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Message: I've seen lots of experts here say that the rating is too high.
I'm not sure (one way or the other), but the thing that strike me most is that many of the people that are in a position to make a judgement and have seen Frankel in the flesh (mostly) agree --- those sitting at home on the sofa dont!
Here is an interesting article...
Frankel: The greatest horse in Timeform’s history
The unbeaten Frankel increased his Timeform rating to an unparalleled 147 with a scintillating victory in the Queen Anne Stakes on day one of Royal Ascot 2012. Simon Rowlands explains the historical significance and some of the processes involved.
Frankel’s performance in winning the Queen Anne Stakes on the opening day of Royal Ascot 2012 by 11 lengths rightly had the scribes reaching for superlatives. As racing fans, we can all take a few moments out to appreciate such a display, instinctively, for what it was: equine magnificence.
Yet, when the dust has settled, Frankel will be judged by history not just for the emotions he provoked and for the memories he gave us, but for his achievements in cold, hard terms.
How, then, do those achievements stack up, in clinical, rather than in visceral, terms?
Timeform was founded in 1948 by Phil Bull, a man who prided himself in dispassionate analysis. That mindset has informed every person who has worked at the company since.
Recent generations have been acutely aware of the legacy of Bull’s philosophy, and of the defining horses and performances over what is more than 60 years now.
On the Flat, Sea-Bird (born in 1962, rated 145), Brigadier Gerard (born in 1968, rated 144) and Tudor Minstrel (born in 1944, rated 144) have towered over those who have come since. Until Frankel came along, no horse had breached the 140 rating barrier since the 1970s.
So, it was not done lightly when Frankel was rated 143 at the end of his three-year-old career. And it is not done lightly now that he, on 147, is rated higher than any horse in Timeform’s history.
Frankel’s 147 rating is not simply a response to just one remarkable performance, either. It might have been plausible to have rated him that highly on his facile win in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May as well, but caution was exercised given the race’s position early in the season.
Frankel has now won 11 races out of 11, the last six of them Group 1s by a combined winning margin of 31 and three-quarter lengths. That is an astonishing record even when judged against the greats of yesteryear.
Frankel may have taken his form to a different level at Royal Ascot on Tuesday, but it was not as if the effort came out of the blue, in other words.
An explanation of the mechanics of Timeform’s assessment of this year’s Queen Anne Stakes is, of course, required.
One important factor is the poundage for distance beaten in use. Margins between horses have, since 1997, been conversions of the time lapses between those horses at the finish. These conversions are made by the racecourse Judge on a fixed scale according to the official going.
It is, therefore, necessary first to come up with a pounds per second figure, into which the lengths per second allowance is divided, in order to come up with pounds per length.
The official conversion in use for the first two races at Royal Ascot on Tuesday was 5.5, in accordance with the official description of the going as “good to soft”. Later races were calculated at 6 lengths per second, in line with an overdue change in the going to “good”.
It follows that Frankel’s 11 lengths winning margin was equivalent, more or less, to 2 seconds. If his race had taken place later on the card, that winning margin would have been returned as 12 lengths instead.
It is also folly to treat poundage allowances the same for a given race distance irrespective of the time of the race. Frankel ran the straight mile in 1 min 37.85 sec - not far off a course record - and it follows that each unit time converted into a length will have been greater than in a race run more slowly.
Both of these factors correctly give rise to a pounds-per-length allowance that is higher than under conventional circumstances.
Also, and very much to the point, Timeform categorically does not favour the dubious convention of rating races “around” cherry-picked horses. As we have explained often before, such “yardstick” handicapping is unscientific and far too subjective.
Instead, a race is tackled statistically according to historical measures (race standards) and information about the achievements of the individual runners themselves (prior-rating standards).
Both of these tried-and-trusted measures place Frankel’s Queen Anne win well into the 140s on the Timeform scale. Race standards could justify the figure being as high as 148, prior-rating standards make it a few pounds less.
“Dispassionate analysis” points to a figure in the mid- to high-140s, in other words.
Frankel’s 147 rating actually has his old foe Excelebration running a good few lengths below his previous form. It has the third and fourth, Side Glance and Indomito, within 2 lb of their previous form. And it has every other horse that contested the race below its best by between 4 and 34 lb.
We will leave it to others to explain the reasoning behind their own assessments. But it should be pointed out that the BHA – which works with a lower and rigid poundage allowance, and which favours yardstick handicapping – operates at a level that is, at least now, several pounds below Timeform’s.
There have been plenty of performances over the decades since 1948 in which the heart has said “yes” but the head has said “no”. This is not one of them.
Frankel’s stunning Queen Anne Stakes win is emphatically one in which the heart and head can provide the same answer: “Yes. Oh, yes indeed!”
Author: Rex Timestamp:- 28/8/2012 8:23:02 AM Subject: Re: Fankel's 147 - dispassionate analysis
Message: Lohnro is one of the best horses produce in Oz in the last 10 years- if you only saw him once then I would suggest you have no right commenting on Australian racing strengths and weaknesses until you are qualified to do so!!
Message: Yes, Patsy, there was a large contingent on this forum who only took an interest in racing between the end of the football season and the start of the cricket season and the only thing they knew about Lonhro was that he was beaten in the Cox Plate; and were unaware of any of his 26 wins. But hopefully you followed the link and had a look at how impressive he was in the George Main - over 1,600 metres at weight-for-age. I believe he was at his best from 1,300 and 1,800 metres, but, in this country, the further you get into the spring, you run out of races unless you step up to 2,000 metres. I believe he was poorly prepared for his Cox Plates - he had too many lead-up runs and was over the top. It is also possible he wasn't suited at Moonee Valley, although it's hard to tell because he never raced there over the shorter distances.
Message: No, I can't understand how Americain can possibly be rated superior to out-and-out superstars such as Super Impose and Saintly, and I'm equally baffled as to how Lonhro can be rated below Excelebration. I mean, have a look at the footage of him winning the George Main:
How on earth can you watch that and not come to the conclusion that he's at least the equal of Excelebration? I was there that day, too, and I can't recall EVER seeing a horse go that fast at Randwick. Nor am alone in that sentiment. Jim Cassidy, who has been riding top horses for three decades, and was riding a top horse in this race (Grand Armee), reckons Lonhro went past him so fast he made a sound as he did so that he's never heard before on a racetrack.
Seriously, born into a European stable, there's no telling what Lonhro's rating would have been. And if there was any doubt about how good he was as a racehorse, siring an undefeated juvenile Triple Crown winner from a Daylami mare whose only claim to fame was winning a restricted race over a mile-and-a-half, should leave no doubt.
I agree but there is not just a disparity between Euro horses and Aus horses on the older ratings. look at how high some of the horses from the modern era (i.e. last 5 years or so.) are. I mean Americain is joint 9th!! Does that not seem crazy to you?
Message: There's no question that Frankel is a super horse (at least if you ask anyone but Weight Special), but I still think that large numbers of outstanding horses are shockingly under- rated. I mean, I accept that Frankel would in all likelihood be too good for Lonhro but a gap of 19 pounds is outrageous and there's no doubt in my mind that, campaigned European-style (races spaced, pacemakers, always on suitable ground, at set weights, in small fields, over pet distances), Lonhro would have been rated closer to 140. Conversely, if Frankel had been Australian and had won the Champagne Stakes, the Caulfield Guineas, and the Cox Plate by five or six lengths, I doubt he'd have rated more than 135.
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