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Ascot – Soft to Heavy my Ar*e

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  • #136615
    the welsh wizard
    Member
    • Total Posts 352

    A little trick I always use (on viewing replays, of course) when reading the finish of races is to ignore the movements of the jockeys and look at the pace of the horses – and imagine what I would call the pace if they were going past with a circuit to run. The way they were finishing at Ascot yesterday (crawling, in the main) suggested to me that the going was plenty soft enough.
    Therefore, I can only conclude as to the (relatively) decent times clocked that the movement of rail to avoid patches of false ground significantly shortened all races, particularly when taken into account alongside missing out the ditch before Swinley Bottom in all chases.
    Given the amount of rail movement throughout the winter as courses bid to provide fresh ground and avoid false patches, I really do question the validity of times as a tool in NH race-reading.

    Nick

    #136616
    thedarkknight
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1299

    Good post, NIck

    I tend to agree. Coming up with useful or accurate times is fraught with danger over the sticks. Coming up with useful sectionals sounds like a massive head-busting headache to me – but I’m sure Prufrock will disagree!!

    #136617
    Shadow Leader
    Member
    • Total Posts 763

    To ONLY way to determine the going is by the race times on the day.

    If it wasn’t G/S yesterday at Ascot, what was it?

    I cannot have the first sentence in the slightest. What is it about these number crunchers who cannot accept that times may not be the be-all and end-all of everything? I don’t need a stopwatch to tell me what my eyes and experience tell me clear as day.

    I was at Ascot yesterday – the ground was horrendous. In answer to your question, I’d say the official going description was about right. There is no way in this world that the going was even close to good to soft – it was very soft and very, very tiring. The horses were crawling on their hands and knees from the final bend, for God’s sake!

    #136624
    Fist of Fury 2k8
    Member
    • Total Posts 2930

    FOF

    You may be a horseracing genius and I may be "stupid and not have a clue what I’m talking about" but I am learning and when I saw something that didn’t make sense to me at Ascot yesterday I’ve been trying to figure out why. I respect a lot of the opinions on here so I put it up because I wanted to get some other ideas or answers to something that puzzles me.

    The winning times and and how they compare to the official going reports in my earlier post are taken from the official formbook. The times from the races yesterday in comparison suggest the ground was riding faster than officially reported. As for distances I didn’t see any false rails but the exact location of the starts compared to normal is unknown to me.

    From a form point of view I will concede Labelthou does appear best on a soft surface however using RP ratings as a guide, Lough Derg, Tamarinbleu, Wee Robbie have all recorded their best ratings on GF, GD, GS respectively and Patricksnineteenth the beaten favourite in the 3.30 has shown its best form on soft. Their was too much unexposed form in the other races for me to form a firm conclusion about going requirements.

    Its also interesting that only 1 favourite won at Ascot yesterday when the strike rate for all clear National Hunt favourites since the course reopened has been 40%.

    Another striking stat from Ascot since it reopened – All horses running in a graded / listed chase or hurdle at any course except Ascot, who ran at Ascot last time out have a 4.69% strike rate, only 6 winners from 128 runners (Vodka Bleu, Shatabdi, Natal, Moon Over Miami, Blazing Bailey, Amaretto Rose).

    The shape of the races at Ascot feels all wrong.

    Maybe most importantly I’ve had a gut feeling for sometime there is something "not quite right with Ascot" since it reopened, something I can’t explain.

    I think your far from stupid. It’s things like what you are doing that helps people discover certain things in racing that gives you that little edge.

    This Ascot dilemma could be easily explained by someone but I doubt if we the betting public will ever know without being told the reason.

    Although I have been to Ascot several times I can’t say I know the course that well but anything could change times and knock them haywire.

    Perhaps there was bad drainage at certain places in the course that rode very heavy in the past and they have now been fixed. You hit a patch of really heavy ground when you are riding you can feel horses gear change underneath you unless he has feet like boats. You would expect the times to be slower if that happened in the same way you would expect them to be faster once taken care off.

    I am no time expert I have never used them in my slife except when I conatact a friend who does a different thing with times and that’s very seldom……….maybe I’m a fool for not looking at times but that’s just the way I am. Having ridden horses for many years I know what to look for and without times one glance told me the ground was very soft or heavy.

    How soft it actually was is down to opinion. I asked the question and was told it was very soft and holding in places yet Ruby Walsh claims it rode heavy throughout…I wouldn’t argue with that because one was talking the hurdle course the other the chase course.

