Mick thinks Kauto Star is the most versatile horse in his lifetime and he has ridden him…he doesn’t say when?? He says he has speed and stamina. He thinks KS won’t be bothered if Denman hammers away up front….in fact he says Denman will set the race up for him! He thinks 6/1 is good value for Nicholls to train 1st 3. Likes Halcon Generaladais also and says he deserves his chance. He now bigs up Denman somewhat but thinks KS is better. King says tremendous performance by HG in Welsh National and goes there in very good form. He thinks KS is in a different league. Interestingly he is not sure Denman will even finish 2nd. Tom disagrees with everyone so far and likes Denman more than KS stating GS is sort of race that will suit the type Denman is eg a grinder. Thinks it’s between the big two and will be a fantastic race. No mention of my fancy Exotic Dancer yet! Paul says the Irish one (Fistfullofdollars?) will be supplemented but won’t win. He’s backed HC without the first two. Audience asked for a vote…about 60/40 in favour of KS. Still no mention of Exotic Dancer! Paul – World Shift won good point to point owned by Harry Findlay at weekend and could be future GC contender! An interesting tip. Exotic Dancer still not mentioned.
Mike points out it’s a Grade 1 for the first time this year. Paul thinks Mossbank has every chance. Worried that Old Vic will get too far behind. The Listener could go well as has good record over trip shorter than 3 miles. Thinks Mossbank might go off around 2/1. Tom has tipped him up at 5/1 so is sticking with him. More talk of Tsunami! They needn’t worry. Tom doesn’t like Our Vic. Mick drifted off so but is back online now….thinks Mossbank the banker. Kingy will run Howle Hill in Grand Annual and not here. He likes The Listener and wouldn’t write off Our Vic.
VPU is in very good form according to Alan and points out he likes Cheltenham. To see him at very best he needs good ground. Won’t give up crown without fight. He sounds quite bullish. Stronger the pace the better. Will run over 2 and a half next year. Fitzy says you need a 2 and a half mile horse to win this race. He thinks VPU has been outspeeded away from Cheltenham but could be the one on the day. Thinks Twist Magic will travel well and like good fast pace but not sure about hill. Points out that question marks about Master Minder…things have fallen his way and his jumping in France was not good. Tom likes Tamarinbleu and says form at Ascot was best 2 mile form this year but comes down on VPU. Thinks MM won’t jump and Twist won’t stay. Interesting that no one seems to like the 2 Nicholls favs. Paul thinks Irish have no chance in this race even if they started earlier than the others. Thinks VPU will go off favourite on the day. He’s backed MM though and won’t jump ship.
Ryanair next then Gold Cup to finish the evening.
Paul Ryan not sure that Pomme Tiepe could enough to win. Silberburn – horse box joke getting boring now. Doesn’t commit to anything as usual having skimmed through runners. Tom liked Ruby on Albertas at Ascot but thinks Air Force One will reverse form. Likes Silverburn and thinks he should be raced more forcefully…he has no doubts about him staying. Lots of contrasting opinions in this race as he can’t have Air Force One. He likes Ornais if he runs in this….likes his jumping and ability to stay. Also like Oscar Park. Mr King thinks AFO is OK and would like to see Charlie Mann have a winner. Prefers Silverburn but disagrees with Tom re riding style and he likes Oscar Park as well as does Tom who chips in again. Appatently ‘jumping is vitally important’ – thanks for that Tom.
After the longest draw in history – the poor MC was booed of stage – the panel are back on, roll VT, it’s the Arkle next up…Mick likes Noland’s jumping but isn’t sure he’s quick enough (I agree!). Having said that he says he’ll fly up the hill. Not many other English challengers…Tidal Bay doesn’t jump well enough. Segal not sure Noland’s a 2 miler. Tom originally liked Mahogany Blaise but didn’t like performance in Game Spirit. Tom likes Thyne Again at a nice price so that could be his Pricewise poke on the day. Paul Ryan thinks Arkle might be a bridge too far for Clopf. Doesn’t like Tidal Bay’s or Scotsirish jumping – even schools badly apparently. Kingy impressed by anything! Thinks Mahogany Blaise will give Noland most to do. Tom chips in again with Ring The Boss so maybe that’s could be his selection? Mike mentions that Irish horses will have problems getting to Cheltenham because of the forecast Tsunami…he must be on medication too! Sun Alliance next….
John Oaksey appears briefly on stage to accept a cheque for the IJF. He says Carruthers is well but thinks it’ll be the most formidable opposition he has faced. A question of wait and see he says. A draw now…not sure what chase comes first but back soon.
Just watched the Sizing Europe VT of last race…very very impressive. The more I see it the more I think this could be a serious horse. Whoops….you want the panel’s views not mine 🙂
Mick says Afsoun in good form and trained for the race but he can have an off day. Mick likes Katchit and thinks he is a live contender. He thought Sublimity was fat before the Cheltenham race this season so thinks he might take the beating if back to best. Mick thinks Sizing Europe will be found out as doesn’t like his jumping style. King says Katchit wasn’t at best in Bula. Will get closer to Osana this time. Vibes are good for Sublimity according to Paul Ryan so thinks major player. He likes Sizing Europe and Osana too plus mentions Katchit and Harchibald. Mr Ryan likes lots of horses in every race! Thinks unfair to blame Carberry for Harchibald losing races. Mick likes Harchi too. Ryan mentions yet another – De Valira and like this one too! Tom likes Osana best of all and thinks he’s been trained for race and will be difficult to catch.
Summary – when asked for one horse – (please note Paul)
Mick – Harchibald
Paul – Osana and Sublimity
King – Harchibald
Mike – Sizing Europe
Tom – Osana
Mick says Chomba Womba definitely best ride of the week. He loves her. Steady there Mick…says she is very fast and has put up good times. Won on all types of going. Compliments all over the place from Fitzy…but then he does love her. King says Theatre Girl a cracking filly who can go on any ground and will improve for the trip. He wouldn’t rule out Sweet Kiln. Ryan says SK will serve it up and the trip is right. Thinks a monster gamble is possible if Irish are in front at this stage. Also mentions Gaspara. All the panel like this new race very much as say that quality is really good….all except Tom!
King keen on Franchoek…no surprises there but doesn’t think he’s any value. Mick says still no decision on where Binocular will go. Thinks Celestial Halo is better than Doncaster but needs to be. Tom thinks Celestial will need ot improve. Points out that Katchit was 7/1 last year so agrees with Kingy that no value. Tom likes the Pipe horse Ashkasar….King not convinced though as his second to him is not a good horse. King and Tom like Five Dream and King says he has heard tonight he runs in this. Paul Ryan likes Won In The Dark and says not given a hard race last time. Could be the best of the Irish. Also says he thinks 9/4 is the right price.
Alan King says MWDS will run in World Hurdle with Choc riding work tomorrow and assuming that goes OK. He wants to get him back and thinks he has better chance than BB. He must be on drugs! 🙂 He can’t see Blazing Bailey beating Inglis. Not good vibes for my fancy BB at all. I reckon Choc will ride MWDS. Mick likes Inglis and thinks he is 2 stone better than anything else in race and will win – good to hear a firm opinion like that. Paul Ryan can’t see Hardy Eustace staying at all and throws in the horse box joke. Likes Inglis too (a lot!) but not Kasbah Bliss. King is at last complimentary about BB at the end of this piece and says he’s tough but repeats he won’t beat ID.