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cryoftruth
29 Jul 13 20:50
Joined:
Date Joined: 22 Mar 04
| Topic/replies: 6,755 | Blogger: cryoftruth's blog
Hi Soldier

hope all is well with you.

Any idea which Ballydoyle beast will be over for the International?

I was thinking that the likely candidate might be Magician. He looked brilliant in the Irish Guineas, but has already won over 10 furlongs.

Any news you can share?
Pause Switch to Standard View International at York - soldieroffortune
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Report Sandown August 22, 2013 11:31 AM BST
About as many as those who sustain an injury which doesn't get reported.On the bright side, both DA and Toronado could be back in good health for the Autumn finales.
Report Figgis August 22, 2013 11:53 AM BST
Sandown

Overexertion can lead to serious noticeable physical problems, it can also lead to less noticeable problems which become apparent later, and lowering of resistance. Let's not pretend that racehorses aren't under tremendous physical stress when they race competitively. As it's been reported that as many as 70% of them suffer some bleeding in their respiratory system after a race I'd say that's pretty stressful. If you do not choose to believe there is a link that is up to you. I do believe it and also believe it can be factored into betting. Sure it'll lead to bum steers occasionally, but I know that on the whole it is more profitable to take it into account than ignore it.
Report Sandown August 22, 2013 12:24 PM BST
Figgis

I don't doubt that exertion can bring on problems on occasion. But in this case, I have difficulty in agreeing with your analysis that Toronado had a hard race at Goodwood (and may have not recovered after 3 weeks and showed no signs beforehand) yet DOW who ran only 3 lengths behind didn't have a hard race, was able to run in the meantime, and could come out and win like he did. You can't cite the same evidence for both for and against cases. The fact that one is a 3 yr and the other a 4 yr just doesn't bridge that contradictory reasoning imo. Neither is it possible to reason that even if he did have a hard race, then there would be a high probability of falling to a bug which would lead to him coughing. That is a small probability given the weight of evidence to the contrary i.e horses have hard races and DON'T immediately end up coughing.You got the right result but for the wrong reasons imo. It happens just as you can back a winner despite something else being unlucky not to win. Or, you can back a loser when it should have won.
Report Figgis August 22, 2013 12:41 PM BST
Sandown

You keep going on about the 'hard race', I have already stated more than once that my reasons weren't only related to a hard race, the main reason was figure related and my own observations of form cycles. The observations are only a generalisation, that's all they can ever be, but it is a generalisation that has significance. If you follow the likes of Topspeed then you obviously won't see the correlation.

You got the right result but for the wrong reasons imo. It happens just as you can back a winner despite something else being unlucky not to win. Or, you can back a loser when it should have won

In this particular case that could be right, even I don't know, but, as you say, it is your opinion and you can't prove it any more than I can. As I said before, a one off race can never be proved one way or another, but I have the evidence of years of races and know for a fact that it has enough predictive accuracy for it to be factored into analysis before the race, instead of ignoring the issue, watching one perform poorly and waiting for trainer explanations.
Report Stevie Gerrard August 22, 2013 1:07 PM BST
I'd have to say the result did not prove Figgis was right or wrong. Had the horse been well then he might have won or he might have run a flat race like Figgis predicted. The same would go for those who predicted he wouldn't stay, they were neither proved right or wrong. But who could have got the right result for the right reasons? Don't think I saw anyone predict the horse would be ill and get beaten 20 odd lengths.
Report Sandown August 22, 2013 1:15 PM BST
Figgis



A half length improvement over DA from the Ascot run is hardly stunning progression.

I don't rely on TS or RPR's, as you know, especially for top races like G1's.But in this instance, I agree with those figures that Toronado achieved a PB at Goodwood. It's a bit odd for a time aficiando like yourself quoting a collateral term i.e. half a length , at me. The time for the Goodwood race was top class, and higher for me  than any of Toronado's or DA's previous races. Hughes had the horse back on the bridle at the line after showing a good turn of foot. It was hardly a flat out hard raced head to head fight over say 3f. So, for me the Hannon horse showed further progression.

