Updated: Aug 17
With the Copa de Oro meeting just 2-days away this looked to be a relatively low key affair at San Sebastian on Sunday and so it proved. I have completed the time comparisons and ratings for the meeting and they can be found below. The ground certainly seems to have softened and the majority of the times reflect the slightly easier going, but if there is a horse to note then perhaps it is Nordeste. He is the only horse on the card to have run to a rating of 100 or more, courtesy of his 3rd placed finish under a big weight in the opening race.
Trained by Ion Elarre Alvarez, he is no stranger to running in Spain, for all that his defeat here left him with a record of 0-9 in the country. He is better known as a PSF specialist in France, with 9 career wins to his name and 7 of those coming on an artificial surface and 5 of those coming at Pau. He has been in-form for most of the summer, landing a Class 3 handicap at Toulouse at the end of June after a near miss in a Class 2 at Angers the month before. In recent years he has come alive in the depths of winter so although he isn't improving after 70 starts, he has shown enough to suggest he may be a horse to note when the All-Weather season really gets going in 6-weeks time. I would add a small note of caution, as the 34.5 French rating that I have him down for here still leaves him 10lbs short of his current rating in France, but the fact he could run so well on turf, suggests he could do even better when he returns to his preferred surface.
I would like to add a small footnote to this piece to say that this will be the final Spanish Ratings piece for the time being. I will continue to watch the Spanish racing and highlight anything that I feel is significant, but with the new seasons at Auteuil and in Hong Kong looming, the workload is going to increase in the autumn and so for now, something has to give. I chose Spain specifically to test this ratings model because it was a blank canvas and there were no betting markets or large social media content providers to cloud the judgement and I would urge anyone that is looking for an alternative racing product to look into Spanish racing for that very reason. There are some superb sites dedicated to Spanish racing and I have put links to my favorite 2 below.