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13 Aug 15 13:19
Date Joined: 05 Sep 11
| Topic/replies: 642 | Blogger: kevinglass's blog
With the field likely to shrink like a wooly jumper in the tumble drier, surely a fair bit of vale in the ew market with the bookies.

I dipped my toe in at £10ew which was referred but accepted....may try a few others now.

I think the Grey Gatsby is a bit overpriced, even if Gleneagles runs, it may not stay, and hopefully it'll lash it down tonight in York.

Anyhow you get a lot of funny results at York, and The Grey Gatsby is ultra consistent.
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Report Figgis August 19, 2015 5:28 PM BST
Sandown, yes Carson said that after the Eclipse Nashwan could still sprint for a couple of furlongs but wasn't the same overall. Apparently it was he who devised the plan to have the pacemaker run at a crawl to enable him to sprint finish on Nashwan as he didn't think he'd still be effective in a strongly run race.
Report metro john August 19, 2015 6:05 PM BST
Well these results do happen, I believe that now they may digest that GH wants 12f, Treve suffered similar setbacks of a sort, a true 12f+ horse is gonna have difficulty at 10f, trying too rate the race without discipline is very difficult,if you take the winner out the race you could argue a similar rating too the Eclipse? I would settle for the winning rating of 127-128 and work backwards, it was just her day,the fillies did look closer than some suggested earlier too my eyes,but I could not have predicted this result, the distance todat did not help GH a bit shorter than normal,so excuses,not sure where they go next,if it is fast ground and 12f then America looks the obvious target with nothing now left too lose. The King George was a missed chance, but non of my views now count.
Report Stevie Gerrard August 19, 2015 6:08 PM BST
I made a mistake before and took off 2.5s from ny standard for the 12f race but forgot when I was doing the big race. so have done them again now  and ended up with a poor speed figure for juddmonte so have to agree with what Howellsy is saying.
Report Stevie Gerrard August 19, 2015 6:12 PM BST
And the reason AQ is going away again at the finish I presume is because the others have used up their energy earlier in the straight trying to close the gap imo.
Report metro john August 19, 2015 6:12 PM BST
Quite a lot of horses could be well overrated is another view, perhaps some will be adjusted come the end of the season(slippage)
Report Figgis August 19, 2015 6:21 PM BST
Another thing I'd throw in as that while GH's keenness could be blamed on the pace not being quick enough to settle him (although personally I'd argue he went much slower early in the Eclipse without showing the same traits) I've often noticed those signs displayed by horses that have had enough for the time being.
Report Figgis August 19, 2015 6:41 PM BST
Quite a lot of horses could be well overrated is another view

Shows how difficult it can sometimes be to rate a race on form lines MJ as, like you said, the result would surely be rated higher with Arabian Queen out of the way, with Golden Horn appearing an impressive winner.
Report Millerracing67 August 19, 2015 6:52 PM BST
A shock result indeed
Report metro john August 19, 2015 6:54 PM BST
yes figgis, no science this subject.
Report Howellsy August 19, 2015 6:56 PM BST
Figgis, the only problem with that would be Dick D. Too close up to believe they've gone anywhere near fast enough to make it really valid form.
Report kincsem August 19, 2015 6:56 PM BST
I posted this on - a list of the 2015 Group surprises

Park Express Stakes .................. Ramone ... 100/1
Gladness Stakes ......................... Flight Risk ... 50/1
Athasi Stakes .............................. Iveagh Gardens ... 25/1
Duke Of York Stakes .................. Glass Office ... 40/1
English Oaks .............................. Qualify ... 50/1
King's Stand Stakes ................... Goldream ... 20/1
Windsor Forest Stakes ............. Amazing Maria ... 25/1
Princess Of Wales's Stakes ..... Big Orange ... 25/1
Oak Tree Stakes ......................... Amy Eria ... 33/1
English International Stakes ... Arabian Queen ... 50/1
Report Millerracing67 August 19, 2015 7:11 PM BST
Never seen Golden Horn in the flesh before 2day, but must say i was not very taken by how he looked in the parade ring myself, to my eye he looked a bit dull in his coat.
Was a bit coltish before & entering the parade ring (shouting)
In the race itself he would not settle for Frankie for a gd few furlongs & seemed to flatten out in the last 100yrs after still looking the likely winner entering the last 2fs.
Frankie later reported he felt a bit flat in the home str.
The only thing u can say about the winner (other than well done) is that she does like a bit of ease in the ground.
Report Figgis August 19, 2015 7:13 PM BST
Howellsy, I accept that the final time wasn't up to standard but I don't get how it was supposed to be so poor as to stop GH from winning? If GH had been positioned where Time Test was then possibly there would be more of an argument but GH wasn't that far behind the winner when the race was really on.

As for Dick D, yes the fact that the pace of those behind wasn't as quick as it could've been helped him to stay somewhere in contention, but this is the only sport I know where the competitors are regarded as robotic performers and a race can be downgraded purely on the finishing position of one runner. In all other sports we see many occasions where a competitor performs much better than their usual form, not just a case of the competition under performing, but the competitor actually performs better than usual which can be proved with stats. It could be said that the Guineas form is held down by the position of Bossy Guest but I'd say he over achieved that day, still to be proved though Wink
Report Stevie Gerrard August 19, 2015 7:19 PM BST
I'm quite happy to try and predict surprises especially in tactically run races but today we had a pacemaker in the race and I wasn't expecting everyone to ignore him and instead follow SDS and let him control the race.
Have to give credit to the filly in the way she battled on as she was quite keen early on herself but I can't understand Dettori at all. He's on the derby winner and his stablemate and lead horse at home is ignored and instead he follows SDS who is slowing down and Dettori is struggling to settle his horse as SDS slows up. Surely he should have been right in behind his stablemate? I admit it's easy to say now in hindsight but I'm inclined to forget this race for form book purposes as was pretty messy.
Report Howellsy August 19, 2015 7:28 PM BST
I agree with SG on that. Figgis, I agree that horses coming from behind in strong run races can finish close up (Bossy Guest) but when they have been prominent throughout it simply proves it wasn't strongly run. My contention is that had they gone a true group 1 pace, AQ would not have been on the premises in the final furlong. Of course, I can't prove it. I also accept GH might have been similarly short of his best in those circumstances if it turns out he was fatigued. However, Gatsby would probably have won then, and the result would still have made some sort of group 1 sense.
Report Figgis August 19, 2015 7:40 PM BST
Howellsy, as I said I'm not disputing that the race wasn't run at a great pace, but it's being portrayed as though it was run at a complete dawdle, it wasn't. GH was well within striking distance of the winner when the race was at its hottest and it was Arabian Queen he was trying to catch, not Gleneagles.
Report Benjy August 19, 2015 7:53 PM BST
He'd made up so much ground to be that close is the issue though. And then had nothing left.
Report twonky August 19, 2015 7:55 PM BST
Hi lads, it's quite interesting reading as to how you come to your ratings, but I'd like to discuss your ratings regarding the Great Gatsby. Now, despite already winning at York, all his best form is on courses with relatively short finishing straits, ie, ascot Leopardstown and chantilly. With this in mind, I'd give him another chance over 12f in the Arc or better still either English or Irish champion.

