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Derby analysis

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  • #4190
    Steve M
    • Total Posts 99

    They have seen fit to change my headline to "Wing won’t stay Derby distance" in the paper. I prefer my original since it more accurately reflects what I believe:

    Hawk at full stretch for Derby

    WHILE I fully expect Hawk Wing to establish himself as one of the primary colts of the modern era and possible best son of Woodman (above Hansel, Hector Protector and Timber Country), if his connections are looking for a race in which he could be beaten they could not have come up with one much better than the Epsom Derby.

    Already a Group 1 winner at two and moral winner of the first colts’ Classic, Aidan O’Brien is on record at the beginning of this term as saying that he was Ballydoyle’s Triple Crown hope.

    His Dosage profile (in the five categories of Brilliant, Intermediate, Classic, Solid and Professional) is 9-3-16-2-0 = 30. Eleven speed points are offset by just two stamina points, with a healthy 16-point mid-range Classic concentration. His Dosage index (DI) is 2.00 and his centre of distribution (CD) +0.63. This is all consistent with stamina potential of 8-10 furlongs. While it is just possible that he will get the Derby trip – with none other than Triple Crown winner Nijinsky the sire of his second dam (The Temptress) – in terms of physique he just doesn’t look an Epsom type.

    In what might appear to be a so-so year connections will be trusting that his class will see him through, but I am amazed that they would risk him being beaten again, rather than target the top mile and 10-furlong races. If they wanted to prove a point with regard to stamina the Irish Derby seems a much better option than the switchback of Epsom.

    The following table looks at some of this year’s possibles in terms of stamina potential. (Bandari is excluded, as his points total of 16 is too low for an accurate reading.)

    Tholjanah (Darshaan)                3-1-12-6-4 = 26, DI = 0.63, CD = -0.27<br>High Chaparral (Sadler’s Wells)        6-1-22-9-2 = 40, DI = 0.82, CD = 0.00<br>Fight Your Corner (Muhtarram)        5-2-8-6-3 = 24, DI = 0.85, CD = 0.00<br>Moon Ballad (Singspiel)                5-3-12-5-1 = 26, DI = 1.17, CD = +0.23<br>Al Moulatham (Rainbow Quest)        11-0-13-4-4 = 32, DI =1.21, CD = +0.31<br>Naheef (Marju)                        9-3-13-5-0 = 30, DI = 1.61, CD = +0.53<br>Coshocton (Silver Hawk)                6-6-25-0-1 = 38, DI = 1.81, CD +0.42<br>Hawk Wing (Woodman)                9-3-16-2-0 = 30, DI = 2.00, CD = +0.63<br>Dubai Destination (Kingmambo)        13-4-18-0-1 = 36, DI = 2.60, CD +0.78

    Put crudely, all of those above Hawk Wing in the table have a better chance of staying 12 furlongs and all those below (i.e. Dubai Destination) have a worse chance of staying. The optimum balance of speed and stamina is represented by a Dosage index of 1.00 and a centre of distribution of zero. Of the above selection, High Chaparral, Fight Your Corner and Moon Ballad are closest to this standard.

    Past top performers who conform best to this blueprint for 12 furlongs include last year’s winner Galileo DI 1.11, CD +0.28, dual-Derby winner Montjeu (like Galileo by Sadler’s Wells) DI 0.89, CD +0.08, and Epsom Derby winners Lammtarra (by Nijinsky) DI 1.15, CD +0.30 and Generous (by Caerleon) DI 0.69, CD 0.00.

    Horses with a Dosage index of around 2.00 have won the Derby before (e.g. Commander In Chief 1.96 and Dr Devious 2.11), but more appropriate types feature in this year’s renewal. If Hawk Wing wins he will be a true wonder horse, but his reserves of stamina will be tested to the utmost.

    STEVE MILLER end-May 2002

    • Total Posts 369

    Couldn’t agree with you more Steve as Hawk Wing looks like another Dubai Millenium and going for the holy grail will do this horse no favours. bad planning.

    johnny boy
    • Total Posts 30

    Seems that connections can’t win really. If he didn’t go for the Derby they’d get hit with the "wrapping him in cotton wool" accusations. If they do it’s bad planning. <br>Why not instead say well done Coolmore for taking up the challenge of the Derby, for going for the glory rather than taking the easy route.

    Steve M
    • Total Posts 99

    A brave decision can also be a foolhardy one. There are other and better races for him.

    Some believe that Coolmore have no intention of running him. Although I would rather see him run elsewhere, I hope this is not so. If it is the case Coolmore’s conduct is deplorable.

    • Total Posts 224

    <br>Steve, why would Hawk Wing be a true wonder horse if he wins?

    It’s hardly a brilliant field and he could beat them purley through being a Group One horse against lesser opposition.

    Bandari’s Derby Trial was poor and Fight Your Corner wouldn’t be the strongest 3yo about. Naheef’s been beaten by Hawk Wing already.

    Hawk Wing’s a Group One horse – no doubting that – but if he wins the Derby it’ll be because he’s faster than the pretty average horses he’s racing against.

    High Chaparral is a good horse and should be favourite in my view.

