Thursday, April 12, 2012

Simon Says What Others Don't

The horse racing community is pretty tight, unlike any other sport, in my opinion. I think our turf writers generally like participants, and their horses. Some of them write usually glowingly about a performance, or a training or riding job, and quite a few gloss over the opposite. In contrast, if a goalie, quarterback or field goal kicker wears the goat horns, you'll read about it.

One person who treads where many do not in horse racing is Twinspires' Derek Simon. His handicapping insights are good - he clearly knows what he's doing when he opens the PP's - but he pushes the envelope more often than not, and to me, that's what makes him stand out.

Yesterday he spoke about Horse of the Year Havre De Grace and her late speed figures, and (lack of) bullets. As most know, she is skipping the Apple Blossom (apparently) because the connections do not want that weight assignment. He's not taking that at face value, as he shouldn't. Regardless, I am not sure I've seen an article about racings Horse of the Year titled "Havre Disgrace", have you?

Last week, while speaking about Chantal Sutherland's ride in the Dubai World Cup on Game on Dude he said:
  •  In what I speculated may have been a career-defining ride in last weekend’s Dubai World Cup, Sutherland dropped the ball… screwed up… fumbled… struck out — pick your favorite analogy.
  •  one thing seems abundantly clear: Sutherland is not yet ready for the big time.  
I thought it was a bad ride too, but I didn't expect to read about it in the mainstream racing press.

Being "shock" or overly critical is a part of column writing in sport's and you can usually see right through the people who go down that road: Some overuse it, and it can be really annoying. As well, I believe half the people who use the technique do so to cover up their lack of understanding of what they're writing about.

It's pretty rare to find someone who is incisive and smart, and willing to go out on a limb. I think Simon is that, and it's why I read him regularly.

1 comment:

Bill Milburn said...

I refer to the remark made about Chantal Sutherland. I watch racing worldwide and have followed this sport since 1960. I can tell you one thing that was obvious before halway. Game on Dude was out of his depth and was clearly never in with a chance Chantal Sutherland or not.