The Roar
The Roar

kv joef

Roar Guru

Joined September 2013







... mimicking a chihuahua barking at the gates of hell but horse racing is good and keeps me happy.



Nice list Matt. Castelvecchio is a talent isn’t he? I was disappointed they didn’t have a throw at the stumps in the slipper. Richard Litt is an impressive young trainer.
I’m inclined to think that Ten Sovereigns is currently the ‘world’s best sprinter’ and would love him to come to town for the Everest and Eagle. Houtzen exposed the overrating of the UK sprinters at Goodwood but Ten Sovereigns looks v.v.special.
I also have Fifty Stars on my short list. This perfectly bred son of one of my favourite champions, Sea The Stars is capable of rushing the scale. Might not start tomorrow ???? but I’d be most disappointed if he is not considered a serious Cups contender in a month.
I’m also looking forward to the return of Lyre tomorrow. She is all racehorse and hopefully will continue to mature. Anthony Freedman has finally got together a stable glowing that reflects his talent.

Ten horses to watch this spring

had googled you some time ago 🙂 . Thx for the insight, it is appreciated. i would not be surprised to find that major international breeding operations are going down that path if not already some way down there.

Do you think an ‘era-champion’ haplotype. If talking about a champ racehorse come stallion, would by chance and probability, not ‘transmit’ the complete structure to any offspring allowing the influence of the mare. Maybe for Htype at mating time, be broken up and reconstituted through a series of matings at a later date.

I only mention this because that is what Tesio believed and he bred barely 800 horses in a 50 year career (25% stakes winners), 25 Italian Derbies etc and quite a few champions most notably the unbeaten era-champions Nearco and Ribot. One reason why he didn’t keep his racehorse/stallions that he line-bred, Except for a short WWII period. He believe he couldn’t improve the offspring and so dispensed the stallions elsewhere.

With the current knowledge does this traditional line-breeding still standup. Is it even believable?

I have no doubt horses like Phar Lap would have dominated in most modern eras as champions do, except maybe against each other. EG PLap racing against two serious racehorses, lead them by a furlong (200m), on another occasion smashed a race record by 6 seconds.

I am v.interested in this type of research.

Strangely enough, Tesio was obsessed with breeding mutation too, from his ‘pure’ stock. Occasionally, he thought he had one but all proved disappointing.

Hope you had a good weekend.

