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Stride frequency points to big chance for one contender in the Winter Derby

Bangkok (Silvestre de Sousa) are led back to the winners enclosure after the Classic TrialSandown 26.4.19 Pic: Edward Whitaker
Bangkok: a warm favourite for the Winter DerbyCredit: Edward Whitaker

Most people will agree that the key to the Winter Derby is Bangkok and Dubai Warrior's respective wins over Court House, both over this course and distance, on their most recent starts.

While traditional form students have only the weights carried, distances beaten and race replays to go on, tracking data can give us a much fuller picture of the two protagonists.

Some might point to Dubai Warrior's potential, or the lack of correspondence between how they both beat Court House and their prices here. Personally I think the fullness of time has shown Bangkok's form from last year to be moderate, at least in the context of a horse that went off at single-figure odds for the Derby.

It could well be that none of that matters. The tracking data from their wins over Court House tell of two smart horses, only one of whom has the tools to really excel at Lingfield.

That horse is Bangkok. His stride frequency, which averaged 2.32 strides per second and maxed out at 2.49, suggests that a mile and a quarter is the upper limit of his stamina and that he can change pace quickly. That stands in marked contrast to Dubai Warrior, whose 2.13 average would suggest that he will need at least a mile and a half to reach his potential.

The pair's respective stride lengths correspond with the above. Bangkok's is basically average, at a little over 24 feet. Dubai Warrior's is 25ft 7in, which would strongly suggest that he is a Group-class performer at some stage.

Of course, Lingfield is a tight track with a downhill run into a short straight. It suits pouncers and nimble horses. That very much describes Bangkok, but does not match with Dubai Warrior. The latter is an exciting horse for middle-distance Group races once the turf season begins, but Bangkok is a fully justified favourite under these conditions.

3.15 Lingfield card

All data courtesy of Total Performance Data, whose tracking covers more than 20 courses in the UK and North America

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Keith MelroseBetting editor
Published on 21 February 2020Last updated 15:18, 22 February 2020