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Ballydoyle’s derisory use of pacemakers

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  • #12817
    RobinFromIreland
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    • Total Posts 72

    Yet again, Aidan O’Brien’s assigned pacemakers take off and are ignored by the field. They pulled further and further ahead of Stacelita throughout the race meaning the actual race pace was being controlled by a Coolmore rival.

    Pacemaking does not seem like such a difficult concept to grasp. Why are Coolmore having such difficulty with it?

    As an example of true pacemaking and controlling a race, I wish to offer the example of the (criminally-underrated and) great Sinndar winning the 2000 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (3rd fastest time) after being perfectly set-up by Raypour. Raypour even missed the break badly (as many AOB pacemakers do) but the Aga Khan’s team got things together quickly and without incident.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRW8Wme3HBU

    #251927
    thehorsesmouth
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    • Total Posts 5552

    The thing about a decent pacemaker is you need something that might actually give the rest of the field something to think about, like Golden Sword in the Derby. There’s no point in running the no hopers as the field will just ignore them no matter what speed they go at, as they have no chance of winning whatsoever.

    #251930
    Irish Stamp
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    • Total Posts 3177

    It wasn’t so bad yesterday – there was only one horse who was doing any work to take the main field up to the pacemakers and that was Stacelita, they effectively ruined the chances that she had of winning the Arc and set it up for the rest of the field.

    #251931
    % MAN
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    • Total Posts 5104

    It wasn’t so bad yesterday – there was only one horse who was doing any work to take the main field up to the pacemakers and that was Stacelita, they effectively ruined the chances that she had of winning the Arc and set it up for the rest of the field.

    I would say Stacelita blew any chance she had of winning the Arc in preliminaries. She was so fired up she must have expended one hell of a lot of energy – she was like a bucking bronco coming down the horsewalk.

    #251937
    carvillshill
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    • Total Posts 2778

    I wonder if John Oxx considered using a pacemaker? They could even have bought something in the lead up to the Arc- as it was the slow early pace made the favourite’s task a lot harder.

    #251940
    robert99
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    • Total Posts 899

    I wonder if John Oxx considered using a pacemaker? They could even have bought something in the lead up to the Arc- as it was the slow early pace made the favourite’s task a lot harder.

    With a 19 horse field of the best mid-distance horses going why would you ever need a pacemaker?
    If AoB can be relied upon to send out two pointless pacemakers which the field ignores why would JO want a third, properly pacing midway between the field and the AoB kamikaze two?
    JO knows that Mick Kinane is the best judge of pace in Europe.
    What slow early pace? The race finished 4.20 seconds below the Racing Post standard and that does not happen with a "slow" early pace.
    Longchamp is a difficult finish for large fields and there will always be difficulties in running. With all his other assets, SoS has a further major asset in the energy reserves to get out of those tight spots in sufficient time to win.

    #251943
    yeats
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    • Total Posts 3140

    Why would a true pace neccesarily favour O’Briens horses over others if they aren’t good enough?
    Sinndar wouldn’t have won despite the fine job Raypour did if there had been better horses than him in the race.

    #251946
    carvillshill
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    • Total Posts 2778

    I wonder if John Oxx considered using a pacemaker? They could even have bought something in the lead up to the Arc- as it was the slow early pace made the favourite’s task a lot harder.

    With a 19 horse field of the best mid-distance horses going why would you ever need a pacemaker?
    If AoB can be relied upon to send out two pointless pacemakers which the field ignores why would JO want a third, properly pacing midway between the field and the AoB kamikaze two?
    JO knows that Mick Kinane is the best judge of pace in Europe.
    What slow early pace? The race finished 4.20 seconds below the Racing Post standard and that does not happen with a "slow" early pace.
    Longchamp is a difficult finish for large fields and there will always be difficulties in running. With all his other assets, SoS has a further major asset in the energy reserves to get out of those tight spots in sufficient time to win.

    Emm… I didn’t take sectional times but the early pace set by Stacelita looked fairly pedestrian to me and there was a lot of switching of positions and horses pulling- maybe Pru or someone can let us know how quickly she covered the first 7 furlongs or so. Why another pacemaker? because of the risk of exactly what happened- the complete ignoring of the Ballydoyle pacemakers. A better class horse sitting a bit off them would have given the race a better tempo in the early stages and made it easier for Mick to get STS settled.

    #251970
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17716

    There’s something that this discussion has ignored, namely the fact that those two weren’t in there simply as pacemakers for Fame or Glory. That was only one objective.

    No. They were there partly to disrupt the pattern of the race, and to try and unsettle Sea the Stars – within the rules of course.

    Did we not see how Grand Ducal was rushed up after an intentionally tardy start, to rush right past the favourite and set him off? It worked in spades. He pulled like stink for a good two furlongs after that. Objective achieved.

