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16 Jul 21 07:01
Date Joined: 15 Jun 03
| Topic/replies: 17,102 | Blogger: elisjohn's blog
6 coolmore, and 2 no hopersCryCryCry
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Report Figgis July 16, 2021 10:18 PM BST
And 5 of the Coolmore runners are no hopers.
Report elisjohn July 17, 2021 11:16 AM BST
unless they want a group 1 win for one of the others,Wink that why no one any more cares about these major races as we did
Report Howellsy July 17, 2021 12:39 PM BST
It's a disappointing renewal Elisjohn, but it's not Armageddon. Besides, aren't you the sort to whinge when it's 4-1 the field in a group 1 because there just aren't any good horses around these days? Some say they want super stars - this is what happens when we get them.
Report layingisthewayforward July 17, 2021 5:21 PM BST
The op continually whines about how racing isnt as good as it used to be. Should find another sport to watch imo.
Report elisjohn July 17, 2021 8:37 PM BST
so youre happy to see 6 coolmore horses against each other in a classic,  you cant have been around in the 70s 80s to see the greatest era of horse racing
Report A_T July 17, 2021 9:42 PM BST
looks like quite a good time from Snowfall - maybe I was wrong to think Epsom was a fluke
Report Figgis July 17, 2021 10:00 PM BST
It definitely was no fluke, but I still say she's a long way (8lbs) from the form Enable showed as a 3yo. Today she didn't have to run to her Epsom form as it was such a bad race. I have Divinely (up 1lb) and Nicest (down 1lb) running pretty much up to their Ascot form, with Snowfall 4lbs below Epsom. She's obviously a very good filly but it usually takes an outstanding 3yo filly to beat the best colts, and I still don't believe she is.
Report Sandown July 18, 2021 9:35 PM BST
Figgis. Although I agree that Snowfall's performance was short of her Epsom run, she didn't have to improve or even match Epsom to win at the Curragh. I wouldn't hold that against her. If she can repeat her Epsom run then she could be the best AOB 12f 3yr this year, perhaps even the best 3r old, better than St Marks Basilica even. She clearly acts on faster ground, has stamina and pace at the end of her races, and it would be a mistake to under estimate her. She looks destined for the ARC now.
Report Figgis July 18, 2021 10:21 PM BST
Sandown, agreed, you can only beat what you're up against and, as you say, she didn't need to improve. However, after the Oaks I saw the RP pose the question is she the best filly AOB has trained? Why? Because she just trounced a field of well bred glorified handicappers? Her Oaks form was decent, up with some of the better Oaks winners, but still very slightly behind the likes of Oh So Sharp and Ouija Board, and even they weren't good enough to beat the colts in all age events as 3yos. She's no Enable, Danedream or Treve. Coolmore will try to keep the hype going as long as possible by keeping her to her own sex before the bubble is burst at Longchamp. That's if they even run her there, I wouldn't bank on it.
Report Figgis July 18, 2021 10:22 PM BST
* after the Irish Oaks
Report Figgis July 18, 2021 10:34 PM BST
I said after Epsom, the mistake a lot of people were making was comparing the Oaks time to the Coronation Cup time as though the latter was a true Gp1 event this year. I think the latest performance from Al Aasy has backed up the opinion he's an overrated Gp3 performer. Of course, it's possible that he just ran below form at Newmarket, but I expect Pyledriver to show the form up for what it is if he takes up his King George engagement.
Report Sandown July 19, 2021 7:18 AM BST
The unusual thing about Snowfall is the contrast in merit level from 2 to 3. She has improved 30+ lbs and looks a different horse. A record of 1/7 at 2 and now 3/3 at 3 begs the question of what has happened? Her sire is Deep Impact and you have to wonder if "late maturing" is sufficient explanation. I may come to regret saying this, but she could be a 130+ horse. As always, time will tell.
Report Sandown July 19, 2021 10:39 AM BST