So my first question would be, do you take course characteristics into consideration when giving a rating? Tia
Report A_T August 19, 2015 8:15 PM BST
Karma for Gosden for pulling out of the KG so late. Think the horse has plateaued now and won't win another big race.
Report Figgis August 19, 2015 8:18 PM BST
Twonky, I suppose what I do is rate the race then form an opinion of the horses involved, so I wouldn't alter a rating due to the course requirements of a runner. My problem with TGG is I don't think he's improved in line with the wfa scale since last year.
Report Stevie Gerrard August 19, 2015 8:50 PM BST
twonky same as figgis here, the figures don't include the course but if a horse has run a big figure under certain conditions before and has those conditions come up again then obviously he's more likely to reproduce it.
As for TGG, his best figure for me was in the Irish Champion last year and there was enough in his ascot and Sandown runs to suggest he is still a solid G1 older horse. I do believe he needs faster ground to show his best.
Also he has yet to have a decent pace to record a big figure yet. His Ascot run with sectional boost wasn't far off though. Perhaps a short straight could be better for him but I think it could be he needs fast ground. I thought today he didn't really pick up that well on the holding ground and was also a bit too far back.
Report metro john August 19, 2015 9:16 PM BST
Hi Twonky - My ratings would differ very much from my opinions at times, and can be adjusted as such if need be,the same process is difficult for any fixed method, concerning course form I would always note left from right if I believed a bias it would be possible too adjust end opinion but rating run ups last  440 metres etc is not something that I would spend any time on, but a good thought by yourself and in a close race could make the difference. Tgg at 10f is consistent if you notice those runs in isolation ,but he wears cheekpieces and has been beaten by well known very good dodger that is Al Kazeem( mr seconditus), today we witnessed the winner enjoying the ground beneath her feat on what must be her ideal distance, she may show a similar level once more in those conditions, it is possible? every good horse can and generally do have an off day,the problem is guessing how and when? Like I said earlier if The winner did not run , it would be tricky not too rate the event today below 130(should it still be that high?) questioning is what forms our opinions when making ratings, but we must be flexible in approach because sometimes they make no sense and are proven wrong. #more Black Swans than we care too notice.
Report metro john August 19, 2015 9:27 PM BST
Last years Arc if I remember and i could be wrong? was rated 129 by few handicappers including myself, but in hindsight how on earth have we rated so many minor events in comparison,  so much better?(something to ponder on) #thetestoftime
Report Stevie Gerrard August 19, 2015 9:42 PM BST
I think Golden Horn's 130 could still be correct MJ, I gave him a big figure in the derby and we saw today Storm the Stars win and the derby looks pretty solid to me. A few reasons on this thread have been given for why GH did not perform today, some say fatigue and some will say too keen and needs further or stronger pace. He may not produce it again of course but it's still hard to knock his derby win from a time and form perspective.
Report G1_Jockey_4 August 19, 2015 10:04 PM BST
GH didnt settle but neither did AQ who never settles...athough i do think she was a little better today.
think that combined witht he ground and prominent position bias of york helped her.

she is a dead ringer for her mum except she has 2 eyes
Report metro john August 20, 2015 8:45 AM BST
Hi Stevie Gerard, I agree,I believe 12f best form against own generation, all is not lost, It would be wrong too think that so many ran below form in such a good race having been specially prepared(at least that is what common sense dictates?), the problem is the winner  just did not look top draw prior too this event?
Report metro john August 20, 2015 8:49 AM BST
Perhaps the 2yrld form was that bad, that through race standardization we encounter a year when the top end are just overrated as a generation, this does happen?
Report Stevie Gerrard August 20, 2015 8:57 AM BST
I've only got a 75 speed figure for the winner MJ so to me I'm looking at this as mainly a false result due to muddling pace, the horse most flattered by the result was probably DD.
I'm not saying isn't a decent filly as she could be improving and may yet run a big figure in the future but for now I'm just ignoring the race for form book purposes as it was a but of a mess.
I'd be quite happy to back GH nto if the price allows, but my feeling is most people will forgive this run so we may not get that much value anyway.
Report metro john August 20, 2015 9:05 AM BST
How is it possible too make speed figures when they move rails ,shorten distances,etc, how can we even judge sectionals?, the act of moving rails should be stopped,and I would suggest this action too the new Betters forum. I have too say that on more than a couple of occasions this year in top races,the time guys have been well wrong, no shame ,we all make mistakes,but a 7 lb upgrade for time, in my opinion deserves no place in handicapping horses, imagine if  the official used such methods?
Report Stevie Gerrard August 20, 2015 9:27 AM BST
There were 3 races on the round course MJ and it's easy enough to take into account how much difference 42y shorter distances make in times. The voltigeur was run at a good pace so I'm quite happy with the 111 figure I got for that one and then I used same allowance for other 2 races.
Report Stevie Gerrard August 20, 2015 9:36 AM BST
As for the sectionals then you would have to take into account the shorter distance of the whole race and also that there was a tail wind up the straight which possibly made the last 4f around half second quicker.
Report brigust1 August 20, 2015 9:47 AM BST
Hi MJ. Hope you are well and in good form. I've only got a couple of minutes. Hoped to go to York yesterday but too much to do.
Was it a strange result? The race look like it was run in  bit of a muddle but everything had a chance at the title when they turned in. Time will tell I suppose. I wonder what JG will do now. Did he get it wrong missing the KG and keeping GH on the go until now? Maybe. The horse has lost it's unbeaten record so they either go again, possibly in Ireland or pull up stumps. If they go again and get beaten the loss could be huge on the breeding front. I have a slight suspicion he may not run again. JG referred to him being struck into yesterday so perhaps an injury in running causing defeat and meaning end of racing career could be on the cards. Or maybe not. In any case I think there is far too much hype around some horses running today being hiked up the ratings. In the RP yesterday one of the journalists said if he wins today, yesterday, he could be considered an all time great. He has beaten the winners of three Group 1's ffs. Elm Park may not have trained on. Jack Hobbs his stable companion and TGG. TGG has run in 11 Group 1's and won 2. There is no depth to the form whatsoever in my opinion. He is clearly the best of his generation but what does that mean?

