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23 Jul 21 11:21
Date Joined: 06 Dec 01
| Topic/replies: 6,154 | Blogger: Sandown's blog
For those who are interested in such matters,(eg Figgis) I have copied & pasted in from their analysis of the bias towards principally 3yr olds over longer distances. (NB I have put these in bold.) There is clear evidence here of how much more likely these horses are to win.

What also interests me is the disadvantage that older horses have as they age. Their likelihood of winning drops considerably and dataform make the case for older horses receiving allowances. Unlikely, I should think.

So, many thanks to Dataform for this info. There is more on this link but I guess you have to subscribe to get the full analysis. It's what we have long suspected, but its the first time that I have seen the figures presented this way.

Since the horse racing weight for age (WFA) scale was introduced in Britain back in the 1860's it has undergone very few changes - until recently. Modifications to the Flat scale in 2017/18 were prompted when it was realised that 3yos were distinctly advantaged at longer distances.

5f    6f    7f    8-9f    10-11f    12-13f    14f+    ALL
3yos    1.1    0.95    0.99    1.15    1.3    1.41    1.81    1.17
4yos    1.09    1.11    1.05    1.03    0.94    0.94    0.72    1.01
5yos    0.96    1.2    1.19    0.9    0.92    0.76    0.86    1
6yos    0.94    0.91    0.95    0.87    0.5    0.66    0.46    0.81
7yos    0.89    0.81    0.86    0.75    0.44    0.49    0.53    0.73
8yos    0.65    0.74    0.4    0.67    0.48    0.34    0.53    0.58
9yos+    0.86    0.68    0.69    0.41    0.21    0.47    0.54    0.61

They still are. The table above shows significance* by age and distance in all-aged handicaps from 01/01/18 to 22/07/21 (ie: since the modifications). It is clear that 3yos are still advantaged at longer distances and that older horses should receive weight allowances, especially at longer distances.
Show More
Report A_T July 23, 2021 12:38 PM BST
Nijinksy was carrying a stone less than Blakeney in the 1970 King George - Piggott's mount won easily but Blakeney was only 2.5 lengths behind
Report Figgis July 23, 2021 2:10 PM BST
Sandown, as you say, good to see the data presented like that. Thanks.
Report .Marksman. September 13, 2021 4:11 PM BST
Sandown I agree that the table shows what we have long suspected:  3yo do best in handicaps over longer distances.
But I think that this is probably due to the 3yo being handicapped on 2yo form, when it was run at a distance short of it's best because there were no long distance 2yo races.
The 3yo stepped up to 1m4f+ will usually have been bred for this trip and would be expected to improve.
By contrast, the handicapper will already have got the measure of most sprinters and milers by the time they turn 3.
So most 3yos trying 1m4f+ handicaps for the 1st time will be in against fully exposed older horses in a winnable class of race.  The physical weight on their backs is only secondary to their superiority over the exposed horses at this level.
Report Sandown September 13, 2021 5:42 PM BST

You are no doubt correct in what you say about handicaps. That introduces the input of the handicapper which as you say may well influence the matter.

The evidence from the one non-handicap race on which I have a lot of data is the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe where all ages from 3 are eligible. Here the stats are unequivocal,3yrs old have an advantage over 4 yr olds and 4 yr olds have an advantage over older horses.

When looked at over  the period 1949-2020 the edge that 3yrs have has increased quite significantly and that of older horses (5+) has decreased whilst that of 4 yr olds has more or less held constant, although its disadvante vs 3 yr olds has slightly worseend.

The period from 1997 (24 years) indicates that 3yr olds have an Expected Value (EV) of 1.48 times ratio winners/runners, 4yr old 0.82 and 5 yr olds 0.18.

There are possible further explanations that should be factored in.

1. The best 3yr old are sent to stud earlier which means that they are not raced as 4 yr olds and certainly not 5 yr olds.

2. Significant improvement in PB's occurs mostly when horses are lightly raced. Conversely, older horses more rarely increase PB's with age and number of runs.
3. Usually the PB.s for previous winners who race again in the ARC have a lower RPR on the 2nd or 3rd occasions.

Hope this helps with this years race.

