A piece from the vault:
A Tale of Two Classics
The Sydney Cup and the Oaks, both set down for decision this Saturday, have a lengthy history of well-defined lead-ups, rendering them ripe for analysis.
The Cup has been principally fed by two events; the Group One Tancred (BMW) at weight-for-age, and the Group Two Chairmans, a handicap.
The Tancred is obviously a higher quality event, but the Chairmans’ potency lies in its closer proximity to the Cup along with the fact that shares the same track.
The past twenty-five runnings have seen 8 winners emanate from the Tancred, whilst the Chairmans has supplied 14 winners.
Of greater interest is the subsequent performance in the Cup of the best finish in each of the lead-ups.
The SP of the Tancred highest placings equates to an expectation of providing 6.5 wins in the Cup, i.e. their cumulative SP percentage is 650%, yet only 3 Tancred highest placings have been victorious.
This meagre return contrasts with the highest placed Chairmans having an expectation of 4.5 Cup winners and actually achieving 5 winners.
The dishonour roll of Tancred participants is extensive. Hartnell unplaced at 4/6, Kellini unplaced at 13/8, Bluetigeroo unplaced at 7/4, Miltak unplaced at 6/4, Subzero 3rd at 6/4.
It is not that the Tancred is an unsuitable lead-up, rather that the conditions are sufficiently dissimilar in both actuality and intent, to render the Tancred hierarchy irrelevant.
This year Who Shot The Barman carries the Tancred curse. It may be that Almoonqith warrants greater attention than his likely quote.
The Oaks narrative is similar. The Storm Queen (Vinery) is a set-weights Group One, the Adrian Knox a Group Three handicap.
Once again, the Storm Queen carries greater esteem, while the Adrian Knox has the characteristics of The Chairmans, i.e. more proximate, same course.
This time it is the Storm Queen that supplies the bulk of Oaks winners, 12 of twenty-five, while the Adrian Knox has provided 7.
However, a similar story unfolds when each of the lead-up’s highest placings are put to the test. The Storm Queen runners have an expectation of 7.86 winners for a return of 6 winners, while the Adrian Knox outperforms its more vaunted cousin, expecting 3.56 winners and achieving 5 Oaks victors.
Some of the shorter-priced Storm Queen Oaks aspirants to founder include Lucia Valentina 3rd at 4/5, Faint Perfume a distant 2nd at 5/4, Saleous inglorious at Evens, and Northwood Plume 3rd at 4/6.
Streama managed to land her Oaks assignment at 2/5, but was gravely threatened by the unheralded Aliyana Tilde.
This year’s Oaks renewal carries less applicability with Single Gaze from the Storm Queen likely to have limited market presence.
Nevertheless, the above preliminary/final relationships are worthy for the future’s reference.