Simon Rowlands is always a thought provoking read and he recently extended his sectional coverage to embrace stride length and frequency a new addition to horse racing data which I wrote about a month or so ago. His piece on this can be found at
I do not wish to steal Simon’s thunder as I guess he will have more articles in the pipeline but in the above piece he did not mention a number of variables that may need to be accounted for when accessing this new data. Going and class are two obvious ones and I want to touch on this with regard to the Guineas favorite that Simon mentions in his article, Saxon Warrior.
Saxon Warrior recorded a strides per second of 2.36 when winning the Racing Post Trophy and the RPT always conjurs the question of whether the winner is a Derby horse or a Guineas horse. Simon does not actually come down on either side as rightly so one cannot say that because Saxon Warrior recorded an SPS of 2.36 over a mile he would not record an SPS quite happily that would win him a Derby but the real question at this stage is does his SPS give him a chance of winning the Guineas ?.
So far the average SPS of horses winning over 12f at class 2 is 2.32 whereas winning at 12f at class 6 is 2.26. Clearly lower class horses cannot muster the same stride speed. By contrast 8f horse at class 2 have an average SPS of 2.35 with class 6 at 2.33.
The striking feature of these averages is that over 12f a class 2 performance average is not strikingly different from an 8f class 2. Compare this with a 5f class 2 at 2.49. Whether the differences are not linear or perhaps the going really needs to be factored in is a topic I can write about later.
From here we can see that Saxon would appear to be certainly a genuine class 2 or higher over 8f. Now you may say that’s obvious as he won a class 1 at a mile but this is not the case. If last year just happened to be a year of staying horses running the Post then he may have won it and yet only clocked an SPS of a class 3/2 animal.
I would say to any Saxon Warrior fans, do not be put off his Guineas chance simply because he is a Post winner.