    Steve M
    • Total Posts 99

    We don’t know how "average" the Derby is until after it is run. People run down the Derby EVERY year, it is rarely the case after the event (Oath was the last poor winner, his race suffered from the absence of Montjeu).

    Coolmore may well be taking a view that it is there for the taking this year. But he will be a "wonder horse" if he wins because it is unlikely that he will get the trip well enough in relation to better suited horses.

    Aidan O’Brien explained to the Daily Mail yesterday how similar he was to Nijinsky. He then added that he would have no problem running him in the July Cup as he has so much pace. In my opinion it is not sensible to say on the one hand that he is capable of winning the St Leger and on the other that the July Cup is there for the taking. O’Brien (or rather Coolmore) will have his own reasons for saying this, but even Champion the Wonder Horse would be hard pressed to do all of that. Perhaps he intends walking across the Irish sea as well.

    Fight Your Corner for example has no such problem with the distance and Kevin Darley is bullish about his chances. He is reported as saying:

    "I saw him this morning and he looks a million dollars. I’m over the moon… I think he just had an off-day first time out but he did nothing wrong at Chester and the Vase is as good a classic trial as any. He showed something at Chester that he’d not shown us before – he got a bit outpaced and showed a turn of foot. The one question mark we haven’t got is that he’ll stay because I think that’s his game. He’ll get a mile and a half stood on his head".

    This in addition to his most recent piece of speed work with Simeon (who heads for France at the weekend, so look out for pointers), in which he shone over five furlongs, is very encouraging.

    In my mind High Chaperral has a fairly equal chance to FYC, but there is a big difference in the price.

    If they do run Hawk Wing they must believe he is going to win and I would expect most jockeys to stick with the class horse rather than the one best suited to conditions, simply because they often cannot bear to let anyone else onboard.<br>

    (Edited by Steve M at 4:55 pm on May 29, 2002)

    • Total Posts 486

    In 2006 we could be saying what an amazing Derby the 2002 version was! We don’t know yet……

    Why not run Hawk Wing? Might as well find out if he stays sooner rather than later. I don’t believe he will but thats what racings all about. Running excellent potential in the best races.

    I’ll be cheering on Naheef of course, and I think he will stay. The only problem is his bad Guineas run, like Tobougg last year, but the races are so much different so will suit him.

    • Total Posts 23

    Will Hawkwing get the trip well enough to win the Derby with a dosage profile that says 1m2 . Previous Deby winners over the last ten years , what was there dosage profile ?Why let his natural speed become a negative with his theoretical dosage profile saying he may not get the trip , breeding never 100% accurate still highly likley he could get the trip and do it in a fast time or record time .Sometimes we expect to much from trainers and jockeys when it comes to solid info and my first impression was a negative one with the time it took to make the decison to run in the Derby. Personaly i think jockey real dilema is not  a question of the trip over speed but which horse has the best action to handle epsom.

    • Total Posts 23

    Hi Ron , were do you stand on a betting point of view on a foregone conclusion . Is this the race that is going to make your season highly proffitable ?

    non vintage
    • Total Posts 1268

    i will examine some more derby runners when i get a spare hour, but i have run HAWK WING’s pedigree through my dosage analysis program.

    i have to agree with the view that, in all likelihood, his best trip is likely to be less than 12 furlongs (7.5f – 9.8f to be precise). he may be sufficiently classy to get to the front early in the straight, but i would imagine that he will find nothing in the last furlong, and it will be a case of trying him trying to hold on. i think the only way he will win is if he does shoot clear quite early on and establish a 4 or 5 length lead – if he is held up (as is often preferred with doubtful stayers) i think his stamina could fail before he is able to utilise his class and speed.

    but this is, as has been said, not an exact science, and it all adds to the intrigue!!! :) <br>  

    Steve M
    • Total Posts 99

    Maurice has published his ratings on the other forum. I take the liberty of reproducing them here:

    "In order as listed by Steve:

    Tholjanah 117<br>High Chaparral 123p<br>Fight Your Corner 121<br>Moon Ballad 113<br>Al Moulatham 114++<br>Naheef 116<br>Coshocton 111<br>Hawk Wing 130t<br>Dubai Destination 116+t

    With Al Moulatham and Tholjanah doubtful, the way is very much open for High Chaparral and FYC to fight out the finish.

    Also with good ratings but not in Steve’s list (doubtful runners bar Bandari?):

    Castle Gandolfo 123+<br>Bandari 118<br>Ballingarry 114?<br>Black Sam Bellamy 114+

    Checking his form tonight, I was quite struck by Al Moulatham, but if Moon Ballad is thought the better candidate he cannot be ignored. I think Castle Gandolfo’s breeding suggests 12f will be too far for him but Black Sam Bellamy is a full brother to Galileo. Is he going to run?

    My preferred order:

    1 High Chaparral<br>2 Fight Your Corner<br>3 Tholjanah (if he gets there in one piece)<br>4 Godolphin’s selected"


    This works out well. There seems to be a high correlation between suitablity for the race in terms of stamina and the ratings. This should make the result more predictable than usual.

