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Pedigree Analysis of the Victoria Derby

The superb card at Flemington tomorrow deserves a bit of extra attention, so for the first of the staying classics, a detailed analysis of the pedigrees is warranted.

Welcome aboard to Geoff McMurray and Winning Edge Investments.

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Victoria Derby Preview

By Geoff Mcmurray
www.winningedgeinvestments.com




Overview

The Victoria Derby is a real test of stamina for 3yo’s. The question is which horses have the class and aptitude to run a strong 2500m. That’s the question we need to answer to help make an informed investment decision.

Pedigree analysis allows you to make an assessment of any horse’s inherited racing ability and speed profile which provides an insight as to its optimal racing distance.


What is pedigree analysis?

In simple terms, pedigree analysis is the study of any given horse’s ancestors for patterns of inheritance that have contributed to the horses racing ability (or predicated racing ability) both in terms of quality and in terms of preferred distance.

In order to view a horses ancestors I use a software program named TesioPower. The software enables you to view a horse’s pedigree back multiple generations.

There are a number of factors I analyse in determining a horse’s inherited racing ability.

1.       Inbreeding – this is the duplication of successful ancestors (either male or female) in a pedigree within the 4th generation.

2.       Line Breeding – this is the duplication of successful ancestors (either male or female) in a pedigree in the 5th generation and beyond.

3.       Rasmussen Factor – this is a special condition where a successful female ancestor is duplicated in a pedigree through two (or more) different offspring.


Inherited Racing Ability

Once I have analysed a pedigree, I give it a rating based upon what I believe its inherited racing ability is. The below table provides meanings in relation to the ratings assigned.


Pedigree Rating
Pedigree Rating Definition
Description
AAA
Superior inherited genetic racing ability
Inherited genetic ability that aligns to Group 1 level racing
A
Excellent inherited genetic racing ability
Inherited genetic ability that aligns to Group or Listed level racing
B
Good inherited genetic racing ability
Inherited genetic ability that aligns to Metropolitan level racing
C
Average inherited genetic racing ability
Inherited genetic ability that aligns to Provincial level racing
D
Below average inherited genetic racing ability
Inherited genetic ability that aligns to Country level racing


Speed Profile

Using the TesioPower pedigree software a speed profile for any pedigree can be obtained. That speed profile is based on presence of ‘Chefs de Race’ (about 200 successful stallions worldwide) that are present within the first 4 generations of any horse’s pedigree.

Points are assigned across five aptitudes – Brilliant, Intermediate, Classic, Solid and Professional.  The ‘Brilliant’ and ‘Intermediate’ aptitudes basically identify a preference for shorter distances (up to a mile) with ‘Classic’, ’Solid’ and ‘Professional’ aptitudes identifying a preference for longer distance races.

So let’s analyse this year’s Derby field …..


2017 Victoria Derby

1 – Ace High (B grade pedigree rating)

Brilliant
Intermediate
Classic
Solid
Professional
5.5
3.5
20
5
1

By High Chaparral (champion English stayer and stallion) with dam by champion racehorse and sire in Redoute’s Choice. Distance is not going to be an issue for the favourite on pedigree.


2 – Tangled (B grade pedigree rating)

Brilliant
Intermediate
Classic
Solid
Professional
7
4
10
0.5
2.5

By champion Australian sprinter and leading sire Snitzel. From that would seem a distance risk. From a middle distance stakes winning mare by Shinko King who was a G1 sprinter in Japan. Has some stamina in his female family but is clearly a distance risk on his speed profile rating.




3 – Astoria (A grade pedigree rating)

Brilliant
Intermediate
Classic
Solid
Professional
2.5
6.5
16
3
0

By Medaglia D’Oro a multiple Grade 1 winner in the US and champion sire. Dam by Ad Valorem (G1 miler in the UK) from a stout Australasian female family. Can’t see the 2500m being an issue on pedigree.

4 – Eshtiraak (B grade pedigree rating)

Brilliant
Intermediate
Classic
Solid
Professional
9.5
8
12.5
0
0


By Street Cry a multiple G1 winner and from a Flying Spur mare which would make you think speed. This is backed up by the speed profile that says a mile suits best and very unlikely to get much further. The increase to 2500m doesn’t suit Eshtiraak.


5 – Main Stage (C grade pedigree rating)

Brilliant
Intermediate
Classic
Solid
Professional
4
3
11
3
2


By Reliable Man (multiple G1 winner at 2000m) and dam by Prized a multiple G1 winner over 2400m. The speed profile backs this up suggesting a trip of 2000m and beyond should suit.


6 – Sully (A grade pedigree rating)

Brilliant
Intermediate
Classic
Solid
Professional
1.5
5.5
10.5
2.5
1


Another one by Reliable Man this time from a Casual Lies (two time Listed winner over 1700m in the US) mare. Female family has some staying depth a few generations back. Speed profile suggests 2500m won’t be an issue.




7 – Weather With You (AAA grade pedigree rating)

Brilliant
Intermediate
Classic
Solid
Professional
5
6.5
17
2
2


By Teofilo a G1 winning 2yo but has sired G1 winners up to 2400m. From a Rock of Gibraltar mare whose female family is littered with Stakes winning stayers. No issues getting out to 2000m and beyond on his speed profile.


8 – Aberro (C grade pedigree rating)

Brilliant
Intermediate
Classic
Solid
Professional
8
7.5
9
0.5
0

By All Too Hard champion Australian 2yo. Dam by Giant’s Causeway (multiple G1 winner at 2000m and beyond) but speed profile says a mile to 2000m would see him out. Massive distance risk.