Where I do agree with you is that achieving a personal best represents dangerous territory in that such an improvement can be followed by a lesser effort and in anticipating that you got it right. But, he might still have run a lesser rating ( I do not rate yesterday's race that highly - 111 for the moment) that Toronado might still have won. He ran well below form because he was suffering a bug. That could not be foreseen.The TV people, if they had been doing their job, should have picked up him sweating badly because that was the clue that all was not well.
Report Figgis August 22, 2013 1:20 PM BST
It's a bit odd for a time aficiando like yourself quoting a collateral term i.e. half a length , at me.

His performance at Goodwood has to rate considerably higher than any of his previous runs, given the time and collteral ratings.

Excuse me?!
Report Stevie Gerrard August 22, 2013 1:22 PM BST
Of course even if the horse had won it wouldn't prove the theory wrong that could only be proved wrong over thousands of results.

Although I must say on my figures Toronado did improve at Goodwood on final race time due to stronger pace there but looking at the sectionals at Ascot I felt the front 2 were more superior to the others than the margins gave them credit for. So I don't think he actually improved as such but the race was run in such a way for him to run to his best speed figure.
Report Figgis August 22, 2013 1:25 PM BST
The time for the Goodwood race was top class, and higher for me  than any of Toronado's or DA's previous races.

I differ on that, as I've said before, the real proof is in the long term predictive quality of the ratings. Many of these ratings just don't have much predictive use, they seem to require a lot of explanations of what went wrong afterwards, maybe they should consider instead that their methods just aren't that good?
Report Figgis August 22, 2013 1:30 PM BST
Stevie, I'm not claiming to know that Toronado would perform as poorly as he did, as I said I could've indeed just got lucky this time. Before understandably being eased off by Hughes he was only about 6 or 7 lengths behind the leaders, which would not be completely unusual for a below par effort. I do know that when a horse is more likely to run a below par effort and it does then it's amazing how often it also coincides with an excuse coming from connections later, that's not to say the excuse is made up, but there is a correlation.
Report Figgis August 22, 2013 1:41 PM BST
Stevie, didn't Topspeed have Trading Leather something like 16lbs behind Toronado? I can't quite remember but I saw something like that. I know Toronado didn't run his race but that is just poor.
Report Stevie Gerrard August 22, 2013 1:48 PM BST
yes you are correct Figgis, I see there Irish Derby figure is quite low and I think that is due to their standard on the 6f63y race being wrong. But even so yes the 129 also seems a few pounds too high for Toronado
Report Stevie Gerrard August 22, 2013 1:49 PM BST
their*
Report Stevie Gerrard August 22, 2013 1:53 PM BST
In fact they have Toronado's sussex stakes 8lb better than Farhh's Lockinge. It's not really worth looking at them.
Report Millerracing67 August 22, 2013 2:01 PM BST
I would think that Al Kazeem wont run again until the Arc or our Champ Stks. He will hopefully get some ease in the ground by then.
Report Sankara August 22, 2013 2:01 PM BST
Toronado's alleged cough is very likely to be a total fabrication. Hard race at Goodwood (much harder than one who was stuffed 3 lengths and not involved in the finish) following another at Ascot, then regressed yesterday. Looks straightforward to me.
Report Figgis August 22, 2013 2:02 PM BST
I suppose we should be glad of them, Stevie, although if they continue to stretch reality so far the danger is that nobody will take them seriously anyway.
Report Stevie Gerrard August 22, 2013 2:23 PM BST
Before I started doing my own figures Figgis, because of topspeeds I used to think speed ratings were only useful for telling you if a race was truly run and how reliable the form figure was for the race. It wasn't until I did my own that I realised you can get an accurate assessment of how good a horse is.
Report Stevie Gerrard August 22, 2013 2:29 PM BST
though they did get that winner of the first races so can't knock them too much as they beat my top rated Oasis Town.
Report Sandown August 22, 2013 2:42 PM BST
Sankara

Toronado's alleged cough is very likely to be a total fabrication. Hard race at Goodwood (much harder than one who was stuffed 3 lengths and not involved in the finish) following another at Ascot, then regressed yesterday. Looks straightforward to me.