The Sydney Cup renews the Godolphin-Williams stoush

My offering to Aransan of many opportunities to counter some my arguments were openly exposed, hoping the conversation would expand beyond a simple differing of opinion.
Below, for future readers benefit, is my attempt to correct my obvious errors and confirmation concerning one of Aransan’s main points. The evidenced potential counter to my ‘closed’ breeding argument may have offered an expansion of the discussion into an exciting genetic-research thread.
Examples of the obvious errors – incorrectly noting Peter Pan was allocated 10.6 (’35) not 10.5, the same weight as Kindergarten (’43) and Bernborough 10.9 (more weight thsn PP – ’46) but then I would have retorted that The Barb was weighted at 11.7 (1869), Archer 11.4 (1863), Carbine 10.12 (1891) etc maybe expanding the discussion on how official handicapping continues to change over time.
For the casual reader, concerning academic papers, read the abstract, introduction and conclusion. The reader could trust that the contained methodology was ‘peer-reviewed’ and as a final check, Google the authors academic record and check their credits/reference count, and any criticisms.
Please excuse my Tesio’ism reference when referring to my mis-spelling of the ‘Nearco-Nearctic-Northern Dancer’ line, in a previous comment, publishing ‘Nearco-Nearatic-Nothern Dancer’.
Note, Nearco is spelled correctly but i replaced ‘c’ with ‘a’ in Nearctic and the ‘r’ in Northern Dancer’s spelling is gone from the third position but appears correctly twice elsewhere but minus one position for the missing letter. Childish, but amusing to me.
Equally, i thought Aransan’s references to Hilbert, Ramanujan and the referenced texts was wonderful and equally amusing, even though, maybe, i was meant to be the brunt of this cleverness. no offence was taken.
My concession to Aransan, if argued with evidence, was about the proposition of the developing thoroughbred. My comments hinted about Trinity (Hill’s research) etc and i continued hinting that Aransan’s proposition ‘could’ be valid but then i waited for an evidenced rebuttal or confirmation of his argument. None came.
To this point, there are currently several universities looking into various aspects of thoroughbred genetics. There are several commercial research companies doing the same. Arguably, PlusVital (U.S. based supplement company) is producing outstanding work headed by one of Hill’s academic offspring, the brilliant Dr. Beatrice McGivney. Genetic research papers are available from their website at a minor cost and maybe free examples are available to interested parties.
Possibly, the seminal 2006 publication, ‘Mitochondrial DNA: An important female contribution to thoroughbred racehorse performance’, was a mainstay reference for Aransan but nothing was referenced, so I don’t know. Personally, i have never accepted ‘i think’ as the validation of a proposition. Now, as the basis of exploration, no problem.
Finally, to my comments about Shannon – Prof. Claude Shannon, ‘father’ of both, the digital and information age. Shannon suggested that an investigator should be able to get to the essence of an inquiry with two or three well-crafted questions.
IMHO, Shannon’s work profoundly and practically affected daily lives and his academic offspring continued to do the same in so many areas. I try and implement Shannon’s questioning hypothesis in my own insignificant inquiries.
One of Shannon’s associates (students), original work mathematician, Prof. E.O.Thorpe, had and continues to have a profound effect on my model development. Original work mathematician, Dr. J.H.Simons, and Ray Dalio are among others.
My model role models have three obvious things in common;
1) They did not accept untested propositions and were/are unrelenting in trying to refine their understanding, sometimes, after costly mistakes accepting the error was theirs, then continuing their project investigation to finality;
2) They developed successful technical models based on their interpretation of historical and fundamental data going back over a hundred years, more in some cases. Their models have a significant common foundation although their final algorithms are different;
3) They took their acquired understandings into the real world and tested them. The result was three of the most successful and profitable hedge funds that ever came into existence.
The public description of their modelling wasn’t explicit in minute detail but left many clues/ starting points for the researcher. Simply, this paragraph is my counter to Aransan’s ‘you can’t do it’. I agree i won’t reference how i ‘do it’, that would be a silly.
I am not in these genius’ intellectual grouping. Nowhere near it – i am barely Benchmark 80 and they are timeless legendary performers. i do try to find out ‘why’, followed by rigorously testing each hypothesis. if wrong, back to the drawing board. if positive, on to the next step, like Faraday’s method of progressing understanding.
As for my Maxwell reference, he had a brilliance that is nearly incomprehensible. he developed the speed-of-light limitation math based on Faraday’s observational conclusions and on whose shoulders, Einstein could comfortably rest 40 years later. From my viewpoint, you do need some technical skill to validate (and explain) your conclusions.
The only other point of contention was Phar Lap’s career. I don’t think i ever referred to Phar Lap in any other terms than ‘legendary’. Trying nothing more than to de-mythologise Phar Lap’s career with facts. unfortunately, i missed the opportunity, through a lack of interrogation, to point to Phar Lap’s Secretariat-type performances of speed and domination. I was never concerned about the fluff of his magic week or his caliente win. There were other amazing performances, capturing my attention.
As for Aransan’s suggestion that i focused on Phar Lap’s early career defeats is wrong.
To be plain. My observations suggest crookedness was involved in his early defeats not a lack of ability. They got their price in his maiden win at his fifth start. Then came unstuck three starts into hos new prep. From then on, Phar Lap was treated like a serious horse, beginning an ambitious Derby campaign, given his displayed form.
There was a saying i learned early in my racing-trade career. ‘your first good horse should buy your house. Your second good horse should buy your stables …’. Ultimately, we don’t know what happened early in his career and it is a guess on my part.

The Sydney Cup renews the Godolphin-Williams stoush

You are truly confusing me …

Aransan, just for the record, my acedamic heroes are Maxwell, Faraday and Shannon. In the spirit of Shannon i say to you … ‘you ask the wrong questions’. Replying to what you have just written.

(aransan) The DNA pool for any species is not set in concrete, there are mutations and crossing overs between chromosomes … we could by selective breeding breed superior …

(KV – previous to your comment, i wrote) ‘ …they have tried to inject new blood (quarter-horses, bloodshorses, arabs) … lasts a few generations and is gone … Concerning selective breeding … always been that way … i have reference material for that going back into the 1700s detailing theories and the breeding practicalities … The thoroughbred DNA structure (gene pool) SEEMS set in concrete. POSSIBLY there might be a gene MUTATION that could survive? Currently, none have survived the distance. ‘

(KV dna-extra) – most jurisdictions let cross-breeds (any breed) race in country areas but not in blk-type, classics, nor are they registered in the studbook (described as ‘unknown’). if they last 5 gens in a pedigree, then they get the nod and a name – they do track them — i remember watching both full and half-bred quarters horses race in the Hunter Valley … they could go quick … for about 10 metres – think one did ok in those QLD country 700-800m ‘purse’ races during the 70s.)

(aransan) … If we wanted to we could breed for coat colour, not that it would make sense but it could be done…

(KV) Don’t be so presumptious. if you did your research you may slightly modify your opinion. either way you might be curious to realise that the overwhelming majority of stallions in japan are blk/brwn. by your comment it seems you have read or heard of Tesio’s book without reading incisa (deR) book – mistake, he was crafty fella that tesio, liked sublties, crosswords etc.

(aransan) … we should be more prepared to accept the analysis of those horses by experts of that time …

(KV) concerning handicapping, this is the silliest thing you have ever written. knowledge will progress replacing previously held beliefs, unstable hypothesis’ of the past are rectified, ‘scientific laws’ remain because they stand scrunity until they don’t!

