TODAY: WHO IS THE 2011 CHAMPION? Daqman enters the debate as Ascot beckons a clash of the season’s top stars. Who is the true champion of 2011? The stats are revealing.
TOMORROW: ABC GUIDE TO THE ST LEGER: Daqman’s unique ABC-with-a-difference countdown to Saturday’s St Leger at Doncaster is also revealing. Don’t miss it.
So you think Frankel is this year’s champion? But there is a measure of time and a quality equation which tell a different story about the space between the stars in racing’s 2011 constellation.
Einstein is not needed to determine that So You Think has put up the fastest time: his defeat of the 2010 Derby winner Workforce in the Eclipse was ‘fast by 2.23secs’ on good ground at Sandown.
Frankel’s best was ‘fast by 0.76secs’ in the St James’s Palace Stakes, also on going returned as good, at the Royal Ascot meeting in June.
The relativity here is not very scientific, with different terrain between Ascot and Sandown, and a rough-and-ready verbal measure of the ground conditions, but another, different look through the equine telescope reveals a second factor that makes So You Think a bigger star.
Runners-up to Frankel this year were appearing against him when rated 127 (Canford Cliffs), 115 (Zoffany), 101 (Dubawi Gold) and 89 (Excelebration).
So You Think, also with four wins, beat horses into second which were rated 128 (Workforce), 120 (Snow Fairy), 116 (Campanologist) and 103 (Bob Le Beau).
So my simplistic algorithm of the two stars has a form and ratings feed (total divided by four runs) of 116 So You Think and 108 Frankel and a time test which also favours So You Think, putting him light years ahead on the two counts.
But Frankel and So You Think are in different orbits: So You Think’s success has been at 10-11 furlongs (three Group 1 wins this year) and Frankel’s at 7-8 furlongs (also three Group 1s).
A ‘race of champions’ between the two would favour Frankel in the one-mile £1m Queen Elizabeth 11 Stakes at Ascot, for which he is being quoted at 4-1 on, but So You Think in the same day’s 10-furlong Champion Stakes.
Officially, they are rated 135 Frankel and 127 See You Then but, clearly, the distance between the stars depends on where you view them from, a little matter of where they release their energy.
One thing seems certain: you won’t see either in the Arc. It was never an option for Frankel and, with the choice of Ascot races, it would be a major surprise if So You Think went up two furlongs on ground likely to have give.
It might have been ‘on’ before the Great Voltigeur but that day at York a new planet was set in motion: Sea Moon.
I backed Sir Michael Stoute’s Fiorente for the St Leger in this column but then heard there was a better one at home: surely it couldn’t be Sea Moon, who had won only a class-2 handicap at York, rated 92?
But ‘the word’ came through just before the Voltigeur and I warned my reader in this column to back the Beat Hollow colt for the Voltigeur and for the Leger before the Voltigeur was run and established him.
Sea Moon’s second visit to York was a revelation: the eight-lengths winner was immediately rocketed to an official rating of 121, and the sky’s the limit.
With only 6lb to make up, a Sea Moon St Leger would send this shooting star soaring past, or at least alongside, So You Think and adding an Arc would even threaten the Frankel pinnacle, without Sea Moon having to meet either of them.
BET (to win 20 points) 2.6pts win and place TRUSTING at 8.6 (2.10 Bath)
BET 10pts win (nap) CAPPAGH (3.30 Newton Abbot)
BET 4.6pts win INDOCHINA (4.40 Bath)
BET 1.25pts win and place GILT (4.50 Newcastle)
BET 5pts win JAWHAR (5.20 Newcastle)