Sectional Debrief: Kempton, Wednesday October 2

Yesterday's action at Kempton is under the spotlight of sectionals guru Simon Rowlands

Wednesday evening's Kempton all-weather card was more eventful than usual from a sectional point of view, with a number of performances worthy of closer investigation...

"The first two in the mile nursery - Extra Noble and Top Tug - come out even more superior to their rivals on sectionals (by 2 to 3 lengths) than the bare result and should be viewed positively..."

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The headline figures show a typical mix of truly-run and steadily-run races: the lower the finishing speed % figure, the slower the finish compared to the overall race time and usually the truer the pace before the sectional. 

Drilling down from these tells you much more about individual performances within those races. For instance, debut maiden winner Our Generation came home quite quickly and yet still recorded a good overall time. He can be rated a bit better than the result and there is a strong likelihood that he will prove at least useful. 

The leaders went quite fast in Tammuz's race (the only one which resulted in a sub-100 finishing speed %), and fourth-placed Kielty's Folly, who led for much of the straight, is the one to excuse most for making his move prematurely. 

The first two in the mile nursery - Extra Noble and Top Tug - come out even more superior to their rivals on sectionals (by 2 to 3 lengths) than the bare result and should be viewed positively given their more-than-respectable overall times. Both are worth keeping on the right side, and Top Tug, who might have won but for being impeded and getting a bit too far back, is added to the profitable sectional "to follow" list. 

One who stays on the list is Glorious Protector, who ran a good second to Troopingthecolour after an absence, having been committed for home much sooner in a truly-run race than was the winner. The potential benefits of sticking with horses who have run creditably despite overly-forcing tactics was illustrated later on the card when "to follow" horse Bowstar won at a Betfair SP of 7.4 having been held onto a bit longer than had been the case here the time before. 

The most interesting race from a sectional angle was the handicap won by Cape Crossing, who was best placed turning in for what developed into something of a sprint. Sectional analysis suggests the winner was only seventh-best on the day, and the real eye-catcher was runner-up Compton Bird, who flashed home in 34.7s (fastest of the day) but just failed to get there. The overall time identifies this as a messy race, so some caution should be exercised, but Compton Bird can be rated the winner by something like 3 lengths and as such has to be considered next time. 

"To follow": Top Tug, Glorious Protector, Compton Bird
"To oppose": Cape Crossing

Sakhee's Rose and Mission Approved go for the "to follow" list today (Thursday), while Levi Draper, another sectional "to follow" qualifier has been declared at Ascot tomorrow. 

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