(aransan)’…The amount of information at your disposal for analysing horses 80 and 90 years ago is limited …’

(KV) Concerning resources – formguides have always behind around. The Daily Racing Form started in 1894 (Wiki). Racing magazines have always existed, including the industry racing calenders from around the globe going back to the year dot. i was sadden deeply when my extensive collection of accumulated racing material was destroyed by a flood while in storage when i was overseas. Newspaper reporting (before TV) was reasonably accurate as well as pristine photography. in short, if you have a will …

in today’s information age, it would take all of $10,000 (probably less) to assememble an extensive global DB that went back 80 years relative detail with another 50 years of Black-type before that … unless you know someone who has one. you would be surprised how many are around for various uses. available on the web for small subscription fees (and free) are digitised (global) newspapers Dbs, racing form DBs, digitised historical information, images of this and that.

Really all that is required is Black-type results – Race Conds / dist / weight/ age/ margins between placegetters. That would get you through.

For a more sophisticated understanding, backfit the blacktype races using 2 methods of a selected sub-set of a generation (3 years eg 1929-1932). holding out a test sample on either side. Once you have established a rep.number, move the racing generation algorithm forward, as you bring the numbers from the next sub-gen. (10 years on – max racing age) back to eventually intergrate the two and where they cross over … and well, it better make sense. If it doesn’t make sense, start again. It isn’t as simple as that, but not far away from it, as you have to track the thoroughbred specialisation, sorry selective breeding, but that can be done so the model stands-up through time.

Takes a long time but you learn a lot. You actually see when the fundelmentals of the game change and how they change. While starting with individual countries, next begin to look for the ‘binders’ to start a comparison EG looking 70’s racing in Australia, Europe and U.S, we have Balmerino and Strawberry Road from an AU perspective etc. before that we had Tobin Bronze and Sailors Guide (Tulloch ref :-)) before that Shannon (Bernborough ref) … and it goes on. Horse against horse – weight against weight.

I’ve seen models that use regression and ‘weighting’ methods. Never been much of a fan of either – i don’t ‘weight’ my numbers. Regression explains what you should already know … weighting tries to explain what you don’t know. Both can be deadly in unsophisitcated hands.

The recreational punters of today, have never had it so good.

For normal day-to-day racing activities, all they need is understanding of some common-sense rules, number-form, race-details (jock-trainer-barrier etc), access to general stats, ‘market’ odds and ranking combined with a money-management system to cope with variations.

MOST importantly a journal – write down what you are doing and why – then review – anyway, do that and RecPunter should have a lot of fun and not cause much damage. As you rise up the scale … a bit more skill is involved.

For Aransan … Now, i know you have read my stuff going back quite a few years and always had a bit of sarcastic dispute to my viewpoint – good on ya. Like above, regurgitating this and that (colour) for whatever reason, i don’t know why … your problem not mine.

The only reason i’ve continued this exchange is for others so they have a broad platform example for developing their own investigation style. not for you as i know, your views seem set in concrete. I’ve already given you a rating-range from that silly comment about the ‘speed of a falling object’ a couple of years back. How did you go with the new Euro WFA scale? Anyway, good punting. If you are looking for a bookmaker i’ll see what i can do.

The Sydney Cup renews the Godolphin-Williams stoush

thx again for your kind words JB. Yes i was the same way. when she looped them on the turn i started to choke up as i realised one of the greatest racing experiences i have ever had was coming to end. at my age, i know i will never see her like again … but i seen it … every beautiful step.

The Sydney Cup renews the Godolphin-Williams stoush

Your quote …
” …I wouldn’t try to do an analysis on the weight Phar Lap carried in 31 and the distance he was beaten by. As they say, weight will stop a train — not just slow it down. …”

Really … “weight will stop a train” … yes. that’s what i’ve be saying. All horses have performance ceilings.

Really … “not just slow it down” … yes I think i know to to identify the difference. do you?

I thought, pretty funny you telling me how to handicap/rate horses. You know nothing about me. Again, I made factual statement about how assessors from the past understood performances at that time (1931). That is how they understood performance well into the 70’s.

Ever read Rem Plante’s book from the late 50’s? Anyway, I’ve never discussed how i do numbers, nor will i but hopefully, for me, it remains effective. But you tell me what I can and can’t do? wifay? You have offered zero evidence to support your rebuttal just supposition.

You showed some nonsense from the web … ana i showed you the race to prove he was lying or at best he a had created a false memory. As for that shortlist – wrong order under ‘Red’ for what he’s got but quite a few missing.

What i do here (roar) is try and show practical examples of how recreational punters might successfully handicap races using freely available data. I’ve previously stated my reasons for this strategy.

I do it in advance (article or comment) to prove that i am not a hindsight-judge. And I’ve done it over a long period of time (5 years). So, this disection of PL’s form may show insights on they way i look at raw form. I bet you have learned a whole lot about Phar Lap / Peter Pan since this thread started and maybe even how to look at Winx’s career before you decide its value.

For the interested reader, in our chat (and article) they might see examples of how to pull form to peices. How they might understand it. Things that can profile a horse.

Anyway back to Phar Lap … What we know is that Phar Lap carried 9st 12lbs over 2 miles to victory. He may have been able to carry more than … we don’t know. What we do know, is the handicapper got it wrong in 1931. The horse couldn’t do it.

