‘Class Figures’

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This topic contains 67 replies, has 21 voices, and was last updated by  davidjohnson 11 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #59013

    Malc Smith
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    One of the things I look for is a horse with nice low weight figures and a high speed rating.

    #59014

    Artemis
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    seabird,

    You are right about Nick Mordin. he discusses the principle at length in his book, ‘Winning Without Thinking’. I don’t always agree with him, but his logic in this case semms sound enough to me and is also supported by Beyer.

    Basically, any object/thing that travels at speed will travel faster if its mass or weight is reduced, all other things being equal. Basic physics, but also subject to dynamics i.e. how fast can an object travel given its design and capabilities.

    For example, a fit, slender, hard-trained human being can run faster over 1 kilometre than a fit, well-muscled, hard- trained opponent who is 10 to 20 kilos heavier. However, the biology of the human body imposes limits on how fast any individual can run over a given distance regardless of how lean, fit and hard trained they become. Factors such as ability to convert oxygen and nutrients into energy and many others come into play(I’m no expert). When this strived-for limit is reached, a person cannot run any faster.

    IMO – and it seems logical to me – horses are much the same; they can only run as fast as they can run given their individual physical and genetic constraints. They reach a point in racing where they encounter pain. Many will not go past this point, but some do and go to their absolute limit. They cannot go past this limit.

    So, reducing weight helps to make a horse run faster but only until it reaches the limit of its capabilities, beyond which only improved fitness and hard training might possibly extend this limit. If it is already at maximum fitness and trained to the minute, perhaps only raw fear will make the horse run itself into the ground.  

    #59015

    davidbrady
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    seabird

    According to one of his books (either Winning without Thinking or Betting for a Living) Mordin has analysed a considerable number of races to come up with that conclusion.

    His other theory regarding weight states that the effect of weight only really affects horses when they are running at top speed. As this only really occurs on a straight part of the course, horses with higher weights should be at less of a disadvantage on a turning course than a galloping one.

    IMO, although I don’t ignore the effect of extra weight, I do play it down to a large extent, only really worrying about it in a competitive and valuable handicap if a horse is top (or near top) weight (more chance of an unexposed type being laid out for the race) or if it is well out of the handicap. If a horse is suited by the course, distance, & going, then I wouldn’t normally let the 11-12 affect me too much.

    An example of the vagaries of weight would be yesterday’s French 1000 Guineas where Finsceal Beo lost out by a head on the line. According to Jim Bolger before the race, Finsceal Beo was 2 kg (4.4lbs) heavier than when she ran at Newmarket. This was mentioned virtually nowhere (I can’t remember where I read it actually) but if Finsceal Beo had been made to carry 9st 4.4lbs instead of the 9st yesterday, most people would be blaming the extra weight for the defeat. But this still hasn’t been picked up on in the racing press, nor will it be.

    #59016

    davidbrady
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    • Total Posts 4104

    Quote: from Artemis on 9:43 am on May 14, 2007[br]If it is already at maximum fitness and trained to the minute, perhaps only raw fear will make the horse run itself into the ground.

    Is this why Jockeys carry whips!

    #59017

    seabird
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    But, DB, a horse being two kilos heavier isn’t the same as carrying an extra two kilos of weight.

    That extra weight that she weighed could be muscle which would aid her ability to propel herself, whilst an extra 2 kilos of lead would tend to slow her down.

    When you are talking about an animal that weighs in the region of 400 kilos, I don’t think 2 kilos will have that much of an effect.

    It would be similar to a human athlete wearing a wristwatch and bling!!!!:biggrin:

    Colin

    #59018

    seabird
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    Artemis, yes, I am familiar with Mordin’s argument but to my mind it doesn’t hold water.

    He agrees that extra weight can slow a horse down but hasn’t he at some time quoted the reasearch down in some cavalry regiment that weight didn’t have an effect until it approached a certain level and I think in fct he can be quoted as saying "weight doesn’t matter"!!!

    If, we say a horse can acheive a result, say a rating of 100, he is saying that if you then put him up to a mark of 105 he will run 5lbs. slower.

    Now when that horse goes back down to 100 (if he ever does) doesn’t he run 5lbs. faster.

    This isn’t very easy to take on board and I’m sorry if the post doesn’t make sense but he does seem very adapt at contradicting himself.

    #59019

    davidbrady
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    • Total Posts 4104

    I tend to agree seabird, which is why I believe the effect of extra weight is overemphaised in the Racing Press. An extra 3kg is almost half a stone but would be negligible on a 400kg animal but if a horse were put up 7lbs in the handicap, some would have us believe that this will stop the horse winning forever.

    In addition, the closer a jockey’s weight is to the weight carried (ie – the less dead weight in the saddle), the less effect the additional weight has due to the same muscle effect you described above.