9 – Pissaro (AAA grade pedigree rating)

Brilliant
Intermediate
Classic
Solid
Professional
2.5
1.5
15
5.5
2.5


From the first crop of Pierro (champion Australian 2yo) who himself has a real stayers female pedigree. Dam by Galileo so stamina not lacking here. Speed profile says will just be getting warm at the end of 2500m.


10 – Justice Faith (C grade pedigree rating)

Brilliant
Intermediate
Classic
Solid
Professional
6.5
4.5
9
1
0


By Hinchinbrook (G1 sprinter) from a Testa Rossa (G1 sprinter/miler) mare. Speed profile suggests up to a mile would be its optimum distance. Huge distance risk.




11 – Ocean’s Fourteen (A grade pedigree rating)

Brilliant
Intermediate
Classic
Solid
Professional
3.5
5.5
18
0
2


By Ocean Park (G1 winner to 2000m) from a Stakes winning dam in Ruud Van Slaats (by Van Nistelrooy). On speed profile shouldn’t have too many worries getting out to the 2500m.

12 – Greycliffe (A grade pedigree rating)
Brilliant
Intermediate
Classic
Solid
Professional
4.5
4
12
3.5
1


By Tavistock who has already sired a VRC Derby winner in Tarzino. Dam by champion New Zealand sire in Volksraad who can produce a quality stayer. Bred to get out to distances longer than this.


13 – Johnny Vinko (A grade pedigree rating)

Brilliant
Intermediate
Classic
Solid
Professional
6
3.5
18
2.5
4


By Savabeel (by Zabeel) so no surprise plenty of staying blood here. Dam by O’Reilly who has numerous G1 wining progeny out to 2400m. Speed profile suggests will relish getting out to the 2500m.


14 – Nothing Too Hard (B grade pedigree rating)

Brilliant
Intermediate
Classic
Solid
Professional
6
5.5
6.5
0
0

Another by champion Australian 2yo in All Too Hard. Dam is from a champion US 2yo performer in Tale of the Cat. Speed profile says should get a mile but any further would be a huge risk.



15 – Rockarral (B grade pedigree rating)
Brilliant
Intermediate
Classic
Solid
Professional
4
4
24
5
3

Another by High Chaparral (champion English stayer and stallion) from a Fastnet Rock mare and grand dam by Zabeel. Bred to run 4000m so getting the Derby trip won’t be an issue.

16 – Wolfe Tone (A grade pedigree rating)

Brilliant
Intermediate
Classic
Solid
Professional
4
2.5
17.5
3
4


By a very unfashionable stallion named Mettre En Jeu a son of the great staying influence Montjeu. Dam by Zabeel. This is bred to get two miles so absolutely no risk on his speed profile.


17 – Beachwood (B grade pedigree rating)

Brilliant
Intermediate
Classic
Solid
Professional
12
4
17
0
2

Another by Ocean Park this time from a Woodman mare. Comes from a very fast female family. On speed profile should get 2000m but is a real risk beyond that.

Analysis of pedigree ratings

Analysing the race from a pedigree rating perspective we would want to consider those horses with either an AAA grade, A grade or B grade rating. That leaves us with Ace High, Tangled, Astoria, Eshtiraak, Sully, Weather With You, Pissaro, Ocean’s Fourteen, Greycliffe, Johnny Vinko, Nothing Too Hard, Rockarral, Wolfe Tone and Beachwood in the mix.


Analysis of speed profiles

Analysing the race from a speed profile perspective, you need to look for horses that have a genetic profile that suggests distance won’t be an issue (that also meet the pedigree rating criteria). So that then leaves us with Ace High, Astoria, Sully, Weather With You, Pissaro, Ocean’s Fourteen, Greycliffe, Johnny Vinko, Rockarral, Wolfe Tone and Beachwood.


Analysis recent history – Victoria Derby winners

In the last 20 years, only three horses have been able to win where they (a) have made it to the race in their 1st racing preparation or (b) where they have not had at least two runs past a mile leading into the race. Now those horses were Mahogany, Efficient and Elvstroem. I’m pretty comfortable saying there isn’t any horse in this year’s rendition that have their ability. That being the case, it leaves us with Ace High, Astoria, Weather With You, Pissaro and Greycliffe.


Analysis of form – those that are left

Ace High – winner of the G1 Champion Stakes and G3 Gloaming Stakes at his past two runs. Mind you had perfect runs leading both times. Draws soft, good trainer and jockey and will be right on pace.

Astoria – won the G3 Spring Stakes before no luck in transit his past three starts. Draws barrier 1 with Damien Lane and a stable that’s firing. Also meets a few better at the weights through the Listed Geelong Classic.

Weather With You – good winner of the Listed Geelong Classic at its last start. Little luck its two prior starts. Draws soft, Mark Zahra rides and sure to be primed for this race by a master trainer of stayers.

Pissaro – may only have won a Benchmark 70 at Morphetville but has had little luck its past two starts including in the G2 Vase at Mooney Valley last Saturday. Bred to be an out and out stayer so the distance will really suit. Noel Callow and Robbie Laing also have a great association when combining in any race.

Greycliffe – reckon might be a really progressive stayer. Very soft win in a Benchmark 64 at its last start in good time and had plenty left in the tank. The trainer is hot at the moment and that’s always a positive.


The Final Word

For mine I’m going to put Weather With You on top. With an AAA grade pedigree, no questions around distance, top rider in Mark Zahra steering and master trainer in Murray Baker preparing there are plenty of positives.

Definitely going to be saving on Astoria, Pissaro and Greycliffe at the prices on offer.

Best of luck with all your investments in the Derby and over the rest of Melbourne Cup week.






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