Fitness = The capability of the body of distributing inhaled oxygen to muscle tissue during increased physical effort
In racehorse terms some are able to produce the above better than others on their seasonal debut (or first run back after a break) whereas some will need a run or two on the track to blow the cobwebs away before being able to run to their full capabilities.
There were a couple of great example yesterday.
RIGOUR BACK BOB (2nd at Thurles 4.25)
Last years World Hurdle 5th was backed pretty heavily before the off, however, his profile is clearly one of a horse that needs his first run of the season/first run after a break –
Form figures after 60 days or more off the track (including yesterday) – 4-4-2-4-2
Not abysmal figures but clear indicators that he is likely to find at least 1 too good on debut.
Now lets consider his record on his next 2 starts after his seasonal debut/first run after a break race is under his belt –
Next 2 starts after ‘pipe-opener’ – 3-1/1-1-/4-1/6-1/?-?
Interestingly they suggest he can sometimes need a second start before being fully wound up. He has won 2nd time out on one occasion before so he can do it but there must be a possibility he may need another run to fully smooth the edges.
What is certain is that all the money coming for him yesterday was a layers paradise.
In the same race there was another excellent example of a horse who had shown clear signs in the past of ‘needing’ his first run back –
BERTIES DREAM (4th at Thurles 4.25)
The former Cheltenham Festival winner was sent off as second favourite for the race but again his profile is of one who benefits from his first start after a break –
Form figures after 60 days or more off the track (including yesterday) – 7-P-5-4-4-4
Nothing in there that suggested he should have at one stage of the day been vying for favouritism.
Lets now look at his figures on his next run after a break (if within 60 days) –
Next start after ‘pipe-opener’ – 7-2-1-4
Slight improvment but the important thing to consider here was that the victory came in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle at the 2010 Cheltenham Festival; he can produce the goods if needed after a ‘warm-up’ run.
Both these horses ran with credit yesterday before fitness became an issue at the business end of the race.
Looking closer at both horses careers gave firm suggestions that these 2 were likely to need the run, something that seemed to have been missed by the wider betting population.
Now lets look at a horse from yesterday that had previously shown signs of being ready to strike first time out –
FRASCATI PARK (1st at Carlisle 5.00)
The Nigel Twiston Davies runner was making his chasing debut (and seasonal debut) at Carlisle yesterday. He had previously shown an ability to run well fresh –
Form figures after 60 days or more off the track (including yesterday) – 1-1-2-3-0-1
The 2nd and 3rd places were gained in the grade 2 Persian War Hurdle, each time running well before being put in his place by superior animals.
Twiston Davies can produce his lot cherry-ripe after a break so it was no surprise to see this lad come up trumps in what is likely to be a race that produces a number of future winners.
FRASCATI PARK is a consistent sort who should continue to run his run his races as the season progresses, he has finished in the top 3 on 12 of his 15 starts to date.
Race fitness has to be one of the major considerations when assessing any race. If a horse has shown a tendency to need a run or two to get fighting fit in the past then the chances are those tendencies will appear again in the future.
At the end of the day it’s punting suicide to throw your money at a horse that has in the past shown that they ‘need a run’ to get them to their fighting weight. Regardless of how much better than the opposition they are deemed to be (Rigour Back Bob and Berties Dream being prime examples) if they are not at peak fitness and are running against better equipped opponents (fitness-wise) they are likely to struggle.
Take a fitness test before putting your money down!
NTF National Hunt Service – Doors close at midnight tonight!
Many thanks again to all those that have already signed up for the 2011/12 season.
If you are still looking to sign up then today is your last chance!
Doors will be closing at Midnight tonight so that I can then concentrate on delivering the service.
Once again I have had a number of emails to my inbox, the main thing most you want to know is whether or not NTF is a tipping service. I want to stress again, as strongly as possible, that NTF is categorically NOT a tipping service.
Full information on exactly what the NTF service is all about is available on the following link –