You wrote – “He was still rated one stone above Peter Pan” … YES, THE HANDICAPPER GOT IT WRONG – THE RESULT PROVED IT. HE DIDN’T GET CLOSE.

I think (from memory) that no horse since Phar Lap has been given more than 10st 5lbs (Carbine’s winning weight). Peter Pan got that weight in ’35, an admission that the handicapper realised he screwed up. Yes, and i do know why he screwed up. WFA form can be tricky to understand/interpret. It is not as simple as hcp-work. Difficult but do-able.

PL did carry 10st 3lbs to victory over 7f. You know that distance he kept getting beat at as a young horse. 10-3 is the highest weight he ever carried to victory. WHY? because he mainly started in set-weight events … saved you the trouble.

As for his early career … I can see what happen. it stands out like a beacon. Surely you can. Hint … what price was he when he won his Rosehill maiden … what price was he in those other early defeats except that 4th (unlucky no doubt – sacked the jock).

I did mention that novel cardgame when writing about those unplaced efforts. i did mention that i couldn’t explain half of them, i did mention i would need to see the vision. i don’t know what you were talking about but i knew what i was talking about. Another PL fact for you, Billy Elliot after multiple rides, is the only jockey to be undefeated on him 7-0.

The thoroughbred DNA structure (gene pool) seems set in concrete. Possibly there might be a gene mutation that could survive?

Currently, none have survived the distance. Lot of work going on in this area. Google it – might start with Trinity College (as usual). I reinterate 30% pedigree / 70% external influence is the current hypothesis.

It’s similar to people saying ‘some drugs make horses run faster’. No, they don’t – they can’t run any faster than nature intended i.e DNA = nature. things you are talking about can’t change the DNA, can’t make them run faster then nature intended. Basic, I know, but true.

And so the lesson ends for today.

How about this, I watching a Youtube podcast on irish racing, bit of a laugh etc, and they get aidan o’brien as a guest talking about this and that, really insightful as usual. They get to the end of the cast and ask him half jokingly … ‘Anything good going around on the weekend? you don’t have to tell us its name, just hint or ..” O’Brien interrupts and in his usual honest manner says ” … or no that’s ok. We have an American Pharoah colt going on the weekend. real nice horse. should do well.” That was Monarch Of Egypt on Sat night at Naas – walked in – evens. Find gems in the strangest places.

The Sydney Cup renews the Godolphin-Williams stoush

Stats have let me down? WTF. Everything I’ve written is accurate. Not filtered to validate an opinion. BTW, they didn’t race each other. Pher Lap won the 1930 Cup and finished down the track in 1931 behind White Nose. Now PL had excuses as the early pace was woeful but according to reports he was beaten before the turn but watch for yourself …

Link to Phar Lap’s 1931 Cup – ( … you can pick him up as the come past the stand the first time, he is 3 wide about 4L off the pace pulling his head off – that’s not unusual for him. He is a monster isn’t he?

Of those early unplaced runs 4 were 7f/1m in v.average restricted company and you would have thought him to be mildly competitive in that company.

Just a reminder that Winx was career unplaced only 3 times in a 6 week period before her Au Oaks 2nd. CWaller has said many times he got her early stuff wrong. So i’ll give Harry Telford the benefit of the doubt.

PLap captured everybody’s attention when he ran fourth in the Warwick Stakes (sorry it is called the Winx Stakes now) followed that with a 2nd in the Chelmsford behind the aforementioned mollison. Who he beat later in that prep. From then he launched into 14 months of racing domination that will forever be legendary.

My point was that a critical analysis of his career does show pointers to his limitation, a ceiling.

Here is a link to Peter Pan’s 1932 Cup Win … the one where he stumbled … the won where at the furlong was lengths behind Yarramba (7st3lbs) already being called the winner and PP given no chance … how wrong they were.

BTW Yarramba won the Williamstown Cup (Sand.Cup equiv.) two weeks later leaving Compris, Denis Boy, Shadow King in his wake.

Back to Phar Lap (’31), if we take his beaten margin, say 8L but probably more than that, and using that time’s style of handicapping (1L = 1.5lb) then PL would return a reduction of 12lbs bringing his performance weight back to 9st 12lbs … the same weight he carried to victory in the 1930 Cup … how about that. spooky heh?

And yes Peter Pan did carry 9st 10lbs in 1934 on a bottomless heavy track … he won by panels … heaven knows what weight he could have carried … did i mention he had the outside draw … did I mention he was only ridden hands and heels … and it was a pretty strong Cup field too, actually really strong … anyway here is a newsreel vid of the event – great snippet – great history – great horse …

He goes alright doesn’t he?

The Sydney Cup renews the Godolphin-Williams stoush

Both those link-articles are sloppy. With respect, i’ve been around a few horses over the last 50 years. concerning quality, show me the numbers and/or let me have a look at the horse actually race and I’ll form an opinion and see if the performance numbers match it.

Out of yesterday’s racing I thought the japanese horse was fantastic. just watch him in the vid. Pins his ears back and charges flat-tack until he gets to the 100m and then he is stuffed and runs up the white-flag. you can seen him slow, exhausted, but he didn’t quit. What a little hero … he’s got a fan in me.

Again, it is not the race name or the winning margin, it is the quality of the opposition. My own racing maxim is … “you don’t know what a good horse is, until you know what good horses do.”.

Concerning the 1932 Aqua Caliente … the best horses in the U.S. at the time weren’t there – not one – and included Equipoise, Twenty Grand, Mate, Jamestown and of coarse, Gallant Sir who was to win the next two Caliente’s, (1933) breaking Phar Lap’s race-record and again equaling PL’s time in 1934. Strangely enough, after that they canned the race. Later, re-instated twice more to be won by the champions Sea Biscuit (1938) and Round Table (1958).

Revillie Boy, 2nd to PLap in Mexico, main claim to fame was a hometown 1930 (upset) win in Chicago’s American Derby (a good race) and placings in a few ‘state’ Derbys. Not a lot of significant black-type after that. He won about a quarter of his 100 starts.

Here’s the link to the PL’s Caliente for interested readers … (

Some interesting PHAR LAP facts. Are you aware, by chance, that Phar Lap either competed in fields of less than 7 or 10-or-more starters. Interestingly, in the field-size 10-or-more he had 18 starts for 6 wins and 9 (50%) unplaced efforts. Now half of those defeats i could dismiss for this-and-that reasons but half i can’t, as i cannot access creditable vision of those races. Maybe they were playing silly-buggers.

Impressively, PLap was undefeated in 10 starts between 9.5f (Cox Plate) and 10f but he only competed against a grand total of 44 starters. Winx won 10/11 at the distance. She has beaten 85 individual Group One winners … dodged nothing.

May seem I am bagging Phar Lap’s greatness. I am not. he is a racing legend although, I would point to another part of his career as an better indicator of his equine scariness.

Personally, I rate Peter Pan v.v.v.close and know he would have given Phar Lap a serious contest. He was unlucky to race in PL’s shadow, then suffer a debilitating sickness between his two Cup wins that again recurred in 1935 meaning his race-record finished softer than it should have been as they kept him going. Up to his sickness he had won 9 of 12 including a Cup when barely 3 years old. PLap ran 3rd as a 3 year-old.

maybe leave more of that discussion to later.

Concerning the Genome. I managed to re-find one of the best racing-history sites on the web. Their ‘genetics’ section link below includes links to research and academic papers. Follow the references on those docs for more info.

Concerning physicality. I was careful choosing my time-frame (170 years). I have an image-library of many thousands of ‘good’ horses going way back into the 1800s. preceding that … image-portraits of champions, you can see the ‘arab-rump’ disappearing. And from around the 1850-to-80’s to current, i’m looking at horses that could have walking around the ring yesterday.

Concerning selective breeding … always been that way … i have reference material for that going back into the 1700s detailing theories and the breeding practicalities of that time. I wanted to know why they did what they did and where/why trends started. Coolmore (Ballydoyle) have built a dynasty on purifying the Nearco-Nearatic-Nothern Dancer line. And look at the racehorses and stallions/mares they are producing.

Anyway, all good stuff. Following is a written description of Peter Pan’s 1932 Cup win

” … the 1932 Melbourne Cup, Peter Pan, carrying Billy Duncan, was travelling at the rear of the pack when he clipped the heels of the horse in front and fell to his knees. Running behind him was his stablemate Dennis Boy, who bumped the champion back onto his feet. From there, Peter Pan raced past the pack to take out the race by a neck. When he was led into the winner’s circle, a grass stain was clearly visible on his face … ”

Now that’s a racehorse. Just like the mare … ‘you aren’t going to beat me’.

