I never like to read journalists slagging of the public for taking an interest in the sport that fosters them with a comfortable living. For sure those on twitter can over react equally as much as most journalists under react when faced with a topic that may threaten their job prospects or their ability to get a chummy weighing room interview. Nicholas Godfrey penned such a piece on this years Derby, where he opens up with a few snide remarks about social media, something he clearly feels is beneath him. Luckily Nicholas looks like he is approaching retirement which is just as well because that tacky social media he refers to is probably going to replace him and its certainly the place where with a bit of pruning the more intelligent analysis is taking place or at least the synopsis is.
I would not have objected if Nicholas had offered any original insight into the race but sectionals are clearly a bit too technical for him along with social media so I will try and add a bit of extra analysis here, above and beyond what has already been said.
I too had looked at the Oaks and the Derby in terms of sectionals and posted on Twitter that Love would have mowed down Serpentine race for race and I posted this 20 mins after the Derby. One of those knee jerk reactions that Nicholas is so dismissive of. Later however I decided to look for a Derby that was run in a similar overall time and most importantly on the same official going. The race I honed in on was Authorized. Taking timings to the path entering the straight, Authorized hit the road in 1:53.58 whilst the the most prominent horse with any chance of winning according to the betting in 2020 hit the road in 1:56.22. That is a huge difference and one that is quite probably impossible to overcome. It is fair to say that Serpentines jockey got the fractions right but 15 other top class jockeys seemingly had no idea whether the pace they were setting was correct or not. A road that most journalists will never hit.
I have not done the middle section timings but my visual guess is that the race was lost in the middle section where it appeared to slow. Any middle or long distance runner will tell you not to make ground in the teeth of a race, unless they have gone ridiculously fast, rather to gain ground in the cheap or slow section. Nobody bothered to do this and hence the race was lost. I may be wrong on this last part, only the times will tell.
The big question now is will you back or lay Serpentine when he next runs in a G1 or will you join Nicholas on the fence?. Let me know in the comments below.