There were two reasons why I enjoyed watching today’s
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. First off, as truly one of the most
important races in the world, it was no surprise when the mid-summer classic
drew the deepest cast of talent seen so far on the turf this year. The running
of the Group 1 Ascot affair did not disappoint either, as two of the stars,
Danedream and Nathaniel approached the wire in a heart-pounding, head-bob of a
finish. Yes, it was a great race, but what made it even more of a pleasure to
watch was the fantastic camera coverage given to us by British television.
Starting with the first shot, giving us a birds-eye
view of inside the starting gate as the jockeys readied their mounts for the
break of the huge race, it occurs to me how much better the camera work is in
this race than what we are accustomed to in America. With the traveling camera
staying just in front of the horses, we are afforded a constant and telling
look at each horse furlong after furlong. It’s really easy to tell how your
favorite is traveling from this perspective.
While this moving camera is paramount to the early race
coverage, other views, including head-on, side-view, from behind, and even a ground
level camera shot, only add to the overall experience of race watching. Then as
the race nears the exciting conclusion, a more traditional view from the grandstand
takes us home. But it is not just one view from the grandstand, like any well
produced sporting event on television, it seems the English know how to pan in
and pan out to better capture the unfolding story.
After watching it again, I wonder why we can’t do it
this well here in the States.