Hold your horses on the hype over Amber Sky | South China Morning Post
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  • Jan 29, 2015
  • Updated: 1:02am

Hold your horses on the hype over Amber Sky

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 April, 2012, 12:00am
 

Maybe it's because we don't see that many griffin races these days but there was an air of excitement about Amber Sky's win that seems all out of proportion with what went on behind him and time will tell about his opposition.

The seven-and-three-quarter length margin equalled Great Win's 2004 winning margin for a griffin - and when we couldn't find a wider winning gap going back to 1996, frankly, we gave up looking.

But the time, for all of that wow factor to the eye, was nothing particularly special. In fact, it was the fastest griffin time recorded since - well, Croesus. And he was the most recent winner of a griffin event, in June last year, when he covered the same trip in 56.31 seconds on a track that was running only marginally quicker than Monday's surface.

And look where Croesus is now.

Still, in a field where only one runner was southern hemisphere-bred and he was the hand to your forehead, where did he go? Runaway victor, it was a salient reminder ahead of however many griffin events we have to come this season - the two-year-olds are tough to get down.

In the last 50 griffin races at 1,000m, stretching back to late 2001, only 10 have been northern hemisphere-bred and only 14 of the last 50 griffin winners at 1,200m were from north of the equator, and often those overlapped: horses like Good Ba Ba, London China Town or California Moon in recent seasons who managed two griffin wins each.

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