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Most under-rated horse of recent times?

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  • #1339894
    PigsInBlankets
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    • Total Posts 53

    Mike, understand what you mean – goes without saying that all of our interpretations of “underrated” will vary significantly. For many, me calling out a horse as underrated despite winning 10(?) Grade 1s, and probably had miles of column praise written about him will be way off the mark.

    It’s all relative though I think, and my point is that UDS was underrated relative to his ability & achievements. I’m probably specifically referring to the period up until his stylish win in the Ryanair Chase at last year’s Cheltenham Festival. As previously mentioned, this is largely because of 2 consecutive defeats to one of the greatest in the modern era, also allowing for the fact that these races took place on ground that wasn’t his absolute preference.

    I’m sure there’s many that think this way about UDS, and you’re right to say that in that context; with that group of racing fans, he wouldn’t be underrated. However, over the general racing community and across much of the racing coverage and press; I think there’s a huge void between what UDS has achieved in his career, and the esteem in which he’s generally held.

    #1339907
    Middle_Of_MarchMiddle_Of_March
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    • Total Posts 2615

    Sea The Stars never got the recognition he deserved.

    The Fugue was also somewhat underrated. Master Minded too.

    #1339912
    LD73
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    • Total Posts 1333

    I think UDS falls more into the category of underappreciated rather than underrated.

    #1339922
    GingertipsterGingertipster
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    • Total Posts 26551

    Following publication of the world rankings the other day I got to thinking….on ratings (Racing Post, Timeform, Official ratings whatever) who do you think is the most under-rated horse of recent times (say, the last twenty years? Flat or jumps

    Your “on ratings” is a very important point, David.
    On these pages I often see TRFers thinking a filly/mare is under-rated. But to get a fair comparisson it’s necessary to add the female allowance to their ratings – in order to reflect what all horses ratings would be if meeting in a race – with the female allowance included.

    Also, it’s easy to think the proverbial bridesmaid is “under-rated”. eg Youmzain generally did not get the column inches his ability deserved because he was beaten so many times in the big races and winners get the credit. However, “ratings” was the one thing that did give them credit. ie Youmzain’s rating gave him the credit he deserved because of his closeness to some bloody good horses.

    Same can be said about those beaten by the great Frankel. Excelebration and Farrh never got the credit (in words) their ability actually deserved. However, their ratings probably did give them credit (certainly did in Timeform anyway). Because “form” shown (back to the other horses) in the races are the same whether Frankel ran or not.

    Those who were “under-rated by ratings” are probably those who made a habit of idling in front, winning distances not giving them enough credit. ie Their superiority being greater than winning distances suggest. However, although adding a pound or three due to an obviously easy winner is easy enough to do, or adding due to a horse winning despite sectionals/luck in running going against him/her… It’s often difficult to add pounds to an idling horse winning all out. Sometimes who is and who is not idling is obvious, sometimes it’s far from obvious and to add pounds to the latter group would be far too subjective.

    It’s usually fairly easy rating a front runner but another group sometimes under-rated by ratings are the hold up horses winning with a late turn-of-foot. Who was the better horse, Old Vic or Nashwan? On ratings Timeform gave it to Old Vic and – although I can understand why – suspect had they actually met with both at their bests it would be Nashwan coming out on top. This is because winning distances of hold up horses rely on the pace rivals are willing to go, with winning distances not showing their true superiority. Hold up horses more difficult to handicap. Sometimes they’ll be over-rated because the handicapper over-estimates how much the horse has in hand, sometimes they’ll get it right, but other times under-estimating superiority.

    Often I see on here horses thought of as “under-rated on Timeform ratings” are those with exceptional consistency/toughness and/or bravery/temperament. However, ratings rightly never account for such great attributes. If a horse shows the same (its best) form five times, its rating will rightly be the same after its first victory as after the fifth. That said, it’s important to understand when evaluating a horse that ratings are only one aspect of what makes a racehorse. Timeform write ups include comments on consistency/toughness and/or bravery/temperament and all these attributes obviously contribute to a better chance; therefore needing to be taken in to account when assessing whether the horse is a value bet.

    value is everything
    #1339924
    GingertipsterGingertipster
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    • Total Posts 26551

    Without a shadow of a doubt, Seabass.

    By a country mile, the best chaser of 2012, and was way ahead of his rating. It beggars belief that he wasn’t entered in The 2012 Gold Cup, he would have won it without breaking sweat.

    What form did Seabass have that makes you think that. Vtc? :unsure:

    value is everything
    #1339963
    Ricco
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    • Total Posts 60

    Yeah wasn’t going to call you out on Seabass, but would like to know what you saw, yes he won his 6 races (4 that season) before that years gold cup, but they were all on at least soft ground or worse and maximum 22 furlongs, with the 2012 GC being run on good ground, only hindsight from his decent GN run suggesting he might’ve had a tiny chance in the GC??

