Got to admire people like Julian Muscatt and Lee Mottershead. They register what they term as ‘disappointment’ with some matters in Racing in such an eloquent fashion. I’m neither eloquent nor tactful. Muscat manages to put a semi positive spin on the loss of more top racehorses to stud, by highlighting the performances of some notable juveniles in the last few weeks. As the likes of Enable, Harzand, Alpha Centauri, Justify, and Saxon Warrior either disappear for extended injury periods, or worse to stud altogether, Julian points out that new blood like Lah Ti Dar and Too Darn Hot will amply fill the gaps.
He’s putting a positive spin on constant disappointments. Oliver Sherwood thinks I’m a twat for commenting on retirements of Saxon Warrior and Alpha Centauri. Fairly typical response – most trainers feel beyond reproach or questioning. If they said it was going to rain, we should be buying umbrellas. Yet Oliver knows only too well most decisions are commercially driven and oh yes, some of his owners pad their incomes from it.
The point being made (for the benefit of Twitter idiots) isn’t in direct reference to either of two great racing stars, Saxon and Alpha,The merits of individual cases as irrelevant to the larger issues facing the flat code at hand.
‘It’s a horse welfare issue, how would you feel if one of these performers sustained serious injury on track, just because you insist they should race?’
I’m not saying any performer must race again or is even capable in some cases, give me a break. I don’t accept the right of top trainers to have their cake and eat it. Top trainers treat us to a weekly diet of avoidance as authorities put on more and more sub standard black type affairs. The National Hunt Festival is a prime example of the glut of events which afford top stars the opportunity to simply avoid each other. No trainer is going to admit he’s dodging a potential bullet, such as a notable rival and the idea of a 2 against the form line, dearie me no. There’s always a ‘niggle’ for those who love the drip drip of bs. How to avoid Tingle Creek in favour of something easier at Cork? ‘He’s not right.’ Only the thorough going fool thinks most claims are genuine.
Let’s try facts for a change? People hate facts. Many of these injuries, with the right love and care are fully treatable. Many racehorses could simply return to racing, it’s all down to the dollar. Geldings like the great Kuato Star struggle to find a job after racing. Sure they get knocked about, but trainers patch them up and send them back out to race. Where are the racing do-doogers telling us its a horse welfare issue then?
So when I hear a horse is injured and retired to stud, pass me the salt. I check the formline and the stud valuation first.
‘the owner has the right to decide how to spend his money’
No true fan of any sport could possibly think this way. Are you really worried about the finances of billionaires like Abudullah or Coolmore? Have yourself checked. These guys couldn’t run through their cash in fifty lifetimes. I don’t care how much it costs to run your boats guys, I want to see Frankel and Golden Horn on a racetrack. Neither means anything to me now. No Son of Frankel could ever likely have achieved more for Racing.
It is naive in the extreme to blithely accept the raft of ‘injuries’ when in every other sphere of sport athletes routinely suffer injuries, rehab and return. Only in racing do a few toffs (and everyone that depend on them for favours) see it as their divine right to retire Holy Roman Emperor at 2 years.. (forgot that one already?)
So give them a hard time every time they remove a great horse from the sport and don’t feel bad about it. They won’t go short. Strip a sport for financial gain shouldn’t go unpunished by those that love it
Fans identify with certain horses, that’s why Mr Sherwood enjoyed such fame from Large Action and Many Clouds, I doubt they went through their careers without chips and scrapes, but they weren’t bathed in cotton wool, or bound for lucrative careers when it was all over. They did more for Racing than any Golden Horn. Nobody has heard of ‘Too Damn Hot’ yet and he won’t be putting bums on seats for some years to come.
‘ Leave the business of training to the professionals, you stick to betting’
Inward looking and arrogant response of those who prefer a bit of tweed. It’s ridiculous to suggest I have to train horses to comment upon an issue of such gravitas. You know I’ll just bet Sherwood’s passed comment on how Bookmakers conduct themselves. I doubt he’s ever laid an egg!
‘what a twat’ (Oliver Sherwood)
Touch of the yobbish. Mind you, if you’ve a view, expect the brickbats, especially if you dare to question the landed rulers of racing.
I can’t blame Sherwood for this trace of arrogance. It’s rare for people to question the veracity of anything trainers have to say. From the age of five I watched some of the finest trainers and jockeys of the time visit my Father at his palatial home on a weekly basis. They weren’t discussing the weather. So you see have a unique perspective on the sport. Of course today most trainers and jockeys pad their income with deals with Bookies. The extremely likeable Aiden O Brien trains for some of the biggest gamblers in the sport. Times have changed for sure, but the nature of trainers has not. Chuck a few quid at Henderson and he’ll put on a Betfair cap.
We’re treated to a diet of apparent improvement in horse racing, the brazen nature of which can only lead you to the belief local stewards are simply unwilling to address. The sport is run as their fiefdom and with two fingers stuck resolutely in the direction of a regulator too busy battling with its own Chairman and making up more races.
If racetracks hadn’t discovered beer, most Saturdays would be empty, and yes folks you’re all going satellite. So let’s get one simple premise right
Golden Horn and his mates left well before they truly came to benefit Racing in the manner in which Kuato Star did
Fine, some injuries are career ending. We all accept that. However a sport that so casually loses its stars cannot prosper in the face of inventiveness from other sports. Racing’s top training ranks profit handsomely from the sport. Why would they argue for anything other than the status quo? A supine BHA delivers cheap black type to one and all, as breeding values escalate. The pigs circle the trough.
Of course I love Racing, who doesn’t enjoy the thrill of Roaring Lion and his arch rival Saxon Warrior serving up a classic? What incredible spectacle it was. You won’t see it again. We all check the retirement board with trepidation.
And if there are the odd case of genuine career ending injuries that come to pass for the stars of the flat, as opposed to a commercially driven diet of excuses for retirements to babies, well I’ll live with the twat comments.I believe fundamentally all sport is driven and grown by the best performers. The Tom Brady’s, Ronaldo’s, Joshua, Pogba and yes, Kuato Star and Frankel. These are what drives and motivates new people to come Racing and enjoy this great sport. Horses they can identify with.
Only the true anorak knows who Golden Horn really is, and imagines he was a positive for our future. Regrettably he was but a passing moment. A race or two. That’s not enough if you want the sport to prosper and return to the terrestrial TV screens.