Friday, 29 June 2018
Ring The Bell is going for a double double in tonight’s Stayers’ Cup at Addington.
Last year he completed the group one double of the Duke of Edinburgh Collar at Manukau and the Stayers Cup. He’s already won the first leg of the double, repeating the dose at Auckland.
Can he complete the double double?
As always with the stayers’ races, we have a small amount of data so it’s often hard to find any trends.
That said, boxes 2 and 3 have been the most successful while box 4 is the least successful.
Interestingly, a number of the favoured runners have strong stats from their draws. Translator (1) has won three and been placed in 4 races from the ace draw. Avenger Bale (2) has won 3 from 4 starts in the stripe and the other race was a placing. And Ring The Bell (6) has won 7 from 12 races in the green with another 3 placings.
Even though distance races give backmarkers more of a chance than in sprints, it’s still true that being on the pace is an advantage. For one, there is an inherent risk for any dog that has to make up ground.
A third of winners over the 732m at Addington have lead at the first bend while ¾ of winners have been placed in the first three.
Interestingly, the speed map highlights this factor with the four dogs with the best box speed the four dogs expected to be first out.
As we noted above, Ring The Bell, Avenger Bale and Translator all have strong records from their respective boxes. The second favourite Dusty Gambler (8) is the exception. From 9 races in the outside 2 boxes, he has just a single win.
Sectional times are useful to help us map out a race like this. You can think of a race having three key parts – the start, the middle part of the race when the field positions are well settled, and the last gut busting closing sectional.
Ring The Bell (6) consistently shows up at the start of his races and his box speed puts him into the right places. He has a strong middle sectional and as he showed in the Silver Collar, sees his races through. He was a length faster than any runner at the start of last week’s heats and a repeat of that puts him right in the race. A deserved favourite and top pick.
Dusty Gambler (8) is the bookie’s second pick. As noted above, he doesn’t have the strongest form from the outside boxes. From a kinder draw than Ring The Bell’s, Dusty’s opening sectional was almost a length slower. He does have a strong middle section – his middle sectional was clearly the best of the heats and a trait he has shown in his other distance races. Sadly, the trait he also showed was a relatively poor closing sectional – his closing sectional in the heats was almost 4 lengths slower than Ring The Bell’s. This was the same pattern in the Collar where he had the lead but was run down by The Bell. For me, he’s looking for a shorter distance to justify his level of favouritism.
The draw brings Avenger Bale (2) into equations. He ran a strong opening and middle sectionals and of these is the standout middle distance runner. With this strength, he could easily find himself in front and most likely on the rails which gives him every chance. With Ring The Bell drawn out wider, bad luck could definitely play into his chances and I would rate Avenger Bale my second pick based on the draw. Interestingly, while not a renowned staying dog, his closing sectional was a couple of lengths better than Dusty Gambler’s and the draws are switched tonight.
Translator in box 1 in another who could pop up in exotics while Pirate’s Curse (5) is one of those dogs who will get back but charge home late.
- Ring The Bell (6)
- Avenger Bale (2)
- Dusty Gambler (8)