Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1)

Re: Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1)

Postby lurkey mclurker » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:37 pm

Juddmonte Farms‏ @JuddmonteFarms 8h 8 hours ago

Here's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine Enable as a young foal. Now five Gr.1 races to her name #QPAT

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Re: Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1)

Postby Miss Woodford » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:27 pm

It's interesting that this race has been SO thoroughly dominated by fillies over the past several years - 6 of the past 7 winners have been fillies. Any theories as to why? It flies in the face of conventional wisdom that testosterone gives colts an inherent advantage in racing.
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Re: Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1)

Postby BaroqueAgain1 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:34 am

If I heard correctly listening to the analysts at Chantilly, fillies get a ten pound weight allowance. At the end of 2400 meters, that might be an advantage. ;)
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Re: Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1)

Postby Kurenai » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:57 am

4 year olds and up 130 lbs (59 kg)
3 year olds carry 123.5 lbs (56 kg)
Fillies and mares get an additional allowance of 3.3 lbs

So if you have a 3 year old filly, she only carries 120 lbs while a 4 yo colt has to carry 130 lbs.

Compare that to the Breeders Cup Classic

4-year-olds and up 126 lb (57.2 kg)
3-year-olds 122 lb (55 kg)
Fillies and mares allowed 3 pounds.

7 lbs difference. (If you would dare to run a filly from the southern hemisphere she would get 114 lbs. Not that anyone would do that but ya.)

Personally I strongly believe that nearly all 3 yo fillies that won the Arc would have been fine with only a 7 lbs weight spread too.

What impressed me the most about Enable was that she did it near the front, they were going a good tempo (anyone who knows the fractions?) from the start. It wasn't like they were loping along and she simply out sprinted them near the end.

Also in the last few years I enjoy the fillies and mares a lot more than the colts, there have been so many standouts. Seems like an golden era for females. :D
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Re: Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1)

Postby Tessablue » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:14 pm

I have a totally unsupported hypothesis that there is an upper end to how fast we can make horses through selective breeding, so once the male horses are maxed out it's just a matter of breeding stronger females. It could also be an aberration, or just a reflection of an increase in willingness to race female horses in open company- this would just be a matter of counting how many female horses have been entered in the Arc over the years. I don't really think it has much to do with weight, as all three 3yo filly winners were well-clear at the finish.

Enable is, it goes without saying, awesome.
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Re: Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1)

Postby BaroqueAgain1 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:15 pm

I wonder if weight has something to do with the fillies' success; not the weight carried in/on the saddle, but how much the horse herself weighs.
The ground for the Arc is often good to soft, and I've seen heavy. If a heavy-bodied horse (probably most colts) sinks into soft turf, that has to mean the horse needs to work harder to run faster. Lighter-bodied fillies may be able to move over the ground without as much drag on their feet.
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Re: Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1)

Postby Treve » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:32 pm

The weight question is interesting both in terms of allowance and body mass. For one thing I don't think you can say the race is dominated by fillies. 7 years is not a lot for a race that has existed since 1920. If you go back a little further to Zarkava in 2008, there were no female winners going all the way back to Urban Sea in 1993. Then it's another decade back to All Along in 1983. That being said 79-82 were also all won by fillies and mares. The 70s produced a pretty balanced set of winners almost in alternance, 5 males (technically 4 since Alleged won back to back) and 5 females. But the 60s failed to produce any female winners.

Interestingly, I counted that 60 of the Arc's 96 renewals were won by 3 yos. Younger colts and younger fillies would obviously on average be smaller/lighter than their mature counterparts.

As for Testosterone... The longer the distance, the less of an advantage it would be. Since testosterone bulks up it would be an advantage for sprinting because it creates more muscle mass and raw power. This becomes a disadvantage over long distances because a horse is already carrying more weight for longer and testosterone does nothing for endurance. This is one of the major reasons why there are very few dominating stallions in endurance racing which is dominated mostly by geldings and mares. (Think of the very different human body types in olympic sprinters vs olympic marathoners... heck even in horses). While 2400m is a classic distance in Europe rather than a stayer/marathon distance, it is still on the longer end of the spectrum.

I remember this being brought up as a point in a French horse magazine some time ago by one of the top riders in the nation, who was praising the merits of riding entire males saying they were great athletes and had an advantage in almost every discipline except endurance riding where they were at a disadvantage.

As for the comparison with with the BCC, I don't think that's necessarily a fair one because there seems to usually be at least one or two females entered in the Arc, whereas the same cannot be said for the BCC.
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
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Re: Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1)

Postby BaroqueAgain1 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:21 pm

It's pretty hard to compare the Arc to the BC Classic, other than the same species of animal...sort of...competes in the two races. :P :lol:
If my idea that a lighter-bodied horse does better over softer, more yielding turf has any merit, that may not hold true for the Classic, run over firm, not-very-yielding dirt. Maybe weight gives no advantage or disadvantage to the dirt runners.
After all, the only mare to win the Classic was Zenyatta...and she was definitely not a small, light-bodied gal. :lol:
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Re: Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1)

Postby Treve » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:31 pm

BaroqueAgain1 wrote:It's pretty hard to compare the Arc to the BC Classic, other than the same species of animal...sort of...competes in the two races. :P :lol:
If my idea that a lighter-bodied horse does better over softer, more yielding turf has any merit, that may not hold true for the Classic, run over firm, not-very-yielding dirt. Maybe weight gives no advantage or disadvantage to the dirt runners.
After all, the only mare to win the Classic was Zenyatta...and she was definitely not a small, light-bodied gal. :lol:


I was thinking about that the other day. I wonder if the difference with dirt is that a more powerful animal has more to "kick off" from and propel (hence the perception that males have more of an advantage), where it is not necessarily the case with turf, esp yielding or soft.
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
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