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The Triple Crown is dead

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  • #11646
    RobinFromIreland
    Member
    • Total Posts 72

    "I think you can probably rule the St Leger out but we haven’t really sat down and discussed it yet. Obviously I’ll speak to the owner but he looks like a horse that would be absolutely at home at a mile and a quarter…He is by Cape Cross and I think it might be stretching our luck for him to go and win the St Leger. You might say he won’t meet the same class (of horse) there but it’s a very gruelling race and I think it would be a bridge too far for him." — John Oxx

    First Nashwan in 1989 and now Sea The Stars 20 years later, the Guineas-Derby winner will not (almost certainly) be racing in the 3rd leg of traditional Triple Crown.

    Frankly, the English Triple Crown is no longer of any importance. Even if it was achieved, IMHO it would be deemed a novelty, rather than the culmination of a champion effort. The Irish and French have already killed off their Triple Crowns, by opening their Legers to older horses.

    I’ve just returned from a day at Belmont at the Belmont Stakes. The place was electric – and the reception people were giving Calvin Borel was amazing. The vast majority of people of course knew nothing of the ins-and-outs of racing, but they loved Calvin. And simply this idea of a jockey triple crown was enough to get them involved. I can only imagine what it would be like for an actual Triple Crown attempt by one horse.

    The simple thing is that the general public loves the idea of a Triple Crown and if racing is to capture new fans, we need to change ours.

    A Triple Crown needs to be 3 races run in succession. It needs to be fresh in the minds of people, not a 1m race in May through to a 1m 6.5f race in September, that a publicly recognized group of inferior horses contest.

    The English Guineas is run the same day as the Kentucky Derby. The English Derby is run the same day as the Belmont Stakes. Is it really conceivable that we can’t have a 1m 2f race in-between? Won’t that really be good for racing?

    The Irish and French Guineas/Derbies may suffer, true, but right now I think racing suffers from the lack of any defined series of races. We could continue to be traditionalist and say that in it’s present format the Triple Crown is so difficult and unique that it shouldn’t be won very often and hence is worth preserving. However when the only 2 horses of the last 30 years to actually qualify to win it, don’t bother to attempt it, surely it’s time to call a spade a spade.

    #232537
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17716

    The English Guineas is run the same day as the Kentucky Derby. The English Derby is run the same day as the Belmont Stakes. Is it really conceivable that we can’t have a 1m 2f race in-between? Won’t that really be good for racing?

    Or might it be good for the Yanks to stick to the original design, and have a proper test of stamina toward the end of the 3yo season? :roll:

    #232546
    halfwaytoheaven
    Member
    • Total Posts 1387

    The English Guineas is run the same day as the Kentucky Derby. The English Derby is run the same day as the Belmont Stakes. Is it really conceivable that we can’t have a 1m 2f race in-between? Won’t that really be good for racing?

    How testing is it for a horse to run in 3 top quality Group 1s in a month though Reet?

    The American Triple Crown is a real test of a horses ability, stamina and fitness hence why the last winner was 31 years ago.

    Both Triple Crown have their unique quirks and ours was be so much better if trainers tried the Triple Crown route. Our Triple Crown spans 4 months – trainers should give it a try once in a while.

    #232554
    RobinFromIreland
    Member
    • Total Posts 72

    Or might it be good for the Yanks to stick to the original design, and have a proper test of stamina toward the end of the 3yo season? :roll:

    The Americans have a series that draws public interest. The English don’t. Is the original design immutable?

    If we believe that the Leger is needed to fulfill the requirement of a "proper test of stamina toward the end of the 3yo season", then why should it be part of the Triple Crown?

    Is the Triple Crown just so historic, so important, that it must not be changed, even if it no longer is even

    attempted

    , never mind achieved?

    I’m a young racing fan. None of my friends are interesting in racing. Since living in America, it’s pretty clear to me that the Triple Crown is what represents racing here for the public.

    It works, yet it’s something that won’t be entertained it seems in England, even though it seems pretty clear to me and my generation, that our model is broken.

    #232557
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total Posts 1198

    The English Guineas is run the same day as the Kentucky Derby. The English Derby is run the same day as the Belmont Stakes. Is it really conceivable that we can’t have a 1m 2f race in-between? Won’t that really be good for racing?

    How testing is it for a horse to run in 3 top quality Group 1s in a month though Reet?

    The American Triple Crown is a real test of a horses ability, stamina and fitness hence why the last winner was 31 years ago.

    Both Triple Crown have their unique quirks and ours was be so much better if trainers tried the Triple Crown route. Our Triple Crown spans 4 months – trainers should give it a try once in a while.

    Forgive me for preferring a triple crown that not only tests a horse but actually leaves a horse in one piece by the end of the season.

    Its all well and good saying the American triple crown tests a horses strenght, endurance etc but 99% of the three year olds are burnt out by August time let alone by Breeders Cup time.