This would suggest to me that 3 yr olds have been gradually maturing earlier and that the WFA scale has not reflected that .
Report Figgis September 13, 2021 7:25 PM BST
When some of us have stated that we believed that the wfa scale was biased towards 3yos it has often been met with the reaction that wfa is there for a reason and that's the end of the matter. However, none of us are saying that the average older horse isn't physically superior to the average 3yo, just that the wfa scale overestimated the difference. For instance, when Dancing Brave won the KG he was receiving 13lbs from Shardari. In this year's KG Adayar received 11lbs from Mishriff. This might be shrugged off by some people but in my view 2lbs is worth around a length in a well run race over middle distances. Therefore 2lbs is no insignificant amount in events often won by small margins.

There are various methods of trying to prove how much 3yos ought to receive, none of which are foolproof. For what it's worth, my own method is comparing the time performances the better Gp1 3yos record compared with the best older horses. For me, the present wfa scale at the time the KG is more accurate than it's ever been, but personally I would make it 10lbs received instead of 11lbs. Actually I reckon as the season goes on the balance shifts in favour of the 4yos. I know the Arc winners might suggest otherwise but I believe that is due to other factors. Not least the fact that very few top class older horses actually run in it, and the ones that do have usually been primed for their best efforts in earlier targets that season. This partly explains why, in general, the 3yo winners have been at least pretty good. Whereas we often see some fairly ordinary older winners, and others, like Cloth Of Stars, running well, who wouldn't have had a prayer in a decent KG.
Report Figgis September 13, 2021 7:27 PM BST
* at the time the KG is run
Report impossible123 September 13, 2021 7:28 PM BST
Interesting. In a nutshell wfa will advantage Adayar and Hurricane Lane; Snowfall is exposed.
Report Sandown September 14, 2021 12:14 PM BST
Snowfall disappointed for sure but until we know if there was any reason for running below her best form , it would be a mistake to call her "exposed." AOB's recent form could be an explanation. In any event it was not a performance suggesting further improvement can be expected and she may just be feeling the effects of a hard season.

The confidence for Tarnawa could be misplaced on the WFA stats in the ARC for 5 year olds. There again, Weld has trained her for the Arc so if anyone can defy the stats , its him.
Report Sandown September 14, 2021 12:53 PM BST

I reckon as the season goes on the balance shifts in favour of the 4yos. I know the Arc winners might suggest otherwise but I believe that is due to other factors.

Here are the EV figures for the ARC periods since 1949 by age group. (NB minor change to 4yr EV for 197-2020). In the past 24 years the edge for 3 year olds has increased significantly whilst the 4& 5+ groups have declined significantly.

Whilst I agree with you that other factors may be at work,  the figures do not show any improvement for 4yrs olds, quite the contrary. So I must disagree with your point. Can you show any evidence for the point that you are making as I'm sure that will have some.

        3    4        5+
From 49-79    1.06    1.14    0.29
from 80-96    1.08    1.22    0.34
from 97-2020    1.48    0.93    0.18
Report Figgis September 14, 2021 6:08 PM BST
Sandown, as my findings are based on my own interpretations of time performances there is no way I can provide evidence that will satisfy all. As I know you're aware, different people will interpret time performances differently. I don't disagree with your stats, only the way you're interpreting them. Do I agree that 3yos have a better record than older horses? Yes certainly, and if I was backing blindly on 'trends' with less regard to actual form that's the way I'd go.

If, going back many years, I take the time performances of the best older horses mid season and compare them with the very best 3yos there is approximately 10lbs difference. I find that really doesn't change much at all as the season progresses. Sure, some 3yos who weren't quite top class mid season will progress into genuine Gp1 horses by the end of the year. But I'm talking strictly about the higher benchmark horses.

