Welcome Back Darling!

Race caller Greg Miles gave a glimpse of his passion for horse racing and put into words what many would have been feeling, during the winning return of Atlantic Jewel at Caulfield on Saturday 31st August, 2013. Coming back from an injury resulting in a spell of 490 days, punters could be forgiven for letting the unbeaten 5yo mare by Fastnet Rock drift from $1.80 to a starting price of $2.20. Another previously unbeaten pint sized 'darling' by the name Miracles Of Life also resumed from a spell, but Greg Miles could not get her across the line to remain unbeaten.

Once again, let's have a look at the full card of race results available as part of a Sectional Pro Form subscription:

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The above table contains 200m increment split and sectional time information, along with benchmark data for the winner of each race. To enable a straight comparison of the various races (regardless of class or distance) the default view shows 'All Ave Benchmarks' and we can see that the best 'overall' (Fin) performance was recorded in race 7 by Ibicenco with a figure of -17.9 lengths.

Miracles Of Life - Race 4 Analysis

Looking at the 'Career View' for Miracles of Life (table below) we can see that she has returned an All Ave Benchmark figure of -7.0 for the race as a whole (start to finish). This compares with a previous best of -12.7 in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes prior to a spell. So this run was 5.7 lengths off her previous best and fair to say, a disappointment to her backers. I would attribute this to the fact she began very well (landing approx. 2 lengths in front) and could not gain cover as she had done in her two previous runs at Caulfield (see position in running drop-down view selected in career table). She could only see daylight ahead and was either on the 'fresh' side and could not be restrained, or instructions were to gain cover and Ms L Stojakovic fought the horse in attempting to carry out a pre-race plan. The fact that Miracles Of Life pulled hard for the first part of the race, robbing her of precious energy, appears to have sealed her fate on this day.

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Switching from using the All Ave Benchmark to compare multiple races, we can use Class Benchmarks to compare performance levels against what would be expected for the 'class' of race. Looking at the full race results for race 4 using Sectional Pro Form ('Cls Bmark Var L' is the default setting for this particular view), we can see that Miracles Of Life has set the early race pace of 0.7 lengths slower than class benchmark (for 3yo Group 3) to the 600m marker and could only manage to come home 0.5 lengths slower than class benchmark for the last 600m (1.2 lengths slow overall, compared to the winner recording a figure of -1.7 lengths faster than class benchmark). What the numbers don't tell you, is that despite not overextending herself in an early-pace sense, Miracles Of Life was not able to develop an efficient running and breathing pattern due to fighting the jockey. Sectional Pro Form has a hierarchical user-notes system (run, horse and race notes) for the purpose of recording such important observations for future reference.

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Atlantic Jewel - Race 8 Analysis

Pulling apart the return of Atlantic Jewel is very straight forward when using the Race Result view with Class Benchmarking as the default (see table below).

The Race Details (refer to the row marked 'race leader') reveal a pace of 4.8 lengths slow to the 600m marker, 0.2 lengths fast for the last 600m and 4.6 lengths slow overall (in comparison to a typical Group One race). This allowed Atlantic Jewel to set personal figures of +5.5, -0.9 and +4.6 respectively, to record a winning performance. A better scenario could not have been imagined by trainer or jockey, considering she was returning from an injury and significant spell duration. On the flip-side, there were some other disappointing performances and horses which have not had a sufficiently hard 'conditioning' run for their target races going forward.

Atlantic Jewel put the race safely in her keeping by recording the fastest split time from the 400 to 200m markers (see colour coded 200m split ranks in left hand side of table). She could then throttle down over the last 200m (5th fastest time, compared to the fastest for this split recorded by Super Cool).

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Changing the user drop-down controls on the web page from '200m Split Rank' to '200m Split Time' and 'Sectional Time' to 'Sectional Time Rank' (see table below) shows some other interesting data:

  • Her individual 400 to 200m split time was 11.08 seconds (this is where the winning move was made).
  • She was able to win without having to record the fastest time over any of the 'last race sections' (i.e. L12, L10, L8, L8, L4, L2).

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