|Dosage: Pedigree &
Main Menu Search
following article by Steve Miller has recently been published in RACEFORM UPDATE
in the UK. It is presented here with the permission of the author.
is again running for second place if Papineau is back on song
up for Second Cup
LAST year’s Ascot Gold Cup preview we were able to use the Dosage system to
confidently predict that Papineau and Westerner – in that order – would turn
over the short-priced favourite Mr Dinos. With those three prominent for this
again at the five-day confirmation stage the figures tell the same story. If
anything the change of venue to York – a wide left-handed galloping track –
will favour the resolute galloper and serve to expose those not suited to the
stamina requirements of the trip.
The accompanying table features all but one of the twenty left in at the five-day stage (Vinnie Roe’s numbers are not sufficient to be meaningful). In crude terms those with the most stamina potential appear at the top and those with the least at the bottom, ranked by the centre of distribution (CD) measure, which is a more accurate indicator of distance ability than using the Dosage index (DI) in isolation. A negative CD (i.e. below zero) indicates pronounced stamina capability.
2005 Ascot Gold Cup (at York) – Five-day confirmation stage
The first thing to be said
is that few thoroughbreds truly stay 20 furlongs and the pace of the race is
more crucial than at lesser distances in determining the outcome. If the pace is
a fast one the horse with the greatest reserves of stamina ought to win,
assuming relative ability is broadly similar. Papineau won in a fast time last
year, disproving the contention that he does not get every yard of this trip.
The Elie Lellouche-trained, Wildenstein-owned,
French challenger Westerner has won twice at the distance at Group 1
level, in the Prix
du Cadran in 2003 and 2004, and the six-year-old looks at least as good as ever
this season, taking the Group 2 Prix Vicomtesse Vigier as he
liked on his most recent appearance. He has won no less than eight Group races,
four of them at Group 1 level, and finished a highly respectable runner-up to
Papineau in last year’s Ascot Gold Cup. You don’t need to be a master of
pedigree analysis to see that his chances are obvious.
He shares his sire Danehill – a stallion who is
showing much more stamina for certain of his progeny than his own distance
capabilities on the racecourse would suggest, at least when put to the right
mare – with the likes of Barolo, Distinction and last year’s Derby winner
North Light. While Danehill is not a chef-de-race (chief of breed) he is
showing an emerging aptitude for intermediate stamina.
mid-table but is an example of a horse with dominant classicity (where the
points in the mid Classic category outnumber the total points in the other four
categories), which basically means he stays at least as far as his headline
figures suggest he will.
The Mark Tompkins-trained Franklins Gardens
finished a neck to the good of Percussionist in the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup
over 14 furlongs last month with Papineau four-and-a-half lengths back in fifth.
Franklins Gardens, by Halling out of a Terimon mare, has not yet competed at 20
furlongs but has run three times at two miles, being narrowly beaten twice –
by Alcazar in the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes at Lingfield this season and by
Millenary in the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket last season. He also finished
down the field with Percussionist on heavy going behind Westerner in the Group 1
Prix Royal-Oak at Longchamp.
He has only 10 points in his
Dosage profile, which is not enough for an accurate reading. However, five of
these points are in the stamina wing of his profile, so we at least know he
inherits prepotent stamina characteristics.
Mohammed loves to target this race and Godolphin still have four left in – Papineau,
Fight Your Corner, Duke Of Venice and Razkalla.
Papineau was unbeaten in
three races last season and improved each time he stepped up in trip from 12 to
16 furlongs – when beating Mr Dinos for the first time in the Henry II Stakes
at Sandown – and subsequently to 20 furlongs in the Gold Cup itself when
winning decisively in a fast time from the strong challenge of Westerner.
After an extended lay
off he reappeared in the Yorkshire Cup this season where he raced keenly off a
very slow pace and failed to pick up. He was then pulled out of the Coronation
Cup at Epsom when a foot injury flared up prior to the race. His well being must
be taken on trust, but assuming he can be forgiven his most recent performance
he again has a compelling chance in this.
Your Corner, one of those who started his racing career with Mark Johnston, put
up as good a performance as we have seen from him in his most recent race –
this season’s Henry II Stakes – in which he ran out a convincing winner. He
ran no sort of race in the 2003 Ascot Gold Cup, however, when eleventh of 12
behind Mr Dinos and that form is best ignored.
was impressive in winning that renewal but was no match for last year’s
principals when despite being sent off the short-priced favourite could only
finish sixth of the 13 that took part.
