KING GEORGE MUSINGS

With all the main contenders for the King George having somewhat shown their hand I thought I’d get a few things off my chest!
First of all, this looks set to be a very small field albeit a fairly elite one. The second thing is the market looks all wrong to me.

LOSTINTRANSLATION WINS SLOWLY RUN RACE….AGAIN

One of my main things in betting is to go against the herd, and with social media we can now get a very good idea of what the herd is thinking. @OTTR_Elliot has an excellent thread that highlights a daily “Twitter Horse” that’s been put up by the overwhelming majority of Twitter “Tipsters” and is therefore a horse you want to avoid. Unsurprisingly such horses have been profitable to oppose.

I start on this line, as it seems to be unanimously accepted that LOSTINTRANSLATION (161+) is the second coming of Kauto Star and is set to take all the honours that lie ahead this season. Just about every racing twitter personality whose opinion I have zero respect for has lauded the prospects of Lostintranslation but I find myself somewhat unconvinced by him. I don’t have him down as an out and out three mile chaser…..yet…… and the reason for this is he keeps performing well in slowly run races. Ultimately his latent turn of foot is doing the damage, not his stamina. This was borne out yet again in the Betfair Chase at Haydock this weekend.

  Lostintranslation Crievehill Diff
To 3 out 353.16 351.04 2.12
3 out to line 42.24 44.2 -1.96

There was a handicap chase run over the same course and distance at the weekend, and it shows the extent of this in how the races were run. Crievehill won the corresponding handicap, but Lostintranslation was 2.12s slower to three out when clocked from the first fence and was actually around 6s behind at one stage. Unsurprisingly from three out to the line he was able to outpace Bristol De Mai on decent ground.

This isn’t the first time this has happened either. Indeed, it has happened in his three races prior to this….

CHELTENHAM Defi Du Seuil Frodon Diff
To 3 out 235.2 231.22 3.98
3 out to line 54.28 58.79 -4.51
AINTREE Lostintranslation Min Diff
To 3 out 254.04 249.6 4.44
3 out to line 48 46.48 1.52
CARLISLE Lostintranslation Two For Gold Diff
To 3 out 258.92 248.52 10.4
3 out to line 44.8 49.52 -4.72

As you can see from the above, in all of his last three races, he has benefited from a slow initial pace that has allowed him to turn on the gas and speed home. Now I actually gave him a monster figure when adjusting for the pace in the JLT (high 170s), but that was over 2.5m. I mention all this as he looks set to take in the King George next, and the presence of one horse in particular means this is going to be a step into the unknown in terms of how a race is run for Lostintranslation.

CYNRAME COULD BE A FREAK….BUT HAS ALTIOR BEEN A THREE MILE CHASER ALL ALONG?!

That one horse is CYRNAME (186) who matched his freak like victory back in February in dethroning ALTIOR (184) at Ascot on the same day as the Betfair Chase. The first interesting comparison to make for this race is that with the 3m chase won by Pym.

  Pym Cyrname Diff
To 3 out 271.48 254.74 -16.74
3 out to line 55.16 55.79 0.63

As you can see, Cyrname got to three out from the first 16.7s quicker than Pym, and only lost a shade over 0.5s from there to the line. This was a savage run. Indeed they weren’t far off running 2m pace for the whole 2m5f trip. These sectionals show the comparison over the 2m course for each race

  Pym Cyrname Capeland
To 3 out 201.26 190.52 187.82
3 out to line 55.16 55.79 56.50

As you can see Cyrname was only 2.7s slower than Capeland to three out, and came home 0.7s quicker from there to the line despite racing over five furlongs further and carrying 8lbs more. Capeland is actually a bit of a dark horse for the Champion Chase in my mind, but when I adjust for all this data over distances I reach a figure of 186 for Cyrname which matches what he achieved in winning at Ascot earlier in the year.

He now looks set to clash with Lostintranslation at Kempton but I can’t help feel that this is somewhat problematic for both horses. Firstly, Cyrname is such an exuberant type that it seems long odds on that he will set a similarly blistering pace in the King George that he did at Ascot and that surely raises the question of him lasting home over an extra three furlongs. Secondly, this likely pace in the King George will take Lostintranslation into the unknown – namely a strongly run race over three miles – and that raises the same stamina question. Will he have the same turn of foot left in the tank? He may well do, he may well thrive on the stronger pace….but we are now being asked to take a short price that implies that the answer to both these questions is a resounding yes.

