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Mark Prescott? Can YOU have him? I can’t.

Home Forums Horse Racing Mark Prescott? Can YOU have him? I can’t.

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  • #4579
    the welsh wizard
    Member
    • Total Posts 352

    The noble baronet has in his care a 2-y-o from the first crop of Dalakhani. It is owned by Faisal Salman, a man not short of a bob or two. The colt in question is a half-brother to Aidan O’Brien’s Poule d’Essai des Poulains winner Aussie Rules being out of the mare Last Second, who would have been a double Group 1 winner had she been racing today.
    Why then, is Limelight (for ’tis his name) being run this early in his juvenile season, over unsuitable distances, to qualify for a handicap mark of around the high 50’s/low 60’s in order to run up a sequence of low grade handicaps at places like Brighton and Hamilton next year, when, given his breeding and ownership, he should not be seen until at least late September, when he has strengthened up, and over a suitable distance, with a view to actually being competitive in his maiden and being aimed at listed/group company next Spring?
    Is it merely because Sir Mark’s ego enjoys immensely it’s annual massage from the soft hands of lazy journalists who insist on treating him as the second coming every time he pulls off this stunt? I would have a lot of respect for him if he was doing it with moderately bred animals, but to do it with these bluebloods – what is the opportunity cost in terms of what they might have achieved with a less egotistical handler?

    #107028
    MikkyMo73
    Member
    • Total Posts 1789

    Great post.

    All I will say is that whether you agree or don’t agree with what Sir Mark does, it is easy ‘as a punter’ to use it to your advantage.

    * If a Prescott horse is friendless in the market IT DOES NOT WIN

    * If a Prescott horse is running 2 or 3 consecutive races in 6f maidens when appearing to need further IT DOES NOT WIN

    * If a Prescott horse is backed first time out IT IS LIKELY TO BE USEFUL

    * If a Prescott horse is running in a handicap for the first time over a distance much further than it’s maiden runs IT WILL PROBABLY WIN

    Mike

    #107029
    robnorth
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4724

    Why then, is Limelight (for ’tis his name) being run this early in his juvenile season, over unsuitable distances, to qualify for a handicap mark of around the high 50’s/low 60’s in order to run up a sequence of low grade handicaps at places like Brighton and Hamilton next year, when, given his breeding and ownership, he should not be seen until at least late September, when he has strengthened up, and over a suitable distance, with a view to actually being competitive in his maiden and being aimed at listed/group company next Spring?

    tWW

    A few questions:

    Is running a horse over the ‘wrong distance’ against the rules?

    Is running a horse which hasn’t ‘strengthened up’ against the rules?

    Are certain horses by dint of breeding not allowed to run before September?

    Are certain owners not allowed to run horses before September?

    If you can genuinely answer YES to any of those questions then you have a point. I don’t believe that you can.

    Sir Mark Prescott is guilty of no more than ‘working the system’. If there’s a problem then the system, and it’s concentration on handicaps as a proportion of racing is the problem, not those who exploit the current system. If that’s the case the system neds changing not those who exploit the system or it’s shortcomings. Anyway if you point at Sir Mark, is he not ‘guilty’ of exploiting opportunities that many others pass up?

    Incidentally the Racing Post summary of the Limelight’s breeding reads as follows:

    6th foal, closely related to Approach, a smart performer over 7-10f at 2-3, & Intrigued, useful performer over 1m at 2 (both by Darshaan), half-sister to top-class miler Aussie Rules; dam 6f winner at 2 & high-class 10f 3yo, from top-class family

    If judged on the distaff side at least, a run at 6f wouldn’t be a forlorn hope. I’m only surmising, but it’s a pretty fair bet that looking through the form book it would be possible to find a fair few with similar breeding running creditably in 6f events.

    Quite apart from all this, the ‘Sir Mark syndrome’ seems so widely known that it would be hard to miss anyway!

    Rob

    #107032
    clivex
    Member
    • Total Posts 3420

    Whatever the rights or wrongs, i have never liked the continual fawning over him by certain sectors of the media and have never assumed he is as clever as we are all supposed to believe

    #107033
    MikkyMo73
    Member
    • Total Posts 1789

    Why then, is Limelight (for ’tis his name) being run this early in his juvenile season, over unsuitable distances, to qualify for a handicap mark of around the high 50’s/low 60’s in order to run up a sequence of low grade handicaps at places like Brighton and Hamilton next year, when, given his breeding and ownership, he should not be seen until at least late September, when he has strengthened up, and over a suitable distance, with a view to actually being competitive in his maiden and being aimed at listed/group company next Spring?

    tWW

    A few questions:

    Is running a horse over the ‘wrong distance’ against the rules?

    Is running a horse which hasn’t ‘strengthened up’ against the rules?

    Are certain horses by dint of breeding not allowed to run before September?

    Are certain owners not allowed to run horses before September?

    If you can genuinely answer YES to any of those questions then you have a point. I don’t believe that you can.

    Sir Mark Prescott is guilty of no more than ‘working the system’. If there’s a problem then the system, and it’s concentration on handicaps as a proportion of racing is the problem, not those who exploit the current system. If that’s the case the system neds changing not those who exploit the system or it’s shortcomings. Anyway if you point at Sir Mark, is he not ‘guilty’ of exploiting opportunities that many others pass up?

    Incidentally the Racing Post summary of the Limelight’s breeding reads as follows:

    6th foal, closely related to Approach, a smart performer over 7-10f at 2-3, & Intrigued, useful performer over 1m at 2 (both by Darshaan), half-sister to top-class miler Aussie Rules; dam 6f winner at 2 & high-class 10f 3yo, from top-class family

    If judged on the distaff side at least, a run at 6f wouldn’t be a forlorn hope. I’m only surmising, but it’s a pretty fair bet that looking through the form book it would be possible to find a fair few with similar breeding running creditably in 6f events.

