was Analogs Daughter over 20 years ago. Donald seemed to think it was time for another one. Step forward Overturn !

    Been a few have run prominently and Simonsig and Arvika like to be up their too.

  9. #29
    The Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase - Analysis

    Simonsig is the star name among 33 entries for the Grade One Racing Post Arkle Chase, one of the highlights on day one of The Festival, Champion Day, Tuesday, March 12.

    Last yearís renewal was won in tremendous style by stable companion Sprinter Sacre, who maintained his unbeaten record over fences with a scintillating display in the Tingle Creek and is ante-post favourite for the Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase.
    Simonsig is after back-to-back Cheltenham Festival successes following a comfortable seven-length victory in last seasonís Grade One Neptune Investment Management Novicesí Hurdle. He has made a faultless start to his chasing career with a pair of Grade Two wins at Ascot and Kempton, strolling home to win by 49 and 35 lengths respectively. Trainer Nicky Henderson is also responsible for course and distance winner Captain Conan, who also landed the Grade One Henry VII Novicesí Chase at Sandown in December, and Tetlami.

    Last seasonís Stan James Champion Hurdle runner-up Overturn has been entered by Donald McCain after easy wins at Sandown and Doncaster, while Paul Nicholls sole entry is exciting French import Fago, who made a winning British debut on January 16 at Newbury.
    Tap Night, trained in Scotland by Lucinda Russell, beat Captain Conan two lengths in a Grade Two hurdle at Kelso last season and made it two from two over the larger obstacles with a facile success at Ayr on January 2. Tom George has entered lightly-raced six-year-old Module and Majala, who has won both his starts this term, while David Pipe has two possible representatives in course scorer His Excellency and Ronaldo Des Mottes.

    Champion Irish handler Willie Mullins is responsible for nine of the 16 Irish-trained entries including Arvika Ligeonniere. The eight-year-old made a winning chase debut at Punchestown in May after over two years off the track and has since the landed a pair of Grade One contests at Fairyhouse and Leopardstown.

    Mullins has also entered Grade One runner-up Aupcharlie, Boston Bob, who finished second in last seasonís Albert Barlett Novicesí Hurdle at The Festival, and Twinlight. Mouse Morris is responsible for Baily Green who racked up a seven-timer, including six chase wins, between May and November last year, while Grade One winning hurdlers Oscars Well and Benefficient have also been entered.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Statto's Avatar
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    Looks like Fago is pricewise

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