I remember when they interviewed the Hamdan's racing manager after Muhaarar won in Deauville and the interviewer likened him to Dayjur, because he had won 3 Group 1's, and he just laughed and said he would need a torch, a compass and a backpack to keep in touch with Dayjur. Everything is so hyped today in my opinion. Let the horses do the talking on the track.   
Must go. Take care.
Report metro john August 20, 2015 10:53 AM BST
Hello Brigust1, the ground yesterday similar to the King George, that and possibly wrong distance for GH probably made the difference, oh and of course the course shortening the distance trying to get Gleneagles to participate? and all history now. Golden Horns Derby form stands up ok for this generation(which may not be great) Ratings do seem to have grown,perhaps we all need to get a grip with them, circumstances do impact from year too year. I think we need less Group1 races too increase competitiveness, many will obviously disagree, the hard fact is that the weather in the UK is always unpredictable and that I suppose is the case for more group1s? How can they ever hope too achieve the brilliance of the Brigadier Gerard if they never have too meet? would be my point.
Report metro john August 20, 2015 10:56 AM BST
Stevie Gerard, I have too disagree on your point, the whole tempo of the race is impacted from that small change, the sectionals are impacted a butterfly effect takes place that is not measurable?
Report metro john August 20, 2015 10:59 AM BST
previous standard times become invalid?
Report twonky August 20, 2015 12:44 PM BST
Thanks for the replies lads, more than I expected and some interesting observations. Golden Horn being knackered after the Eclipse is one that I'd totally agree with. And it's Golden Horn I have a problem with regarding ratings, especially of races run over 12f or more.

For the past 2 years, I've argued that the 3yo middle distance horses have been overrated, a few on here have altered their ratings accordingly at the end of the season..( of course we do not know how good this years crop are Yet). To me it's all down to 10f being the breeding " fashion" ATM, and no doubt in time this will drop to 8f... My questions then would be,

1/ considering the likes of Treve and Danedream in recent years and yesterday's shock winner, are you happy to rate fillies and mares less to the colts, that's if you do already?

2/ do have have certain distance races that you are confident or not in your ratings?

3/ of the last 5 derby winners, where were they in your ratings, considering, like me, that a 10f horse can prove could enough to win the race.

Ps, someone above was citing the media and wonder horses, I would agree with his point. Australia being a prime example, for whom coolmore sacrificed the better horse in Adelaide.....tia
Report Figgis August 20, 2015 1:43 PM BST
I have a similar figure for the Voltigeur and the International, which is obviously disappointing for the Gp1, however I still wouldn't say it was a complete farce of a race and it's still a better figure than the one for the Eclipse. As can be seen from the sectionals the main damage to the final time was done in the first furlong, first furlongs from a standing start are known to be slow but this was in the extreme. Just as it looked on watching the race they picked up the tempo from some way out. The bend had been shortened but it also has to be noted that they were running into a headwind/crosswind for the first 5 furlongs or so.

When dealing with a winning distance as short as a head it would be foolish to say Golden Horn would definitely not have won if he'd been closer to Arabian Queen early on, and I know there are some methods out there which will say he should've won, possibly so but, apart from that being an annoyance to his backers, surely what really matters for future betting purposes is that even if he might've won it wouldn't have been by the margin he ought to have.
Report sageform August 21, 2015 12:41 PM BST
I still think that the decidion to run a pacemaker was a decisive factor in the outcome although I still think that Arabian Queen has not got the crdit deserved.
Firstly, Golden Horn might well have "recognised" Dick D and wanted to get upsides early on. Have they worked together I wonder?
Secondly Arabian Queen although some way behing the pacemaker early  had the benfit of something to follow rather than having to make all.
Thirdly GH was encouraged to go forward at Sandown so not surprising he was keen.
Small things can make a big difference and if AQ had tried to make all with Golden Horn sitting 2 lengths back he might well have won.
Report roadrunner46 August 21, 2015 1:52 PM BST
would give lot of credit to the winner, was an amazing performance to beat GH, as all of the evidence is more well
known now, understanding what happened in the race is all bit more clearer. although it was a shock result, the winner
had raced in group 1 company 5 times, must of been acclimatised to championship races and had its perfect conditions,
and with luck in running, when AMAZING MARIA won for the first time, everyone shocked about how much that had improved,
to me it was just another late developing horse, with a good trainer.
Report Figgis August 21, 2015 1:57 PM BST
A cracking piece by JW.
Report The Big O August 22, 2015 2:09 AM BST
Article just nails it. Spot. On.
Report ffs August 22, 2015 3:06 AM BST
all that really matters from that race is what the owner/breeder of Arabian Queen said afterwards, that it was the first real comparison between the classic fillies and colts and why he felt she had a chance - looking forward to the likes of the Champ Stakes, QE2, Arc ... that makes it a very important race,

Noteworthy is Timeform put AQ up at 125 after the race, have now brought her back to 120, but yet Pleascach only ranks 117 - I think there's a lot of headscratching still going on about what would happen if the best of all the classic fillies + colts raced (even allowing for a sound surface). Nobody would have said Arabian Queen is the standard-bearer for her sex, the Legatissimos and Founds, Lucidas, Pleascachs ... would they all have run Golden Horn close, would they have beat Gleneagles ?

