Cape Guineas Was A Sprint

William Milkovitch casts some doubt with his splits

Justin Snaith has told us that Cape Guineas winner Double Superlative is being aimed at the WSB Gr1 Cape Town Met. Four of those that ran behind him in the classic line up in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate on Saturday.

Double Superlative – was it impressive? (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

“After watching the Cape Guineas many times over, I am not entirely convinced as to how meritorious Double Superlative’s victory really was,” says lifetime racing man William Milkovitch.

A regular poster and contributor, Mr Milkovitch writes in the Sporting Post Mailbag that he commented in a recent comments chain that:

‘The owners of Never Ending Rain must surely be looking for better days to come. Out of a Dynaformer mare, this gelding might be better over further, come June 2022.’

I think Cosmic Highway & Zapatillas showed who they are, and I doubt if they are 1800m+ horses.

Double Superlative must be a contender for the Daily News 2000 in June.

I don’t know what to make of Pacaya! He was stone last or second last into the straight & running on from maybe more than 12 lengths back to finish 6l’s off.

The fact is that the first and second in the Guineas throughout the race finished second and first and slightly clear of the rest.

After watching the replays I then spent about two days attempting to time the sectionals and only after further assistance from a fellow racing analyst – I’ll call him Peter Stuyvesant for the purposes of this report back – was I able to conclude and confirm that the Guineas was merely a 500m sprint home.

Visually, I had a suspicion that the first 700m  or so wasn’t as swift as it looked because of the tail wind and this was confirmed by virtue of the fact that the 1st & 2nd horses from the start, crossed the winning line 2nd & 1st.

This is what the Guineas sectional recordings dished up after I timed the race on 34 separate occasions for each of the following sections:

1 – Start to the first rail crossover/intersection with the straight course rail. This would represent a distance of just over 610 metres completed.

2 – First rail crossover/intersection with the straight course rail to the 600m marker (400 or 390m covered)

3 – 590 or 600 metres to the winning line

  • 1 = 37.97 sec
  • 2 = 26.35 sec
  • 3 = 34.97 sec

Total seconds = 99.29

Winning time = 99.29 sec

34.97 seconds for the last 600 metres of a Gr1 race is swift and is a clear indicator that the last 500 metres, well at least that, was a sprint home.

Universally, it is accepted that horses tire from the last 400 metres onwards & dramatically more so in the last 200 metres, as compared to the rest of the race.

Compare those sectionals to the Maiden Plate, Race 1 over 1600m on the same day.

Here again, I recorded 25 separate times for each of the same sectionals as previously denoted by 1, 2 and 3

  • 1 = 36.92 sec
  • 2 = 26.83 sec
  • 3 = 35.87 sec

Total seconds = 99.62

Winning time = 99.62 sec

These maiden platers covered the first 600 metres or so, faster than the big shots in the Guineas.

Again, the Guineas was just a sprint home. Jet Master completed his last 600 metres in the 2000 Cape Flying Championship, over the 1000 metres, in 35.22 seconds.

Double Superlative, no sprinter I’m sure, managed to clock 34.97seconds, granted he didn’t have the south-easter in his face for a full 1000 metres.

Pomp & Power and Double Superlative had it easy down the back straight. Actually, very easy, considering there was a helping breeze & a moderate trip around the bend which then had the rest of the field ‘caught with their pants down’ or chasing the front two’s tails for the run home.

That’s it, rather unmeritorious, other than Mr. Craig Bantam positive riding tactics and Mr. Anton Marcus for keeping close to him. Craig Bantam, might have hoisted the Guineas Trophy had he managed to sneak an extra 2 lengths on the back straight.

It’s so easy to say in retrospect and still a big might.

As I previously mentioned, what Pacaya was doing at the tail end of the field remains a mystery but considering they weren’t tiring that drastically at the end of the race, he made up plenty ground on his field, which is difficult to do in a sprint home.

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