Incidently, I have my figures for Snowfall at Epsom tying in nicely with Blue Cup (also came over to rail) and Piledriver (stayed far side). Also, I did not have G1 figures for Piledriver either so I'm agreeing with you there. On my figures for Snowfall, and using the last 2f sectional upgrade, I have her in front of Adayar marginally . On final time figures, I have both Classic winners equal on time. Hence, my high opinion of Snowfall.
Report Figgis July 19, 2021 12:45 PM BST
Sandown, taking her best run as a 2yo, 4th behind Shale at Leopardstown, I have her improving exactly 20lbs in the Oaks. I agree this is unusual for a filly who had so many runs as a 2yo. In retrospect, I have her making the biggest leap at York. I know a few of the fillies behind have failed to give substance to that form later, but that often happens when horses have been pushed to give their all in a trial. At Epsom I have her improving another 4lbs on that. On the clock at Epsom I have her putting up a Ouija Board type performance, (1lb lower). So it was obviously a good performance and no fluke. Nevertheless she was still flattered by the margin of victory due to a combination of the fast early pace on soft ground, non stayers, fillies who didn't fire on the day and some pretty poor runners for a classic.

It's all about opinions I know. Even time ratings include elements of subjectivity. However, just using the basics I'm struggling to see how anyone is rating Snowfall so high on the Oaks final time. Snowfall ran her Oaks in a time about 5lbs slower than the Gp3 horses Pyledriver and Al Aasy. Enable ran hers about 8lbs slower than Highland Reel, a horse who on his day was around 10lbs better than Pyledriver. Enable was over half a stone better, a filly who with the allowances could stick it to the colts. To me there is no comparison with Snowfall.
Report impossible123 July 19, 2021 8:23 PM BST
The ground is no issue for Snowfall either. She can go on good/firm or soft. I think up-in-trip and improvement from 2 to 3 have propelled her to be the best 3yr old filly, if not 3yr old, over 12f. I think the fillies will rule in the French big one in October.
Report Sandown July 20, 2021 10:13 AM BST

I'm struggling to see how anyone is rating Snowfall so high on the Oaks final time.

The explanation for the difference in opinion lies in the fact that we are using different approaches to evaluate performances. Although we end up talking about a final rating, we arrive at the figure using different routes. Even then, we both know that a single rating figure can't tell the whole story, that it is perhaps at best one figure on the cycle of progression/regression, which is never a straight line, is more likely one that follows a kind of bell-shape but which has many deviations on the curve down to context, and in any event changes over time.

There is also the question of whether a single figure reflecting one single past event can be a constant, and a future potential figure which on a trajectory might suggest the peak , as yet unknown, maximum peak rating, is possible.

So when I suggest that Snowfall might peak at 130 plus I am projecting into the future based on an evaluation of final time rating, collateral form rating and pace in the race. On final time ratings, for example, I have both Adayar and Snowfall coming in on 116, using weight adjusted rating, not just pure time.I also take into account the pace of the race, which recognises that more energy is used when the pace is not even for the same final time rating. So, on my projected ratings, I have Snowfall at 133 and Adayar at 129. I'm not saying that I am right but I am prepared to bet that I am. I find that t[b]his gives me more of a betting edge than using final time ratings.
Talking of Enable, when she won the Oaks, my final time rating was 115 but I gave her a projected rating rating of 123. My highest rating for her was in her first Arc win where I gave her a final time rating of 115 but a projected rating of 129 which met with her highest RPR of 129. I may have under-estimated her ability initially. On her 129 projected  she rates 8th of my top Arc winners of the past 45 years.

As always, time will tell. A difference of opinion is why backers and layers can do business.
Report Figgis July 20, 2021 10:55 AM BST
using weight adjusted rating, not just pure time

I also use weight adjusted. I've always thought it bizarre when some ratings firm opted to ignore weight carried. It is just hypothetical projected wfa that I do not adjust for.