The Sydney Cup renews the Godolphin-Williams stoush

Hi Aransan, nice to hear from you again. (this comment post is hellishly long but you raised some points that need addressing and it seems we can’t format it like previous days – sorry ) so with a few things to explain onward …
Were you aware that ‘Lightning’ won the Cox Plate, not rated that highly then, the Saturday before that Cup-week beating the handy Tregilla who he also defeated in the Melbourne Stakes (Mackinnon) on the first day of his magic week. Also note during his ‘week’ I think, the number of starters, including Phar Lap, the Mac Stks (5/6) … the Cup (only 15), the Linlithgow (then 1600m – 5) and the final race, the CB Fisher (Queen Elizabeth only 3).
The most interesting race was the Linlithgow. Two of his oppoents were Mollison and the champion Amounis. Both, as aged horses, were at the ends of long and distinguished careers. Amounis, twice defeated Phar Lap, although in both PL was FUp. He was retired after Linlithgow and Mollison the next Autumn without winning again although performing well.
The myth has grown about the Aqua Caliente but you are aware that America’s best horses didn’t race in that contest. It was a good ‘West-Coast’ field with a lot of hollywood-hype as at the time West-Coast racing was reguarded as inferior to the East-Coast, similar to generally comparing QLD to Victoria or NSW and like QLD produce a few quality animals each year but on average are a lesser standard. What blew everyone away was how he did it. Amazing, just like a few of Winx’s wins … ‘impossible, she can’t win from there’ … oh yes she can … again and again and again. Ske has what all ‘Legends’ have – blinding accerleration (10 sec furlongs) and the ability to cope with a high cruising speed.
Anyaway back to PL, it was not uncommon for horses to run in the Mackinnon, Cup and CB Fisher Plate and that was still happening when I entered the game during the 70’s. Things were so different in Phar Lap’s time … training, feed, approach, tracks, handling, ‘medication’ … I do have reference material. Modern trainers do it so much better now on all fronts. But, ultimately it still comes down to one thing … horse against horse.
The thoroughbred you are dealing with has been the same for 170 years. The Genome says it is. The last noticeable inclusion to the Thoroughbred Genome was estimated to come from U.S. in the late 1800’s but basically they all come from 140 mares and handful of stallions. Everytime they have tried to inject new blood (quarter-horses, bloodshorses, arabs), and they have tried, it lasts a few generations and is gone – it slows them and eventually the line is discarded as breeding stock. With that in mind, current research suggests that 30% of performance comes from bloodlines and 70% from training (inc education etc). Little hint of why I seem to focus so much on trainers.
Against popular nonsense about not being able to compare horses across generations, logic dictates that racehorse generations continually merge into each other. Continually move between countries and that has been going on as long as the game itself. There are always reference points and always have been.
horse against horse, weight against weight (Pittsburg Phil 1908)
I’ve written about how the Australian thoroughbred was popular in the U.S preceeding the 60’s. In fact, the U.S. has always been a comparison centre for horses from around the world since the late 1800s and still is today. If think Timeform ratings go back to the 1940s but IMHO, they are not a genuine performance guide.
As an aside to this serious discussion, My fantasy race would have seen Ribot against Frankel over 2000m and see who would have rated 141 ???? . Yes I know … that they rate individual race performance but that type of rubbish allows Arrogate to judged the best horse in the world. Winx would have laughed at him. She would have got to him at the 200m and that would have been the cream-puff’s day. He was fast but that’s all.
I already have Winx’s rating range but we have to wait a little while to she how the next merge measures up … horse like Brutal, Dreamforce, see if Benbattl hols form (he will – good horse), etc etc. You are aware that Winx has competed against at least 10 horses, beating some several times, that were rating 120+ (elite thoroughbreds) and that figure each year isolates about 50 new entries to the list, as others retire.
The ‘elite’ list usually stands about 70, all from a world racing population of 500,000+. Winx dosen’t have to prove anything … the northern hemisphere handicappers have to prove why she was never given her a true proven number when at her peak a season and half ago instead of their BS 130/132 … garbage. Anyway she has made them look incompenent … good girl. My bottom-end of her range starts at the equivilant of their 132.
Again sorry for the long post and typo’s. i’ll speak to a friend and get them to create a blog where important discussions link this can be expanded.

The Sydney Cup renews the Godolphin-Williams stoush

Well done JB. Thought Jamie Kah rode Midterm beautifully but surprisingly he didn’t stay … but Shraaod did 🙂 .

The Sydney Cup renews the Godolphin-Williams stoush

What a great day’s racing to see our best-ever off. it has been a privilege to witness her incomparable career from start to finish. But to other matters … i am not as sold on Dubhe as i was on Cross Counter. I think, at most, he has got in with a point or two advantage but he is around his mark. i do believe there are few others that have a solid advantage at the scale and maybe will test the visitor.

Maybe i’ll get a chance to write a summary for the Cup and a couple of other races for tomorrow morning’s edition. Thought the Arrowfield Sprint was a ripper of race. You could look at it five different ways and come away with five different winners. Great day’s racing.

The Championships Day 2: Group 1 previews and tips

Nice analysis Cam. Concerning the slipper i’ve ignored ‘proven wet-track form’ as there is so little of it. Similar to your comments about Microphone as the benchmark. i’ve liked everything about him … his serious’ness, his speed and his fight and liked him for sometime but last night i had to console myself and admit that Tenley would beat him in a fair fight. You just love this Medaglia d’Oro’s last 100m of a race … and he runs time. Bowman barrier 1, McDonald barrier 6 …

Agree about the BlueDiamond. Lyre was so good and and don’t sell Free Of Debt short. he is a tough little bugger even though on a good track the visitors speed might be put to the test. But as we have seen in the past … a heavy-wet track is a hail-mary pass … are you phelan ready? :-).

Maybe write a little more for the weekend as there seem to be a few races that offer …

Golden Slipper day: Group 1 previews and tips

Thank you for taking the time to write this articulate article Josh. It is both accurate in facts and perception.

When I was told of the Weir raid they only mentioned that they had found a teazor, a gun and small amount of cocaine and i thought ‘well a heavy smack on the wrist coming someone’s way’. it was only later i heard about the ‘jiggers’ and my sigh of disappointment must have been audible.

i was really saddened because i knew like many others that a few pages of remarkable australian racing history were going to be replaced by a few pages of infamy (if charges are proven).

