• Ascot Gold Cup Sectional Data

    POSTED Jun 16, 2011
    Another day, another question about a jockey’s ride from my fellow Twitterati . . .

    This time the accusation is that Mickael Barzalona waited too long to make a challenge on the Gold Cup second Opinion Poll. As you’ll see, thanks to Rob Dove’s data and analysis, this claim is more than a little specious.

    The first 6 furlongs were covered in 1:24:2, which is 14 seconds a furlong. . .to divide that up further, the first two furlongs were slightly fast (26.5) and the next 4 were slightly slow (57.7).

    Then we get to a point on the course where we don’t have any markers to work with but visually the pace appears to slow noticeably. About the halfway stage (10F), Geordieland makes his run and injects some pace. He stopped quick 7 furlongs from home. With 6 furlongs to go, they’d run 3:15.3 (That’s 13.95 a furlong).

    Here is how the rest of the race went:

    From 6 out to 5 out: 13.9
    From 5 to 4: 13.2
    From 4 to 3: 13.3
    From 3 to 2: 13.7 (this is the point at which FAME AND GLORY made the front)
    From 2 to 1: 13.8
    From 1 to line: 14.3

    (For those of you scoring along at home, that’s the last 6 furlongs in 1:22:2)

    When evaluated as a whole, it was an amazingly even gallop: 13.9 a furlong. Everyone was tiring at the end. The idea that Mickael Barzalona left it late on OPINION POLL appears to be an unsupportable claim when you look at the data. it looked like OP was making a big late move, but his late move was about a length when they both were tiring. It was a fair race and everyone had his chance. So you see, jockeys know what they are doing sometimes.

    Last thought: the overall time (16 seconds over standard) is not nearly as bad as it seems because of the soft ground magnified by the extreme trip; the pace was slightly stop and start but overall a fair test.
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