horse racing

NTF 3 to follow from Cheltenham: The Losers…

Yesterday I gave you all my ‘3 to follow from Cheltenham: The Winners‘ and today I’m going to give you my ‘3 to follow from Cheltenham: The losers‘.

The idea of my ‘NTF 3 to follow from the weekend‘ Blog posts is to try and highlight performances that were maybe ‘under the radar’ slightly and that is the same idea with this Cheltenham Festival version.

Here are my NTF 3 to follow ‘Losers’ from the 2012 Cheltenham Festival –

PALACE JESTER (J J O’Neill)Thursday – 2.05 Cheltenham – 12th in the 3m Listed Pertemps Final

The 7yo was making the pace in this gruelling contest for most of the way and it was only on the lung-bursting run towards the final flight where he started to wilt. If we take into consideration that this was far from ideal underfoot conditions for him then this was a very pleasing performance indeed. He jumped well and stuck it out for as long as he could but essentially he had plenty against him here. He is a horse that needs cut in the ground; his form on Soft or Heavy reads 1-3-1-3-1-P compared to form figures of  4-2-3-8-B-8-F-0 on Good to Soft or better. He probably needs to drop a couple of lbs in the handicap (very likely after his last 2 starts) but once he gets cut in the ground (Good to Soft could be enough) he should manage to get back in the winners enclosure. His chasing career never really took off but if they were to switch him back that route I would be willing to give him a chance, especially in a soft/heavy ground handicap.

Palace Jester Dosage figures – 4-0-7-5-0 | 16 | 0.88 | 0.19

A mix of stamina and speed, which goes someway to explaining his up with the pace/staying tendencies .

RUBI LIGHT (R Hennessy)Thursday – 2.40 Cheltenham – 5th in the 2m5f Grade 1 Ryanair Chase

This was another solid run in this Grade 1 from the 7yo but once again it left me screaming “Why was he not in the Gold Cup!!”. To me he is a stayer, he has stamina. Maybe now people will realise it wasn’t that he didn’t stay in the Lexus at Xmas it was just that he ran into the Gold Cup winner at the top of his game! His class and jumping kept him in this race for a long time but ultimately it was the horses more suited to the trip that came to the fore. He jumped with his usual panache but ultimately when push came to shove he just didn’t have the tools to go with the front 3. This was still a huge run from the Network gelding and surely now connections will make serious plans for a 3 mile campaign.

Rubi Light Dosage figures – 1-0-1-4-2 | 8 | 0.23 | -0.75

Stamina, stamina, stamina! It helps him grind it out from the front on soft ground over shorter but it will also help stay the trip over 3 miles.

TORNADO BOB (D McCain)Friday – 4.40 Cheltenham – 11th in the 2m4f 110yds Class 2 Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle

Tornado Bob was travelling as well as any turning for home, however, when he met the rising ground the tank begun to empty. Regardless of the finishing effort this was still a very eye-catching run. His season has far from gone to plan but this suggested there is still there something there, he still retains ability. He travelled smoothly for most of the contest and although his jumping was not always foot perfect it didn’t seem to affect him. He was described by trainer Donald McCain as being a bit ‘immature’ last season and it could well be the case that he was still on the immature side this term. This run was better though and I’m willing to stick with him going forward. It could be a case he needs another summer on his back to fully blossom although any entries from now until the end of the season will interest me. Connections have something to work with and I’m confident McCain and Maguire can unlock the potential.

Tornado Bob Dosage figures – 1-2-15-2-0 (20+) | 20 | 1.11 | 0.10

A good mix of influences and I would expect 2m4/5f to be his optimum trip. He should stay further if required though.


Outwith the festival winners which 3 caught your eye the most?

Which ‘losers’ should we look out for at future festivals?

Drop me a comment below with your most impressive Cheltenham Festival ‘loser’ of the week.

I can’t leave Festival week without one last plug for the Free preview videos I was involved with. It was great to be involved with JP (@JPFestival) and Cathryn (@CathrynFry) in the recording of these previews. Our aim was to reach 20000 hits before tomorrow and amazingly we are only 60 or so away from that target!!

If you are yet to watch any of these videos take a look at our RSA Chase preview below. Even if you have watched it, watch it again!! (go on……)

Ben (NTF)


16 responses to “NTF 3 to follow from Cheltenham: The Losers…”

  1. I’d probably say Cue Card from the point of view that I thought he was a odd looking crud – skinny ribby thing but not small just odd in the flesh. Indeed thought Tizzard also confounded some rep. He let al Ferof and Sprinter have a fight, let Menorah pass him and used Cue Card best arguably to get within hailing distance of one that may be special. I assume he might now be a contender for the middle distance grade 1s next year with Alberta’s quite old and the likes of Medermit and Riverside Theatre beatable.