The RPRs are a joke for that race IMO, to say Golden Horn ran to 14 lbs off his Eclipse is ok on its own, but to say TGG also ran 14lbs under, and Time Test also ran 12lbs under ... Criterion 11lbs off ...

Remember what Jim Bolger said when Pleascach won the Irish 1000, that she'd be back for the Derby, not because she was so good but because he thought the colts were so weak.
Report Stevie Gerrard August 22, 2015 4:37 AM BST

RPRs and other collateral ratings will have to rate the race like that due to the pacemaker Dick Doughtywilie finishing close up, there's not
a lot they can do unless they give DD a much higher rating, this is why TF would have downgraded the 125 to 120.

You could choose to ignore the run of DD as he was almost in a separate race with the other runners ignoring him early on and if you did take him out the race then the collateral ratings would have a very different look to them with all the runners rating several pounds higher.

As you say we'll find out more when we see races like the Champion stakes, QE2, Arc etc and then hopefully the picture will be a little clearer.
Report ffs August 22, 2015 9:14 AM BST
DD does make it look weak, but for all the proven G1 horses to basically run 14lbs under it's just impossible to believe, I'll have to check the fractions again and see if DD was actually running on the speed,
Report Sandown August 22, 2015 9:48 AM BST
James Willoughby, as is his style, took a whole article to say that with the benefit of hindsight Gosden made the wrong call in the KG and that it mayhave cost him the International as well.Possibly. Gosden made his call, as we all do, with the evidence to hand at the time. I don't see that Gosden should be faulted. He was concerned about the race being a stamina test in ground which after walking he considered to be too demanding for his horse, especially at Swinley Bottom.

The horse had had a hard race at Sandown and JW is incorrect in implying that the horse was going away at Sandown and therefore was in good condition for Ascot. That we do not know. Maybe, maybe not. IMO the horse had a hard race at Sandown.That may have been still on him at York, too.

Did  the Derby winner fail to beat  a horse rated pounds below him because of that or because he was too fresh? Maybe, but that doesn't explain why other good horses such as TT and TGG also ran below form at York.Were there different factors at work. Ground conditions, tactics, pace?

As Figgis has said, it was not a typical slow, slow fast race where the front runner steals the race.The ground was dead but not heavy say, when strange results often result. The beaten horses had their chances if they were good enough.

We are left with the possibility that AQ improved significantly after all as a likely explanation. Time will tell.
Report ffs August 22, 2015 9:50 AM BST
Firstly, John Gosden was a little critical in saying they (Frankie) would have been better closer to the pacemaker,

Secondly, Ruby Walsh thought Silvestre de Souza set perfect fractions for himself - i.e. the others were too far off the pace,

Thirdly, explaining how DD ended up finishing so close to the G1 horses, if you look at last year,

they start racing much earlier this year, the group with Golden Horn was a lot slower earlier in the first 3.5f, and then in the fractions from 1m out to 4f they are actually faster than the fractions last year, of course they then come home a lot slower,

So, it definitely doesn't look like the Golden Horn group was on the optimal racing pace ..
Report Sandown August 22, 2015 10:01 AM BST
JW, as is his style, took a whole article to say what could have been said in a few words. With the benefit of hindsight, Gosden made the wrong call at Ascot and it possibly had consequences for York.

IMO, Gosden shouldn't be faulted for his KG decision. He had walked the course and decided that his horse would face too much of a test at the trip on ground he wouldn't appreciate. He had other races in mind which could have been jeopardized.That seemed like the right call at the time.Was it too conservative? Well, the trainer knows the horse better than anyone and he has to bear in mind what the owner wants as well.

At York, its possible that GH ran too fresh. It's also possible that he may have had too hard a race at Sandown and the effects of that race were still being felt. JW implied that as GH was going away at Sandown, the horse was capable of repeating his form. The fractions don't support that view.Imo, the horse had a hard race.Perhaps he was still feeling the effects and is now over the top.

At York, it wan't just GH that under-performed, however. TT and TGG should have been up to beating a horse rated many pounds below them as should GH. As Figgis has said,the race wasn't a typical early crawl favouring front runners. It was not heavy ground either. Both  are possible explanations for a 50/1 winner but so is the possibility that AQ improved significantly, as fillies are prone to do at this time of the year. Time will tell.
Report ffs August 22, 2015 10:15 AM BST
Sandown, the other possibility is simply that she ran her race, albeit a very good one, and she was just under-estimated coming into the race. What contradicts that view ?
Report roadrunner46 August 22, 2015 10:25 AM BST
Frankie gave the winner 1/2 second advantage after the first furlong, he was asleep in the saddle, as for the article, not big reader of horse racing articles, have to say, that was one of the best written articles about
horse racing and the juddmonte I have ever read, delicately examining all the issues around the race. would read
more often, if the writing was up to that kind of level all the time
Report Sandown August 22, 2015 11:44 AM BST

Its possible that the jockeys on the 3 top rated horses totally underestimated AQ's chance (as we all did) and thought that AQ wasn't going to be a threat and didn't respond fast enough once AQ took it up. Simply put, they misjudged the race thinking that the winner would be one of the three. TT looked the one most ill at ease on the ground and didn't pick up at all. Dettori must have thought that he could pick up AQ but GH clearly didn't respond as well on that ground. As both GH and TGG ran below form, perhaps the Eclipse run affected both horses too much.Plus AQ must have improved at least a few pounds although it was hard to think that beforehand.
Report Figgis August 22, 2015 12:52 PM BST
The problem with Gosden's excuses for not running in the King George is that he reckons that Golden Horn "barely gets 12f", after the Derby he must be about the only person who holds that view.
Report metro john August 23, 2015 9:17 AM BST

Perhaps TGG is going backward?, perhaps Golden Horn was ridden with the wrong tactics and too far off the pace and slow too be asked a question for a proven stayer?
and perhaps he needs 12f on fast ground, and maybe we have overrated him at 10f?