As you pointed out Josh, the VicRacing stewards and their integrity unit are outstanding for some time, acting without fear or favour matching their NSW counterparts. Our racing police will win this battle and should have unwavering support from the industry and fans of our sport.

Be assured when i was growing-up in the game, ‘rumours’ abounded about similar instances of rule-breaking and how that exposed wrong-doing might have been handled, let’s say in a quieter manner … in a less public and/or legalistic manner.

Well done Josh, keep it up.

Racing a public punching bag

Santa Ana Lane’s consistency this year has certainly broke with a previous pattern. I’ll never forget Reckless. Three-year maiden that become the best two-miler in the land winning (4) or placing in all mainland 3200m Cups within a 12 month period … when there was six of them.

I’ve seen many things that can cause a form consistency reversal. Some are …

sometimes a young horse could carry a nearly undetectable injury that only causes pain intermittently giving performance variation. It heals naturally over time and consistency comes back. Often tiny hairline fractures can do this. They are incredibly hard to pick-up particularly a back vertebrae.

young horses can become fatigued with stable life and like any creature, performance is reflected by mood but as they age they decide they like what they are doing (or don’t).

Most likely, as SAL has matured they have tinkered with his work (fitness) program. Often this revolves around all sorts of things like tapering work to his target race. That could be anything from galloping on the morning of the race to lessening their workload so they are ‘fresh’ on the day. The start-stop-start patterns between target races during a preparation can become very tricky over time … but once you get them right … you have a successful repeatable pattern.

And sometimes you just ‘fluke’ a pattern or strategy or situation that fires them up. Like changing stables so he has new ‘roommates’ or even changing strappers.

Anyway, the above are just a few of many I could reference and therefore it is a big congrats to Anthony Freeman for finding the key to a very exciting sprinter.

Value in Derby winners getting tough

Agree Aransan. Firstly, congrats on finding the Cup winner.

I think the success of the international sprinters joining the 2nd tier European distance horses will change our Spring for the good (and forever). The good form of both Jungle Cat and Spirit of Valor have sent a clear message to Europe that there is a lot of money on offer out here (on turf too) even if they chose to avoid the International quality sprints.

I expect to see all sorts beginning to filter out here with different targets and most will be at our benchmark range as the higher marks will still head to the Breeders Cup (for now).

Won’t be long before the milers join the visiting sprinters and distance horses. When Winx retires … they will come.

Value in Derby winners getting tough

Hope the carnival is doing you a few favours Cam.

I agree with your evaluation of Ampritrite … she is very good. But i can’t get keen about her pedigree at the 2500m. As you hinted, her class may very well carry the day but i’ll bet against her. Her stablemate, the wonderfully named, Verry Elleegant is my choice. Loved her run in the Wakeful and she has one of those excellent NZ pedigrees. No trouble with the trip.

Lot of fun around today … so many horses that you could play around with in the exotics or 1-win x 4-place fun bet type … Linda Meech back on Tavirun … A Shin Rock (Heart’s Cry) getting back to a big track and even though he is at the low end of his probable distance range could get cheeky for a while … How about that 1000m sprint race – what a beauty Faatinah, Viridine, Super Cash, Kaepernick, Fell Swoop, Illustrous Lad, Malibu Style … whatever happens this trifecta will pay … getting the third placing will be just as hard as finding the Q .

Anyway, fortune favours the brave. more on saturday … maybe

Your Flemington best bets: Oaks Day and Stakes Day

thx guys,

Absolute gut-wrenching bummer for the connections of CoM and even though the eventual race result was v.good for me there was not a lot of joy from my end and still isn’t.

But today is Oaks day. A raceday i’ve always loved … particularly for the punt. Can be excellent or barren as there always seems a lot of value on offer about good horses. Might post some comments under Cam’s post.

Will think about adding a piece for Saturday but with the deluge of material, understandably, it goes into a queue to be published as happened to the above.

Anyway how the carnival is treating you well.

Three Melbourne Cup edges and a knock

We sort of agree Cam with 3 of your 4 picks. When the Cup weights were released Cliffs of Moher zoomed straight to the top of my markets. This horse was sensational in last’s Epsom Derby just being grabbed in the last 50m by Wings of Eagles with Cracksman, Capri fairly beaten just behind him. Those two Q’d a v.strong Irish Derby (WoE 3rd) with Taj Mahal 3L back in 6th. CoM didn’t run but he did run strongly against Ulysses over shorter trips at his next two.

AO’Brien stayed away from 2400m until year’s end at the Breeders Cup Turf. He looked lost after a furlong and it stayed that way but he didn’t quit. This year he has been good without that Epsom Derby ping. His only other and last try at 2400m came after a 3 day backup from a gun effort behind Poet’s Word. He was good, staying on well behind another really high class in Crystal Ocean . He then got to chase home 2 of Europe’s gun 3yrolds Roaring Lion/Saxon Warrior in the Eclipse.

Only mention the above neddy’s because most will feature strongly on Saturday’s Royal Ascot Champions Day main races. Might give you an idea of CoM true worth.