    I had come to pretty much the same conclusion as Maurice.

    1) High Chaparral<br>2) Fight Your Corner (preferred to Bandari)<br>3) Moon Ballad (preferred to Naheef)

    With Hawk Wing the bird in the ointment.

    In terms of value FYC stands out at a readily available 12/1 (you lucky, lucky people).

    Not long to wait until we find out… I’m beginning to get quite excited. I apologise for so doing as many of you are still bemoaning how terrible life, the universe and the Derby is (in reverse order of course).<br>

    Colin Little
    • Total Posts 338

    Do you think that Hawk Wing is short of stamina? I understand his dosage figures lead people to think that, but there’s quite a bit of stamina on his dams side…’s just that using the Chef de Race criteria laid down by Steve Roman, that dam-side stamina doesn’t find it’s way into his profile. It’s commonly accepted that the dam imparts a lot of her traits to her offspring, some say more so than the sire, but in Hawk Wing’s case the vast majority of his dosage points actually come from his sire’s line. I’m not criticising the calculation of dosage, or any of the Steve’s work, I follow it all with interest & respect, but if you haven’t got many Chef de Race sires in your pedigree, from a dosage point of view, your knackered, regardless of how fast, slow, good or bad your horse may be. I think even Steve Roman may have started to think along those lines. I’m not totally certain about this, but I think he is now producing secondary lists of the influences of non-chef de race sires & dam sires. I’m assuming these are being produced to compliment a normal dosage profile? Going back to Hawk Wing, the dam side of his pedigree may not be that classical, but there is stamina in there. The progeny of HW’s dam-sire, Val de L’orne, have an average winning distance of 1m5½f.

    I don’t think HW is a bet at current prices, & he’s probably not likely to be a bet now at all, but I do fancy him to get 12 furlongs. I’ll grant you a few other Derby contenders may have a likelier dosage profile, but I’m not sure if any of them possess the amount of class that Hawk Wing does.

    Steve M
    • Total Posts 99

    Yes Escorial I use projected ratings which factor in how far a horse has run within itself, form lines and Dosage (which won’t tell you how good a horse is but will give you an idea of how far it will stay) and a host of other tools.

    When a variety of aspects start to confirm a clear picture you take notice of it. When they lead to an unclear picture you should not be as confident.

    The Dosage analysis gives Hawk Wing a chance of staying 12 furlongs. Contrary to Colin’s belief the damside is factored in through the qualifying stallions in the female line (and Steven Roman has never said otherwise). It is the damside that provides Hawk Wing with his two stamina points in fact, through Nijinsky who is the sire of HW’s second dam.

    Val De L’Orne is not a prepotent stallion and therefore his stamina capabilities are not of the same significance. It is not simply a case of attributing an equal factor to all components of the pedigree, some parts are more influential than others. The Raise A Native/Mr Prospector top line is of course packed with speed.

    However, there are more suitable types for the Derby in this year’s renewal, such as High Chaparral and FYC who conform to what a Derby ‘type’ is. If Hawk Wing does manage it it will be as a consequence of his brilliance rather than him being the right sort for the race. It is interesting that Aidan O’Brien is telling the Press that he would have no problem running him in the July Cup. The idea that he would be just as capable of winning the July Cup and the St Leger is absurd. The truth is somewhere in between. I expect his best distance to be between 8 and 10 furlongs more in line with the AWD of his sire Woodman.<br>

    (Edited by Steve M at 1:53 pm on May 30, 2002)

    Colin Little
    • Total Posts 338

    Steve, I’m comfortable that the female line is included in dosage calculations, I have never suggested otherwise.

    ….but as you say, it can only be factored in, when there are qualifying stallions in that particular part of a horses pedigree. In HW’s case, he gets very few of his 30 dosage points from his dam’s side because of the lack of chef de race sires in his female line. That does not necessarily mean there are no stamina influences there, for example. It is just that they are not recognised by the dosage system. If you have a colt like HW, whose dosage points are so skewed towards his sires top line, with relatively little contribution (points-wise) from his dams side, does that constitue an accurate reading?

    I’m not suggesting dosage calculations are of no use. I am questioning why a chef de race stallion assigned as solid or professional, should be seen (& calculated) as being almost guaranteed to pass on his influence, yet a non chef de race sire will be completely ignored. I realise that is the way of Steve Roman’s dosage theory, but does it not pay to use a little bit of poetic licence in these instances.

    Then you’re on to the very subjective issue of; what is a prepotent stallion and a chef de race sire, & who decides? A different debate for a different time, I think.


    Colin Little
    • Total Posts 338

    Sorry, it’s not really Steve Roman’s dosage theory, is it.

    The other point I forgot to mention; is whilst I totally accept different parts of a pedigree are more infuential than others (& are thus given more dosage points). If the belief that sires & dams pass on their abilities & preferences in at least equal proportions is correct. There surely needs to be some balance between the way dosage points are contributed from the sire’s side and the dam’s side of a the pedigree, respectively. A situation where a horse is getting say 26 points from his sire’s side & 4 points from his dam’s side, or vice-versa, is not ideal, is it?

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