Concerning the Rp rating of 116 for AQ,Lord only knows where they get that figure,I am not saying they are wrong but it just seems illogical that so many decent horses should run so far below best in this highly sort event?(I could be wrong)

Looking at TF and RP and mine, it seems that ratings will be lowered later in the year, some years look odd, this fits that picture.
Report metro john August 23, 2015 10:26 AM BST
Some interesting Comments about  Dick Doughtywylie, and would have too agree about his  overall profile, just 3 wins from 20 all at just above 10f+, the best of those a listed event, but it is worth pointing out that in the distance past,he was being beaten only 6 Lenghts + by Al Kazeem(best 126 rp), who does have some creditable efforts for a dodge on his cv.So Dick is inconsistent,but conditions were probably good for him and he did dwell a little.
Report sageform August 24, 2015 9:36 AM BST
DD didn't go at the sort of gallop that poacemakers often do as the others didn't follow the early pace. That effectively gave him a 5 length start at half way so you could argue that his finishing position should be demoted by 3-5 lengths which would help to understand the final result.
Report Sandown August 24, 2015 11:02 AM BST
Whatever and however we analyse the result of this race, we have to rate it as a very unexpected one.Over the years, I have come not to be too surprised by the results at this York August meeting. The ground is always a factor here because of the proximity of the river and the nature of the clay soil. It just does not behave the way you way you think it should. Perhaps its uneven in the way that it dries out. The times suggested that it wasn't soft yet the jockeys were consistent in describing it "dead" or "sticky." perhaps thenature of the turf is different, I don't really know, but I do know that York has always been a tricky meeting to punt at.

Another factor for me is the time of the year. I believe that this meeting marks the end of the summer and the end of early/mid summer form.Its a fact that few horses can hold their form throughout the year and I think that from now on, horses which have been held back for whatever reason come to the fore. Fillies and mares can improve significantly. The ground changes and form on fast ground will prove to be unreliable as the autumnal rains come.

None of this explains the specific result of this years International but we should be prepared for more shocks once the evenings drawing in become more noticable and the temperatures drop.Early season form should now be put to one side.
Report sageform August 24, 2015 12:38 PM BST
Paul Hanagan described the gound as "wheels spinning" on a couple of his rides. It was clearly a factot for some of the horses.
Report Figgis August 24, 2015 1:10 PM BST
The single factor of whether Golden Horn would've won or not is immaterial to me. The important point is, even if ridden differently, would he have won in the style he ought to have against that opposition. Was it a run that should be completely excused for his next race or are the signs that he's not in quite the same form as when winning the Derby? Personally I can't see enough excuses to turn the advantage he held over Arabian Queen into a defeat. The final time wasn't that slow, the ground wasn't that soft and Detorri wasn't that far back. Some might have Arabian Queen as an improved filly, maybe she has, but I have her just running to her previous best.

It all depends on how the market reacts to this run next time. If he's a generous price then it could be worth giving him the benefit of the doubt, but on past experience I'd say the chances of the market being generous to him are slim. Even if he wasn't quite on top form at York it doesn't mean he can't return to his best next time. Maybe the connections' excuse of having him ready for the KG are valid. However, in the likely even of the market forgiving this run I'll be looking to oppose him.
Report Figgis August 24, 2015 1:11 PM BST
*likely event
Report Figgis August 24, 2015 1:17 PM BST
Dettori even.
Report brigust1 August 24, 2015 1:21 PM BST
My thoughts are pretty straightforward. Maybe we are dealing with a bunch of substandard horses?

1)Have Solow and Esoterique improved this season or is the standard lower? Solow wasn't considered anything special last year and Esoterique couldn't hardly win a race most of the time.

2)Do you really think it took Freddie Head that long to know he had the best miler in the world?

3)Do you think it took John Gosden that long to know he had the two best 3 year olds by miles in the world?

4) And who would have even thought at any time last season that TGG would be the best older horse around this year?

Personally I think Solow, Esoterique and TGG look top draw because the opposition is poor this year. TGG should have beaten Free Eagle at Ascot but how good is Free Eagle really? He was beaten last season by Noble Mission who couldn't win a race for anything. Suddenly he wins Group 1's. Is this because the races are poor? And Australia and TGG looked good last year because the older horses they ran against weren't up to much. I think Golden Horn looks good for the same reason. The older horses he is running against aren't up to much. Albeit the best around.

And last years 3 year olds were Australia (won the two Derby's. Were they good races?), Night of Thunder won the Guineas and the Lockinge by short distances (were these good races?), The Grey Gatsby (won the French Derby (was this a good race?) , Free Eagle (lucky to win the Prince of Wales), Taghrooda (beat Telescope in the KG (was this top class form with her allowance?), Kingston Hill (beat Romsdal in the St Leger?), Tapestry (pipped Tagrooda at York), Eagle Top, Postponed, Romsdal, Snow Sky, Dolmiya, Harp Star, I could go on but are these stars proof of a good quality 3 year old division? Of course they win races against each other but have been beaten by Al Kazeem (back from stud), Noble Mission (couldn't win a race for toffee before), Flintshire (won a sigle Gr1 in how many starts), Telescope (never won a Group 1), Mukhadram (lucky to win a single Group 1) et al. And how good really are these older horses?

