PT Fornatale Reviews the Sectional Data From the Prince of Wales' StakesSO (what do) YOU THINK (happened)?
Rob Dove and his editing software have struck again and provided us some sectional data for today’s big one, The Prince of Wales stakes. Many thanks to Dove for his tireless efforts and immense racing knowledge in helping put this post and yesterday’s Frankel piece together.
Before falling on his sword and taking the blame for So You Think’s defeat, trainer Aidan O’Brien was asked a question: did he think jockey Ryan Moore moved too soon?
Let’s look at the data we have. Usually when a rider seemingly moves too soon it’s the result of a very fast early pace. In the Prince of Wales we did have a solid early gallop, though not like what we saw in the St. James Palace yesterday (even accounting for the shorter distance). The chasing pack appeared to go about 48.1 (including a RUG, run-up-guesstimation). The pacemaker was probably a second ahead of that. That’s an honest pace for sure. But since the pacemaker was fairly well ignored, you can’t really call it more than that. The early pace can be called slightly fast, as can the middle section of the race where So You Think ran 3f in 37.3 and Rewilding in 37.7.
When Moore asks So You Think for run, he goes from being about 3 lengths ahead of Rewliding to about 4 lengths ahead of him. This is hardly some maniacal charge, more just the kind of tactical riding you’d expect to see from a jockey who is winding up a stayer. The clock shows he's not even really quickening, just galloping along at the same pace. Debussy tiring created the illusion Moore was throwing it down and going on with it.
As for the final section of the race, it was only slightly slow. So You Think’s come home furlongs were 12.6/12.6/12.9 up the hill, last three in 38.1. Rewilding went 12.8/12.8/12.4, last three in 37.6.
So what conclusions can we draw? 1) Ryan Moore rode a great race, got beat by a better horse on the day. 2) The slightly fast/slightly fast/slightly slow flow of the race created optimal conditions to run a fast time 3) Few horses could live up to the hype foist upon So You Think coming in to this race. For a horse foaled on planet Earth, he ran great. And if O’Brien is right about his fitness, he could still turn out to be the superstar some were expecting.