The main reason why older horses haven't done as well in the Arc in particular is simply that the vast majority of them haven't been good enough. A lot of the faster horses kept in training are campaigned more at 10f. Also many of the better 4yos will have been targeted at earlier Gp1s, which are usually events that require running hard and fast. In general it's easier to keep going to the well with a 3yo who hasn't reached full maturity, than a fully developed older horse.
Report Figgis September 14, 2021 6:14 PM BST
Another reason will be when the ground rides soft at Longchamp, as we know it's more difficult to concede weight the slower the ground is.
Report Figgis September 14, 2021 6:20 PM BST
Sandown, I know you're a big fan of Galileo. For me, he's a prime example. When Fantastic Light reversed KG form with him at Leopardstown, in my view it wasn't because FL had progressed past him or even because of the shorter trip. I found that Galileo ran as fast as he ever had that day, it was largely the wfa scale that turned things around.
Report .Marksman. September 14, 2021 11:00 PM BST
Figgis you have obviously done plenty of good research on this matter.  Did you find that this 10lb superiority of older horses applies equally over all race distances?
I find it very hard to find examples of weight making much difference, except when the going is very soft or heavy (when it clearly does, due to the success of light weights in handicaps in the old days of large weight ranges).  It is a really difficult thing to prove as we can't keep running the same horses against each other time and time again carrying slightly different weights each time.  But just because it is difficult to verify doesn't mean that it is not true.
Report Figgis September 15, 2021 2:50 AM BST
Did you find that this 10lb superiority of older horses applies equally over all race distances?

Marksman, I've found the wfa scale is correct to allow a lesser amount for 3yo milers. Currently at the time the Sussex Stakes is staged the 3yos receive 8lbs from the older horses. Personally I would have it no higher than 6, or maybe 7lbs maximum. However, let's just be grateful that the official handicappers have at least seen some sense, as back in 1986 the 3yo milers were receiving 11lbs, a ludicrously generous amount.

I'm not trying to say that weight is THE most important factor in horse racing, just that it definitely is a factor when we're dealing with a number of horses running to their best form in a race. The most important factor of all is that the horse is ready to roll, as stats show that in most races more than half the runners don't perform anywhere near their best. This is why many insider market moves win or at least go close to winning. Knowing a horse is ready to fire is far more significant than weights and measures.
Report Sandown September 15, 2021 11:01 AM BST

Roughly speaking, based on the 24 most recent runnings of the Arc,3 yr olds have 8x the chance of winning than 5+ horses and 1.6x the chance of 4 yr olds. Whatever the factors involved, this is statistically significant and must enter into calculations. This edge has been growing over the years.

My view is that the main influences are

1. Breeding bias towards speed and away from stamina, favouring younger horses allied to better ground preparation (fewer soft/heavy ground runnings which require stamina)
2. Earlier maturity of 3 yr olds.
3. Increased commercial rewards for earlier stud duties at the end of the 3yr olds career (colts) leaving fewer elite horses to race on after 3.
4. Improved training methods, facilities, feeding, medical care

There may be other factors, but these would be the main ones for me. The result, at the elite level, is a distinct advantage to younger horses. Whilst the current WFA scales may be a good fit for the whole horse population, at the elite level, this doesn't appear to be the case which points to a separate WFA scale being required for G1 races.
Report .Marksman. September 15, 2021 1:46 PM BST
Figgis I agree that the most important factor is simply whether a horse is ready.  Without inside information the best way to know this is if a horse has had a recent run, which means that it has had to have had a recent strong gallop.  If that was within the last 6 days it can be assumed that it wouldn't need to have done any work subsequent to it's last race.  I have tested the win percentages of horses who have returned to the course within the last 50 days in UK and Ireland.  The results confirm this.  I would like to post the graphs, but giving away details to a public forum would be like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.  Sad
Report Figgis September 15, 2021 1:51 PM BST
which points to a separate WFA scale being required for G1 races

Fair enough, but I strongly disagree with that conclusion. If true then that would apply to other Gp1 races late in the season. However, it quite clearly doesn't. Yes, the Arc has definitely been a more favourable race for 3yos over the years, but that has nothing to do with the hypothesis that proper Gp1 4yos find it difficult to concede the weight to them. Personally I can't think of a really top class 4yo who ran its race in the Arc and was beaten by the weight. Firstly, it's rare to get a really top class 4yo there, and the ones that were beaten usually ran no race at all as the race was more of an afterthought in a busy schedule.
Report Figgis September 15, 2021 4:14 PM BST
I've been saying all along that Snowfall has been overrated, but to say she's been exposed is ridiculous. Are people trying to say that Teona could've done what Snowfall achieved? Or that Snowfall's previous form was only half a length better than La Jaconde? Maybe they think Djokovic's performance in the US Open final exposed him too?

Clearly Snowfall didn't run to her best form on Sunday. My regret is that I didn't lay her, as I had her on the decline on her last two starts. Regressing 4lbs in the Irish Oaks, but horses aren't machines and that wasn't necessarily a sign that she was on the wane. A further decline of another 5lbs at York was a bit more concerning, as the way the race was run offered no excuse as to why she wasn't able to run faster. Anyway, after opposing her at York with the no show Wonderful Tonight, and doubts that there would be a filly in the Vermeille good enough to capitalise on Snowfall even below par I decided to swerve it, opportunity missed.
Report Sandown September 16, 2021 10:12 AM BST
Evaluating form is part fact, part interpretation of fact; part art part science; part objectivity, part subjectivity. As such, it is unlikely that any view is more correct, more likely less wrong than others.

I'll stick with my opinion that on Oaks day, Snowfall put up a top-class performance that compares favourably with that of Adayar the next day in winning the Derby. Both runs can be rated highly.

Unfortunately, form is never static,  horses improve and regress during a season, hitting their PB sometimes, improving on it sometimes and regressing sometimes. Whether they win or not is correlated with that but the context of the race matters and they may or may not win.

I agree with you figgis, that Snowfall on Sunday's effort appears to be not as good as she was that day back in June. Nevertheless, she  ran well enough at Longchamp to be not totally displeased with the effort but at her price she was expected to win, and win comfortably. If she was not at her best that could be a result of the trainer prepping her for the Arc and leaving her somewhat under-cooked. Or, it could be that she has enough for the year. Fillies can  quickly regress in the autumn and if that is the case then she will have little chance in the Arc but AOB has said that it is still the plan to run. Notwithstanding that, Dettori wasn't happy with the run. The time was OK and personally I don't like to see a fast time in a prep race, anyway. They finished in fast final splits (22.5 secs) on fastish ground which wouldn't suit a horse that is clearly suited by softer ground and a fast run race playing to stamina. All that said, I wouldn't be that hopeful about her achieving her PB or improving it off that run.

Teona showed a lot of improvement and  at a price she has an EW chance in Octobe but at this stage she has to improve a lot more to beat Adayar, to name one.

I thought that Deep Bond put up a good show for a horse that stays 16f and he looks like he could make the frame. Whether he could do so whilst making the running is another question yet to be answered.
Report Figgis September 16, 2021 1:08 PM BST
Sandown, as you say it's all about opinions. I'm reluctant to say that Teona and Deep Bond can't win an Arc, as we could get bog like conditions or a crawl and sprint and then anything is possible depending on positioning. What I will say is that, without massive improvement, if either Teona or Deep Bond won the Arc they would be a clear standout as the worst winners I have ever seen of the race. The form of those races were a long long way from what is normally required.
Report Figgis September 16, 2021 1:09 PM BST
*was a long long way
Report Figgis September 16, 2021 2:27 PM BST
Back to WFA in Gp1s, the question is what is it there for? Is it there to provide a theoretical level playing field for the difference between physical maturity of the age groups? Which is what I always thought it was supposed to be. Or is it now just a statistical leveller? Should the older horses in the Arc, which have largely consisted of runners a little below the highest class, be given more of a chance just to even up the score? Personally I don't think they should. Until the last few years older horses had to give away 8lbs to the 3yos. I think 10lbs would be nearer the mark as I believe that's what a genuine Gp1 older horse can concede to a genuine Gp1 3yo at that time of year and still match it, provided it hasn't used up too much fuel earlier in the season.

