Blake Shinn’s gutsy ride on Happy Clapper in the Chipping Norton Stakes has received widespread acclaim for taking the challenge up to Winx.
The Punter’s Intelligence data illustrates the moves Shinn made in his attempt to ride the perfect front-running race on a horse not used to leading.
Happy Clapper’s first 600m of 36.20 was just a touch slower than the Group 1 Surround’s (1400m) first 600m but compared to the Highway (34.71) over a mile earlier in the day it was considerably slower.
Interestingly, the first 1400m of the Chipping Norton was run in faster time than the overall time for both the Surround and the Guy Walter, both high quality 1400m races, by over a second.
After establishing his lead, Happy Clapper increased the tempo from the 1000m, though Winx actually ran the fastest 1000m-800m (11.18).
And just as Shinn ramped things up from the 800m-600m (10.78) so did Bowman as Winx covered the same split in 10.80.
While it looked to the eye that Happy Clapper had stolen an interesting break on the field it all comes down to mathematics.
Winx ran her final 600m in 34.09 which was 1.15 faster than Happy Clapper or about seven lengths. She spotted him about five lengths at the 600m and won by two.
She was the only horse to break 12 seconds for the last 200m in the Chipping Norton (11.93) and one of only two to better 35 for the last 600m (the other being Unforgotten 34.79).
In the Guy Walter the stand out performance from a time perspective came from fourth-placed Dyslexic who clocked 33.01, the best of the day, for her last 600m.
She didn’t go around a horse, though, coming from last along the inside.
Runner-up Dixie Blossoms resumed with a typically solid second placing and she ran 33.33 for her last 600m including the second best last 200m for the day of 11.24 (11.23 by Spin just pipped her).
All honours to Nakeeta Jane in the Surround Stakes, she was responsible for the best last 600m of 33.54 and last 200m of 11.34 in the Group 1 fillies event.
The hidden run out of the Surround comes from Miss Fabulass who again hit the line strongly from well back and while she beat only three home the times say she’s going better than her form will illustrate.
She ran 33.66 for her last 600m and did that going sideways at times in the straight. She could jump out of the ground next time if she can draw well.
Microphone clocked 0.41 seconds faster for the 1200m than Anaheed in their respective Golden Slipper lead ups the Skyline and Sweet Embrace Stakes.
There wasn’t a lot between them in the first half of the race, the colts ran 0.03 quicker, but the boys sprinted home significantly faster.
None of the fillies broke 34 seconds for the last 600m, sixth placed Amercement best with 34.13.
Microphone’s last 600m was 33.98 and he put his race away from the 400m-200m being the only two-year-old to break 11 seconds for that split (10.97).
The eye-catcher out of both juvenile races though was Castelvecchio.
The Inglis Millennium winner’s last 600m was 33.91 and he ran clearly the best final 200m of both races with 11.43 as he showed he’s looking for further than 1200m.
Meanwhile at Goulburn, all honours went to Al Mah Haha in the Country Championships Qualifier. The gelding covered more ground than any other horse (+12.1m) and still ran the third fastest last 600m of 34.89.
Runner-up Bocelli was responsible for the fastest last 600m (34.42) while beaten favourite Noble Boy clocked 34.66.
Fastest last 600m: Dyslexic 33.01
Most ground covered (to win): Winx +9.2m
Don’t miss Punter’s Intelligence with Gerard Middleton, Brad Davidson and Brad Gray at 7pm Tuesdays on Sky Thoroughbred Central.