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Angus McNae

Captain's Blog - Monday 15th October

If you needed more evidence that Frankie Dettori is still at the top of his game, and for the life of me I do not see why you need any verification, then watch his ride on Joshua Tree in the Canadian International at Woodbine over the weekend. His front-running masterpiece was as good as a front running ride can be, and I can say this because we have evidence in the form of sectional times.

Without the evidence of the clock you could guess as to how good a ride it was, and that is what racing commentators have been doing in terms of pace analysis for years in this country, but sectionals take the guesswork out of it. To try to guess how fast a horse is going in a race is impossible, it is like trying to guess accurately how fast a car is going as it drives past you. The golden numbers in this case were 25.2, 51.2, 1.17.0. These are all we need to know how good a ride Dettori gave Joshua Tree.

Simple really Isn't it? If we are going to implement sectional times in Britain we must keep them simple as well. We do not need data overload such as we have seen with previous attempts to use sectionals here. The use of miles per hour or single furlong times are not needed. Quarter-mile splits suffice. These splits are understood worldwide and they paint the most accurate picture you can get. The more data you seek to create the more confused everybody becomes.

If we know that Joshua Tree covered the first quarter mile in 25.2 seconds we know exactly what Dettori did, but we have no idea what is going on if we learn that he covered the first two furlongs at a speed of 26 mph. Quarter-mile sectional splits are the way forward, and would revolutionize our game by taking the guesswork out of pace analysis. Those that oppose sectionals want to perpetuate the myth that they know how fast a race was run and it gives them a fascinating point of discussion with their cohorts when analyzing a race. There would be no need for discussion if we had the golden numbers, they are founded in fact, anything else is mere conjecture.

My selection today is a 2* win bet on Duke of Clarence in the 5.10 at Windsor. He should handle the relatively testing conditions and comes into the race in good form having won his last two.


Today's Selection

5.10 Windsor: 2* Duke of Clarence

* If I have a strong view about a selection I will always make that apparent and I scale the confidence I have in my selections. One is minimum faith and 10 is maximum bet stuff.


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