Time Test in English Racing, Daily Racing Form, 1917-02-16


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TIME TEST IN ENGLISH RACING. Having timed races earefullv for many years pasl I know well that the improvement in time was coincident with the arrival of Tod Sloan ami other American joekey s. It was beeauM he knew how to ride a race in a certain time that Sloan set aired his initial sequence of successes. In sued a rate every furlong is of almost equal Importance, Just is it is for pedestrians who are running, say. half a mile, and Sloan sated to title his races as if the other horses ami jot key s were not there. He WOUld come along will in front of the da willing field and they would all the time expect him to come back to them, but he was not going beyond a true speed for the distance anil, therefore, lie never ditl tome back to them. Nay. more, when any of them by dint of prodigious efforts got alongside him near the finish lie always had a bit in Band to let out in such an emergent y. anil as win his race. It wis a long time before the English Jockeys tame to understand the position. Some of them never did understand it. I think some of the old-timers would not have been so easily deceived; indeed, I am quite certala that John Osborne for one would not. for he was an extraardhsarty good badge of pace and could ritle a Cup winner in front all the way if the others tlid not go fast enough. I have a vivid recollection of seeing him do this on Apology when she won the Aseot Cup. John Os-borne, however, graduated in days when there were heat rans. .ml he says that knowledge of pace could be obtained in that school better than in any other. However, be all that as it may. it is an Incontrovertible fact that the time of races has be-eoiue. on the average, much faster since the coining of Sloan and the introduction of American methods of jockeyship. and for purposes of comparison it is useful, not as showing that the horses are superior to those of the earlier day. but that the races are now more truly run than they used to be. Great Differences in English Tracks. Now they are so run they begin to afford a reasonable means of comparison lietween horses as regards the time test: but any such comparison needs to be made with full knowledge of all surrounding circumstances, just as in an Oxford ami Cambridge boat lace, we want to know all about the title anil other conditions of the waterway before we form any conclusion from the time in which the course is covered. Then, again, in England no two rate courses are alike, whereas in the Argentine, for instance, practically all the races are run at lalernio. so that the condition! vary little. Bpaom is a law unto itself in respect of time for the five-furlongs raits there are usually done in a worlds record, for the simple reason that they eome down hill most of the way. The mile anil a quarter at Epsom is also fast, for it misses the first two uphill furlongs of the Derby, and is correspondingly sooner on the downhill swoop. The uphill in the Derby more than balances the advantage of tin- descent, and it is therefore not a fast course for that distance ; but it is worst than useless to compare times made at Bpaom, except with one another. The course is wholly different from any other in the world, and as for the sprint rates there it is of little use to time them at all. There is nothing that can be said against the time test in horse racing which cannot equally be said of il in regard to any ether sort id" rating. Even boys . t school will often run Inn yards under eleven seconds, but how often does the most famous champion make t Mil time, ten seconds, over the same distance, ami where would the bap be if matched ■gainst that Champion: Then. too. inferior crews have often made remarkable good time from Pat-nej to Mortlake. and so. too. time plays stxange bricks at Henley. The fact is. time as a test of ra hag merit is a gootl servant, but a bad master. and is must useful, if considered with full Know- ledge and npproeiatioii of circumstances anil ton- _A tlitioiis. but will lead us badly astray if we ga by 0"| it slavishly without regard to circumstances and .■omlitions. •Vigilant" in London Sportsman.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1910s/drf1917021601/drf1917021601_2_12
Local Identifier: drf1917021601_2_12
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800