    In the end, of course, it made no difference to this seemingly bombproof champion. But it was surely worth a shot (c.f. the infamous Carvills Hill "spoiler" incident in that Gold Cup, which

    did

    work, though not to the advantage of the Pitman first string.)

    #251973
    RobinFromIreland
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    • Total Posts 72

    There’s something that this discussion has ignored, namely the fact that those two weren’t in there simply as pacemakers for Fame or Glory. That was only one objective.

    No. They were there partly to disrupt the pattern of the race, and to try and unsettle Sea the Stars – within the rules of course.

    Did we not see how Grand Ducal was rushed up after an intentionally tardy start, to rush right past the favourite and set him off? It worked in spades. He pulled like stink for a good two furlongs after that. Objective achieved.

    In the end, of course, it made no difference to this seemingly bombproof champion. But it was surely worth a shot (c.f. the infamous Carvills Hill "spoiler" incident in that Gold Cup, which

    did

    work, though not to the advantage of the Pitman first string.)

    I’m not entirely sure I agree with this. I feel Set Sail and Grand Ducal were ridden exactly the same as Set Sail and Rockhampton were in the Irish Champion. Grand Ducal was also in that race and wasn’t ridden quite so aggressively, but Rockhamption faded very badly around the final turn (after a very slow break), making it pointless running him as a pacemaker again.

    #251974
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17716

    I agree with using pacemakers but inside there is a part of me that genuinely feels sorry for the horse.

    #251980
    The Vintner
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    • Total Posts 110

    Isn’t the point of a pacemaker to set the pace for the stable mate who lacks turn of foot and is liable to be out kicked in the final furlong? So shouldn’t the stablemate be ridden closer to the pacemaker…. i.e like Yeats yesterday and his pacemaker.
    Watching those pacemakers racing off into silly leads with the field ignoring them makes you wonder what the point is.
    I agree that a better strategy would be a pacemaker that is an actual threat, that has a possibility of stealing the race off the front, i.e like Golden Sword, or to use a couple recent American examples of the past couple of years, Precious Passion in the UN Handicap and The Tin Man in the Arlington Million. Not that either of the latter was a pacemaker, but they were allowed to establish big leads (farcical in the case of PP) and couldn’t be reeled in.

    #251987
    douginho
    Member
    • Total Posts 1046

    I think it is only the Coolmore boys who even use pacemakers these days. It is stupid seeing them haring off and then floundering and interrupting the entire firld coming behind them. This makes me think that they are not pacemakers…they are spoilers. Designed to get in the way of other rivals in the finishing straight. If they were truly pacemakers they would race wide off the home turn and ensure nothing gets hampered.

    Incidently, I dont think Coolmore ran pacemakers in the English Derby. I just think Golden Sword went from the front as he had done so previously.

    #252012
    The Vintner
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    • Total Posts 110

    Incidently, I dont think Coolmore ran pacemakers in the English Derby. I just think Golden Sword went from the front as he had done so previously.

    I agree. But I think he would be good as a pacemaker, as the field wouldn’t want to ignore him and let him establish a massive 20 length lead. Having a horse with a legit chance of springing an upset means he ends up having the effect he was intended to create… a strong pace.
    The likes of Set Sail… why would anyone pay any attention to him, you know he’s going to blow up after 9f.

    #252187
    clivexx
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2215

    is it almost the case that Ballydoyle pacemaking has become simply a habit rather than being of any real benefit ?

    #252226
    richard
    Participant
    • Total Posts 138

    Robin F/M has the right of it. The Ballydoyle pacemakers aren’t usually pacemakers in the strict sense of the word. Their job is to try to light up the main competion and make them go too fast and if that fails get in the way of other horses as they fall back.

    Think it helped Sea The Stars to have Kinane riding, he would be able to anticipate the Ballydoyle tactics as well as anyone.

    Personally think it is a pity that apparently Ballydoyle don’t have the confidence in the capability of those horses they want to make into high fee stallions to run them on their merits. Their team tactics in the UK, maybe Ireland for all I know, are so obvious in Group races that their mob handed approach is becoming a touch farcical.

    richard

    #252229
    Zarkava
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    • Total Posts 4691

    It was fine when they used Scorpion, Yellowstone and Ivan Denisovich because they were actually capable of winning top races. The crud they’ve used this season isn’t even up to Group 3 level, with the exception of Grand Ducal.

    Fame And Glory IMO would be a perfect pacemaker by the time the all-aged Group 1s roll around next year. He’s next to worthless at stud, not that good, won 2 pathetic Group 1s with miserly form and has no turn of foot. The only thing he’ll possibly be is a very good Cup horse, so better off using him as an effective pacemaker who could potentially nick a Group 1 along the way.

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