Sectional Debrief: Kempton, Wednesday January 15

Simon has examined the sectionals at Kempton
Simon has examined the sectionals at Kempton

Simon Rowlands picks out some more horses to follow and avoid in his latest sectionals blog...

"But by some way the most impressive performance on the clock on the card was that by Alutiq in the six-furlong race, a fast-track qualifier for AW Finals Day at Lingfield on 18 April."

Anyone looking for an illustration of how pace affects overall time could do worse than choose Wednesday's racing at Kempton. The variance in finishing speeds was high, and in all but one case this tallied closely with the overall times.
 
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The races won by Gabrial The Boss and by Diplomatic were notably slowly-run, with the latter doing especially well in coming from last (albeit only around five lengths back) at the sectional. A 112.8% finishing speed for Diplomatic himself suggests he is superior to the general level of the form by a good few lengths, and he is one to keep on the right side next time also.

The race won by Norfolk Sky featured a notably slow finish, though that was exaggerated by runner-up Icebuster pulling himself to the front and still being clear turning in. The winner came from last at the sectional and ran her race closest to par. That, along with a poor overall time, identifies this as a messy contest in which the winner is best opposed next time.

The principals came home slightly quicker than par in the opener won by Mr Chocolate Drop, with runner-up Supa Seeker emerging just about best on sectionals. It was a similar message for the race won by Minimee, with runner-up Tijuca narrowly best on sectionals. What you saw is what you got, in sectional terms, with the closing race won by Midnight Sequel, but what you saw and got was an impressive winner, neither advantaged nor disadvantaged by pace and position, who should be tough to beat again next time.   

But by some way the most impressive performance on the clock on the card was that by Alutiq in the six-furlong race, a fast-track qualifier for AW Finals Day at Lingfield on 18 April. 

Alutiq was a few levels below the top juvenile fillies last year but looked to have improved quite a bit here, set a bit to do but still managing to run down the enterprisingly-ridden Oriental Relation and post a decent time for the grade. Her closing sectional was about 34.0s, resulting in a 106.3% individual finishing speed, which suggests a further upgrading of several pounds. A sectional rating of 103 (which includes a 3 lb lift for timefigures across the board) should see her highly competitive back in listed company and capable of hitting the board in a Group race. 

All-weather racing has been plentiful in recent weeks, but racing at Kempton and appearances from horses on the Sectional Debriefs have been few and far between. One notable exception was Queen of Skies, who landed some good bets at Southwell on Tuesday in the style of one who should be kept on the "to follow" list. Janoub Nibras was a bitter disappointment in Dubai last Friday, but "to follow" horse Desert Wings looks to have a golden opportunity in a handicap at Meydan on Saturday. 

One performance from elsewhere which should not go unremarked upon is that of the Roger Charlton-trained filly Random Success at Lingfield last Saturday. Sectionals were not easy to take accurately, due to camerawork, but there can be no doubt that she ran a very fast last two furlongs, in a race in which the leader was not stopping. 

It usually takes a useful performer or better to break 22 sec, even when conditions are quite fast, but Random Success has a long way to go before she is handicapped like a useful horse (ran off 58 here). She should be followed.

To follow: Diplomatic, Queen of Skies, Random Success, Alutiq
To oppose: Norfolk Sky    


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