Racing UK

Angus McNae

Sectional analysis: Trading went hell for Leather

23 August 2013

I have just returned from filming Planet Turf at Deauville this week. 

I have been studying the sectional times with interest and will put together more analysis for you next week.

For now, I have looked at the key races of the week so far below.

The Turftrax sectionals at York for the first two days have shed much needed light on the action that has taken place.

Thankfully they tell us what has actually happened, thereby putting an end to speculative and pointless debate.

Juddmonte International – Al Kazeem:  

(Click here to see the Turftrax sectional timings data)

What are we to make of the Judmmonte International?

Declaration Of War ran a faster time than Frankel did in the same race by 0.85 seconds but this means absolutely nothing.

Frankel would have thrashed Declaration Of War if they had met over ten furlongs. What really matters is how the race was run and that is where sectionals become so important.

This was a truly run race courtesy of Trading Leather. Having gone a generous pace he wound up the gallop between the five pole and the three, an injection of pace that stretched the field and took them all out of their comfort zones.

It has been said that Al Kazeem was below form in third place, but I do not believe that this is the case. In fact he ran a better race here than he did at either Royal Ascot or at Sandown. He ran faster than any other horse in the race between the five pole and the three. The engine was operating at full throttle during this part of the race. Sectionals of 11.02s. 11.16s and 11.16s again were not an effort of a horse that was running below form. If anything he was asked for his effort a bit too soon, but I do not believe he would have won however his energy had been distributed.

Two further points about the race.

Firstly Declaration Of War was the only horse in the race to have won on Polytrack, indeed he was the only runner in the field to have raced on that surface.

Given the sandy nature of the track at York and the fact that Polytrack performers seem to handle it well this may be of significance.

Secondly surely Toronado's poor performance can be explained by the Ragozin sheets I mentioned a few weeks ago. For me this performance represents a classic downturn in form after a big effort in the Sussex Stakes. He, like Dawn Approach in the Marois, bounced to the Moon.

Yorkshire Oaks – The Fugue

 (Click here to see the Turftrax sectional timing data)

The Yorkshire Oaks won by The Fugue is a straightforward case. This filly is very good against her own sex and has a potent turn of foot.

The first four furlongs were quite steadily run, but the final mile was a true test.

The Fugue showed that she has plenty of pace by showing that she can  put in a sustained run of three furlongs, which others could not match here and indeed paid a price for trying to do so. Between the four pole and the final furlong she fired off sectionals of 10.89s, 11.29s, 11.33s and 11.5s. This relentless display of speed could not be matched.

Riposte put in a hidden effort in trying to go with the Fugue by running 10.83s and 11.10s between the five and the three poles but this effort finished her off.

If she had made her ground steadily, I think it is possible she could have finished second. When taking everything into account, this was impressive from the Fugue and the Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita would be well within her compass.

Great Votigeur – Telescope:

(Click here to see the Turftrax sectional timings data)

Let’s start with the Great Voltigeur. The times show us that this was a steadily run race and one that turned into something of a sprint for home in the straight.

Telescope was able to saunter through the first four furlongs in a leisurely 53.41 seconds. There was no increase in pace then until they passed the five-furlong pole.

From here the race took shape and the sectionals between the five pole and the three pole show us that Telescope sprinted for four furlongs and then got tired in the final furlong.

Essentially he showed that he had more speed than his rivals because this race had nothing to do with stamina. He promises to stay well so a big run in the St Leger is a distinct possibility, but this was a bogus trial for that race.

A more general point needs to be made as well. Telescope proved when he won at Leicester that he can run fast enough to compete in Group One company.

His time figure in that race showed that he had to run very hard there, despite the lack of opposition.

In my opinion he then bounced at Haydock. In other words, he turned out quickly and he recoiled from that big effort at Leicester.

This week it was possible that he would be still feeling the effects of Leicester, but because he was not forced to run hard in the Voltigeur we do not know if he was still feeling those effects.

I believe he is better than his run in the Voltigeur shows and is capable of cutting it at the highest level. The Leicester clock told us this, not the York one.

Saturday's action:

I am keen on Tropical Beat in the Betfred Ebor today. This horse was second at Mussleburgh last time to Party Line, having been unsuited by the run of the race.

On that occasion he was having his first run for David O’Meara, who has been in sublime form on the Knavesmire this week.

Tropical Beat used to be trained by John Gosden and when with him was pretty useful. Last season he was second in the Old Borough Cup at Haydock and a very good third to Kirthill at York.

With a run under his belt he should be spot on today. He is available at 14/1 and should be backed with some confidence each-way.

Have a great day.

Angus's Saturday selection:

3.50 York: Tropical Beat each-way at 14-1 with Paddy Power 

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