July 31, 2007 at 23:18 #4769
I must say I’m appalled at the beating the lovely old grey took tonight when he was clearly out on his feet. 8 long races in a matter of weeks took too much out of the old boy, and he collapsed and died after winning.
Happened before and will again, but that really sickened me.
R.I.P.August 1, 2007 at 14:26 #110022
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I’ve never been a fan of running horses into the ground. The old maxim of ‘this horse thrives on his racing’ is all well and good, but a horse is not a machine. Even the most hardy of mounts need a break occasionally, especially in the summer.
I guess Mighty Fine now gets his well deserved break, albeit a little too lateAugust 1, 2007 at 19:08 #110025
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Some aftertimimg of the highest order on this thread. The horse was 13 for goodness sakes and was in the form of his life. No point having a horse like this and running it four times a year.
I can thing of plenty of reasons to criticise Paul Blockley, his handling of Mighty Fine isn’t one of them.August 1, 2007 at 19:28 #110031
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I’ve followed the Slack stable for many years from a purely punting point of view. When Mighty Fine was claimed I was amazed and disappointed but that it was claimers are for so fair enough. All I will say is that the Slack outfit have lightly raced Mighty Fine down the years, they are too in tune with their horses for this to have been just on a whim – there must have been good reason.
I wonder if we will ever hear the Slack’s view on whether running the horse week in week out since being claimed may have had a detrimental effect on it’s welfare.August 1, 2007 at 20:05 #110035
I think "aftertiming" is a trendy phrase for use by a cool and reserved racing clique who yearn to know it all before it happens, davidjohnson. I don’t point the finger at you when I say that, but that’s what I associate the phrase with and it means nothing to me in the context of the above post because I’m not one of those people and it seems kind of irrelevent.
I’ll say it again – it really sickened me, watching him getting beaten over the line. Felt sorry for the horse and was gutted when I heard what had happened.
There is a case to answer for the trainer here, in my view.August 1, 2007 at 20:11 #110037
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I agree with DJ here.
I regret the passing of this fine performer as much as I do any other horse.
Mighty Fine seemed to thrive on racing and had just as much zest in this race as he had at the start of his winning run. Whatever the quality is that makes horses want to be at the front, Mighty Fine had it in spades. To blame the trainer for letting the horse do what he plainly enjoyed is just absurd.
RobAugust 1, 2007 at 20:29 #110043
Watch the last furlong of the race – it just wasn’t nice.
I can see how there might be two schools of thought, though.August 1, 2007 at 20:45 #110048
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Would you have started this thread about the ‘sickening’ ride if the horse hadn’t have collapsed afterwards?
IMO the ride was no more sickening than seen numerous times throughout the winter in much more testing conditions, that go unnoticed or are not commented on because the horses don’t die afterwards.August 1, 2007 at 20:59 #110054
Herewith my tuppence on Mighty Fine’s demise, reproduced from the thread on him in the Memorials forum.
It was undoubtedly a very, very sad end for a horse who literally ran his heart out on the night, but I wouldn’t be in any great hurry to castigate connections or suggest his recent campaigning in any way hastened his demise.
The point to make about most of Mighty Fine’s recent wins is that they have been attained with ridiculous ease against some dreadful opponents, and although I admittedly speak with relatively little first-hand knowledge on such matters, I’d suggest such "contests" would have taken very little out of him. Attempting to make all the way Mighty Fine did does not necessarily indicate running with the choke out – the succession of wins gained via "conservative front-running" by Ellerslie Tom last summer would count as a fine example of the craft.
Further, 47 races for a 13yo is anything but an exhaustive, exhausting career, due in part to him having had at least one lengthy spell on the sidelines with a cracked foot during the earlier years of his tenure with Evelyn Slack / Diane Sayer, and in real terms he probably gave every outward sign of being as fit and well this summer as a more evenly-campaigned horse four or five years his junior.
