MUCH heated debate has ensued since Majmu received last season’s Equus Champion Two-Year-Old Filly award. Many people have expressed an opinion, some backed up with facts, but most “just shooting from the hip”.
The manner in which certain individuals carried on after the awards ceremony made the connections of Majmu almost feel guilty for receiving it and pointed once more to the lack of sporting behaviour which is tearing our industry apart.
Most gripes centred around the opinion that Carry On Alice or Same Jurisdiction, and not Majmu, should have been awarded the title. Obviously, this season’s performances have no bearing on last season’s awards – but following Majmu’s romp in the Guineas on Saturday, the topic of last season’s awards was once again raised.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion –but perhaps it is worth studying the facts before expressing an opinion.
(Majmu art orginally published on www.summerhill.co.za).
Consider the facts as laid out below:
The Award is for the Champion filly – not necessarily for the filly “who won the most Gr1 races”. There is in fact no rule stating a Gr1 win is a prerequisite for winning the award – non Gr1 winners have triumphed before.
Usually, the results of the Gr1 races are the obvious benchmark for your Champions, but in this year (with regards the Two-Year-Old Filly Category) they threw up confusion.
Carry On Alice ((after being thrashed by Majmu in their only encounter) elected to sidestep her and take on the colts in the Nursery. A clever decision by Sean Tarry!
Why all the fuss that she “beat the colts” and therefore is a Champion? Who says that the two-year-old colts at that time of year are superior to the fillies? Science doesn’t support that theory.
Carry On Alice contested Gr1 races against the fillies twice – and was found wanting on both occasions. In her first attempt against the fillies, she finished behind Bilateral and Alboran Sea – soundly beaten. In her next attempt, she turned the tables on those two fillies, but was beaten by Same Jurisdiction.
So Carry On Alice couldn’t win at Gr1 level in two attempts against her own sex, but she must be made Champion of her sex on the basis of her performance against the colts? Hardly fair to the fillies that beat her!
Same Jurisdiction had the distinction of not being beaten by the other Gr1 winning fillies. However, she only ran against the very best once – and was deemed by most observers to be a somewhat “lucky” winner – after Carry On Alice got trapped wide.
Does one Gr1 win (and no other feature race appearances) count more than Alboran Sea (Gr1 winner and Gr1 2nd), Bilateral (Gr1 winner and Gr1 3rd) or Carry On Alice (Gr1 winner and two Gr1 2nds)?
So with the Gr1 fillies going round in circles, we look at Majmu’s performance chart.
She was unbeaten in three starts during the season – all three feature races!
She won the Listed Ruffian Stakes in facile fashion on debut. Next up she won the Grade 3 Pretty Polly Stakes in runaway fashion (incidentally giving Carry On Alice 3 kg and 4.75 length thrashing). She then won the Gr2 SA Fillies Nursery by a staggering 8.75 lengths.
She then contracted a virus and missed the subsequent Gr1 races. Does that diminish her ability or achievements?
Majmu was unbeaten in THREE feature races (including a Gr2) – and no another contender won more than ONE feature race.
She earned an official rating of 114 – 6lb higher than both Carry On Alice and Same Jurisdiction. (Incidentally, this is the highest rating ever given to a two-year-old filly in the history of SAF merit ratings).
Hot Ticket was a deserving (and virtually unanimously acclaimed) winner of the Equus Stayers Award. He failed to win a Gr1 and was made Champion Stayer ahead of TWO grade one winners in his category! Sure, Hot Ticket gave weight away in the Grade 1 he contested, but the fact remains Grade 1 winners were overlooked and a non grade one winner won! – (And deservedly so). Why no outcry?
The connections of Same Jurisdiction would legitimately feel very unhappy if the award had gone to Carry On Alice. (Afterall, she beat her when they met).
The connections of Carry On Alice would legitimately feel aggravated if Same Jurisdiction beat her to the award on the basis of one run, (her only appearance in feature company all season), when Carry On Alice had won or placed in three Gr1 contests.
There will always be debate and difference of opinion (that’s the very essence of our great competitive sport) – but the “outcry” over this award is totally unjustified.
Is anyone out there seriously suggesting, however, that MAJMU wasn’t the BEST 2yo filly we saw during the season?
If the Equus Awards is going to be all about Gr1 wins, or Graded wins per se with no panel discretion and no other factors brought into account, a points system could be considered so that the candidate who accumulates the most points during the season gets the trophy.
This will mean, however, that the horse who runs most and is the most consistent would probably get the trophy, but the obvious flaw will be that the true champions may miss out more often than not for running fewer times.
Perhaps the current system works and we should not be trying to change or fix it?