TPD Ride of the Week – 13/02/2023

Performance of the week for last week goes to DILIGENT HARRY, the winner of the fastest 6F performance at Newcastle since October 2022. It’s well known that Newcastle’s Tapeta surface has slowed in recent times and very few recent performances have come close Standard (Par) time. The last horse to run faster over the same conditions was NEVER JUST A DREAM, now rated 102, and running in Meydan for big prizes.

The race was won by the classy 106 Rated, Diligent Harry, who stopped the clock for the 6f Sprint at 1m.11.26, just 0.86s below the Par, carrying a hefty 9st 10lbs. So how did he do it on a night/week when most AW races have been considerably slower than Par?

TPD’s sectional timing data can reveal that the week’s Highest Rated horse out on the track, Diligent Harry, produced an efficient performance in cozily taking this Class 2 Handicap that may well see him head back to the same track for the All Weather Championship Sprint Final at Newcastle on April 7th.

After a quick but smooth break from the gate, Diligent Harry ticked off four almost identical furlongs in 11.09s, 11.24s, 11.33s and 11.28s before easing down to a final furlong of 12.22 to win with a little bit up his sleeve. His four 11s furlongs are of course not unusual in an AW sprint, but in what was a fast run race from the start, the manner in which Diligent Harry hit the line with top weight, took the eye. TPD’s data shows that Diligent Harry’s Top Speed (TS) of 40.9mph, was the joint slowest in the race, further emphasizing the efficient smooth performance from Diligent Harry.

However, it is perhaps worth looking at the third placed horse, FIVETHOUSANDTOONE, who blew the start and could well have finished closer. TPD’s data can reveal that after blowing the break, posting a 14.62s initial furlong, FIVETHOUSANDTOONE posted the fastest final furlong of 11.96s to finish 3rd beaten only 3/4L. He would undoubtedly have finished closer with a better break. Furthermore, FIVETHOUSANDTOONE’s ‘Run Out Speed’ (ROS) measured 4 seconds after the line was 33.5mph, was the fastest of all runners. A rematch on AW Finals Day April 7th may well be on the cards but it should be noted that FIVETHOUSANDTOONE was receiving 12lbs from the winner in this handicap and that will not be the case on Finals day.