    Whats more how refreshing to see brilliantly bred animals like Sea The Stars winning our Classics rather than poorly bred animals like Mine That Bird and co who will add little to the breed (particularly in his case being a gelding!).

    #232580
    cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8992

    I’d dearly love to see Sea The Stars attempt the Triple Crown and I detected a slight warmth from John Oxx to that idea – "I’d say any entry would be no more than mischevious" then looks across at Kinane, as if to gauge the reaction.

    The big problem with our Triple Crown is people’s aversion to the St Leger and the prevailing view that winning it somehow devalues a horse’s appeal as a stallion. Mick Kinane made reference to that yesterday, although he rationalised it as ‘doing what’s right for the horse’ .

    What could be more right for the horse than giving it the opportunity to take his place among the all time greats?

    If they race him at 4 (which I doubt somehow) then I can see the sense in by-passing the leger. If he’s to retire at 3 then what have they to lose?

    #232584
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total Posts 1198

    Or might it be good for the Yanks to stick to the original design, and have a proper test of stamina toward the end of the 3yo season? :roll:

    The Americans have a series that draws public interest. The English don’t. Is the original design immutable?
    .

    Exactly how much interest?

    #232597
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17716

    I’m not so sure winning the St Leger would devalue his stud value. It’s been ages since any horse won the Triple Crown and how many time do we here of horses who might not get the trip in the Derby.

    I know much depends on the dam but this horse had the speed to win the Guineas, won the Derby a lot easier than the distance would suggest and if he got the trip in the St Leger surely that would make him a very special sire.

    Nothing is cast in stone yet but I have a feeling they will take the easiest path they can and try and retire him unbeaten if possible.

    #232602
    RobinFromIreland
    Member
    • Total Posts 72

    Or might it be good for the Yanks to stick to the original design, and have a proper test of stamina toward the end of the 3yo season? :roll:

    The Americans have a series that draws public interest. The English don’t. Is the original design immutable?
    .

    Exactly how much interest?

    Enough that, from what I saw for the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, everyone stopped to watch the race and cheer it on. In the Belmont, it was the only race where the stands were completely full, when all came in from the open "party" areas in the back to watch the race. The Derby winner graced the cover of Sports Illustrated and all the talk was about whether this year the Americans would finally see a Triple Crown winner.

    I can’t of course give empirical evidence as to how much more or less the Triple Crown adds to public interest; but from what I’ve experienced, I feel like it very much works.

    I know much depends on the dam but this horse had the speed to win the Guineas, won the Derby a lot easier than the distance would suggest and if he got the trip in the St Leger surely that would make him a very special sire.

    If winning the Triple Crown by winning the Leger was that special, wouldn’t it have been an automatic decision for Nashwan and Sea The Stars to commit?

    Judging from the responses, the feeling I get is that, for others, the idea of a Triple Crown is not that important. Is this true? If the public believes that the Leger is "lesser" then why insist that things must stay the same?

    For me, I take the perspective of trying to promote racing, and I believe a Triple Crown is a good idea. The current one doesn’t work, so why not replace it? But it seems others do not agree.

    #232609
    robert99
    Participant
    • Total Posts 899

    John Oxx’s view was that it was the 2000g that would be left out in future, as stamina tests ( 2 Derbys plus St Leger) are now more fashionable aspirations with rich owners.

    #232612
    RobinFromIreland
    Member
    • Total Posts 72

    John Oxx’s view was that it was the 2000g that would be left out in future, as stamina tests ( 2 Derbys plus St Leger) are now more fashionable aspirations with rich owners.

    Interesting but what about your view? Does the Triple Crown mean much to you? Should it? Should it be changed? If so, to what? If not, why not?

    #232621
    cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8992

    Quote

    John Oxx’s view was that it was the 2000g that would be left out in future, as stamina tests ( 2 Derbys plus St Leger) are now more fashionable aspirations with rich owners.

    What I think Oxx was saying was that the pre-eminent stallions being used by the richest owners these days (primarily Galileo, Montjeu) are imparting a mix of stamina and speed that makes it much more likely the Triple Crown will be won. His comment regarding the 2,000 Guineas was that it might be the tougher race of the three for such a horse to win, not that the 2,000 would somehow be lessened in importance.

    He has a good point though. It does seem that some of the current sires would appear more likely to impart that unique blend of speed and stamina. I just didn’t think Cape Cross would be one of them!

    #232629
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17716

    Fist wrote:
    I know much depends on the dam but this horse had the speed to win the Guineas, won the Derby a lot easier than the distance would suggest and if he got the trip in the St Leger surely that would make him a very special sire.

    Robin wrote
    If winning the Triple Crown by winning the Leger was that special, wouldn’t it have been an automatic decision for Nashwan and Sea The Stars to commit?