Snowfall coming in on 116, on my projected ratings, I have Snowfall at 133

I understand that we differ where sectionals are concerned. Your method involves pinpointing exact projections for how much you consider a horse would've improved in an evenly run race. Whereas my approach is to just take into consideration a horse may possibly do better in a truer run race. What I find very strange here though is you seem to believe that Snowfall was inconvenienced by the way the Oaks was run to the huge sum of 17lbs. Whereas I, and I think most other people, believe she was one of the few runners in the race whose performance wasn't really hindered at all.
Report Sandown July 20, 2021 1:25 PM BST

I don't know whether in a truly run even pace race a horse will run faster because its possible that its style of running is best suited to being raced slow/fast, so its not a given. Wish I did know! I just assume that the horse could run faster if given an even pace. It doesn't always work out that way, of course. Neither do I take into account at this rating stage any subjective judgement whether it had a good or poor run. Its purely a numbers game based on an algorithm. I've found over the years that I'm largely correct in that the horse will improve although not necessarily to the level I have calculated. On the other side of the coin, I have also under-estimated the level. Also, any horse can regress after a big effort, as we both know, so that is an unknown.

There are still all the other factors to take into account, mainly going and trip. Where the projection can be quite useful is arriving at a view on whether the horse may stay further or whether it might prefer to be dropped in trip.

The 17 lbs rise for Snowfall (and 13 lb for Adayar)is not unusual for a class 10/12 f horse. Where there are limitations , it is at the 5/6  f level because those races are invariably flat out and it is rare to find horses  putting up faster last furlongs than the average. The ATR site has a sectionals analysis which is very useful.

Needless to say, as most money can be made when I disagree with what the majority believe to be true, I am more than happy when that is the case. Of course, the price on offer plays a huge part in my decision making so if say Snowflake was odds on and Adayr was a lot bigger, I would play the race differently to a situation which was the reverse.So, I am not looking just looking at who might win any race, anymore than you.

Finally, it's all about probabilities, staking and returns. i.e VALUE.
Report Figgis July 20, 2021 1:47 PM BST
I don't know whether in a truly run even pace race a horse will run faster because its possible that its style of running is best suited to being raced slow/fast, so its not a given. Wish I did know! I just assume that the horse could run faster if given an even pace. It doesn't always work out that way, of course. Neither do I take into account at this rating stage any subjective judgement whether it had a good or poor run. Its purely a numbers game based on an algorithm.

Sandown, yes I understand. I wasn't knocking your method. I'm know you've devoted a great deal of time to it and I'm sure it works for you. The part I've highlighted is one of the points I've often thought gets completely ignored by some sectional enthusiasts, but, as you've said, you acknowledge that fact and play it as a percentage game.

With your reference to Arc winners of the last 45 years, out of curiosity, which would be the fastest Arc winners for you in the last 25 years? Meaning the ones that gave the highest Arc performances, not what they achieved elsewhere in their career. I would prefer to stick to the last 25 years so as not to get into pointless debates about horses from other eras. I don't project wfa allowances, as I believe some 3yos are more precocious than others and would not necessarily have improved if kept in training. Which would be your highest winning 3yo and which your highest older horse? Just wondering how they compare with my two.
Report Sandown July 20, 2021 2:32 PM BST
Projected figures from the Arc winners

2004  BAGO (3)         141
2011 DANEDREAM (3)     140
2009 SEA THE STARS(3)  140
2001 SAKHEE (4)        139

Not what I expected, tbh.
Report Figgis July 20, 2021 2:54 PM BST
Interesting. Montjeu and Sakhee for me. Thanks.
Report Figgis July 20, 2021 3:12 PM BST
Danedream and STS both gave high class performances. I don't have them as high as you and, for me, STS put up better performances elsewhere, but I wouldn't expect us to tally completely. Bago, however, is a big surprise. As I have him down as one of the worst winners. I reckon Ouija Board didn't run to her best that day and if she had she'd have beaten him. For that matter I think North Light would've beaten him too but he was never as good after the Derby.
Report Sandown July 20, 2021 4:05 PM BST
One thing I noticed looking further down the winners list, is just how infrequently winners went on to perform at the same or higher level. Treve improved, Enable ran to the level. Many of the others ,if they ran again, they didn't do as well, Bago being a good case in point. There is the possibility that the race knackered them. I intend to check it out at some time.