Mark Johnston-trained Darasim
ran a blinder in last year’s race to finish third, but the seven-year-old’s
form has not been inspiring this season. Joe Fanning looks set for the ride
while Johnston, who specialises in plundering this race, also saddles Winged
D’Argent to be ridden by Kevin Darley.
Winged D’Argent has
just the sort of Dosage profile you would want to see for this race with 15
prepotent stamina points and a negative CD. He just failed to get up for
runner-up spot behind Westerner most recently and the step up in trip should
prove right up his street. If there is an upset, which Johnston is so adept at
providing, this could be it and odds of 33/1 at the time of writing are mouth
points total for Vinnie Roe is too low for an accurate reading, but we
know the Dermot Weld globetrotting veteran stays. The seven-year-old’s
achievements are legend – winning five times at Group 1 level, including an
unprecedented four consecutive Irish St Legers (2001-04) but running only once
at this trip, when beaten a neck in the Gold Cup itself by Johnston’s Royal
Rebel in 2002.
has nevertheless won at two miles in the Prix
Royal-Oak at Longchamp in 2001 and has put up gallant performances in defeat
carrying big weights in two Melbourne Cups – in 2002 and again when running
the race of his life as runner-up in 2004. Those who think he’s past it should
Walter Swinburn-trained Barolo is by Danehill out of the Dancing Brave
mare Lydia Maria and a half brother to the excellent Taufan Boy – who ran with
distinction for Toby Balding and the Supreme Team (of which I was privileged to
number). Barolo won a Listed race at Leopardstown and got the better of Fight
Your Corner at the end of last season in a conditions stakes at Salisbury and
the six-year-old’s most recent performances have been his best.
trip holds no terrors for the Jamie Poulton-trained Corrib Eclipse as he
has won at a greater distance than the Gold Cup in taking the Queen
Alexandra Stakes at 2 miles six furlongs. He has won three times but never at a
distance below two miles. The Double Eclipse gelding features at the head of the
Dosage table and will not fail for lack of stamina.
four-year-old Wolfe Tone is the least exposed – successful in two of
his four races, winning at Listed level at Newbury at 13½ furlongs before
finishing a couple of lengths fourth to Fight Your Corner at Sandown when not
seeming to quite last home at the extended two miles after looking the likely
winner two out. Ballydoyle’s sole representative should nevertheless not be
centre of distribution
If a Dosage index of 1.00 and a centre of
distribution of zero is the blueprint for a Derby contender, for a potential
Gold Cup winner we are ideally looking for a negative CD and a DI of less than
one. Of the past ten winners of the race those conforming to this are: Papineau
(CD -0.04, DI 0.88), Enzeli (CD -0.45, DI 0.54), Double Trigger (CD -1.40, DI
0.21) and Arcadian Heights (CD -0.05, DI 0.90) – while both dual winner Kayf
Tara (CD +0.08, DI 0.90) and Classic Cliché (CD 0.00, DI 0.84) qualify in terms
of DI and are very close to qualifying in respect of the CD.
This is all the
more striking when we consider that negative CD horses are much rarer than those
with positive CDs, which explains why horses are able to win the race in years
when there is no particularly good example of this type of horse. There is a
concentration of five such horses in this year’s race – Papineau, Razkalla,
Franklins Gardens, Winged D’Argent and Corrib Eclipse – making up a quarter
of the field.
looks primed to win this, being in sparkling form, but if Papineau is back on
song the Dosage insists that he has the superior chance in meeting the demands
of the race. Papineau is a versatile sort and connections believe him to be just
as effective at shorter – he is also entered for Saturday’s Group 2
Hardwicke Stakes at the lesser distance of a mile and a half and was being
seriously considered for last season’s Arc.
If Papineau has not returned to top form then we know that others stay the distance well enough to take advantage. Westerner is the most likely to capitalise on a sub-standard Papineau, while Vinnie Roe is liable to have a say in things too. If there is a surprise Winged D’Argent could be it, while Corrib Eclipse looks to have all but bottomless stamina. However, if back to his best, Papineau is again the clear choice with the others running for second place.
priced each-way shot Winged D’Argent