Cool today, overcast with an easterly wind, no rain and conditions have dried up everywhere, including on the racecourses. High pressure set to dominate for at least another week keeping the cool air coming in from Scandinavia and the wet and windy weather well out in the Atlantic. Hmm, patience, patience, patience, not suitable for most of our horses and no runners at Hexham tomorrow; next entries at Carlisle next week and with 20 plus horses ready to run the usual self doubts start to creep in.
Surely it is perfectly safe to run horses on good ground, well, of course it is, but it does depend on the individual horse and the closer it gets to good to firm the greater the wear and tear is on the ligaments and with 17 hand 550kg horses I just don’t feel it is their long term interests to run, particularly at the beginning of the season. Science reinforces my view and the excellent Thoroughbred Health Network has produced a neat precis of all the work done on this which you can see here.
In the light of that evidence and, just as importantly, my own experience, I take the view that as the risks are so much lower when the ground is on the soft side of good racecourses should water to achieve that; they should certainly do their best to take out any good to firm or firm. Kelso don’t water at this time of year because they are afraid of raising the water table to the extent that there may be abandonments later on; Wetherby, Hexham, Chepstow, Huntingdon etc are all watering with the aim of achieving genuine good ground which I am sure they will. Anyway, I have this little crisis every year and it’s great to be able to dump it on my blog and move on…. Looking forward I was pleased to receive the Tattersalls Newmarket Horses in Training Sale catalogue yesterday, we would like to put a small partnership together to buy two horses with the specific purpose of targeting the excellent prize money on offer at Musselburgh this winter – do call me on 07831 488210 if this is of interest, Lucy is at Hexham to ride Touch of Steel in the 2.25.
And I think we should pause for a moment to recognise the extraordinary achievements of Aidan O’Brien, they are far too many to list but to train the first three home in the greatest flat race on the planet is simply extraordinary and be aware that he is going to be Champion Trainer in the UK this season with a prize money total more than double his nearest rival having set a new record already with several big fixtures remaining. The only man one could ever imagine usurping his achievements is his own son Joseph who is going to make a massive impact under both codes – will be fascinating to watch.