    Overall it’s a way too complicated for me to work out so I am putting it down to some sort of Gremlins in the turf….someone said it could be the soil has changed……….someone call a geologist maybe he knows

    #136625
    Fist of Fury 2k8
    Member
    • Total Posts 2930

    FOF

    You may be a horseracing genius and I may be "stupid and not have a clue what I’m talking about" but I am learning and when I saw something that didn’t make sense to me at Ascot yesterday I’ve been trying to figure out why. I respect a lot of the opinions on here so I put it up because I wanted to get some other ideas or answers to something that puzzles me.

    The winning times and and how they compare to the official going reports in my earlier post are taken from the official formbook. The times from the races yesterday in comparison suggest the ground was riding faster than officially reported. As for distances I didn’t see any false rails but the exact location of the starts compared to normal is unknown to me.

    From a form point of view I will concede Labelthou does appear best on a soft surface however using RP ratings as a guide, Lough Derg, Tamarinbleu, Wee Robbie have all recorded their best ratings on GF, GD, GS respectively and Patricksnineteenth the beaten favourite in the 3.30 has shown its best form on soft. Their was too much unexposed form in the other races for me to form a firm conclusion about going requirements.

    Its also interesting that only 1 favourite won at Ascot yesterday when the strike rate for all clear National Hunt favourites since the course reopened has been 40%.

    Another striking stat from Ascot since it reopened – All horses running in a graded / listed chase or hurdle at any course except Ascot, who ran at Ascot last time out have a 4.69% strike rate, only 6 winners from 128 runners (Vodka Bleu, Shatabdi, Natal, Moon Over Miami, Blazing Bailey, Amaretto Rose).

    The shape of the races at Ascot feels all wrong.

    Maybe most importantly I’ve had a gut feeling for sometime there is something "not quite right with Ascot" since it reopened, something I can’t explain.

    I think your far from stupid. It’s things like what you are doing that helps people discover certain things in racing that gives you that little edge.

    This Ascot dilemma could be easily explained by someone but I doubt if we the betting public will ever know without being told the reason.

    Although I have been to Ascot several times I can’t say I know the course that well but anything could change times and knock them haywire.

    Perhaps there was bad drainage at certain places in the course that rode very heavy in the past and they have now been fixed. You hit a patch of really heavy ground when you are riding you can feel horses gear change underneath you unless he has feet like boats. You would expect the times to be slower if that happened in the same way you would expect them to be faster once taken care off.

    I am no time expert I have never used them in my slife except when I conatact a friend who does a different thing with times and that’s very seldom……….maybe I’m a fool for not looking at times but that’s just the way I am. Having ridden horses for many years I know what to look for and without times one glance told me the ground was very soft or heavy.

    How soft it actually was is down to opinion. I asked the question and was told it was very soft and holding in places yet Ruby Walsh claims it rode heavy throughout…I wouldn’t argue with that because one was talking the hurdle course the other the chase course.

    Overall it’s a way too complicated for me to work out so I am putting it down to some sort of Gremlins in the turf….someone said it could be the soil has changed……….someone call a geologist maybe he knows

    #136628
    Prufrock
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2081

    Prufrock – I still find your Boylesports sectionals argument rather puzzling. If they went that fast early, why did nothing held up make any ground in the closing stages? Forgetting Tamarinbleu for a second – I find it hard to believe by the same argument that Patman du Charmil is the next coming – decent beast though he is….

    Well, I would welcome any suggestions as to why horses don’t always make up ground from behind when the leaders have gone fast – it’s something that has puzzled sectional timers for a long time. But it is a regular occurrence, as anyone who deals with sectionals will know. Osana and Gaspara are other notable examples of this at Cheltenham, over the hurdles course.

    My own theory is that the leaders end up running the finish out of everything (including, to a degree, themselves) and it comes down to “plodding rate”, which some horses are better at maintaining than others. In such circumstances, you tend to get horses coming through from well behind, if they have something left, or not at all.

    The prominent-racers in the Boylesports deserved extra credit, but not to a huge degree. Patman du Charmil was probably a bit better than the result – it could be argued that he has already shown he was – and Tamarinbleu a bit more than that again. I rated Tamarinbleu a 163 horse before Saturday, that’s all.

    There is no way in this world that the going was even close to good to soft – it was very soft and very, very tiring. The horses were crawling on their hands and knees from the final bend, for God’s sake!

    Interestingly, Tamarinbleu, despite clearly going quickly, finished off only slightly slower than did Bleu Superbe over course and distance on 21/12/07. Perhaps we should call the ground soft that day: the official ground was “good to firm”. Or maybe they made a point of relocating the winning post between the two meetings.