With all due respect you seem to be a conspiracy theory believer, possibly visually impaired,with an over-confident opinion in the face of the facts. Am I right?
Report Figgis August 22, 2013 2:45 PM BST
Stevie Gerrard Joined: 06 Dec 01

Before I started doing my own figures Figgis, because of topspeeds I used to think speed ratings were only useful for telling you if a race was truly run and how reliable the form figure was for the race. It wasn't until I did my own that I realised you can get an accurate assessment of how good a horse is.


Agreed, Stevie, all that stuff about only 1 in 6 races being run fast enough to warrant an accurate final time rating is clearly nonsense.
Report Sandown August 22, 2013 2:51 PM BST
Stevie G

For a free service the RP does a reasonable job with RPR's and TS judging on L/T results.Use them as a starting point as they influence SP's and look for the horses where your opinion is very different and you isolate possible value. My particular  concerns with TS are that they nearly always use one allowance, they may inflate the top rating on the day and I have more than a few disagreements with some race standards. That said, unless you can afford the time to rate every horse in every race at every meeting, you need someone to break the back of the work.
Report Figgis August 22, 2013 3:03 PM BST
How do you rate Queensberry rules in this race, Stevie? Has loads to find for me.
Report Stevie Gerrard August 22, 2013 3:06 PM BST
Frog Hollow would just about be my top rated. I'll have a look at queensbury now.
Report Stevie Gerrard August 22, 2013 3:12 PM BST
sorry didn't get time figgis, a 1lb behind on my figures.
Report Figgis August 22, 2013 3:14 PM BST
Like you, had Frog Hollow top, but Mont Ras joint top deducting the jockey allowance, which I often do depending on the jockey, didn't back any of them, though, much too difficult for me. Queensberry Rules ran a bit better than I expected.
Report Stevie Gerrard August 22, 2013 3:15 PM BST
Yes they're not bad sandown and I think the RP site is excellent as I put my ratings on there and watch the videos and study all the form on the one site. only 26 a month for the ultimate service as well
Report Sandown August 22, 2013 3:23 PM BST
At the risk of being accused of after-timing, the RPR's/TS can be very helpful and certainly influenced me to have something on Mont Ras at 30's, that and the fact that O'Meara clearly was having a go. I backed several in this, so the win was not all that you might think, but good enough. Funnily enough, my times did not come into this decision.
Report Figgis August 22, 2013 3:23 PM BST
I don't know about RPRs as I rarely look at them. I do think Timeform ratings largely do a very good job, too good for my liking as there is often a similarity with my own ratings. As for speed figures, from what I've seen of their time figures and Topspeed I'd say they're pretty poor. There is a far bigger similarity between speed figures and collateral figures when done correctly, and I say that as someone who doesn't compile collateral ratings, neither do I use them as a reference before doing my own ratings.
Report Stevie Gerrard August 22, 2013 3:30 PM BST
well ratings are just part of it, lots of other factors to consider when judging whether a horse is worth a bet at the price but the more accurate the rating is the better.
Report Figgis August 22, 2013 3:36 PM BST
Exactly, even when they're accurate they don't directly lead to a pot of gold but they're an excellent starting point. When people are given duff ratings then every other betting decision becomes dodgy.
Report Stevie Gerrard August 22, 2013 3:45 PM BST
Impressive from The Fugue there.

Sandown, how are you liking seeing these sectionals on the screen and on the website now, is it making life easier?
Report Sandown August 22, 2013 3:47 PM BST
Very helpful Stevie.It's worth taking your own splits to check just how good/poor they are when compared.
Report Figgis August 22, 2013 3:49 PM BST
Sandown

Hasn't there been some discrepancies between the on screen final times and the official ones?
Report Sandown August 22, 2013 3:53 PM BST
Breathing operation planned for Toronado
By Paul Eacott 2:47PM 22 AUG 2013

TORONADO looks set to have a breathing operation after his disappointing last of six in Wednesday's Group 1 Juddmonte Stakes at York.

The top-class miler was found to have been coughing after the race and connections revealed on Thursday that they are now looking at the option of operating on the brilliant winner of the Sussex Stakes.

Assistant trainer Richard Hannon junior said: "What happened was very similar to the Guineas. We were happy with him coming into the race but he wasn't breathing right in the race and he just cut out and emptied.