    I think the point is and it is only my opinion is Sea the Stars is no Nashwan. Nashwan was really special, whereas Sea the Stars is very good.

    There must be a good chance he would get beaten by the likes of Conduit in the King George or the Arc. Nashwan did go a bridge too far when beaten on soft ground in the Arc but he was already a legend having won the first 2 classic took the Eclipse and the King George

    John Oxx is a very wise old cookie and he will be out to protect his owners investment. The last thing he will want to do is get the horse beat, The fact he has already won the 2000G and the Derby makes him very special on it’s own and getting him beat can only devalue him. He’s not exactly anhilating horses so if he were beaten now I think many would say it wasn’t a great Derby bla bla bla. and all of a sudden he could be viewed upon as a bit ordinary.

    I am no expert on breeding values but surely on those 2 wins alone plus a lesser prize like the Irish Derby or the St Leger, especially the latter, would max out that value and he wouldn’t have to take on his elders.

    There must be a maximum value a horse can be worth or breeders charge and I am just wondring how near he is to it now.

    His jockey said they will do what’s "best for the horse" I think what he meant is they will sit down and discuss which is their best move to ensure the best financial long term gain. When you have a horse like him what’s good for racing doesn’t come into it……..like Zarkava my guess is he’ll be packed of to stud at the earliest opportunity.

    #232638
    davidjohnson
    Member
    • Total Posts 4491

    Ofcourse winning a Leger wouldn’t devalue his potential earnings at stud. Racent Derby winners have been stoutly bred that had to prove they weren’t just boats by hav ing to come back to 10f. Sea The Stars has already shown he’s the best miler amoung his age group.

    #232639
    Tom
    Member
    • Total Posts 205

    They don’t breed them as tough or with as much stamina as they used too.

    #232659
    halfwaytoheaven
    Member
    • Total Posts 1387

    The English Guineas is run the same day as the Kentucky Derby. The English Derby is run the same day as the Belmont Stakes. Is it really conceivable that we can’t have a 1m 2f race in-between? Won’t that really be good for racing?

    How testing is it for a horse to run in 3 top quality Group 1s in a month though Reet?

    The American Triple Crown is a real test of a horses ability, stamina and fitness hence why the last winner was 31 years ago.

    Both Triple Crown have their unique quirks and ours was be so much better if trainers tried the Triple Crown route. Our Triple Crown spans 4 months – trainers should give it a try once in a while.

    Forgive me for preferring a triple crown that not only tests a horse but actually leaves a horse in one piece by the end of the season.

    Its all well and good saying the American triple crown tests a horses strenght, endurance etc but 99% of the three year olds are burnt out by August time let alone by Breeders Cup time.

    Whats more how refreshing to see brilliantly bred animals like Sea The Stars winning our Classics rather than poorly bred animals like Mine That Bird and co who will add little to the breed (particularly in his case being a gelding!).

    Thats a ridiculous comment to say that ‘poorly bred animals’ winning Classics isnt refreshing.

    It is good for the sport as a whole to see an outsider like Mine That Bird, who was driven by its trainer all the way to Kentucky and seemingly had no chance, win a Derby.

    Would it be bad for the sport or unrefreshing if The Racing Forum’s syndicated horse won the Derby as an outsider and wasnt particularly well bred? No it wouldnt. It would be a fascinating spectacle as SUPPORTERS of the sport would have won with an OUTSIDER.

    MTB has broken some barriers in America this year. It’s drawn the general American public back in love with the game and I’m pretty sure that in that ‘general public’ are keen horsemen who have got sick and tired of horses being packed off to stud after 4 runs. MTB has been all over the news, the magazines, the newspapers, racing in America is (from what I’ve heard from friends over there) the most popular it has been for years.

    Whilst I appreciate horses being packed off to stud so early is good for the sport via breeding purposes, it’s refreshing and entertaining to see a 50/1 outsider in one of the top Derbys win, go on to prove his talent in a Preakness and Belmont and then know that this horse will be around for years to come.

    Whats more, Connections will never be rushed into packing MTB off to stud because there is nothing down there to profit from.

    I’d love to see Sea The Stars sent to the Leger and agree with Corm. Whats there to lose if the horse will be packed off to stud at the end of the year anyway? He could get caught out at Doncaster but then he’ll go on to win something like the Arc or the Breeders Cup Classic. His stud value is already sky-high and the owners will lose nothing in defeat at Doncaster but they will gain if the horse wins. He’ll be one of the all-time greats that will be remembered for years to come.

    I apologise for getting on my high horse here but I get furious when people state that ‘poorly bred animals’ shouldnt win classics.

    #232662
    RobinFromIreland
    Member
    • Total Posts 72

    Let’s keep things on thread.

    So don’t change the Triple Crown from it’s current format? If it’s never attempted for another 35 years, so be it?

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