So, if the two big guns have questions to answer, what of the other contenders. At this stage it seems appropriate to discuss ALTIOR (184). Now, I’ve been banging the drum for him to go up in trip for a while now, so it was somewhat surprising to see people suggesting he should go back in trip after this run. It’s actually the same herd that wax lyrical over Lostintranslation!

This was as good a run as anything Altior has achieved over two miles, he just bumped into a bit of a freak in the winner. In fact to me, there was plenty to take from this run. There were pictures on social media that highlighted Altior’s fitness, or potential lack of, and to my eye he wasn’t losing ground at the finish, if anything he was making it up. So, we have a champion racehorse positing a stellar number, showing he stayed and potentially needing the run. Yet in the aftermath of the race we can get 7/1 or 8/1 on him to turn the tables at Kempton. That piques my interest straightaway. It seems the Henderson camp are going to wait to see whether to run or not, but he surely has to….otherwise what was the point in this experiment in the first place?! He is 9 going on 10, this is the one shot you’ll get to have at the King George with him, and potentially a Gold Cup (more on that later).

DON’T RULE OUT FOOTPAD

It looks to me as if this race could cut up massively, probably with the likely elite contenders scaring off rivals. But the other horse worthy of consideration is FOOTPAD (164+) who returned over 2m6f at Thurles last week.

  Sinoria Footpad Diff
To 3 out 213.32 215.44 2.12
3 out to line 60.32 56.76 -3.56

As you can see from the above sectionals, there was a bit of the “Lostintranslation” in this run with Footpad going a slower pace that Sinoria to three out, but he fairly turned on the afterburners from there to motor home 3.5s quicker seemingly in second gear. This was an excellent comeback run for him, and after adjusting for the pace of the race I gave him a figure of 164, but I’m pretty confident he can rack up a high 170s figure. I actually had him 172 for his Arkle win. The likely small field in the King George will suit him too with all of his wins coming in fields of 7 runners or less.

The question mark for him is will he stay? And that stamina question is worth looking at for the five main contenders (adding Clan Des Obeaux). I will delve into the somewhat murky depths of Dosage Profiles to address this question. The following table shows the Dosage Profiles of the last 18 individual King George winners, their average profile, and the five contenders. For those unfamiliar, higher DI and CD figures imply pacier pedigrees.

DI CD
LOSTINTRANSLATION 1.57 0.44
CYRNAME 1.29 0.38
CLAN DES OBEAUX 1.22 0.2
1 0.29
1 0
1 0.17
FOOTPAD 0.86 0.12
ALTIOR 0.74 -0.13
0.69 -0.09
0.64 -0.22
0.6 -0.13
0.6 -0.5
AVERAGE 0.54 -0.38
0.52 -0.45
0.47 -0.36
0.43 -0.4
0.39 -0.38
0.33 -0.5
0.25 -0.8
0.25 -0.8
0.18 -0.8
0.13 -1.11
0 -1

As you can see, Clan Des Obeaux was something of an outlier last year, but Cyrname and Lostintranslation have profiles that fit the typical King George winner even less. This potentially backs up the view that Cyrname isn’t going to last home due to his exuberant pace, and helps the argument that Lostintranslation is benefiting from slow run races where his turn of foot can come into play.

My eye was instantly drawn to Footpad, and particularly Altior. They are both more “pacy” than your typical King George winner, but do sit comfortably in the section covered by the winners. This gives me some comfort that Footpad will handle the additional two furlongs, and adds weight to the visual impression that Altior created in staying on at the end of his Ascot defeat. Indeed Altiors profile would fit in with a Gold Cup winner!  I find myself wondering…has he been a three mile chaser all along?!

So where does all this leave us? I haven’t mentioned Clan Des Obeaux who did me a big favour landing this race last year. He beat Thistlecrack then, but Cyrname, Lostintranslation, Footpad and Altior are a different level altogether, and with Cobden surely set to desert him in favour of Cyrname I can leave him alone this time round.
I can see Cyrname going too quick and not lasting home, and the pace he goes causing Lostintranslation to fold on the run in.

So we are left with Altior and Footpad, who have their own stamina questions to answer but on pedigree look set to be able to answer them. As ever we have to be guided by price and I’m somewhat pleased to see the pair of them priced up the outsiders of the big five. Yes Lostintranslation and Cyrname could be freaks and prove me wrong (not the first time, definitely not the last) but you are having to pay to find out. So I say go against the Twitter herd!

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