While it may have been the case that headgear automatically meant dodgepot at one time, I think nowadays it is used more as a precaution.
It was raised to me yesterday that Impulsive One wearing headgear might have been a negative. However, there was nothing particularly concerning about his attitude on the flat and it has seldom been an issue for NJH horses who invariably run well in headgear. Rather, I got the impression that it was used as a safeguard should a sequence of events arise whereby even the most stoic veteran could be lit up. Indeed, that is how it played out in the race yesterday.
I have had a look at the proportion of national hunt horses using headgear and it rose quite dramatically over the previous decade. Indeed, if you wanted to find another race where the whole field was in costume, 2018 might be a good place to look :D
Thanks. I suppose it was unfair to automatically assume horses with headgear on are dodgepots. In fact, when I look at a racecard, the first thing I do is check for first time headgear and then check if the horse has any form back in the day. I have found that a good punting angle.
I went to Warwick yesterday. It was good to be there again and to see a fair sized crowd back on a racecourse. First Street looks an above average novice for the time of year and it was a pleasure to see Vision Des Flos jump so well. I wonder if they have one of the Cheltenham handicaps in mind?
And well done to Warwick for providing racegoers with a good choice of food, unlike some tracks I have been to recently. Wolverhampton was awful, unless you like pies or pasties.