    The ability and strength of a top jockey in the saddle would be better assets to have instead of a 7lb claimer (with apologies to 7lb claimers everywhere). I dislike seeing trainers putting inexperienced jockeys up on high weighted horses purely to take weight off as a Walsh, McCoy, Murphy etc would be worth far more than that 7lb in a finish.

    #59020

    Wallace
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    DB, a horse going up 7 lbs in the handicap probably won’t stop it winning but it may take it into higher class races which will be more difficult to win.  

    #59021

    Artemis
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    • Total Posts 1758

    davidbrady,

    Personally, I think weight is a crude tool when used to measure and compare the relative abilities of horses, but it is a necessary starting point. The points about dead weight and strong jockeys are valid ones, IMO.

    I don’t know about the whip, but the illegal use by jockeys of batteries(electric shocks) might strike fear into a horse.

    seagull,

    I think where we differ is on the question of class. Class overrides the accepted relationship between time, weight and distance, IMO. This can make ratings less reliable when horses step up in grade.

    A horse moving up 5lbs in the same grade should, in theory, be slowed by the extra weight. When he comes back down, he should be speeded up by 5lbs. I Agree with you on this.

    If he steps up in grade by being dropped in the weights, he might only be able to run faster if he is competitive in the higher grade. In other words, he may be outclassed.

    I appreciate that this is theoretical and not everyone would agree with the hypothesis. All we can do is look at what happens in actual races. I will look out for examples in the coming weeks where horses come into this category and see how they perform when upped in grade.

    #59022

    dave jay
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    • Total Posts 3650

    Just a couple of points ..

    I don’t think that making any sort of class figure derived from prize money and races run, is worthy of any note. I feel it’s been done to death by the likes of the VDW method. There doesn’t seem to be any point in going over the same ground again and again.

    Regarding weight .. how efficient is the OR ? and can you be more accurate in your own assessment ? would be the questions that I think are most relevant.

    #59023

    Sailing Shoes
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    • Total Posts 409

    Quote: from dave jay on 12:58 pm on May 14, 2007[br]

    Regarding weight .. how efficient is the OR ? and can you be more accurate in your own assessment ? would be the questions that I think are most relevant.

    IMO the OR is very efficient – and I can only think of one real boob where the handicapper rated a maiden race and everything in the race (about 6 runners) all went on to be proved very well handicapped.

    It doesn’t take the handicapper very long to get a decent idea of a horses level of ability – and it is only horses who have either deteriorated very quickly or achieved a high level of form as a 2-y-o or 3-y-o and don’t hold that form into their later careers that the handicapper might have the ‘wrong’ mark.

    To beat the OR is a extremely difficult task – but occasionally one or two will pop up (Needwood Blade springs to mind after beating the 88 rated Orientor in a maiden he went on to run in a handicap at Ripon off a OR of 69 – spreadeagling a 23 runner field, winning by 10 lengths, he ended his 3-y-o career on an OR of 100).

    If your aiming to beat the OR it will usually be either in the case above or noting one that is a few pounds to high.

    #59024

    Artemis
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    • Total Posts 1758

    One example to look out for in the near future:

    Zidane recorded a Topspeed figure of 102 over 6f at Ascot on Saturday. Travelled well and settled matters with a change of pace his rivals lacked, winning by an impressive 2.5lengths. The handicapper will probably raise him from 89 to about 95 or 96 and he should get in the Wokingham off about 9lbs below the top weight.<br>He could almost start favourite for the cavalry charge at the Royal meeting. To win, he will need to reproduce Saturday’s fast run in a higher grade where they are almost certain to run faster than he has ever done before.  

    #59025

    Anonymous
    • Total Posts 18146

    Quote: from dave jay on 12:58 pm on May 14, 2007[br]Regarding weight .. how efficient is the OR ? and can you be more accurate in your own assessment ? would be the questions that I think are most relevant.<br>

    Imo, OR’s are efficient purely as a guide. They are compiled by full-time analysts who are probably as proficient as most other compilers.<br>However, I doubt any ratings are accurate enough to turn a decent profit without other considerations. <br>It’s possible for a horse to be rated, say 90, and for a horse to run 10lbs above or below that rating, (More in some cases), entirely due to raceday influences.

    #59026

    Artemis
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    • Total Posts 1758

    Quite so, RH.

    There are the known knowns(the ratings), the known unknowns( exact state of the going, the run of the race, effect of the draw, how the horse is feeling etc) and the unknown unknowns(an endless list of things that emerge after the race that we couldn’t have been aware of beforehand). We have to remember that unless a horse gets a flier and never sees another horse, it is likely to get involved in the unpredictable chaos of the race, and that’s just flat racing.

    #59027

    seabird
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    • Total Posts 3033

    Artemis, you’re not an American politician are you?;)

    Colin

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