As for Bago, I well remember getting 14/1 the day before the race which was something of a surprise because as a 2 yr he was 6/6 and as a 3yr had been 3rd twice behind Sualmani (btn 1.5L) at York in the Juddmonte (5/2 fav) and then again in the Prix Niel (4/5 fav) btn 1 L behind Valixir on soft ground, (but gaining at the end)which he didn't want.(Valixir was well beaten behind him in the ARC. I remember at the time thinking that was too big a price. I reckoned he was a 10f horse who might get 12 on fast ground which on my going allowance it was. Interestingly, subsequently he was 0/5 over 12f although he did win again at 10f.On the day he was a good winner. Check the video on Youtube and see just how rapidly he finished.(22.88 secs for the last 2f)
Report penzance July 20, 2021 4:16 PM BST
Bago was 4/4 as a 2yr old.
Report Figgis July 20, 2021 4:19 PM BST
I remember the race well as I backed Ouija Board. I was half expecting her to underperform after earlier efforts and was already wondering if she was starting to wane in the Irish Oaks, where she won comfortably but was a long way below her Oaks win. However, I'd done well on her in the Oaks and in a double with North Light, so felt I would be kicking myself if I let her go unbacked. Annoyingly enough, I'd backed Bago earlier when he was beaten at York as I thought the International was a weak race that year. Have to say though, I didn't rate him highly before the Arc, during or after.
Report Sandown July 20, 2021 4:35 PM BST
Penzance. Apologies, you are correct.Thanks for the correction But he won his first 2 x3y old races so at least I was right that he was 6/6 before York.Blush
Report Sandown July 21, 2021 2:16 PM BST
Here is an interesting fact about the winners of the Arc which I didn't know before. There were 31 winners between  1989 and 2020  of which 11 didn't race again.

Of the 20 who did, between them they ran in 82 subsequent races. Whilst some won, not one bettered the rating achieved in the Arc.

Of the 2 dual winners, Treve ran to 5lb lower rating in 2014 ARC v 2013, and Enable ran to a 7lb lower rating in 2018 vs 2017. (All ratings are RPRs).

I have to conclude that it looks like the winners were never the same again after running in the Arc.
Report Sandown July 21, 2021 2:19 PM BST
I should add, not only didn't they better their Arc PB subsequently, they never even matched it.

If you find that I'm wrong, please let me know.
Report Figgis July 21, 2021 3:19 PM BST
Sandown, I think it's just the nature of such a race being at the end of the season. Most of the ones who ran again in the same season will have been sent to the Breeders Cup. A difficult proposition after a big effort to win an Arc. Of the 4yos that raced on the next season as 5yos. I know for a fact that horses can still improve at the age of 5, but they are definitely a small minority, particularly ones already good enough to win an Arc at 4. Any that may have won it at 5 and raced on as 6yos you'd expect to start to decline.

So to the 3yos that raced on the next season. A lot of the instances with those RP figures will be due to my old bugbear of wfa incorporated figures. Many of those 3yos receiving allowances will just be 3yos that have developed quicker than average. They've pretty much reached their full physical maturity a good 6+ months before a lot of others, so naturally they're not going to increase on a figure artificially boosted for expected maturity.