"He displaced his soft palate, just as he did at Newmarket, so we will probably have it cauterised. It only takes two weeks to have that put right so he'll come back in the autumn and go back to a mile at Ascot or in America."


RP
Report Sandown August 22, 2013 3:56 PM BST
Indeed Figgis. It's quite common for some reason.Not significant enough to be a worry. I just stick with the official time.
Report brigust1 August 22, 2013 4:16 PM BST
Figgis and Sandown a couple of questions.

I don't follow speed figures or times only as a minor guide among many other things.

Can you tell me if cutting the grass during a meeting like the July meeting at Newmarket has any effect on your speed figures? In the 70's when watering was pretty well non existent the courses always ensured there was a very good covering of grass how does that relate to watered ground without a good covering of grass?
Report Figgis August 22, 2013 4:20 PM BST
No, times are compared with other races on the day, so the effect is the same for all.
Report Sandown August 22, 2013 4:36 PM BST
brigust1

Agree with Figgis, but I am aware that the direction of the grass cut may have an effect. Hence, "the golden highway" type comments.Also, I do not like heavy watering as it invariably is not even due to wind, drainage. And if it rains on watered ground then "red lights" flash.Finally, important to know reasons for draw bias such as joggers, vehicles etc compressing ground. Personally, I work with an error range of +/- 3-5lbs in the back of my head when looking at figures.
Report Figgis August 22, 2013 4:50 PM BST
I think a bigger problem is the ignorance of the wind factor. When it is accounted for it is often underestimated and/or expected to be the same for every race. All races over the same part of the track are nearly always directly compared with others on the same part. Admittedly it has to be a starting point but it is ridiculous to stick to this when it doesn't really tally with what we've witnessed. A recent example is Our Obsession's previous York win, a direct comparison with the Gp2 would lead us to believe it was a pretty slow overall time. Even though the early pace may not have been the quickest I'd argue the overall time was pretty good. It was slow, however, for her race today.
Report Figgis August 22, 2013 4:54 PM BST
I agree with Sandown about watering and, for me, the other point that is overlooked is that watered ground can dry out rapidly from early races to later ones, this is rarely accounted for.
Report twonky August 22, 2013 7:06 PM BST
Thanks for the replies lads, certainly makes very interesting reading on how you arrive at your figures, sometimes differently. I don't use time as much as you obviously do, prefer to see winning distances and use the class of the race. Ie, for me, if a horse wins a listed race by 2l lengths or more, it's worth a step up in grade, if a horse wins a group3 by 2 lengths or more, it's worth a step up to group 2 etc. Obviously, this theory has its faults and can be shot down. Would class and winning distance come into your figures, regardless of time?

Figgis,

Thanks for the answers, pretty much what I was expecting, except a curt dismissal of the French guineas winner, especially considering the subsequent form of the beaten horses, they are littered with group wins and placings. Would the draw bias have a huge impact with you for that particular race?
Report Figgis August 22, 2013 7:17 PM BST
Would class and winning distance come into your figures, regardless of time?

Yes definitely.

Twonky, I think he's a horse with a decent turn of foot but he's limited in a fast run race. The French Guineas was slowly run, which, along with the draw, hindered Intello.
Report Stevie Gerrard August 22, 2013 7:26 PM BST
Twonky,
I will base my speed figures by looking at previous best speed figures for each runner but also by what speed figures I would expect for each class of race. I would then come to an allowance for each race and it would often be the same allowance when it's all going well but sometimes you'll see the allowance change for later races on in the card suggesting the ground has got faster or something or if there is a headwind or tailwind up the straight then I'll have to make adjustments for each race on the round course to allow for this. For instance in a 12f race they would be getting the benefit of the tailwind in the straight for less than the 10f race and getting the headwind for longer in the back straight.
Report A_T August 22, 2013 8:10 PM BST
Toronado pulled too hard early on and didn't get home. Decent miler though even if not as good as Canford Cliffs (despite what Richard Hughes says).
Report brigust1 August 22, 2013 8:54 PM BST
Toronado has breathing problems and is being operated on. That answers a few questions anyway.
Report Figgis August 23, 2013 11:26 AM BST
Brigust, at the moment I think they've only said they'll probably have him operated on. If it was purely down to that then I'd fully expect him to show his best form again next time out, there's no reason why he shouldn't, as they've said it's only a simple matter to sort out. However, if he doesn't show his best form I'll believe that it was more than that.