I think Australia skewed everything last season and that is why AOB avoided the KG and the Arc and that is why TGG is now potentially the best UK older horse around. He is rated on what they believe Australia was. But he was well over rated imo. He beat Shifting Power on this side in the Guineas who has won only a Listed race since, Kingston Hill who beat Romsdal in the St Leger who has only won a Listed race since, Kingfisher in the Irish Derby who has also only won a Listed race since and TGG at York who has run in 10 Group 1's winning two. In the French Derby he beat a tree and in Ireland who knows what happened. Is that really top class form?

That is why I believe Treve has won 2 Arc's and could win a 3rd unless the 3 year old fillies step up to the plate. Last years 2 year old fillies looked a fairly solid bunch and now as 3 year olds they continue to look strong but until they meet their elders we won't know for sure. 

Then again look at this years 2 year olds. Do they look a great bunch? Shalaa looks a sprinter. Buratino? Air Force Blue? I know it is still early days but lets hope something decent comes along.
Report Figgis August 24, 2015 1:28 PM BST
Unfortunately, when you see how some people downgrade a horse's previous form on one poor run, then maybe JW was wrong, maybe people really are that dumb and connections are justifiably reluctant to take risks where they otherwise wouldn't be. Hope not.
Report ElT August 24, 2015 1:49 PM BST
24 Aug 15 13:28
Joined: 28 Sep 04
| Topic/replies: 5,499 | Blogger: Figgis's blog

Unfortunately, when you see how some people downgrade a horse's previous form on one poor run, then maybe JW was wrong, maybe people really are that dumb and connections are justifiably reluctant to take risks where they otherwise wouldn't be. Hope not.

Was Golden Horn ever a 132 horse? That is outrageous. Isn´t that a higher rating than the blow away Arc wins by Danedream and Treve received? It´s definitely higher than American Pharoah Crazy RP ratings are just completely biased toward British/Irish horses. Like GH, Time Test and TGG all ran that far below form. What an idiotic way to view that race. GH, Time Test and TGG were overrated. Simple as and AQ came out of an underrated race in the Nassau Stakes. 8 of 9 out of that race have at least won a Gr.2.
Report Figgis August 24, 2015 2:09 PM BST
I'm not here to justify Timeform ratings. I don't follow them that closely, sometimes I agree with the ones I see, sometimes I don't. I actually prefer it when I don't, as any punter should, as it usually means I'll get a better price. I thought Golden Horn was no superstar, but that he's an above average Derby winner, better suited to 12f than 10f. To say he's a poor Derby winner because of the York result is ridiculous in my view. Judging by the relative prices of Golden Horn and Arabian Queen and the lack of any arguments promoting Arabian Queen's chance on here before the race it seems not too many punters saw the Derby form and Nassau form so close until after the race.
Report Figgis August 24, 2015 2:13 PM BST
Or RP ratings, whichever it was.
Report metro john August 24, 2015 2:26 PM BST
figgis - Must agree with your comments about Golden Horns last effort, it is best forgotten, the Deerby form does stand up at that 12f distance,Jack Hobbs and Sea The Storm have both paid compliment, I still feel Golden Horn was ridden wrongly at York, but the distance was the bigger factor.

EIT - Ratings are just ratings,  most methods will not differ by much more than 5-7 lb, this year in particular very difficult for many handicappers too get the correct angle, mainly for the reasons already given ,the 2yrld form was poor,the 3yrld fillies have not mingled that much with the boys,and even if earlier in the year I thought the Fillies were not far behind the boys, my view had changed before York, and now like many I suggest my original view now  looks valid?(very annoying)

Not convinced at all that Golden Horn will run in ARC, surely they should they would be better chasing fast ground in America, too bring an Horse too peak for a race like the Arc and then too change plan within a few days is risky,why not just make the one plan?
Report Figgis August 24, 2015 2:53 PM BST
MJ, I'm not saying his last run should be forgotten, for future betting I'll be keeping it firmly in mind. I'm saying that one, or even more than one, poor run is not a reason to downgrade a horse's previous performances. Horses such as Frankel and Brigadier Gerard, that run pretty much bang to form race after race for three seasons are the exceptions, not the norm. The fact is that competitive racing is a stressful activity for most racehorses, particularly horses aged 2 and 3 who obviously aren't at full physical maturity. A lot of very good young horses will only be able to produce their peak form for a short stint. We can say they're not superstars because longevity and physical soundness has to play a big part in a horse's reputation, but to downgrade their previous best performances because the later form isn't so hot seems absurd to me. I prefer to rate performances rather than trying to rate racehorses on their whole career.
Report metro john August 24, 2015 3:04 PM BST
yes, I would be lying too say that Arabian Queen is in anyway high in my estimations, a Windsor 5f winner and 6f Group2 winner at 2years?, ffs how versatile is she?

You can only form negative views about the york race judging the normal pattern of events? but like I say I am willing to rate the York race 127 without believing it, in truth?
Report brigust1 August 24, 2015 3:32 PM BST
Hi MJ. Perhaps you can judge Golden Horn, Jack Hobbs, Storm the Stars, Giovanni Caneletto, Time Test, Bondi Beach, Solow and The Grey Gatsby on what they did at 2 years of age. The 3 year old fillies have an established hierarchy through all of the top races and they may, like Treve, just be better than the colts. None of whom came through established channels. Who knows?
Report metro john August 24, 2015 4:16 PM BST
Hello brigust, yes the fillies 2yrld form was better, Found did beat a few older horses in soft ground latest,and was impressive, the mixed aged fillies could occupy the first three placings come the ARC,who knows?
Report metro john August 24, 2015 4:24 PM BST
It as been a strange year brigust, and the 2yrlds this year possibly following a similar pattern, I will expect the unexpected next year, that is for sure.
Report brigust1 August 24, 2015 4:47 PM BST
I did read somewhere that Pleascach's trainer Jim Bolger, wanted to run her in the Irish Derby because he thought the colts weren't up to much. And he also thinks she is the probably the best middle distance filly he has trained. It could just be that the fillies are better. Perhaps Covert Love will run in the St Leger.
The best horse last season was probably Kingman. He beat Shifting Power in the Irish 2000 Gns, he beat Night of Thunder, Outstrip and War Command in the St James Palace, Toronado and Darwin in the Sussex and Anodin and Olympic Glory in the Marios before being rushed of to stud. All of the above have very suspect form and Toronado's Gr1 win was against Verrazano. Really weak stuff.  I think Australia skewed a lot last year. He was forgiven a lot as well.
Report Sandown August 24, 2015 5:21 PM BST
When Brigadier Gerard was beaten in the inaugeral running of the race (B&H Gold Cup)at 1/3 by Roberto in a then course record time, nobody could make head or tail of the form.Was it Piggott who said Roberto must have been stung by a bee? Then they got BG home and he was found to be a sick horse.BG then went on to win the QEII in a new course record and then the Champion Stakes for a second time. Perhaps GH can bounce back, too.But like figgis, I won't be backing him to do something similar unless the odds are very generous.