Of the two cases mentioned, in real terms, allowing for weight carried and ignoring wfa boosts, I have Enable running 3lbs faster on her second Arc. However, if I'd added on for wfa it would look like she regressed by 7lbs. I do agree that Treve didn't improve though. That first Arc win was the fastest performance I've rated a middle distance 3yo filly. If she'd improved in line with wfa she'd probably have remained unbeaten. I have her second Arc only 1lb higher ignoring wfa, a negligible amount and no real improvement at all.

I think some of the others have just simply been knackered after reaching their peak. Just as some horses are physically on the decline as early as after the Derby, and other tough big races.
Report Figgis July 21, 2021 3:31 PM BST
Another probability/possibility is that some of these firms will just feel the need to give high ratings to a championship event widely regarded as the pinnacle of the flat season. Often disregarding the fact that many of the better runners are over the top, and the conditions or pace of the race may not have been conducive for a really top performance, even if the race does feature a quality field.
Report Sandown July 21, 2021 6:42 PM BST

I think you may be correct about the 3 yr WFA but I think that ship has sailed. I doubt if many of the top 3 yr olds would take part without it which would seriously diminish the numbers.

I am reminded of Henry Cecil passing on Noel Murless's wisdom, that one major peak and one minor peak in a season is all one should expect from a racehorse.It may explain why the French train with a mid-season break as prep for the race.

Of the 20 winners who raced on, just 5 were 4+ . They had 17 races between them ( average 3.4 runs) leaving 15 3yrs who raced 65 times subsequently (average 4.3 runs).

It would be hard to verify your suspicion about over-rating the Arc, don't you think?

Practically speaking, I would be loath to project improvement coming off an Arc win. It's something to think about when looking at KG winners if they run the same year year in the Arc, especially if they have put up a big rating in doing so. (Dancing Brave in the US/BC comes to mind)
Report Figgis July 21, 2021 7:05 PM BST
I think you may be correct about the 3 yr WFA but I think that ship has sailed. I doubt if many of the top 3 yr olds would take part without it which would seriously diminish the numbers

I'm not necessarily against the wfa allowances  being used in racing. Like you say, without, it would probably lead to less competitive racing. What I'm against is the ratings being skewed. Rating a horse, say, 140, when in reality it has only hit 130, but 10lbs has been gifted to it because it has been judged that many, but certainly not all, horses will improve by roughly that amount with age. I can't see any problem at all with calling it exactly as it is. This is a 3yo who has hit 130 which will get the allotted allowances in each race.

Anyway,as you say, this is unlikely to change, but as punters I think we do better to see it as it is. Otherwise we get these silly situations where a horse who has actually improved 3lbs from 3 to 4 is judged to have regressed by 7lbs, for example.
Report Figgis July 21, 2021 7:26 PM BST
I am reminded of Henry Cecil passing on Noel Murless's wisdom, that one major peak and one minor peak in a season is all one should expect from a racehorse.It may explain why the French train with a mid-season break as prep for the race.

Obviously each horse is an individual and there are exceptions. But generally I work to the rule that most good horses can hit a peak twice in a season, sometimes three times, very rarely four. I regard a rating of within a couple of pounds as a repeat peak. However, this is also dependent on how hard a race the horse had and how spaced apart the performances were.

It would be hard to verify your suspicion about over-rating the Arc, don't you think?

There are a couple of recent winners I would disagree on if we're talking about real improvement after they won. RP have Workforce's win 1lb higher than when winning the Derby. I have his Arc speed figure 1lb lower. I won't quibble over 1lb, but as a 4yo in his best race the Eclipse he put up a speed figure 6lbs higher than his Derby run. Enable put up a speed figure 3lbs higher when winning her second Arc, but she didn't run to her very best that day. In races as a 4yo I have her improving 7lbs from her 3yo days. The RP figures make it look like both horses stood still or even regressed. It looks to me like most of the misrepresentation is due to the wfa boosts.
Report Figgis July 21, 2021 7:27 PM BST
* that should say in races as a 5yo, for Enable.
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