    Quite apart from all this, the ‘Sir Mark syndrome’ seems so widely known that it would be hard to miss anyway!

    Rob

    Rob, I agree with everything you say, especially that Sir Mark is just working the system.

    But I just can’t get away from the fact that running a horse over the wrong distance, knowing it is not good enough to win – well how can that be in the best interests of the sport?

    Like I said in my previous post, it’s easy for us punters to use what Sir Mark does to our advantage because we know exactly what he is up to. But what about someone who walks into the betting shop for the first time or goes to the races for the first time, and sticks his hard earned £10 on one of Sir Marks because he likes the name of the horse. That poor chap doesn’t realise that despite the horse being 33/1 or so and being an outsider, in reality, the horse should be a 1000/1 because it is the only horse in the race certain not to win. At least if he backs a 33/1 chance it should be a genuine 33/1 chance and be running to it’s merits. But backing a Sir Mark horse that is running over the wrong distance purely to get beat is not good for the game in my opinion.

    But I totally agree that Sir Mark is not breaking any rules,

    #107034
    seabird
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2924

    Rob, surely the point that TWW is making is that Sir Mark isn’t allowing the horse to reach what might be his full potential.

    Training for a favourable handicap mark rather than going the convential route of winning a maiden then going through the grades.

    It would appear that the horse has the breeding to be potentially something better than a handicapper.

    The Prescott method is becoming rather cliched and obvious and rather self-fulfilling (are those the words I want?) :oops:

    #107035
    the welsh wizard
    Member
    • Total Posts 352

    Rob – I’m afraid you have missed my point completely. I don’t believe that Prescott is guilty of anything other than preparing very expensively-bred horses for a 3-y-o career than involves running in low-grade handicaps, when they should be competing at a more exalted level. His is a crime against no Rules of Racing, but against ambition, and from a man who delights in calling himself a sportsman. What on earth is the pleasure derived by owners of the financial stature of Kirsten Rausing in winning handicaps at Brighton?

    #107036
    robnorth
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4724

    [quote="MikkyMo73
    But I just can’t get away from the fact that running a horse over the wrong distance, knowing it is not good enough to win – well how can that be in the best interests of the sport?

    MM73

    I understand your point. However, it comes down to defining a horse’s ‘best distance’. Two year olds may win over 6f yet stay 10-12f as a three year old. In fact, in days gone by if less so now, it was not unusual for Coventry Stakes runners(6f) to become Derby contenders.

    I’d have a bet that some trainers don’t know their some of their horses’ best distances, and some may only discover it by accident. On occasion horses win at the ‘wrong distance’ simply by being a good deal better than the opposition.

    If running a horse ‘knowing it is not good enough to win’ was against the rules, then 50% of trainers everyday are probably guilty, and a fair percentage of non-handicaps would be 2 or 3 horse races.

    Rob

    #107037
    robnorth
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4724

    Whatever the rights or wrongs, i have never liked the continual fawning over him by certain sectors of the media and have never assumed he is as clever as we are all supposed to believe

    He wouldn’t be the only one ‘fawned over by the media’, not by a long way.

    Rob

    #107039
    MikkyMo73
    Member
    • Total Posts 1789

    I would also like to say, does what Sir Mark Prescott do make him the ‘genius’ the media make him out to be for doing it?

    Most of the time, these horses that rack up 5 or 6 handicap wins will end up being a 90+ rated horse – I don’t think anyone can argue with that.

    So is getting a 90+ horse (ability wise) to win a 0-55 handicap, a 0-65 handicap and a 0-75 handicap real ‘genius’.

    OK, some might say that getting a 90+ (ability wise) to qualify for these lowly handicaps is the ‘genius’ bit. Well you give any trainer a 90+ horse (ability wise) that will like 12f as a 3 year old. Let them run it in 3 very quick 5f/6f races and see what handicap mark they get when they trail in 13th, 16th and 11th. Is it really genius?

    Mike

    #107040
    robnorth
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4724

    Rob, surely the point that TWW is making is that Sir Mark isn’t allowing the horse to reach what might be his full potential.

    The vast majority of horses are, for many reasons including training methods and physical and mental problems, not allowed to reach their full potential.

    Rob

    #107041
    davidjohnson
    Member
    • Total Posts 4491

    Of the horses that start at a lowly level, how many of them actually underachieve? Or is it that if they are good enough to progress through the ranks, they will go on and make an impact at the level they are bred to. Remeber not all horses are as good as they are bred to be. Alambic started off last year from a very lowly mark and will be plying her trade in listed level from now on, Alleluia progressed into a pattern performer after starting in handicaps off 78. Once they’ve got a mark, there is nothing to stop them being upped in grade if they are good enough, as historically they have been.

    By the way, Limelight is actually a filly.

    #107042
    seabird
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2924

    "* If a Prescott horse is friendless in the market IT DOES NOT WIN"

    I can personally testify that this isn’t always so!!!! :D :D :D

    Colin

    #107043
    robnorth
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4724

    What on earth is the pleasure derived by owners of the financial stature of Kirsten Rausing in winning handicaps at Brighton?

    I haven’t the faintest clue. Nor do I understand what pleasure Khalid Abdullah got from his winner at Bellewstown last week’ or what pleasure J P McManus gets from having runners so many jump races of all standards.

    Rob

    #107044
    robnorth
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4724

    I would also like to say, does what Sir Mark Prescott do make him the ‘genius’ the media make him out to be for doing it?

    Mike

    Mike

    It’s a matter of opinion and no more than that. You seem to be a knowledgeable follower of racing, have made up your mind to the contrary and I respect that opinion.

    Rob

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