June 25, 2009 at 21:32 #11876stilviParticipant
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Sorry this is a few days late but just catching up which might take several days given that the Racing UK Replay appears to have packed up again.
Anyway back to the race. The favourite was weak in the market and race ended up being won by the well supported second favourite. I am pretty sure the better horse finished second. As far as I could see there was plenty of arm movement from Queally (hardly what could be termed a vigorous drive) and plenty of waving of the whip with not much contact.
I am sure some would point the finger at the horse but I am not so sure.
Just in case no I didn’t back the horse.June 26, 2009 at 03:17 #236416graysonscolumnParticipant
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Our gut feeling at the time was that Spiekeroog still looked a bit gormless for much of the race (for the second race in two, as it happens), and much of what Tom Queally did try came to nought.
Having watched the race a few more times, it’s noticeable that Spiekeroog is moved from the inner rail to three or four horse widths out after around half a mile of the race, which we attributed to Queally seeing if the colt would travel any more enthusiastically for being able to see daylight – was there a degree of sulking, we speculated. When that didn’t improve matters, only then did Spiekeroog receive shaking up, and then a few cracks, before it finally dawned on him what was required turning in.
If there is a puzzling element to the ride, it’s why Spiekeroog was returned a little closer back towards the rail (although stil a couple of widths away from it) before receiving his slaps, as he does slightly cop for the backwash of one of those in front of him starting to back-pedal 2.5 to 3 furlongs out. On balance that had looked more avoidable a furlong earlier.
That alone struck us as a bit injudicious about the ride; and had the wider course been charted a little longer on Spiekeroog, and the slaps adminstered whilst he was still kept at his widest, the margin of defeat may have been half what it ultimately was.
A defeat, however, I think it would still have been – he just didn’t wise up quickly enough.
The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.June 26, 2009 at 16:10 #236461stilviParticipant
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As the race was run I think he could have reduced the verdict to less than a length. Had that happened I suspect the race would have received more attention. If the horse had been given what I would term a vigorous ride I think he would have won. Given the support for the winner (who also looked to have sweated up) I would have thought it was worth a second look.June 30, 2009 at 17:30 #237151graysonscolumnParticipant
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I still can’t quite see Spierkeroog was irrefutably denied a certain winning opportunity, to be honest, as his significant progress in the race wasn’t immediately forthcoming upon receiving the shakes of the reigns.
I suppose one of the main cruxes of the matter is whether the colt would definitely have quickened up more suddenly if Queally had gone for a few smacks on him instead of those shakes, thereby effectively bringing forward his helping of stick by over a furlong. I expect on that much we may differ. That’s fine.
Even then, I think there is a danger in assuming the winner Shemoli would definitely have been reeled in close home. That the margin between first and second close home was shrinking appreciably had as much to do with Philip Robinson not pasting the winner in a won cause as it did Spiekeroog making late headway.
Nor did Spiekeroog have huge increments in hand over the rest of the field, for all that he was the only member of the field to possess a Timeform "p" entering the race. Just 2lb separated him and Shemoli on Timeform adjusted form figures, and 4lb on the
That didn’t seem such an insurmountable margin of superiority to me that the 5-6 of the opening show (much less the
tissue price of 1-2) represented a knocking good bet, if the immaturity of his debut once more tempered his effort to any great extent.
As such, I’d simply put the market moves in the immediate run-up to the race as punters rushing to take on a favourite arguably not half as infallable as odds-on might have suggested.
Shemoli had admittedly not entered the race on an upward trajectory of form, even allowing for his going off too fast at Thirsk the time before and paying for it; but a far less contested lead at a more liveable-with pace suited him far better here, and it’s hardly his fault that the rest of the field let him get on with things as much as he did. I’d still be wanting to take him on in-running next time if pestered more aggressively from the get-go, especially if coerced into going a bit faster than ideal again.
As for Spiekeroog, I’m sure we’ve not seen the best of him yet by any means, though the first signs of something finally, finally came to the fore inside the last furlong to furlong and a half in this contest. I await his next run (no declarations as yet) with interest.
The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.
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