Going into the New Year one of the new items that will be introduced is sectional timing. It is a new tool that breaks down each race into times for every 200m, for example. It will help people when they study form but I feel for jockeys it could be a double-edged sword.
In some cases it will help jockeys who have to deal with criticism that they either went too slowly or too fast because this will break down the exact timings for all to see. However, it will also highlight any errors a jockey may have made in judging the pace of the race so he could have to face even more criticism.
Some of us have ridden overseas and we have had the experience of using sectional timing and it often does give a lot of insight into the running of every race.
While jockeys will land up having to deal with the brunt of any criticism, there are occasions when we don’t always have the freedom to ride according to the pace. Some trainers give instructions which restrict the way you ride.
To be fair, there are also horses who are hard to restrain and for that reason you can’t ride them positively according to the pace and you have to get them to settle at the back and hope they still have enough left in the tank to run on.
Don’t forget nature also plays a part in the pace and race tactics as soft going could affect the speed of a race as do head winds and tail winds.
Let’s hope we start getting some stats quite soon and I’m confident they will be quite revealing.
Racing today is on the Standside track at Turffontein and hopefully we can make a few bucks to pay off some of the expense of the holidays.
Race 1 is over 1400m where the draw is important but in this case Fort Carol, even off the wide draw, looks hard to beat and could start off your meeting on a winning note. The danger is Tommy The Builder but he has been beaten by Fort Carol.
I ride Chief Black Horse who based on merit ratings could run in the placings.
Race 2 is a handicap, also over 1400m, and again we need to take draws into account. Dhabyaan looks a hard horse to beat from a good draw.
Lone Survivor disappointed last time and if you ignore that run, he could be the danger.
I ride Make Your Move who was well beaten by Dhabyaan last time but I’m hoping he needed his last run, which was his first after a bit of a rest, and hopefully he can run into the places.
Race 3 is a Maiden Plate with my first choice being Flapjack. But there are some others who finished not far behind him on collateral form and for that reason you need to consider Verdi, Nimcha and my ride, Stalking, even off a bad draw.
For the Place Accumulator there are many others with form that could make them winners so include as many as possible in this leg.
Race 4 is an Assessment Plate for fillies over 2000m and Silver Thursday is weighted to win by many lengths. Her last two runs were not great but she ran in strong company and as this is the third run after a rest, I’m assuming she will be at her peak and that should make her a banker in all bets.
If you have doubts about her being a banker then include Invincible Lady as back up.
Race 5 is a handicap where many runners have winning chances. My main selections are Throng and Top Rank. Those two could be good enough for the PA but for the Pick 6 consider Hakeem and Post Grad. If those are not enough then the field will probably have to apply.
Race 6 is another handicap, which often can be tough, but on this occasion Oravar looks very hard to beat. After winning his maiden he ran in two Assessment Plates against quality opposition so banker him in all bets as he should be too classy for this field.
Race 7 is the Lebelo Sprint with my two main selections being Clever Guy and Rebel’s Champ, especially if we get more rain. They should be good enough for the PA. This is a handicap so if you want to include other runners put in Prince Of Kahal and my ride, Down To Zero, who is probably better over 1200m. But if you look further than that for the Pick 6 you can consider the field.
Race 8 is an Assessment Plate which should suit your best handicapped runner. That honour goes to my ride, Made In Hollywood. She didn’t run well last time but I’m hoping she improves so you need to put her in the Pick 6. The two horses who are in form are Running Brave and Ouro. You could banker either one in the PA or include both, in which case you will probably double up.
Running Brave has been racing over further but she has a lot of speed and after having to deal previously with bad draws, this race could be ideal for her.
The unknown is Summer Afternoon so she might need to be included in the Pick 6 as well.
Race 9 is a handicap and this is probably the most difficult race on the card. There are many with chances but my main selections are Royal Italian, Minnesota, Quattro and Mount Keith. They should be adequate for the PA but for the Pick 6 you might just need the field.
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