Thursday, March 31, 2016

Big Thumbs Up

Courtesy Jenny Felix 
Well, what can I say? Jo did the business getting Raining Dollars in perfect condition ready for Chelsea to ride like a demon and take the big fella to his first ever win! I'm chuffed to bits for this super team that have continuously worked hard on a low budget and with training facilities not much beyond those provided by nature. This is what racing is all about - passion, not endless funds that just disappear down a black hole lined with feeble excuses. It's time JRA went back to basics and made racing pure again like it is in the country races Down Under. This will be a special win for me, as it is my 45th so far, and achieved with Chelsea wearing our colours thanks to Jo's kindness. Now 1-3-4, champagne will be flowing tonight...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Pockets Of Sanity

I've been informed that Raining Dollars may have a tough race on Friday, but that's fine - I don't ask for wins, just visible effort, and that's something you always get oodles of from Jo Hassett and the JLH team, which includes Chelsea as the jockey again this time around.

As for JRA, as usual, Ogata-sensei is the only one talking sense and genuinely caring about not just the horse but the people who pay for its upkeep, too. I really respect this guy, who is thinking of putting both Belle Plage and Larressingle out again in the very near future. He talks straight, and takes his job seriously - he has a hunger that is real, not just oft-repeated but never felt words. He's the Bernie Sanders of JRA - he might not have the media running around after him, but he's someone you can trust. Like Jo, he has my vote.

I don't want to talk about Massabielle at all (its enough to say that anyone that has been on holiday for months and months on the bare minimum of training, if any, is highly unlikely to come back with fire in his belly - something that is blatantly obvious), and stalling tactics are being used with Irish Harp. Here we go again! As for War Chronicle, apparently she is mentally weak right now. I love that! These people can't even tell the difference between a hoof problem and a skin complaint, and would probably have difficulty leading an alcoholic to a bar, yet they have the ability to read a horse's mind. Well, credit where's it due, it is an excuse I've not heard from the legendary JRA Book Of Excuses before, so I tip my hat for finding a new one, as I thought they'd used all 128 pages of them up.

PS. War Chronicle must have seen a psychiatrist, for she is now at Miho TC; Perfumer has suddenly found a race for the 10th April (clocking up a good training time to boot), and Rush Attack is being monitored to judge recovery chances. Of the NAR horses, Chocolat Sucre is starting to eat, which is welcome news (I reckon she'll come good as the weather warms up), and imminent racing campaigns are being planned for Vertice and Lotus Blossom. Things are picking up... 

PPS. Things are picking up... Well, yes, until you read that Massabielle has been shipped off to Northern Farm! That's his career finished then. I've also been talking to my friend who had the same hoof problem with her horse, and she tells me it wasn't one year but two - it just seemed like a year to me. Now remember, this is a Dutch Warmblood, not a Thoroughbred, that needs to be exercised a lot more for its mental well-being. She told me if it's not too bad, it might clear up in six months, but if the initial thoughts were a skin complaint, that means the damage is high up and far tougher to cure quickly - a year would be a stroke of luck, and I can't see any point in keeping a mediocre horse on the books just for the sake of it, especially when its age would point to retirement five minutes later anyway. Her horse was and is a top-level dressage horse with at least another six or seven years of competition left in him, including international events - there's a big difference! 

Monday, March 28, 2016

War Clouds Clearing

After all the disappointment in Japanese racing (most of it Joke Racing Association-related as usual), hopefully Raining Dollars will provide us with some fun on the 1st April Down Under, while Sayesse is due to debut in the UK at Kempton Park on the following day. In both cases, we can guarantee 100% effort will be evident and the result will be a fair reflection of the horse's ability, unlike the JRA lot, where only one or two in 100 trainers seem to care about anything beyond their own wealth and keeping their hours to an absolute minimum. Of course, the difference is that in Australia and Britain, racing is a real business. If you keep failing, you lose clients and go down, whereas in JRA, the system is just like the civil service - a constant stream of well-paid work for life, regardless of what you do or how you do it, because trainer licences are overly-restricted to keep things the way they are, and the greed of the breeding industry keeps producing more horses than the handful of decent trainers can possibly handle. Even the exclusive use of two so-called 'Training Centres' rather than private enterprises makes sure that the work is spread around nicely, keeping the retards in clover.

In addition, a limitless number of possible race entries means that new horses like Sayesse can go out just for experience (like this first run), making sure that it will improve over the coming year. In JRA, the lack of races means everything is basically down to luck - no time to develop race-craft, and if a trainer comes across a horse that doesn't perform well straight out the box, rather than make into a racer (which would require time and skill), they just let it go in totally unsuitable races (usually three, it seems - just enough to say they tried) in the knowledge that plenty of replacements are on the way until the day they retire. The ivory tower they live in means they don't even have to face anyone beyond those that keep feeding them the horses, which are usually clubs related to breeding groups, because ownership is overly-restricted, too. The monopoly and mergers commission would have a field day in any other country!

PS. Sayesse's debut has been moved to Friday 8th (a change to allow the youngster to run on proper turf rather than an all-weather track), while Blacklister should be out soon, too. Something to look forward to!