Simon Rowlands analyses the sectionals from Kempton's meeting on Wednesday...
"Fiducia's time is the more impressive given the class of the race, with the sectionals pointing to her being about 5 lb more superior to second and third than the result. A mark next time of 70 or less should be very workable..."
One of the perceived advantages of concentrating on all-weather tracks for sectionals is the uniformity of the surface. The truth is that these surfaces sometimes vary considerably in speed, and that influences the way in which races play out. As an example, the surface for Wednesday evening's meeting at Kempton was about 15 lb slower than average for the track this year and 30 lb slower than the notably fast conditions which prevailed on May 1.
Expressing finishing speeds as a % of average race speed does at least take such things into account, whereas simply expressing sectionals in absolute terms might give a wrong impression, as the headline figures show.
Perhaps the most eye-catching figures are those for the two 11f races, run in similar overall times but in markedly different fashion. The race won by Golden Jubilee was run at a good pace (not quite as strong as it might have appeared given how much the early leaders dropped away) and the winner scarcely broke 38.0s for the last 3f. The race in which Interior Minister made all resulted in a sprint finish of around 35.0s for all first five home.
There was nothing to get especially excited about in the former race, but the overall time of the latter race was respectable in the circumstances and sectionals suggest second and third, Masquerading and Glorious Protector, deserve marking up, with Masquerading the best in the race (for all that his effort petered out a bit near the end). All the first three should be competitive again next time. Lamusawama also shaped better than the result in fifth.
The opening race, won by Midnight Feast, resulted in a poor time and unimpressive sectionals. Veteran Jake The Snake comes out best on sectional ratings but the form is probably weak. The race won by Duke Cosimo produced a better overall time but was also unexciting in sectional terms: there's a good chance the well-connected winner will be overbet when going for a hat-trick.
The remaining races are more interesting. The newcomer Grecian posted a decent time and sectionals in winning the 2-y-o contest, but third-placed Meaning of Life may be the one to take from the race for the future, coming from a bit further back and running an 83 sectional figure without being given an unduly hard time.
Both Restaurateur and Fiducia did well to win their races, albeit each by a nose, and could go in again. Fiducia's time is the more impressive given the class of the race, with the sectionals pointing to her being about 5 lb more superior to second and third than the result. A mark next time of 70 or less (she ran off 62 here) should be very workable.
The success of Ree's Rascal at Newbury on Saturday (BSP of 8.62) took the sectional lists comfortably back into profit, though I am very aware that the "to oppose" recommendations have done poorly. Blame the writer/interpreter, not the principles of sectionals, is my advice!
To Follow: Masquerading, Glorious Protector, Meaning of Life, Fiducia
To Oppose: Duke Cosimo