    I always use sectional times where I can these days in addition to overall race times. They take a lot of the subjectivity out of things.

    #136632
    Charlie D
    Member
    • Total Posts 500

    . I rated Tamarinbleu a 163 horse before Saturday

    Just out of interest, what do you rate him now Prufrock

    #136634
    Prufrock
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2081

    Actually haven’t managed to have a look as I’ve been too busy with various things, not least posting to this forum!

    I’ll have a look tomorrow. I anticipate him being my idea of the best horse in the Champion Chase field (if he runs in the race), but that’s partly because I have never much rated Voy Por Ustedes and have cooled quite a bit to Twist Magic since backing him early in the season.

    #136636
    Charlie D
    Member
    • Total Posts 500

    K mate

    I just can’t have TM after yesterday – win and probable place lay come QM imo

    #136640
    Fist of Fury 2k8
    Member
    • Total Posts 2930

    Unfortunately Paul Nicholls said the answer was 42 as well, AP, so I fear it may be the correct answer! After all, he would know more about it than some of the best time analysts in the country.

    Sarcasm is lowest form of wit mate and if that’s all you can contribute to a sensible discussion why bother.

    I’m damn sure I would listen to Ruby Walsh who reported back the ground rode heavy to PN than to some would be time analyst.

    If being correct about something bugs you and your friend AP justification to ridicule me then knock yourselves out.

    Who you are I have no idea and I care even less and on you the answer is definitely 42.

    You called me a liar on another thread without any justification about bets I placed.

    Lets look at Kauto Star…………I backed him at 3/1 for the King George and 7/2 for the Gold Cup and posted it on here the day I placed the bets……..those prices were available to you and everyone else

    I backed him again at 9/4 6/4 and 5/6 along with Denman in a double…again everyone knows because again I recommended it………what price did you get smart ass?

    Now because I can get a few quid on with my friend at SL prices I am a liar……….again you attack me without substantiating your claim…….mate I don’t give a rats ass what you think manners cost nothing but as far as you are concerned you are just some insignificant moron with a big mouth.

    However you will be pleased to now I am out of hear… I wouldn’t share a can of coke with the likes of you.

    #136643
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17716

    It’s a non-starter to put the time of the race down to course adjustments imo.
    Purely from TV pictures, the dolling off was along the inside rail where there was any, which can only have made the distance further rather than less. The missing fence would have made a couple of seconds difference, but nothing like the gulf there was between this race and all the others yesterday.
    I gave up the stopwatch as a definitive tool years ago, but still recognise a good performance when I’ve seen one, and anyone who cribs Tamarinblue’s on either time, form, or just the eye, has little in the way of logic to support them.
    Imvho, of course.

    #136646
    thedarkknight
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1299

    I
    I gave up the stopwatch as a definitive tool years ago, but still recognise a good performance when I’ve seen one..

    No you don’t – you have continually crabbed Denman’s Sun Alliance, Hennessy and Lexus wins on here.

    On that basis you wouldn’t know a good performance if it came up and smacked you repeatedly in the face ….

    All in my very humble opinion, of course….. 8)

    #136648
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17716

    Not at all, TDK.
    All I have said (repeatedly) is that he has yet to show the form capable of winning this year’s Gold Cup.
    You obviously think differently but, unlike me, on the basis of one performance – which has still to be vindicated 3 months on. :wink:

    #136651
    Cav
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4823

    Had a look at the video again a few times regarding dolling. The turn from the back straight into Swinley Bottom was dolled and the first 2 fences after that turn were dolled about 1/3 of the way in from the far rail, which would add to the distance if anything. They did miss the ditch but that would only make a couple of seconds difference.

    The fastest time ever at the distance was Crossbow Creek in Oct ’06 4m 03 secs on officially Good to Firm (Firm in the home straight). Tamarinbleu was just 10.4 secs slower than that on Soft (Heavy in places) ground.

    I timed Crossbow Creek from the 3rd last to the winning post (about 3 1/2 furlongs). It took 53.5 seconds. Tamarinbleu did the same distance in 60.6 seconds yesterday. In effect he ran on Soft / Heavy ground for 13.5 furlongs at almost the same pace as the quickest time recorded on Good to Firm and after that exertion lost only 7 seconds in the last 3 1/2 furlongs.

    If the official going report is to be believed that is an incredible performance and 8/1 for the QM is massive.

    Trouble is something tells me it wasnt an incredible performance…something I cant put my finger on :? :?

    #136653
    Tuffers
    Member
    • Total Posts 1402

    If anyone can tell me what the going stick figure was for Ascot, I’ll tell you what the going was

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