    One horse that will always be a what if horse for me is Little King Robin, surely under rated, never topped 146 and that was only recognised right at the end of her career. Beat Artic Fire over 2 miles at her best, the thing was, she was raced 31 times in 2 years!!! I know some horses are hardy and thrive off a hard season, but without knowing the horse intimately, I think that’s a tad ott! She was raced 14 times in the 7 months before beating Artic fire, how far could she have won by (or maybe lost I guess you could argue) if that was only 3 or 4 runs and she was trained by a half decent trainer, I’ll never know. I loved that horse’s heart and efficient gait, could’ve been anything in the right hands I thought, but instead overraced and retired at 6.

    #1339995
    GingertipsterGingertipster
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    • Total Posts 26551

    One horse that will always be a what if horse for me is Little King Robin, surely under rated, never topped 146 and that was only recognised right at the end of her career. Beat Artic Fire over 2 miles at her best, the thing was, she was raced 31 times in 2 years!!! I know some horses are hardy and thrive off a hard season, but without knowing the horse intimately, I think that’s a tad ott! She was raced 14 times in the 7 months before beating Artic fire, how far could she have won by (or maybe lost I guess you could argue) if that was only 3 or 4 runs and she was trained by a half decent trainer, I’ll never know. I loved that horse’s heart and efficient gait, could’ve been anything in the right hands I thought, but instead overraced and retired at 6.

    As my friend Steve would say, Ricco; that’s “bobbins”. ;-)

    Arctic Fire was not yet the horse he became when meeting Little King Robin in October 2014, running to – up to then – his form… And to exactly the same Timeform performance rating as his next start the following month – when 5 3/4 lengths 3rd to Irving in the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth. AF improving massively afterwards to a Timeform rating over 2 stone better than when 2nd to Little King Robin.

    Yes, Little King Robin raced 14 times in the 7 months before meeting Arctic Fire, but what you don’t say is LKR won 7 of her 8 hurdles starts from May 11th 2014 up to and including beating Arctic Fire in October 2014. Record of almost constant progression, so yes, clearly thrived on her racing and that means if anything she probably would not have done as well if more lightly raced.

    Really don’t see why trainers doing extremely well in winning so many races should be criticised. Although of course it’s possible would’ve done better with a lighter campaign, had that been the case I believe the probability is she’d never have reached the standard she did before injury/retirement… And you’d have never even noticed/remembered her. Colin Bowe imo deserves great credit. Is this not the same Bowe training family of Limestone Lad?

    Your disappointment in Little King Robin’s rating may be due more to the unfair comparisson at the time between her and Limestone Lad; who was just as equally prolific, tough, genuine and consistent. In fact LL did reach the highest grade (one of the very best staying hurdlers this millenium) and despite a similar campaign kept producing top class form right up to 11 years old. LKR was good, just wasn’t of LL’s standard, reaching a Timeform rating of 143 compared to 177… And being a female – was she retired to stud at seven (not six)?

    Anyway, what might or might not have been with a different campaign is surely different to one “under-rated” for the form actually achieved?

    value is everything
    #1339997
    Ricco
    Participant
    • Total Posts 60

    I’m glad you think so, I’m sure you’re absolutely right, I can’t really argue with any of that, in truth she was just one of those horses you get drawn to for inexplicable reasons.

    Yeah I really shouldn’t knock Colin Bowe, he’s more in the point to point world I believe and a perfectly good trainer I’m sure, but when I see a horse raced that often, it always feels like going after the short term gain of a few grand over long term potential of something greater.

    So you believe some horses can do better with such a busy season? I can understand 6 or 7 race seasons, but I’m sure there is a reason why 99% of horses aren’t pushed beyond that? But yes, didn’t seem to obviously bother her or curb her enthusiasm.

    I fancied her in time as stayers hurdle horse, she may well have not settled at the slower pace, but if put in front on decent ground I fancied her to run all day to stay there :unsure:

    I’m well aware that most of this is just me being fanatical and seeing something in a horse that may or may not have been there! Yes retired to stud at 7 seemingly, bit of Robin Des Champs in there, so may produce a Quevega-esque mare one day!!

    #1340003
    Ex RubyLightEx RubyLight
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    • Total Posts 1493

    If you mention Florida Pearl, which I’m glad I did, you also have to mention Limestone Lad. Though he never won at the Festival his highest rating of around 164-167 is almost ridiculous compared to other horses with a higher rating.
    Show me a hurdler which has shown more consistency at the highest level without mentioning Big Bucks or Baraccuda.

    #1340005
    botchy1botchy1
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    • Total Posts 3471

    Highland Reel for me. Never seemed to get much credit for his victories for one reason or another.