    Could also have mentioned The Giant Bolster, Overturn, Tanks for That..

    • Hi JDS

      CUE CARD is an interesting one. I think he is talented but he may end up being one of those ‘almost but not quite…’ kinda horses..if you know what I mean.

      Thanks for comment

      Ben (NTF)

  2. In the triumph I thought that Dodging Bullets ran a good race given it was only his 2nd start over hurdles and the form of Nicholls horses over the week. I suspect we may find though that the race was lacking quality. May be one they take chasing next year?

    I thought Captain Chris ran well.

    • Hi Alex

      Yeah Dodging Bullets impressed me. He came there looming large on the home bend and he certainly does look like a future chaser in the making.

      I also think Captain Chris ran a sound (if yet erratic!) race.#


      Ben (NTF)

  3. My personal 3

    Our mick in the JLT – how wide did he go, he must have gone half a furlong further than anybody else. Best ever off OR of 144 after winning off 123 at xmas. Must be more to come – though had a hard season so maybe next year.

    Champion court – clear of rest behind a potential monster – enough said

    Kazlian – suicidal pace injection by Scu, he must be some horse to last that long up the hill.

    • Borghem

      Big run from Our Mick. Smacking 2 out probably did for him but his form has an upward shape to it and it could be there is still a touch of improvment to come yet.

      Champion Court will surely have some decent races in him somewhere, put it up to a very good horse and wasn’t beaten all that far.

      Thanks for comment – Ben (NTF)

  4. Zarkander absolutely flying up the hill Aintree hurdle winner in the making, especially with Nicholls saying he didnt look right before hand.

    • Stephen

      Zarkandar looked like being well beaten before storming up the hill. He seems to run like that and the worry would be that is what hinders him from reaching his full potential. Nevertheless it was still a very eye-catching performance.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

  5. Kazlian was given the worst ride of the festival for me even with the suicidal pace that tom Scu set he still managed to place. Cotton Mill was travelling every bit as well as Simonsig before getting spooked or whatever caused him to refuse the 2nd last although hes liable to be over punted NTO. Peddlars Cross ive taken 33/1 for next years champion hurdle, it is clear that there is something wrong at the moment and provided he can regain his hurdles form he is a huge price for next year, he hammers Overturn on the gallops and on the course.33s is way too big and worth a punt.

    • Glenn

      I think Peddlers Cross would be better suited to the World Hurdle. Has plenty of inherited stamina and I really think he would relish the extra distance.

      Big Bucks can’t go on forever either…(or can he?!?)

      Thanks for your comment

      Ben (NTF)

  6. Cotton Mill would surely have given Simonsig a run for his money had he not come down when travelling very easily in front. Simonsig won with great authority but I am looking forward to Cotton Mill’s next race.

    • Mick

      Cotton Mill is interesting but its difficult to say how he would have coped in a battle up the hill against Somonsig. He was running a massive race, however, and hopefully we will see him in top company again soon so we can get a proper gauge on his abilities.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

      • Cotton Mill might need a long break to forget Cheltenham – after attempting to run out at the 2nd last he fell at the last, quite a traumatic day for him – hope he’s OK.

  7. SMAD PALACE – third in the World Hurdle. Only a 5YO, is a great chasing prospect for next season.
    CHAPOTURGEON – 2nd in Foxhunter Chase – will hopefully go one better over the shorter trip at Aintree.
    DARLAN – what were you doing AP? I’m a ‘Cinders’ fan, but I think Darlan should have won the Supreme.

    • Alan

      Smad Place ran a huge race and as you say he looks like an exciting novice chaser for next season.

      Chapoturgeon showed his class in the Foxhunters but the hill at the end of a gruelling 3m+ took its toll I think. Hopefully he can make his mark at this sort of level.

      Thanks for comment – Ben (NTF)

  8. Three wild ones, Ben 😉

    Join Together. Big plug for this one from Mick Fitz at the Haydock Festival preview but he went out like a light in the RSA. On the day lots of racecourse rumours about well-being of Nicholls’ horses – one I heard in a couple of places was that horses stabled at Nicholls’ satellite yard were in better nick.

    Saphir River. Unseated Sam Thomas at the second in the Coral Cup but contiuned riderless and came home in front of Veiled in third. I know he didn’t have to cart the jock’s weight two and a half miles but Michael Scudamore gave bullish bulletin pre-Festival and they paid in the region of 280,000 euros. Went off 50/1 – at that price I’ll chance it next time…

    Sir Johnson. Peter Bowen pointed out this one’s form a week or so before the bumper. Got edgy in the parade ring (in complete contrast to winner who looked so laid back he almost couldn’t be bothered). Raced keenly enough then fell away – of interest when stable in better form.

    Three wildcards – as always, take ’em or leave ’em!



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