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Closely related: why the big gap between these two horses' St Leger prices?

Pyledriver wins the King Edward VII, with Mohican Heights (red cap) shaping well in behind
Pyledriver wins the King Edward VII, with Mohican Heights (red cap) shaping well in behindCredit: Edward Whitaker

There is a good chance that Pyledriver will go off favourite for this year's St Leger and it would be mostly on the strength of his Great Voltigeur win at York. However, he was already firmly on the up when winning the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, a run that put him in the Derby picture.

The King Edward was a bit of a muddling race in which it paid to make your move early. As can be seen from the graph, built using data from Total Performance Data and Longines Swiss Timing, the Group 2 field was behind par splits for much of the race before the principals picked up.

Even at the time, it was remarked upon that Mohican Heights was given an unenterprising ride relative to Pyledriver and others. The graph underlines that impression and shows just how well he did.

Having always been behind Pyledriver, Jamie Spencer on Mohican Heights also conceded first run, demonstrated by the widening of the gap between the two horses on the graphs. From three furlongs out to the line, he did not lose any further ground and would probably have gained some had Spencer ridden out all the way to the line.

Mohican Heights, like Pyledriver, did not take to Epsom in the Derby next time. Unlike Pyledriver, he has not yet had a chance to set the record straight. Ascot suggests that the gap between the two is not all that significant and Mohican Heights has the stouter pedigree, so it is definitely notable that he can be backed at nearly ten times the price to take Classic honours at Doncaster.


All data courtesy of Total Performance Data, in conjunction with Longines Swiss Timing from all meetings from Ascot


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