peeptoad wrote:Re IWC vs Gunn
Engage me... I'm on my 90 minute commute home.
Gross... well I'm happy to help pass the time, for me it sort of boils down to reliability. I think Gunnevera is a very well-known quantity at this point, whereas IWC could potentially be a more brilliant horse but also has more questions of consistency and ability to handle adversity. Gunnevera is a consistent deep closer, which is a very rare thing, and he reminds me a lot of (pre-Derby) Exaggerator in that he had a good amount of 2yo class, moved up at 3, and always fires his shot. Deep closers have to contend with tough trips, especially in a 20 horse field, but he ran into trouble in both the Holy Bull and FL Derby but kept running. I do love a horse like Orb who can close at Gulfstream, which has a very short stretch compared to Churchill. Gunnevera genuinely finishes quickly, even against slow paces, has performed well across many different tracks, and has a lot of distance in his pedigree. He's by far the horse I feel most confident evaluating, and I'd be surprised if he doesn't put in a good effort, even if his top-end performance is a little lower than some of these. I can't really say the same about any other horse in the field.
Which leads me to Irish War Cry, who is a lot tougher for me to handle because he is very good when he gets his setup, but I'm not certain how broad his definition of "setup" is. He had a tremendously soft trip in the Holy Bull, lost his mind when he had to contend for the lead in the FOY, then showed considerable maturity in the Wood when he tracked off a strong pace. I'm not terribly worried about his come-home time in that race, because the track wasn't quick and they went pretty fast early, but I there was a speed bias that day and Battalion Runner was terrible. How will he react when he has to contend with multiple horses in front of him? What if he ends up inside horses or takes dirt? I think he has literally never run inside horses in his entire career, and given his strong adverse reaction to pressing horses in the FOY, I don't know how he'll react to something new. There's also the question of his long breaks between races and works. I guess in summary, to me he's the opposite of Gunnevera because although he has the potential for brilliance, I have no idea what to expect from him. Is he worth a shot at 7 or 8-1? I'm just not sure.
Edited to say that IWC did close from pretty far back in his maiden, but maiden races are weird and I'm basing these observations on his most recent starts.