We are still getting over what happened in the RPGTV Select Stakes on Monday. When I say ‘we’, I mean connections and the dogs.
Physically, The Other Reg appears not too badly scathed after being knocked over at the first bend. I understand Shaneboy Freddie has come off the track with a wrist injury. It would certainly explain why he checked so badly at the first bend.
Reg walked to the van fine afterwards and was wagging his tail the next morning. Whether his ordeal has knocked his confidence remains to be seen, though the incident will certainly influence future plans. I will probably give him a couple of trials and see how he goes. We had planned to go for the Sussex Cup at Hove though I think we will now give that a miss.
At this stage I am considering the ‘The Steps’ at Sheffield. He has never been over six bends before but I always clock my dogs and am confident he will see out what is really quite an 660 metres. I don’t want a long term six-bend career for him yet, but assuming he reached the final, it wouldn’t do him any harm.
There has been a lot of talk about injuries just lately but the first thing I should add is that the Nottingham racing surface was absolutely pristine on Monday, just as it had been for trials a week earlier.
Looking around though, there seem to be wide differences between the quality of racing surfaces and some of the worst seem to be on tracks with extra meetings following the outbreak of the media rights battle.
I wrote in this column back in January that I was worried that staff do not have enough time to prepare the tracks correctly and although the hot weather has been a major factor, some tracks seem to be coping a lot better than others.
I know that GBGB collect all the injury data from the tracks, but I wonder, what are they doing with it? If a track has five broken hocks in a fortnight, shouldn’t GBGB acting – immediately? In fact, if the track consistently shows that its injury levels are abnormally high, should GBGB refuse to licence extra meetings?
I know it sounds as though I am picking on the tracks – I am not – I am just trying to point out that some try much harder than others, and the bad ones are getting away with it.
Another consequence of all the extra meetings is a loss of trial days. . . . . which leads to more trials before racing . . . . . which leads to longer kennelling times for the racing dogs.
I was recently quote a kenneling time of two and a half hours for a race meeting. The rules say it can be between 45 minutes and an hour and 45 minutes.
Don’t forget, that is before the start of the meeting. A dog might be travelling for four hours before that, and still be in kennels another five and a half hours before he races.
At Nottingham they have split kenneling so it is never a problem. So how do some of the others get away with it?
I would urge my fellow trainers, obey the rules. Make sure you are kenneled within an hour and three quarters, but not a minute longer.
If the tracks want to kick-off – because they haven’t paid enough staff to do the job properly – let GBGB sort it out.
We have a couple of youngsters due to join the racing strength shortly.
Fridays Marie (Laughil Blake-Tyrur Jennamarie, Jul 16) has three races in Ireland, winning two, including a 21.22 for 400 at Dundalk. Unfortunately, she came in season a day after she arrived so we will have to be patient. Hopefully though, she could be a Lowther contender.
We are also expecting a nice unraced youngster in Newinn Banger (Farloe Blitz-Coolavanny Pearl, Apr 17). He is a half brother to the useful Newinn Blake. Breeder Jim O’Donnell thinks a lot of him, which is good enough for me.