However, in just the last few seasons the weight difference has been dropped to 6lbs. For me, this has now got into the area of statistical levelling with disregard to actual ability. I'm sure it will lead to more older horses having a chance, but that will also include more horses of the likes of Waldgeist and Sottsass. Runners who weren't good enough to win hotter Gp1s earlier in the season. If we do get a year when a top class older horse gets to the Arc primed it's going to have a significant advantage, in my view.
Report .Marksman. September 16, 2021 4:09 PM BST
I saw Brough Scott on ITV a few months ago and he suggested scrapping weight for age, as nothing like it exists in other sports. He was saying that horses should go up against older ones when they are considered to be ready for the task, not because they have a perceived weight advantage.  There are some horses who will have to wait until they are 4 to do this, but there are others (probably just a few) who could win Group 1s as a 3yo at level weights.  These 3yo would then be considered true champions if they could do this.  There are examples of this in other sports:  Tracy Austin won the US open tennis aged 16!  (Serena Williams was 17 when she did it). There were several teenage gold medallists at this years olympics.
If wfa was scrapped there would probably be less 3yos running in the Arc, but more quality horses would stay in training to attempt the Arc (and other races) for the 1st time as a 4yo.
Report Figgis September 16, 2021 4:29 PM BST
Marksman, I would prefer to see it scrapped but too many vested interests are unlikely to allow that to happen.. As in theory wfa may be a maturity leveller, but there is no doubt that it is also rewards precocity. Some horses mature faster than others and no matter how long they are kept in training they will never run any faster than in their 3yo season, such as has proved the case with Love. Such horses are very much the beneficiaries of the wfa scale as 3yos, then appear major disappointments when running the following season without the allowances. However, how many other fast maturing horses have been packed off to stud as 3yos that would've gone the same way if kept in training? Quite a lot I reckon.
Report roadrunner46 September 16, 2021 9:24 PM BST
dont think scrapping WFA is good idea, haven't given it much thought, as for love, looked a world beater last year, watched its last race before it raced adayar and scrutinized its race record and thats when i noticed never achieved a really good top speed in any of its runs. usually use enable as a benchmark for comparisons
Report Figgis September 16, 2021 10:48 PM BST
Sandown, what is your opinion of Tarnawa's Arc chances? I like the mare, backed her a couple of times last year, but shes shown nothing this year to suggest she's any better than last season. In my view she's not up to typical all age Gp1 winning standard. Not even wfa terms that I consider very favourable can swing it, and I'm amazed she's the current fav.
Report Sandown September 17, 2021 11:53 AM BST
Tarnawa is a slow burn mare who has steadily improved her level over 16 runs to-date with her best RPR on her last run over a slowly run 10f. It's assumed that because she looked a little unlucky (I don't agree) that she will improve further when returned to 12f on which thinking she is now favourite for the Arc.

Her next highest RPR (120) was also over 10f in last years Prix de l'Opera and her best at 12f is 117 in last years Vermeille. Why she is assumed to be better at 12f is not based on the evidence so far.

She is trained by an elite trainer in Dermot Weld and he has aimed Tarnawa at the Arc all year so we must assume that she will at least run to her best mark. But that by itself will not be enough to win, she has to improve again by at least 3/4 lbs at a minimum. The average RPR for Arc winners is 129 but there have have been fillies & mares winning with less. Add to that the dim record of 5 year olds and I can't see her as favourite.

Her place at the head of the market has as much to do with the doubts surrounding Ayadar, Hurricane Lane and Snowfall as anything that she has done.
Report Figgis September 17, 2021 12:48 PM BST
I thought the Irish Champion Stakes was a crawl and sprint that proved absolutely nothing. When Tarnawa won the Ballyroan she might've won by daylight but it was a terrible race and not worthy of Gp3 status. In winning she only ran as fast as she had done at her best last season, I saw no improvement. The RP often put the comment 'easily' when a horse wins by daylight, but in my view she wasn't really value for any more. She clearly has a better chance than the likes of Teona and Deep Bond, and it's not impossible she could be the one to capitalise if some of the better runners don't run to form, but she's well underpriced.
Report Figgis September 18, 2021 3:02 PM BST
I'll stick with my opinion that on Oaks day, Snowfall put up a top-class performance that compares favourably with that of Adayar the next day in winning the Derby.

Sandown, has that opinion not wavered in the light of Al Aasy showing that he was well overrated to be considered anywhere near Gp1 class?
Report Sandown September 18, 2021 5:01 PM BST
No figgis. I am happy that  my figures fit not just with Piledriver/Al Aaasy but more importantly fit with Blue Cup (10f) who also came over to the near side. The finishing sectionals come from Racing TV and are reliable.

