The Punter’s Intelligence sectional data from Saturday’s Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) illustrate the flagship race of The Star Championships was as much a game of chess as a horse race.
Each of the seven combatants recorded a best of the race sectional at least once but the telling blow came when Addeybb was allowed to run the fastest last 200m of the Queen Elizabeth (11.75) after taking the lead.
Let’s go back to the start.
Dalasan was fastest out of the gates running 14.98, Mo’unga owned the second split clocking 12.33 from the 1800m-1600m, Mugatoo improved his position between the 1600m-1400m running 12.56 then Addeybb strode around in 12.45 (1400m-1200m).
The next section went to Think It Over (12.68 1200m-1000m) then Sir Dragonet’s 12.64 from the 1000m-800m was one of three race best splits. Verry Elleegant made her move around them between the 800m-600m (11.80), Sir Dragonet then again sprinted best 11.44 (600m-400m) and 11.08 (400m-200m).
Unfortunately for those out the back while they were trying to edge forward the leaders were picking up the pace.
The first 1000m was run in a pedestrian 1:05.54. When Addeybb sat up outside Dalasan they really steadied the tempo – 12.76 (1400m-1200m), 12.71 (1200m-1000m) and 12.76 (1000m-800m). Even the 800m-600m was a modest increase to 12.13.
Then the foot went down. Verry Elleegant ran that 11.80 from the 800m-600m and her time was almost two lengths faster than Addeybb (12.08). But by the 600m-400m Addeybb almost matched her (11.57 vs 11.50), they produced identical sprints running 11.15 from the 400m-200m before Addeybb edged away late with his last 200m a half length faster (11.75 vs 11.83).
Interestingly there was only 0.37 between all seven runners looking at the last 600m splits. Sir Dragonet in fifth ran 34.39 for the race’s best while Mo’unga clocked 34.86 at the tail.
Addeybb (34.47) ran a slightly faster last 600m than Verry Elleegant (34.48).
There has to be a big win in talented colt Prague one day if he can correct his barrier manners after his excellent third in the Group 2 Arrowfield Sprint (1200m).
He was a length slower than any other horse out of the gates then produced the fastest split for each 200m section to the post.
His last 600m of 33.97 was almost a length and a half faster than runner-up Isotope (34.18), and over two lengths faster than the winner Wild Ruler (34.33), and he covered an extra 8.6m in the run which was more than any other runner.
Both Isotope and Prague clocked the meeting’s fastest last 200m of 11.46. Prague is among the nominations for this Saturday's Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m).
The overall time of 1.10:12 was 0.24 slower than the TAB Sapphire won by Fasika for the 1200m trip and it’s that race which produced the meeting’s fastest last 600m.
It was run by the enigmatic but talented Air To Air who clocked 33.59 as she ran on from near last into sixth placing and if she can find a suitable race, and perhaps settle that bit closer, she might break through soon.
But the horse to take out of the Sapphire could well be The Hunter winner Sweet Deal who signalled she’s back on track with an eye-catching fourth placing after settling a lot further back than we’re used to seeing. She posted a last 600m of 33.64 and she was clearly fastest from the 400m-200m running 10.76.
Arnaqueur is a youngster with a future based on his slashing fourth in the Agency Real Estate Mile (1600m) in a race that wasn’t run to suit a horse coming from last despite only having six rivals.
He easily clocked the race’s fastest last 600m (34.51), almost two lengths superior to the next best.
Another horse to stay on the back of is Rainbow Connection, he was forced back from a wide gate and had some traffic issues but posted a 34.05 last 600m in the South Pacific Classic (1400m). That included a 10.97 from the 400m-200m.
Private Eye, runner-up in the South Pacific, proved his first-up miss was a lie running the fastest last 200m of 11.60.
Fastest last 600m: Air To Air 33.59
Watch Punter’s Intelligence with Ben Way, Brad Davidson and Brad Gray at 7pm on Tuesday on Sky Thoroughbred Central.