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10th August 2020
Plus 17 and dry when driving in.
A hot weekend.This was my Sunday round up
Yesterday with no cricket to watch (Archie not playing) we enjoyed a quiet BBQ at home with Mikey and Ginny Elliot and Jonathan and Harriet Hicks..
Talking cricket.. what an excellent result for England.. I was like the BBC after the first day.. doom and gloom..
Going back to Saturday .. Yeavering Belle ran a blinder to finish second. Timeform and The Racing Post were not not that impressed, but we were, and her jockey David Bass said it was by far her best run.
The run was at Uttoxeter and for those who have not been racing might like to read Peter Kerr’s thoughts on his experience.. it is not good reading…Peter runs all my partnerships.
We are delighted that racing is taking place and all credit must go to the racing authorities for getting horse racing to be one of the first sports to return to action. However, the plight of the racehorse owner is not a good one at present and I feel the BHA and the ROA should be justly criticised.
It is understandable in the present climate that normal service cannot be resumed but surely the people who spend a fortune on having horses to run for the benefit of everyone else should be taken more into consideration and looked after better.
Currently only 2 owners per horse can attend but some racecourses are now starting to allow 4. Understandable you might say and I couldn’t disagree, I am not saying that we can expect everyone to be able to go at present. However, it just seems strange that I could take a syndicate of owners to the pub and to a restaurant, both indoors but I can’t take 2 owners into the parade ring, which currently would have plenty of room to keep 2 metres apart under BHA guidelines interestingly the Government guideline is only 1 metre. My point is It is not totally uncontrolled like a beach!
I have been to 3 different racecourses recently and frankly there currently seems little point in an owner attending, it isn’t a pleasurable experience even if you have a winner. Being in the parade ring is an essential part of racehorse ownership and the longer this insistence of owners not being allowed to enter will have a long term effect on retaining owners added to the fact you cannot get into the winners enclosure or the unsaddling area, or conveniently talk to your trainer and jockey, all of which are out doors.
Bizarrely racecourses have laid on a room for owners to have a drink and a sandwich, which is all very welcome, but surely this is more of a risk (no masks required) of catching Covid-19 than being in the parade ring! Owners, trainers, jockeys and staff have all declared their well being and temperatures are taken before entry, so what is the risk of being in the parade ring?
The conspirator theorists among you maybe thinking this is the start of something more sinister where the Health and Safety brigade will not what owners to ever enter the parade ring again. I hope not.
Apart from the parade ring, facilities for owners to watch their race at some courses is also very poor. At Stratford you can view from an elevated position in the stand, which is great but why have the large screen at the other end of the course making it impossible to watch, unless you have binoculars, (I ended up watching the race on my phone). At least at Southwell the big screen is right in front of you.
At Uttoxeter it is quite frankly pathetic. The only elevated position is where the disabled are allowed to watch, which is nothing more than a ramp and this is where the owners were allowed to congregate, you cannot see anything from there, except when the horses come past you on the bend after the winning post, you cannot see the horses at all for the rest of the race. Uttoxeter do provide a tv at the end of the ramp, which is very small and every owner is trying to sneak a view without getting too close to one another, impossible!
On another note it does make you realise how bad facilities for the disabled are, how they are expected to view a race from there is shameful. I have had previous experience of taking someone around Doncaster racecourse in a wheelchair, it is not easy, good luck trying to get to the owners bar. Once racing is back to normal disabled facilities and access is an area that definitely needs improving.
A further small irritant to add to the experience at Uttoxeter was having to park in the centre of the racecourse, which meant delays in getting in and out, as you have to wait until a race finishes and all horses have left the course after unsaddling. Why can’t owners park outside like everyone else, there is plenty of room.
I understand racecourses are in a difficult position as they are guided by the BHA rules, so are probably totally frustrated too!
But can we please consider the plight of an owner more, they are the lifeblood of racing and the longer owners currently feel like an after thought the more unfortunately will leave our sport.
Java Point returned to the yard this morning. He has been in pre training with his owners.
Sad news yesterday. The chap who invented predictive text has pissed away...
His funfair is next monkey