Here is the trainer's excuse for Al Kazeem
"I thought that the fast ground was 90 per cent responsible for his below par effort and the remaining 10 per cent was perhaps due to him being too fresh after his break,"


On times the ground was only slightly faster on Wednesday than when Al Kazeem put up his best ever performance in winning the Eclipse, in fact as there was a fresh tailwind at York and virtually none at Sandown I'd argue that it was probably a bit quicker at Sandown. Some may choose to believe the excuse put forward but for me the reason was more likely to be some fatigue after his earlier efforts, which was seen as a possibility before the race, instead of just an after time excuse.
Report brigust1 August 23, 2013 11:49 AM BST
Hi Figgis. When I thought Toronado might not run again this season it was based upon the fact I thought he was coughing. A soft palate operation is not so time related so he should run again this season. A small problem here though is that he weakened so badly at York. Was it due to lack of air or Hughes pulling him up? If it was the former he may need a run to let him know he can fully breathe again.

I'm taking the trainers excuse for AK with a pinch. I didn't think he would be placed and he wasn't. That was based on his form and nothing that happened in the race told me he was a proper Gr1 horse. I thought that before and still do. And this race may struggle to be considered a solid Gr1 race anyway. How good is the winner? Is he a solid Gr1 winner or more than likely a Gr1 place horse able to pick up the occasional weaker Gr1's. A bit like St Nicholas Abbey. The 2nd horse was running over too short a trip I thought but Bolger is running him in the Irish Champion next. He obviously doesn't think he has the class to win the Arc. I think Charlton thinks the same.
Report Sandown August 23, 2013 12:27 PM BST
I said at the time that AK didn't enjoy the ground at Sandown and he won despite that. The uphill finish there is a help for horses with a soft ground preference running on firm ground. York being a flat surface is not so helpful in that respect. The horse is a big gross horse, not built to enjoy a fast surface. I don't know why they ran him at York knowing all of this. I also believe him to be better at 12f. They will probably send him to the Arc as it will be his last hurrah but I don't believe him to be up to the standard required.

The breathing problem for Toronado seems now to the only excuse being offered. Was the coughing related? It would explain his run at Newmarket.
Report Figgis August 23, 2013 12:33 PM BST
For the POW, the ground, while not quite as fast as at Sandown, was very much in the good to firm bracket. I find it strange that he can put up two continuous improved peak performances on good to firm if he struggles to perform on it, but each to their own.
Report Sandown August 23, 2013 12:58 PM BST
Figgis

Ascot, like Sandown, rises fore the last 2f, so the same argument applies.Furthermore, the condition of the grass ia a big factor and at Ascot the grass is thick having been relaid in the past few years. York is flat and the grass/ground may be less helpful. It's not just about times.The horse's physique & action are major factors.Plus Sandown, Ascot, Curragh are all RH.May be a factor even though he has won LH at Newbury albeit off 95 in a h/c.
Report Sandown August 23, 2013 12:59 PM BST
Curragh also rises at finish, of course. May be significant.
Report Figgis August 23, 2013 1:07 PM BST
Sandown, while other elements are relevant, for me the ultimate evidence is in the results, but as I said each to their own. It's all about opinions and all that but I don't follow some of your reasoning. After the POW you said Al Kazeem was a worthy Gp1 winner and up to standard, I thought he was a bit below. It could be argued you were more right than me as he went on to win another. You say he's a better horse on easier ground. How much would you estimate? If we're going to say a horse would be better than I think even a conservative estimate of better would be, say, 2lbs, anything less would be negligible. You also say he's better at 12f, which applying the same criteria would equal another 2lb. However, you say you don't believe he's up to Arc standard, a race over 12f often run on easier ground. Taking out exceptional winners like Sea The Stars, how much better would he have to be to be Arc standard?
Report ash cpfc August 23, 2013 1:14 PM BST

Aug 23, 2013 -- 7:07AM, Figgis wrote:


Sandown, while other elements are relevant, for me the ultimate evidence is in the results, but as I said each to their own. It's all about opinions and all that but I don't follow some of your reasoning. After the POW you said Al Kazeem was a worthy Gp1 winner and up to standard, I thought he was a bit below. It could be argued you were more right than me as he went on to win another. You say he's a better horse on easier ground. How much would you estimate? If we're going to say a horse would be better than I think even a conservative estimate of better would be, say, 2lbs, anything less would be negligible. You also say he's better at 12f, which applying the same criteria would equal another 2lb. However, you say you don't believe he's up to Arc standard, a race over 12f often run on easier ground. Taking out exceptional winners like Sea The Stars, how much better would he have to be to be Arc standard?


You boys are putting up interesting arguments, at the moment I have him as my Arc winner for the reason Sandown gave (then went back on) double figure odds would look very nice on the day, when you consider the 3yr old crop don't look good enough. Novellist is the main threat to him

Report pedrobob August 23, 2013 1:16 PM BST
for those who think Al Kazeem was below par, are you suggesting that a top form Mukhadram (probably no worse than 1 length his inferior) would have beaten DoW and Trading Leather on Wednesday?
Report Figgis August 23, 2013 1:22 PM BST
Ped, I reckon it would've been very close and I don't even rate Al Kazeem especially high. In the event that might not have been the case as Mukhadram has had some punishing races, it's no surprise that form gets turned around at this stage of the season.
Report Sandown August 23, 2013 1:25 PM BST
To win the Arc the winner needs to run to 130+ .I've got AK pegged in the mid 120's. Given soft ground he may run to a place.That said, he's relatively lightly raced for his age and at double figures there would be worse bets.
Report ash cpfc August 23, 2013 1:42 PM BST
Whilst there are question marks around RPR Solemia was 123 last year and Danedream was 128 the year before

I can't see anything this year that's really on the same level as Workforce, See the Stars or even Dylan Thomas

For me there are a lot of evenly matched horse in this years Arc, which is why it looks an interesting race
Report Figgis August 23, 2013 1:50 PM BST
Ash, there's certainly no outstanding contender, imo, and in years like that almost anything within Gp1 standard can win. There is also a strong possibility that the winner might not necessarily be the very best horse of the season but one who has been geared specifically towards the race and performs best on the day.
Report ash cpfc August 23, 2013 1:52 PM BST
totally agree with you Figgis
Report brigust1 August 23, 2013 2:00 PM BST
I will be very, very disappointed if a 3 year old doesn't win the Arc.
Report Sandown August 23, 2013 2:21 PM BST
Reasons why AK is not the most likely Arc winner

1. Hasn't yet looked as though he can deliver 130+ rating

2. Has not had the ideal prep

3. WFA age seems to favour 3 yr olds , and disfavour 5 yr +

w. There are are several better placed contenders being targeted at the race
Report Figgis August 23, 2013 2:38 PM BST
Flintshire is still a dark horse for me, but as to the others there's nothing I've seen yet to make me want to back them. Maybe somebody can back a handful of them and hope to cover the winner but anybody who can confidently name the likely winner at this stage gets my respect.
Report brigust1 August 23, 2013 3:01 PM BST
Treve's record breaking form in the Diane is working out and the trainer knows the Arc time of day. And Intello must be pretty good for them to run him in the Marois with the Arc in mind.
I am of the opinion a lot of horses run over 12f because they are basically slow. Not plodding slow but unable to win over much shorter distances. I think that shows class.
Report Millerracing67 August 23, 2013 3:26 PM BST
The French 3yos looks smart & as norm will be train with The Arc in mind.
But, like last year if the ground comes up heavy, its anyone`s race.
Report Figgis August 23, 2013 3:57 PM BST
A few teething troubles with the on screen sectionals, judging by the Nunthorpe.
Report twonky August 23, 2013 5:35 PM BST
Looks like the arc is shaping up to be the race of the season. Novellist, Intello, Treve ( red hot form post and pre Diane from the second third and fourth, and now throw in The Fugue, who like Treve is a 4l group1 winner against her own sex.

