Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Cartier awards, sign for the future or condemnation?

I must apologise for this blog’s dormant state following the end of the traditional flat season. However, with the new season fast approaching get ready for some fresh content on the horizon!

Once again, at the turn of the year immature 2 year olds fill their frames overnight and develop into considerably stronger 3 year olds…well that’s what we see on TV! Having read that Spacious had been the subject of a massive bet for the 1000 Guineas (a filly I wrote about here), I started thinking; how many of the outstanding 2 year olds went on to become outstanding 3 year olds? In order to answer this I took a look at the history of the Cartier awards (1991-2007).

The immediate stat to hit me was that only the brilliant George Washington and Divine proportions received the colt and filly of the year awards at 2 and then 3. However, while this is logical, as many 2 year olds have restricted campaigns, what is surprising is the number of colts and fillies that fail to live up to the standard set by their outstanding 2 year old careers.

Only 5 of the 17 fillies to win the 2-year-old award went onto win another group 1 race at 3 or older. Shockingly, 8 of the 17 filly winners failed to win another group race. As for the colts, 7 of the 17 award winners did not win another race after their 2-year-old careers. Why? Some were already well developed and did little growing over the winter? Some were excessively campaigned as 2 year olds with 8 or 9 races taking their toll?

Have New Approach and Natagora been condemned to mediocrity or are the latest Cartier award winners bound for glory?