Talking of Generous, the great horse started at odds on for the Arc after winning Derby, Irish Derby & KGQE but he flopped at Longchamp.The signs were there at Ascot that he might not last until October.My feeling is that will be GH's fate, too wherever he runs next.
Report brigust1 August 24, 2015 5:49 PM BST
Hi Sandown. I'm off tomorrow on a much less exalted trip than you made last Christmas. We are starting at Naples, Capri, Pompeii, Mount Versuvious, Rome, Florence and Venice then who knows.
I think the Irish Champion will be GH's for the taking. Even if Gleneagles does run. Leopardstown is stiff, unlike York and nothing else can be feared. I thought they may take the cowards route out but JG is no mug. I think AOB fancied a shot at the Juddmonte on a flat track with fast ground but in Ireland he will know better. The 2/1 with Lads etc looks big to me. Free Eagle can't beat him on TGG form.

This is a copy of the letter in the RP last week :

A result among the most talked about in history.

Every year at around this time my thoughts understandably go back to that inaugural running of the Juddmonte International in 1972 when the then unbeaten Brigadier Gerard met his one and only defeat at the hands of Roberto, the Derby winner, and there are some similarities to that fateful day this year. The 2000 Guineas winner of 1971 meeting the Derby winner of 1972, and, like this year, the threat of heavy rain around at the time put both Roberto and Brigadier Gerard‘s participation in serious doubt. Vincent O’Brien, Roberto’s trainer, had stated that he had no intention of running Roberto on ground with ‘soft‘ in the description and Brigadier Gerard’s owners, the Hislop‘s, had expressed similar doubt and they had, in fact, also entered him in the Group 1 five furlong Nunthorpe Stakes to be run two days after the Juddmonte, as a precaution. As it turned out the weather was kind  the going was good on the day and both horses stood their ground producing a result that is arguably the most talked about in the history of the turf and has been followed by years of disbelief, fascination, speculation and many conspiracy theories. 

What really happened that day perhaps no-one will ever know for sure but for the conspiracy theorists it all began when Roberto’s owner John Galbraith enlisted the services of his American jockey, the Panamanian Braulio Baeza, for the horse giving the pressroom something to really talk about. Galbraith had already ‘jocked off’ Bill Williamson and replaced him with Lester Piggott in the Derby to dramatic effect but with Lester now choosing to ride Rheingold there was much speculation around who would ride Roberto.  As O’Brien wrote in his autobiography on hearing the news ’not that any jockey could seriously hope to overcome the so far undefeated darling of the British people’. Baeza certainly was not just any jockey.   

On the day itself, as was confirmed in both Vincent O’Brien’s autobiography and John Hislop’s book about The Brigadier, on the morning of the race when Brigadier Gerard went out onto the racetrack for an early morning canter with his lead horse, Roberto suddenly appeared on the scene being led on a leading rein and ridden by Baeza himself. Roberto was clearly a handful and on his toes so an offer for him to go ahead of the Brigadier was suggested with the reply from Roberto’s handlers that ‘this one is not being let loose until 3 o’clock this afternoon’. This comment eventually just added more fuel to the fire raging under the conspiracy theorists.   
When race time did arrive Roberto appeared in the parade ring clearly still on his toes and in the race he continued to flee from the stalls, some said like a scalded cat, at a rate of knots eventually setting up a small but unassailable lead in the home straight and no matter how hard the Brigadier tried to close the deficit it proved beyond him. Roberto won by three lengths with Joe Mercer on Brigadier Gerard clearly easing down when defeat was accepted. Roberto had smashed the course record by nearly two seconds in the process a performance way above anything he had shown before or afterwards.
And it was not long afterwards that Vincent O’Brien was, as he says in his autobiography, fielding suggestions that his jockey had used an electrical device known as a ’ buzzer’, not unheard of in the US,  concealed in his exceptionally long whip and the suspicion was even further compounded by the jockey’s rapid departure from the racecourse.
With rumour of potential skulduggery already in the air long before the race had even started it only increased at a rate of knots when Mrs Hislop made the post race, innuendo laden , comment that Roberto had been ‘stung by a bee’.
Was this simply a throw away comment or were there undertones of suspicion?

For those not interested in conspiracy theories the result was baffling enough but not completely impracticable. Roberto had always been held in very high regard by his trainer and as a two year old Vincent had stated that he believed Roberto to be more brilliant on his day than both Sir Ivor and Nijinsky but that he had his faults and a bad temperament. Added to that he had dodgy knees, appeared to require a left handed track, he wanted going to be on the fast side of good and a trip of around 10 furlongs to be seen at his best. In fact everything he required was what he got for the only time in his career on this unbelievable and unforgettable day.
In Brigadier Gerard’s defence the weight for age scale required the Brigadier to give Roberto 11 lbs compared with the 8lbs he would have to give him today. This was the Brigadier’s fourth top class race in only eight weeks. He had won the Prince of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot in spectacular fashion and in course record time, the Eclipse Stakes in a complete bog and the King George & Queen Elizabeth II Stakes missing the course record by a fraction. This was possibly also a factor in the result and a step too far. At home, after the race, the Brigadier showed signs of suffering from a virus but the race time, Brigadier Gerard also smashed the course record, and the proximity of Gold Rod suggested that the Brigadier had not run far below his known form if at all.

