Sectional Debrief: Dundalk, Friday January 3

Simon has analysed the sectionals from Dundalk
Simon has analysed the sectionals from Dundalk

Simon Rowlands examines the first meeting of 2014 on Dundalk's polytrack...

"The standout performance on times and sectionals was that by Maontri, who set a sound pace in race three and forged seven and a half lengths clear by the line."

Ireland's sole all-weather track at Dundalk has existed since August 2007, establishing itself in that time as a good-quality facility which occasionally attracts Group-class horses. A run-in of just over two and a half furlongs should allow horses plenty of time in which to make their moves. But a tendency for runners to group towards the far rail, resulting in plenty of hard-luck stories, led to the welcome introduction recently of a false rail at the entrance to the straight which appears to have improved matters already. Simple trigonometry shows that this false rail adds a negligible amount - a yard or two at most - to the distance of races.

A couple of things of which time analysts should be aware is that some overall times are of dubious accuracy - Timeform checks them all and amends them where required - and the 3f marker used for sectionals appears to be slightly short of the full distance. This is of no real consequence providing pars are derived from times taken consistently from the same place. 

DundalkSects0301.png

Dundalk's surface has also usually been fairly fast, but that has not been the case recently, and Friday's card, featuring slow times and sectionals, is best described as "standard to slow". Timeform does not publish timefigures on Irish racing but analyses times internally. 

The standout performance on times and sectionals was that by Maontri, who set a sound pace in race three and forged seven and a half lengths clear by the line. Runner-up Busalla ended up paying for chasing the winner but should be rated only a length or two closer. Anything less than a mark of 77 (she ran off 59 here) should give Maontri a good chance of following up. 

Settle For Red and Senyuman (came from about 5 lengths back at the sectional) ran close to par in recording respectable times. The runner-up to the latter, Timjoe, comes out marginally the better horse on sectionals, having been third turning in and gone on again before being collared in a race run at a good pace; he should continue to give a good account. 

The other winning times were unexceptional, especially that recorded by Victor's Beach in the 7f handicap. Poor time it may have been, but the winner deserves a length or two extra over the result, having come home fastest by some way in the race and by a smaller margin on the night in about 35.8s for the last 3f. 

Few are likely to regard the form of the maiden won by Papa's Way as strong, but what might not be so apparent is that the pace was a good one and the winner ran closer to par (about 37.95s last 3f) than the two horses closest behind him, who took each other on for much of the straight. Papa's Way looks to have his work cut out to follow up. 


Thumbnails 1.jpg

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open your account today using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn - £/€20 Back in cash if your bet loses
Bet Now

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles