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……)