    Here is a recent photo of him at stud

    #1340006
    nwalton
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    • Total Posts 1961

    TBH ginge, I think most TRF’s know you add the allowance on and its a bit underhand for you to suggest we dont

    #1340011
    Running ReinRunning Rein
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    • Total Posts 185

    Not sure he qualifies under ‘recent times’ but for me the most under rated on ratings was Rock Of Gibraltar.
    A serial winner as a racehorse, gathering between 2yo and 3yo
    The Railway
    The Gymcrack
    The Grand Criterium (Lagadere)
    The Dewhurst

    2000 Guineas
    Irish 2000 Guines
    St James Palace
    Sussex Stakes
    Prix de Moulin

    Say that list out loud…that ladies and gentleman is what you call a career.
    Despite the above he was rated only 126 (I think, not 100% sure but certainly not much more) due I guess to his race style (swooping late using his turn of foot) and the ratings of the vanquished. Admittedly he beat some solid without being exceptional types…Reel Buddy, Landseer, Noverre but also held decisions over Hawk Wing (twice) and the likes of Banks Hill.
    Terrific horse and in my opinion many rated his superior on ratings not quite in his class.

    #1340023
    stevecautionstevecaution
    Blocked
    • Total Posts 8280

    Jean-Claude Rouget’s La Cressonniere was criminally underrated.

    She won every one of her 8 races, including the French Guineas and Oaks. She won the Prix Nonette from Jemayel by a similar distance to the one Minding did in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

    The jockey was confident that La Cressonniere would have gone close in the Arc and he felt she was better than Almanzor.

    Sadly she was injured and retired but she had a rare will to win and won on heavy, soft, good to soft and good in her career. Her Racing Post figure of 115 is horribly inadequate mark for a horse who won in both March and Late November in her time.

    I was fortunate enough to get nice ante-post odds on her twice but being unable to get quotes until later in her career meant I missed the normal 25/1 and 33/1 you would associate with very early ante-posts on classics.

    Many people probably don’t even remember her, which is not what she deserved.

    Thanks for the good crack. Time for me to move on. Be lucky.

    #1340036
    GingertipsterGingertipster
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    • Total Posts 26551

    TBH ginge, I think most TRF’s know you add the allowance on and its a bit underhand for you to suggest we dont

    Eh? Didn’t say you or any individual didn’t. This is what I said, nwalton:
    On these pages I often see TRFers thinking a filly/mare is under-rated. But to get a fair comparisson it’s necessary to add the female allowance to their ratings – in order to reflect what all horses ratings would be if meeting in a race – with the female allowance included.

    Am sure the vast majority of TRFers know the female allowance has to be added. But just because you and the vast majority do doesn’t mean that some don’t. In fact it’s pretty evident some don’t… And even when we know… Personally it’s easy for me to look down the list of ratings and subconciously not add enough. ie Needing to force myself to think of the allowance, adding the full amount before comparing fillies and mares with colts, geldings and entires.

    There’s also the fact the vast majority of Group 1’s restricted to females generally don’t need as high ratings to win… And overall quality of the fields are generally inferior. Hence the reason why there’s more multiple Group 1 winners of races restricted to females (being less competitive)… And some punters see the number of Group 1’s won as how to judge ability.

    value is everything
    #1340044
    LostSoldier3
    Blocked
    • Total Posts 1894

    Spicy debate here.

    He was no superstar in the league of all-time greats but I thought Grey Abbey was one of the best chasers of his generation – unfortunate to have Howard Johnson as trainer and unlucky to not get his ground on Gold Cup day. I think he would have had Kicking King if the stars had been aligned for him.

    I also think Gloria Victis should be discussed in the ‘all time greats’ debate. His Racing Post Chase was simply outstanding – right up there with Denman’s Hennessy wins for my money. To give so much weight and such a tonking to Marlborough he must have been something special. His Gold Cup run was pretty damn bold too – conceding lengths at every fence by jumping right, but still there and apparently rallying two out as a novice against grizzled old chasers. He and Kauto Star would have been closely matched at Kempton Park IMO.

    Also agree with the Rock Of Gibraltar shout above. An outstanding miler, perhaps overlooked in these modern greats debates because of his unfortunate defeat in America and his so-so results as a stallion. He was perhaps fortunate to in the 2000 Guineas with Spencer asleep at the wheel on Hawk Wing, but yet The Rock did have the superior temperament of the pair. Outside of Frankel, I can’t think of a modern miler I’d have fancied with any great confidence to beat him.

    I’d be against the Master Minded and Best Mate shouts though, can’t really see where they are coming from. In hindsight, I think the assessors would like to take back their ratings of MM’s first Queen Mother. With BM, the bare form was always a bit naff and the list of dead/injured potential rivals kept growing, but it depends on how much weight you give to his excellent jumping and the sheer novelty of winning three consecutive Gold Cups.

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