Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Whinging Pom

You've probably gathered that I moan a lot about Japanese 'racing' (the racing is in inverted commas, because it's more like a show they put on involving Thoroughbreds than real racing). Well, maybe I do moan, but my observations are not based on an odd rogue horse - I'm talking from experience I've gained over several years by having had a stake in no less than 44 horses out here, via Carrot Club, Shadai Thoroughbred Club and Sunday Thoroughbred Club. One of the big differences, of course, is I've had shares in many horses in England, Ireland and Australia, too, as well as full ownership of two ex-racers and a part-share in another (a famous Stakes winner). I also have friends in the industry, including top-level grooms and vets. In other words, I know when I'm being told bull! Having just seen 'Bugatti' do over an hour of jumping on one day, and go to him the next and he's in high-tension mode ready and more than willing to go hard again, on a low power diet to boot (compared to what he would have been eating in his racing days), I don't believe that a three year-old is "tired" from doing the odd 17-17 canter. That's warming up stuff, not training, and that's the real root of the problem - the horses are not trained properly, and then there's a mad rush to get a nag prepared by whoever happens to be around and it gets injured. Again! From experience, Japanese horses are three to four times more likely to be off through injury (or "tiredness"), and race three to four times less than their UK counterparts. Oh, and they cost an awful lot more to buy, and a lot more to run once your stake is secured, too. Good value? I don't think so. And that is what gives me the right to moan. Ask Mick Channon how many times I've complained over my years with him. He'll tell you that I've never moaned, not once. That's because I see sincere effort and feel like I'm getting damned good value for my money all year, every year. And as with most European and Aussie outfits, realising that you can go wherever you want whenever you want, taking your money with you, I'm treated like a client rather than a mug. Here, racing is more like the civil service than a business! The sooner I can leave this ridiculous farce behind me to concentrate on real racing abroad, the better...

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