It won't be the first time that horses have regressed after reaching a peak figure and I see no need to change anything about a single race based on races 4 months later, let alone that of another horse.

I agree that Al Aasy is not running to his earlier figures and neither is Snowfall but I don't need to change any earlier figures unless new information arises about the race on that day.

Having brought my Arc analysis up to date it is hard to see beyond the Appleby pair now as most probable winners. I have Snowfall projecting to a figure below those two and the same is true of Tarnawa. But for the uncertainty concerning running arrangements I would play A/P but I see no need to take that risk at the prices.
Report harry callaghan September 18, 2021 10:07 PM BST
As people know, I’m not a trends man at all.

Was reading this about days till race, in regards prep race
Anyone got the full list of winners and days since last run?

28 - Danedream
Report harry callaghan September 18, 2021 10:08 PM BST
28 - Danedream
21 - Solemia
21 - Treve
22 - Treve
22 - Golden Horn
38 - Found
29 - Enable
21 - Enable
22 - Sottssass
52 and counting - Adayar
Report Figgis September 18, 2021 10:47 PM BST
Harry, I don't have a list, but, from memory, two who had a longish break were Sakhee (48), who for me was the best older winner I've seen. Another was the 3yo Lammtarra (71), who, even though he managed to do the same treble Adayar is attempting, I consider amongst the least talented of the 3yo winners, it was a very poor season. Interestingly both horses Godolphin trained, albeit a different trainer at the helm back then.

I suppose it all depends on the reason for the long break. Often a period on the sidelines will mean a major problem so it's no surprise that most winners had a fairly recent run. As far as I remember Sakhee was always going straight from York, but I don't remember the reason for Lammtarra's long break. I think most trainers nowadays are aware of just how difficult it can be to target the Arc and King George in the same season. Adayar was always going to be rested until the Longchamp trials and only missed his prep due to the leg infection.
Report harry callaghan September 18, 2021 11:01 PM BST
Yeah was just flicking through some articles figgis and found this.

Glad you reminded me on lammtara great horse, really tough although pentire still makes me feel illCry sakhee was another incredibly tough horse. So once again the trends just suit that particular players article I was reading. My memory isn’t the best until jogged.

Marienbard was another tough horse along with found. Some tough horses win this, that will be my trendGrin

Workforce was another who came in off an absence. I don’t know how these people get away with it on trends.
I’ll be honest I like this adayar here but just tinkering around with the race at this stage.

Got a really good make up betting wise this year.
Always enjoy the chat on this race each yearHappy
Report harry callaghan September 18, 2021 11:05 PM BST
I don’t get why mishriff or st marks basilca don’t want a shot at it.
Report penzance September 18, 2021 11:16 PM BST
If Adayar does win,hell be only the 3rd horse
to win The Derby,King George & Arc.Mill Reef
& Lammtarra,the other 2.
Report harry callaghan September 18, 2021 11:32 PM BST
I rated the king George one of the best king George’s for as long as I can remember. A top class group 1 imo, I can no faults in it.

He is an outstanding colt adayar imo
Report harry callaghan September 18, 2021 11:32 PM BST
Report Figgis September 18, 2021 11:39 PM BST
Harry, yes I'd forgotten about Workforce. Don't know if he'd have gone straight to the Arc from Ascot anyway if he'd run to form, or if it was an enforced break while they gave him time to recover. Yes I reckon Mishriff would've had a massive chance having to concede only 6lbs. I assumed they were waiting to see if it turned heavy or not, but they've decided against.
Report harry callaghan September 18, 2021 11:44 PM BST
I’m struggling with mishriff figgis…surely had to run
I’ve always loved the staying argument, so I’d say that’s the reason he’s dodging it but we both know that’s nonsense in this horses case
Report Figgis September 18, 2021 11:46 PM BST
I rated the king George one of the best king George’s for as long as I can remember

I'm only talking about very fine margins, but personally I haven't rated a faster one by a 3yo.
Report harry callaghan September 18, 2021 11:46 PM BST
Where is this st marks horse running?
Surely not the breeders cup classic?
Report harry callaghan September 18, 2021 11:52 PM BST
I'm only talking about very fine margins, but personally I haven't rated a faster one by a 3yo.