In short, Mighty Fine’s demise is a terrible shame, and a sadly conspicuous one for those who witnessed it at closer order at Perth last night, but the questioning of Paul Blockley’s handling of the late grey here is some way wide of the mark.
The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.August 1, 2007 at 21:06 #110057
No I wouldn’t have been bothered David, as you can guess.
When I heard the horse had gone, after seeing the head on footage which indicated the horse was veering so badly left and about to keel over while still getting the kitchen sink, it really got to my goat so to speak.
Of course it was aftertiming. I got annoyed after I heard the horse died. I’ve followed the horse all summer and was really expecting him to be given a break soon. Didn’t enjoy what happened one little bit, and I’m not the faint hearted sort.August 1, 2007 at 21:11 #110059
after seeing the head on footage which indicated the horse was veering so badly left and about to keel over while still getting the kitchen sick,
That’s just a wee bit of creative license, I think – the horse didn’t actually go down until he got back to the paddock, having looked well enough within himself again in the winner’s enclosure. Hanging relative to the whip up the run-in – certainly. Already dead on his feet by then – I’d suggest not.
The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.August 1, 2007 at 21:15 #110062
You make some good points there, and perhaps I shouldn’t be so quick to point the finger.
A simple "go easy on him if he’s knackered" might have paid dividends though. Added to that, Paddy Brennan was doing what he does best, by obtaining the best possible finishing position in a strong driving finish. No doubt he’d have suffered abuse had he eased off him – but I’ve little doubt it was the last furlong that killed the horse.
I’m careful not to abuse creative license – I had heard the horse collapsed after the winning post, fair enough if it was otherwise. He looked damn jaded to me judging by the head on, though.
Personally, I’m going to let this thread lie. Everyone has their own way of thinking about these incidents.August 1, 2007 at 21:40 #110063
No worries, Dan, argued with good grace as always. Little, if anything, evokes as much of an emotional response from true racing fans as the sad demise of those sent out to entertain us, and it was always inevitable that last night’s incident would be interpreted a number of different ways.
It is noted that another 13yo, Barry Potts’ Dream Castle, made all to land the claiming hurdle at the same venue this afternoon. Whilst he hasn’t been campaigned with quite the same frequency as Mighty Fine of late, his profile is not dissimilar in being an injury-plagued (broken down four times) but still thoroughly enthusiastic animal currently in the best form of his life. As such I wouldn’t have thought Mighty Fine’s sad end will influence Potts to consider calling time with his charge, nor really should it.
The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.August 1, 2007 at 22:07 #110065
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Did Best Mate drop dead on the course as a result of over racing? NO!
If Mighty Fine had been suffering the onset of a heart problem during the race it would not have won and most probably not have finished the race. The fact it died immediately after a race has all the do-gooders jumping on the bandwagon.August 2, 2007 at 11:21 #110135
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Mighty Fine ran an excellent race and, yes, he was pushed out on the line but no more so than many other horses are. If the jockey had stopped riding and the horse had been ok then we would have seen all the punters crying out that it was a non-tryer and the horse had been pulled etc. etc.
The horse was ok coming in to the winners enclosure, hot, blowing and sweating like every other horse at the end of the race. It was only on leaving the winners enclosure that he began to stagger and crumpled into the rails in the paddock. It was very distressing for everyone who witnessed it, in particular the general public who have probably never encountered anything like it before, but he died doing what he loved. I must say I would rather see an old racehorse die quickly after winning a race, doing what he was bred to do, and giving his owners and trainers so much pleasure than spend his years forgotten about in a field.
All credit must also be passed on to the racecourse staff who dealt most impressively with a very challenging and delicate situation. I have been in charge of a horse when it has died on a racecourse and it is a horrid situation but the staff at Perth were fantastic.
I was also thoroughly impressed with the horse’s owner who did not shy away from the truth and told the crowd over the tannoy that the horse had had a heart attack and died.
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