How would you guys rate the 2 females in that line up? Personally, I'd be against The Fugue. I think she needs a left handed track or a track with a long straight to cope with her long fluent action. The canadian international at Woodbine would, IMO, be her best chance of a group 1 against the males.
Report brigust1 August 23, 2013 5:43 PM BST
I couldn't have The Fugue on my mind. The race would have to cut up badly or form capitulate for her to have a chance. The Novellist is a strong stayer with form on any ground and will be a decent yardstick but I prefer the 3 year old's at this moment in time.
Report brigust1 August 24, 2013 9:17 AM BST
Good morning Figgis. I don't know if you have read Hughes's column in the RP but he has confirmed a point I have raised on many occasions and that is the grass on racecourses. York underwent major course improvements, like Ascot and Doncaster among others, and Hughsie points out quite clearly how the grass type and cutting can make a difference in race times etc. It may also confirm AK's inability to act on the going. We will see.
Report Figgis August 24, 2013 10:50 AM BST
Brigust, I don't see the relevance to race times on the same day?
Report Figgis August 24, 2013 10:51 AM BST
I don't buy the RP any more, haven't for a few years now.
Report Stevie Gerrard August 24, 2013 10:59 AM BST
I think it was a good point in his column as he's saying at York because the cut shorter there isn't that cushion of the grass that you get at other tracks.
Report Stevie Gerrard August 24, 2013 11:05 AM BST
Figgis. He's just saying that at York they cut the grass shorter and the grass is also finer. But at other courses the grass tends to be longer or heavier and the horses don't connect withg the ground the same way.
Report Figgis August 24, 2013 11:13 AM BST
Stevie, so no real bearing on comparative time performances then?
Report Stevie Gerrard August 24, 2013 11:16 AM BST
no talk about time at all really except headline reads 'fine grass leads to very quick going on the knavesmire' but for me the article is more about how the horse is feeling the ground rather than it leading to fast times.
Report Figgis August 24, 2013 11:16 AM BST
Probably what he's saying is true but can't say I've noticed any difference in results being different than expected outcomes at any other grade 1 course, I like the track.
Report brigust1 August 24, 2013 11:18 AM BST
Fine grass leads to quick going at Knavesmire.

At York they like to cut its grass short, and that's how it was this week, but becase the ground conditions were fast the length of the grass was even more influential.
The grass at York is not only short but fine, so when a horse makes a contact with the turf it very easily breaks into the ground underneath, which is why you often see sand kicking up. At other courses the grass tends to be longer or heavier and the horses don't connect with the ground in the same way.
Goodwood provides a fabulous cover of dense turf, but it doesn't take much rain for it to ride slow because when the grass becomes wet it also becomes heavy and harder to get through than would be the case at York, where when the tack dries out it rides quicker and with less cushion than other courses.
When it gets quick it gets very quick.

That is the gist of it Figgis.

I have long maintained the course works at Ascot and the drainage works at York and Doncaster are the reasons for the improvement in times.

As far as your theory about Al Kazeem and the ground that seems to be borne out here.
Report brigust1 August 24, 2013 11:20 AM BST
The first time the course was used after the new drainage works Sea the Stars broke the course record do it could not be a direct comparison with previous record holders.
Report brigust1 August 24, 2013 11:20 AM BST
*so
Report Figgis August 24, 2013 11:22 AM BST
Brigust, track speed is accounted for when analysing the times. It could be like lightning today compared with an Ebor run on a bog years ago, it makes no difference at all to the ratings, the faster time would not be automatically rated better than the slower time.
Report Figgis August 24, 2013 11:24 AM BST
Record times are not used by anybody seriously comparing race times.
Report brigust1 August 24, 2013 11:37 AM BST
I understand that but the only link with horses of the past are race times. I have long said that racecourse management has had a lot to do with it and with the 3 courses I mentioned having high profile works done with obvious improvements in times has backed up that view imo.
Report Figgis August 24, 2013 11:42 AM BST
Brigust, race time performances are the link, not the actual times.
Report Figgis August 24, 2013 11:44 AM BST
Also there is far far more watering these days, so the argument could be turned around, but as I said it has no real relevance anyway.
Report brigust1 August 24, 2013 12:09 PM BST
Providing good means good and firm means firm then all that is left is the grass covering. True they water more now but in my day they let the grass grow to provide the cushion and I'm sure running through longer grass must make a comparable difference. Anyway that's my opinion.
Report Figgis August 24, 2013 12:15 PM BST
Brig, but the time ratings are reached by comparing with other times on the day. As the length of the grass will be the same for all it makes no difference. Except in cases that Sandown refers to, where a particular strip of grass is faster on a section of the course. That's not something I've noticed much of though in the best races.
Report Sandown August 24, 2013 12:34 PM BST
I've seen research and video demonstrating how "spring" in the track helps to increase "actual" times. Too firm and the horse gets no help from the track so times can actually be slower. Now this was USA research and referred to dirt/polytrack but the principle is the same. The horse gets more kinetic energy when its given spring. I've noticed in the past that a spot of rain on firm can actually help to speed up a track (turf)- getting "bounce" back - and this must be due to the soil/grass mix. Think that cricketers experience the same phenomenon as do tennis players. Of course, when making performance/merit ratings, its the same for all.
Report brigust1 August 24, 2013 12:38 PM BST
Thanks Sandown. Very interesting.