I’ve gone back a fair bit but just think it’s one the best performances I can remember.

Just a brilliant colt, I still think he’s got more as well figgis, I know that seems strange but I don’t think they have got to the bottom of him. I don’t know why but he’s a bit freaky for me, with a whole lot more still under the bonnet. I maybe wrong but I actually thought he won the George a shade snug and Buick hadn’t gone for 5th gear
Report Figgis September 18, 2021 11:59 PM BST
Harry, possibly, but looking at the Arc field I don't believe he needs to be any better than that.
Report harry callaghan September 19, 2021 12:02 AM BST
Totally agree and because of the problem he’s had we will have the chance to get paid off here imo

The market has to consider the missed prep and his well being after all.
Report harry callaghan September 19, 2021 12:04 AM BST
I’ll be waiting till the day on any bets but do enjoy talking about a good one, as we’ve been seriously lacking for a while and he’s a special colt imo
Report harry callaghan September 19, 2021 12:06 AM BST
Believe or not I know he was injured but I had the 5th home in the king George a low grade grade 1 horse in his own right and was tailed
Report Figgis September 19, 2021 12:12 AM BST
Harry, I have him in the top four fastest Derby winners this century. Three of those went on to win the Arc, the other (Authorized) just didn't perform on the day.
Report Figgis September 19, 2021 12:16 AM BST
Sorry, meant to say in the top 5.
Report harry callaghan September 19, 2021 12:24 AM BST
I won’t say what my early tissue is figgis with the likely runners. Let’s just say I hope the market takes into consideration his problems as it was clearly enough to stop him prepping.

I’ve watched the George to many times but my rating is probably ended up to high. I myself believe in it, let’s just say it’s much higher than the racing post and I’m always mercenary in cropping my own rating, so am struggling with what I’ve come up with and to cope with it.. should just Chuck the books in the binCry
Report harry callaghan September 19, 2021 12:36 AM BST
When you rated authorized figgis did you compensate your rating in regards how the 2 races were run? I had adayar derby steadily run whereas I had them going quick in authorized race? Just interested as that’s what makes this colt so good imo
Report Figgis September 19, 2021 1:56 AM BST
Harry, no I didn't, as for me even though the pace varied in both races it didn't deviate enough to hinder the final time performance, but I know others may disagree about that. I actually had Authorized's Derby performance a couple of pounds faster than Adayar. However, what was more important to me than a couple of pounds here or there was I thought Adayar achieved his Derby win much more comfortably. This is all subjective of course and in the eye of the viewer, but even at the time I thought Authorized had quite a hard race. That doesn't mean I think that Adayar could necessarily improve on what he did, but I think in general most horses are more likely to repeat a performance when they've not had too hard a race.
Report harry callaghan September 19, 2021 1:12 PM BST
what was more important to me than a couple of pounds here or there was I thought Adayar achieved his Derby win much more comfortably.

That’s really what I was getting at tbh.
I view things slightly differently in regards times and have adayar if they’d gone faster, maybe being one of the best derby winners we have seen.
Authorized was a brilliant winner, so we can cap him as was ridden out. Adayar is different as he is uncapped for me if you know what I’m getting at, in regards to how fast they went in the race.
I believe the distance could of been much more in more punishing test I suppose is where I’m leaning.
Report cryoftruth September 20, 2021 12:23 PM BST
I share some of the opinions of both Sandown and Figgis re Tarnawa. She is under priced on form.

However I do not agree that the Irish Champions can be just rejected as meaningless. What she surprised me with there was the sheer speed she showed pretty much matching the well proven and well evidenced turn of speed that St MB. If a horse runs very well in circumstances that went against them, my experience is that you should take note. She proved to me that she is right up there as a filly of high class and with her speed she is going to be a major danger.  She will be far better suited back at 12 furlongs and I do expect her to achieve a personal best.

She is a proven 120+ filly already and if she did run 124 in the Arc as seems quite possible, with her fillies’ allowance, she would be extremely dangerous. 3/1 is a short price admittedly. But not all races are won by the horse who appeared before the race to be over priced.

