I would be grateful for any information members can provide about trainers’ policies on travelling arrangements for their horses.
I am assuming that horses entered locally get brought to the course on the day in question, and indeed that that is probably the case for many less local entries – such as a Newmarket trained horse running at Goodwood or Windsor. But what about very much longer trips – for example I see that this afternoon Simon Crisford had a winner at Ayr, which must be well over 300 miles from his stables.
Presumably trainers/connections all have their own approaches, and I’ve heard it reported on tv racing programmes that sometimes horses are flown to their engagements, especially better Irish trained horses running in top UK races.
What I would really like to have a sense of is whether there are any safe general assumptions – for example that a horse running less than, say, four hours travel time from his or her stable would usually go by road on the day, while a horse running several hundred miles from the stable would normally travel the day before.
I can say that it’s very unlikely that any horses going to Ayr today are going to flying these sort of luxuries are reserved for Group type horses travelling to foreign meetings. What they are racing for at Ayr today would not warrant air fares. Some may travel up over night and stay in the racecourse stables
I’ve seen horse boxes going through Market Rasen that must have travelled from as far as Wales on the day. I think that’s probably general practice.
I can remember Golden Fire, way back in the early sixties, being walked from Doug Marks’ stable to Ascot (not Royal Ascot) having refused to enter the box. It was only a few miles and obviously didn’t take much out of him as he duly obliged, I think at 7-1.
In his book Valley of the Racehorse author Robin Oakley offers a different view on Golden Fire. In an interview with Oakley, Marks confirms he had to walk Golden Fire to Ascot. The year would be 1962 and at the time he was training at Winkfield, about 3 miles from the racecourse. However Marks goes on to say the horse finished last, having lost a shoe during the race.
Golden Fire did win the Chester Cup that year at 7/1, though.