So whether you are a conspiracy theorist or a student of the form book this race had everything and it is certain to be talked about for more years to come.

Let’s hope that all the main challengers turn up at the Knavesmire on Wednesday and the result is also something we can talk about for a long time, for the right reasons of course.
Report Figgis August 24, 2015 5:53 PM BST
The 10f at Leopardstown is obviously much less stiffer than the 10f 88y at York, whether using times or just plain old common sense.
Report Figgis August 24, 2015 5:55 PM BST
*less stiff
Report G1_Jockey_4 August 24, 2015 5:59 PM BST
the track itself isnt imo....might be harder to run the extra 88 yards though Laugh
Report Figgis August 24, 2015 6:04 PM BST
Exactly Grin
Report brigust1 August 24, 2015 6:23 PM BST
I do lack common sense because unlike some I don't think times are the be all and end all. I think it's a stiffer track the way races are run and at the business and that suits me fine.

A left-handed, rectangular, level track with sweeping bends, measuring one mile and six furlongs. The six-furlong straight galloping course is situated on a chute adjoining the round course. The track is suited to the long striding individual and there is a stiff uphill run-in of two-and-three-quarter furlongs. High numbers are favoured in races over five and six furlongs, while low numbers hold the advantage in races over seven furlongs and a mile.
Report Figgis August 24, 2015 6:37 PM BST
"When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead....remember what the dormouse said..."

I'm off for tea Wink
Report brigust1 August 24, 2015 6:58 PM BST
There is one thing I have found on my travels. A smart arse who thinks he is clever is never too far away. Laugh
Report metro john August 24, 2015 7:16 PM BST
No way will Gosden run GH in the  Irish champion.
Report Sandown August 24, 2015 7:16 PM BST
Plus ca change brigust1. Grin

Have a good trip.
Report brigust1 August 24, 2015 7:28 PM BST
Er sieht den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht.

I will thank you S. The weather looks fantastic for the first bit.

Why not MJ? The weather for the Leopardstown area for September up to the 12th Sept the Irish Champion Stakes day shows only one showery day.

Why would JG not run GH?
Report Figgis August 24, 2015 7:36 PM BST
Honi soit qui mal y pense, Miss Jones.Silly
Report brigust1 August 24, 2015 7:44 PM BST
I refer back to my post of 6.58pm. There is one thing I have found on my travels. A smart arse who thinks he is clever is never too far away.
Report brigust1 August 24, 2015 7:50 PM BST
Why is it some people have to be smart arse's and therefore ruin perfectly good threads and perfectly good discussions. We all have different views but it seems some peoples views are more important than others. As S said Plus ca change.

I'm going away tomorrow MJ and won't be back for the Irish Champion so I've had a few quid on at 2s with Lads. Good luck.
Report Figgis August 24, 2015 7:53 PM BST
In the words of Ernest Hemingway, “you can't get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.” Happy
Report Figgis August 24, 2015 8:33 PM BST
Jack Hobbs is still a very interesting runner for the later races this year. Obviously he was behind Golden Horn in the first half of the season but as he's been given a break it's possible he could improve further and his physique certainly gives him every chance. It's a long time ago but I recall horses like St Jovite improving after the Derby and Suave Dancer after the Irish Derby. Apparently Kempton is under consideration for his next start but that race probably won't reveal whether he's improved or not.
Report brigust1 August 24, 2015 8:47 PM BST
In the words of Brigust 'If I was wrong as many times as some of the posters on this thread have been over the past few months I would keep my thoughts to myself'.
Report brigust1 August 24, 2015 8:48 PM BST
Report Figgis August 24, 2015 9:02 PM BST
Well those of us who do actually punt aren't afraid of offering betting opinions, whether they turn out to be right or wrong. Others who obviously don't punt spend their time after the race righteously prattling on about issues which can't be proved either way, most of which is riding their favourite hobbyhorse of how each generation of racehorses is a poor "bunch" compared to the good old days. Wink
Report brigust1 August 24, 2015 9:16 PM BST
“Some people love to mentally bully others into feeling inferior. Sadly, they often succeed in doing so because a lot of people aren't in the habit of defining their true self-worth.”

Also known a '**** Proximity Disorder'.
Report brigust1 August 24, 2015 9:17 PM BST
*'**** Proximity Disorder'
Report brigust1 August 24, 2015 9:18 PM BST
'A r s e h o le Proximity Disorder'.
Report Figgis August 24, 2015 9:30 PM BST
It's difficult to know exactly what they'll do with Golden Horn now. Obviously the main thing is how he comes out of the York race. Gosden seemed quite firm in his plans that the Irish Champion will be next, but he was quick to mention the Arc even though he wasn't asked about that race. I found that strange as earlier on both he and the owner seemed quite negative about running him at Longchamp.
Report metro john August 25, 2015 3:38 AM BST
Hi brigust, based on the York effort by Golden Horn, would you really want too take on Gleneagles on fast ground? would you risk it?
Report metro john August 25, 2015 3:41 AM BST
IF they hold him up they could be short of pace,which means a  change in tactics once more for GH?, a hard race envisioned,no way John will run in my opinion(but I am wrong many times)Surprised
Report brigust1 August 25, 2015 6:18 AM BST
Hi MJ. I think that stiff uphill finish at Leopardstown will suit GH just the same way Epsom and Sandown did. He won't mind the ground even if the weather forecast is wrong and it is on the softer side. The options he has are few. Where else can he go with a fit horse who has just run off his freshness? He has the legs off most of the opposition and if AOB is right about Gleneagles, like Australia, he may find that last grind too much and that is assuming he is that good anyway.

I'm off on my travels now so as TS Eliot said 'We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.'. Take care.
Report brigust1 August 25, 2015 8:04 AM BST
And finally... it looks like Pleascach is running so I have left a few quid as a saver just in case. Could be the race of the season and I'm going to miss it. But heh!
Report metro john August 25, 2015 1:52 PM BST
Brigust - have a good un.Wink
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