Trouble with a reliance on speed figures or time figures is this. It shows what a horse can do in a race run at a true or fast pace. The Arc may be run at a fast pace, but equally it may be run like many French races with much depending on which has the fastest finish. I would select Tarnawa as fitting that requirement ideally.
Report Sandown September 20, 2021 12:41 PM BST
Cryoftruth. I think the issue about Tarnawa is all about price and not chance. She undoubtedly has both speed and stamina and might be a worthy favourite in a year without either or both of Appleby's, who if they run, could make this an above average year for performance.
Report Figgis September 20, 2021 2:26 PM BST
I seem to be seeing this year's Arc differently than most. In regards to the form, this race is going to take no more winning than the King George, and probably even less. Maybe luck in running or lack of pace will make it more difficult but not the competition. Of the likely runners, I see only one true Gp1 horse in the field and that is the Derby winner. There may be more horses running here than in the KG but just like most Arcs there is a lot of dead wood.

Everything revolves around whether Adayar runs his race or not, as he doesn't need to improve against this lot. By my reckoning, when winning the KG he ran exactly to the pound of his Derby win. That can sometimes be a negative if brought out again quickly but, as we know, he's had a long rest. However, there is always an element of guesswork involved when a horse hasn't shown recent form. He wouldn't be the first good Derby winner to be a spent force this late in the season.

If I could be sure Adayar was going to run his race against the likely opposition here I'd make his chance of winning around 80%. The 20% against would be more the chance of him being unlucky in running, rather than the very slim chance that any of these are going to improve past him. Acknowledging that without a recent run there has to be a doubt about his current ability makes pricing his chance more difficult. That said, on the day of the race I would still make him around a 5/8 chance. A cracking bet, in my view.
Report cryoftruth September 20, 2021 2:33 PM BST
I agree mainly figgis but I think you overstate your case a little bit. But Adayar should be favourite I agree, and if you could be sure he would run to his best he would probably win.

Reminds me just a bit of Generous though who flopped  despite being the best horse in the Arc and actually a more outstanding Derby winner that Adayar.
Report Figgis September 20, 2021 2:59 PM BST
Cryoftruth, I realised at the time of stating 80% that many would see that as over confidence, and I can see why they would think that, but it is definitely a considered price, not just a hunch. As for Generous, he was indeed a very good Derby winner, but personally I have Adayar matching him on figures. As good a performance it was that day at Ascot, it was a very poor KG that Generous demolished. It's easy to say with hindsight, but despite his short price in the Arc I think quite a few were of the opinion that it might be one race too far, as he also ran a big race in the Irish Derby (his best performance in my view). The horse he beat at the Curragh, Suave Dancer, also looked an improved horse later when winning the Irish Champion Stakes.

As for the day of race price for Adayar, given the current form doubt, could I still see Adayar winning the race 8 out of every 13 run? Yes, I don't think that's overstating his chance.
Report Sandown September 20, 2021 3:29 PM BST
As the dataform figures show in the OP, the advantage to 3 yr olds over middle and long distances later in the year is not confined to a race like the Arc.It's not a question of 4 &  5 year olds not being able to carry weight, but 3yr olds not having enough weight to carry as they mature earlier these days.
Report Figgis September 20, 2021 4:01 PM BST
Sandown, the figures show the significance in all age handicaps. I've argued this case many times before. WFA is a one size fits all scale based on the entire horse population throughout the season. Surely nobody really believes that 3yos improve a set amount by a certain date each month. It's a best fit scale as, taken as a whole, more 3yos will be closer to reaching full maturity as the season progresses. Perfectly sensible.

they mature earlier these day

This is the crux of the issue. It therefore follows that some 3yos will mature earlier than other 3yos. The better 3yos earlier in the season, or even mid season, will not only contain better horses, but a fair few who are better because they've matured earlier. When the King George is run 3yos receive 11lbs from their elders (we can argue whether it should be less), but by the time the Arc is run they now only receive 6lbs. Now we can take it as correct that the 3yo population on the whole are faster in October than they are in July, but does that necessarily mean that the horses at the top of the tree mid season also improve that much by the end of it? That's not what I'm seeing. I'd say in the vast majority of cases that isn't so, as most of them were early maturers.
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