Still that EDby ping seemed to be gone … until last saturday … this high class animal has slid the official BM scale by 4/5 pts since last year but not my scale. Shame he will have to beat the traffic at Caulfield and he doesn’t like traffic but he has Bowman. Anyway, I … like Ballydoyle, Coolmore, Team Williams, maybe Ryan Moore(?) will be looking forward to Flemington if all goes well.

With all that said, Youngstar looks really good with most things going her way – although she hasn’t met race-pressure like this. Ace High is the real testing material. This is going to be a tough staying race. Sometimes the CCup can be a soft 2400m but not this one. It’s a beauty.

Caulfield Cup tips and preview

in passing, i noted Chris Waller’s comments about Kaonic after his randwick win. ‘A bit raw’ he mentioned 🙂 . Watched him today in the Newcastle Cameron and Chris is pointing us in the right direction. He was real nice baby learning his trade. Going to pay his way next prep. and he might not be finished with this one yet.

Can’t wait for the shorts. what a great race. Nature Strip a contender against that lot … hmmmm have to think about that … thought about it … no.

Cornwill's weekly racing previews: Randwick, George Main Stakes Day

Go will,

I thought Dollar For Dollar ran nice (scary) race in the Memsie and also … as a Vic tipster you might not be aware of Interlocuter, a horse who is still making up his mind about whether he wants to be a racehorse but if he decides to throw turf into the air he might aid the value in the exotics … who knows.

Tipping in Flem’s last … that’s a set of kahoonas you have Will … you should be proud of them.

Cornwill's weekly racing previews: Flemington, Makybe Diva Stakes Day

Nice work Cam.

i’ve liked Taj Mahal in the past and while i see a more than competent run he might have trouble holding off the sprint-finish of some of his competitors as i can’t see the sustained speed-pressure to drag the finish out of them.

Some things i’m pondering about Kings Will Dream …

How good is he? … pretty good i think. i would not be surprised if he is rating 8-12 BM points better when the spring is dusted … certainly, he will be there when the season is done. He is a real good horse … not just promising.

Is he a Cups contender? High class middle distance horses win the CaulCup but maybe not this year. This years CaulCup noms are very strong and if half the contenders show up it will be no place for the faint-hearted at the 2400m trip.

If he was mine … i’d miss the cups and have a crack at Winx in the Cox or Turnbull to see where he sits then avoid her like the per-verbal … focusing on picking up the leftovers … and there are many millions of them to be had.

KDW’s pedigree isn’t that fashionable with his dad standing in Sweden this year. But make no mistake, he has some talented heritage. Anyone one who looks at type, colour etc might have a fair idea where his talent lies.

whoever brought KWD did real good. His Ponte win was OK but WOW!!! well done horse-picker.

Anyway. to tomorrows race. The Weir team looks good and now the weights are posted i’ll be looking forward to KDW unleashing at Flemington and Humidor maintaining quality now that his spring goals are modified. Happy Clapper to remind people he is still in the mix and one of my favs in Comin Thru to complement an excellent iG1.

great race.

Flemington preview: Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes day

How about the PBLawrence, agree with you Cam. What a mind-blowing race. Mick Prices 2 Guineas winners + Holy Snow … i’ve got soft spot for Grunt … then throw in Kings Will Dream … a great race to get a mark on him and as you mentioned all the usual (high quality suspects) and it’s hard to ignore Matt’s tip in BBH … and if BBH is a chance so is Hartnell. Anyway welcome to the spring 🙂 .

Reckon bumping the Winx (Warwick) from 200 to 500 will change the nature of the previous-type of ‘getting ready’ stakes. Wonder how many of the PBL runners might have started if the mare wasn’t in it? Anyway with the Winx having 5 G1 winners, a few G1 placegetters and really only one that doesn’t belong … the race pressure is going to be scary.

Winx Stakes preview and selections

That’s wonderful gift for your young ones, Kangas. as long as racing exists they’ll be still talking about her and when your young ones are aged and we are long gone and they’ll get to say … ‘we seen her with dad’.

Saturday preview: Winx could be vulnerable in race named in her honour

Thx JB. the next 3 months is going to give tremendous smorgasbord of racing culminating in a magic month of two-state racing that is unrivaled anywhere on the planet.

Saturday preview: Winx could be vulnerable in race named in her honour

I’ve never felt much love for the Godolphin horse but there is no denying his talent.

The youngster from last season that does excite me is D’Argento. The So You Think entire was as raw as a bad case of sunburn in his most-excellent first prep. The grey colour comes from his distaff line of gr.males who were all v.high-class MD-milers. His G1 speed is as good as any around (bar one 🙂 )

Looking forward to assessing Unforgotten; Ace High and Cabeza De Vaca too. Think all three will have something to say during the spring. All-in-all, a genuine G1 in name and quality … PS i think the aging Waller mare might have a bit on them 🙂 .

Also big congrats Matt, i’ve liked your articles and as importantly, a tipster willing to broadcast P/L figures puts you way ahead of the pack — an ROI of 1.56 against the takeout should be garnishing a lot more attention then it is …

more later

Saturday preview: Winx could be vulnerable in race named in her honour