I know it doesn't affect your rating Fig it was just something I have been discussing in the past.
Course improvements are not a bad thing because York would probably be a quagmire today without the new improvements.
Report Stevie Gerrard August 24, 2013 12:44 PM BST
I remember one year at the cheltenham festival when officially it was good and they were describing the grass as springy. I think a few course records went that year.
Report Figgis August 24, 2013 12:49 PM BST
Sandown

I'm sure that's true. Firm ground times can also be affected as often jockeys reign in their horses, sometimes because they're mindful of the horse's well being, but often because they can't gauge the speed of the track and assume they're going faster that they really are, relatively speaking. For me, rain doesn't have a uniform effect on polytrack, I've seen days when it's quickened up the surface and days when it's slowed it down. Going back to the wind effect, even though Kempton, Lingfield and Wolverhampton have no separate straight course they are just as influenced by wind as a round turf track. I think the assumption that figures recorded on such courses are more reliable is a complete fallacy.
Report Figgis August 24, 2013 12:50 PM BST
*faster than they really are
Report Figgis August 24, 2013 1:32 PM BST
How does everybody else rate the Gimcrack field? Just listening to James Willoughby say he rates Astaire to have run fastest, I don't see that myself, I have him joint 5th best. Just goes to show the differences there can be between time based opinions and the silliness of the statement that the clock never lies. Having said that I have only 5lbs between the highest (My Catch) and the lowest (Saayerr) in the field and it's a race I wouldn't touch with a barge pole.
Report Sandown August 24, 2013 1:49 PM BST
Willoughby "talks the talk" but doesn't "walk the walk."He is not a player.  His comments can be of general interest but never of specific interest for me, so I take no notice of him. Sound off often.The ground change at York is a game changer and as most of 2 yr old form has been on top of the ground, I wouldn't get involved for that reason. Parbold is of interest because of his Coventry run.
Report Figgis August 24, 2013 2:00 PM BST
I think he's ok when he's interested in the topic. I often disagree with his conclusions but that isn't the point. I would much rather hear him than the offerings of many of the others on there. Which usually amount to stating the bleedin' obvious, robotic listings of official handicap marks, confident predictions of what horses will do next time after a race, only for that confidence to vanish when they're trying to predict the outcome of its next race and sickening brown nosing of anyone involved in the racing game.
Report Stevie Gerrard August 24, 2013 2:03 PM BST
I seem to have Wilshere Boulevard top just ahead of Cable Bay and then Saayyer. But I think it will depend on who goes on the ground best
Report Stevie Gerrard August 24, 2013 2:06 PM BST
I think that Wilshere B rating may be wrong though. I'm going to look into it.
Report Stevie Gerrard August 24, 2013 2:10 PM BST
No it seems ok. Not a race i'm betting in though
Report Stevie Gerrard August 24, 2013 2:47 PM BST
I'm sick of Machin's puns as they cross the line
Report Figgis August 24, 2013 3:18 PM BST
Well done Willo Grin
Report Figgis August 24, 2013 6:49 PM BST
Yes, Stevie, almost as annoying as some of Johnson's commentaries, that was terrible at Windsor.
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