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American Jockeys

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    • Total Posts 32

    Having watched Frankie, Mick and Kearon losing at least 5BC’s isn’t it time to put up proper Jockeys for these valuable races? Maybe next year Coolmore will have some horses running in Australia for Mick like the Arabs did for Frankie!

    • Total Posts 2685

    I agree at least in part Benmore (but not about the spelling of Mr Fallon’s name!).  Fair play on Clare Balding for being critical of Mick Kinane’s ride on Rock Of Gibraltar, while Willie Carson condoned the decision to enter the home turn in last place off a slow pace, because "you don’t want to come wide".  Better five horses wide than thirteen horses long, Willie!

    In defence of our "European Pinheads" as they’ve been described, the problem lies as much with the acclimatisation of our horses with US starting procedures.  In the US, horses are taught to recognise the bell, and when the stalls clang open, they’re out and racing.

    In every race with European horses, the vast majority of them not only didn’t jump off in rhythm, but seemed unnerved by the process and found themselves detached from their fields; from there, almost any jockey is going to look like a lemon, and the inexperience of all our top jocks round the Arlington circuit proved to be a further handicap.  Only the ill-fated Landseer under Edgar Prado was given a good sighter (High Chaparral met relative handicappers in the turf), and ironically might even have won the mile but for his fatal injury.

    Had John Velasquez, who is an exceptional jockey been replaced by Mick Kinane on Van Nistelrooy, he’d have come in for flak as well, but the fact is that the European horses were forced to give away an average of 3-4 lengths at the start of their races on a night when virtually nothing could make up ground, especially on the dirt.  

    No marks for Mick on "The Rock" nor for Kieren on Islington however, but Golan had been working worse than usual in practice and simply had an off day in the Turf.

    • Total Posts 32

    Ian, I wa thinking as much of the end of the race as the beginning.I remerber a few years watching Lester getting left at the gate on Royal Academy. He didn’t come home with that excuse. He still won! Landseer was drawn outside the Rock didn’t miss the break and got in a position to win. Prado had a real excuse for not winning! What was Mike doing BEHIND Landseer anyway ???? Sure beats me.

    The Legend
    • Total Posts 5

    I feel i have to make a contribution to this topic because generally ‘BEN’ is right somewhat in what he says.

    I backed ROG because the horse is quite simply a stone ahead of anything else in the world over a mile. I didnt go big on him for 2 reasons – 1 he was racing in the USA and 2 – he wasnt being ridden by a course jockey.

    Say what you like about Mick Kinane but the fact remains in terms of USA racing he is an apprentice and what you got was an apprentice ride.

    Americans treat turf racing as sub standard to dirt racing and invariably they build their turf courses inside their dirt courses as in Arlington last night.

    This gives you a course not a million miles away from lets say Chester in the UK.

    Now if you were drawn 10 of 12 at Chester over a mile with a hold up horse who was a good thing but albeit in a championship race where every other horse is trying its guts out to the extent of breaking limbs!!!!! (excuse me) would you drop your horse 20 lengths off the pace?

    I think not.

    There was a slight inside bias last night but all in all you had to be on the pace and I knew Id done my dough after 2 furlongs.

    • Total Posts 224

    <br>The American horses were certainly quick out of the gate compared to most of the European horses. The American horses would have been used to the stalls and the bell more than the European horses…but that’s about 5% of why some European horses were slow away.

    The Juvenile was a good example – Tomahawk and Hold That Tiger both broke slowly. Van Nistelrooy broke level. The first two were ridden by Euro jockeys, the other by a US jockey.

    Islington was slow out, so were Rock Of Gibraltar and Hawk Wing. All ridden by Euro jockeys.

    Gossamer was an exception. She broke well. Jamie Spencer gave her a good ride but she could last out.

    Personally, I think the American jockeys were better than the Euro’s in their home enviroment. They were smarter with the tactics – overall – and when breaking from the stalls.

    Golan’s form this year – in Britain/Ire – was at Ascot and York. Compare that course to Arlington. Golan had to be pulled up in training because he couldn’t handle the track. He looked unhappy when going into the stalls, predictably broke slowly and was never moving that well.

    Brian F
    • Total Posts 8

    Ordinarily, I am reluctant to criticise jockeys.  Apart from mistakes being inevitable in a business where a split second decision can mean the difference between defeat and disaster, a lot of the time punters talk through their pockets and a lot of the time they fail to consider the problems posed by a combination of the horse’s preferred style of running, the draw, the course and the pace at which the race is run.  An example of this would be Thierry Thulliez’s ride on Sulamani in the Arc – beleive me, he did not want to be that far back but the draw and the pace at which the race was run made it impossible for him to get into a decent position without expending energy that would be missed badly at the finish of the race.

    All that said, I agree with all those who say that MJK was abysmal on Saturday night.  I consider it one of the worst examples of race riding that I have ever seen from a top-class jockey.  The guy who mentioned Prado’s handling of Landseer was spot on. He got into a reasonable position, so why didn’t MJK?

    Either because he didn’t want to or because he couldn’t.   The latter doesn’t apply as there was ample opportunity to get him into a mid-division position without using up necessary energy.  If he was there because he wanted to be there, he was flying in the face of "best practice" based on previous winning rides around America dog-tracks.  Whichever way you look at it he goofed – big-time.

    And then we get Willie Carson, the BBC expert commentator spinning the viewer a line about the difficulties of North American racing.  Carson is there to educate the viewer and it is not acceptable that he fail in his duty in that regard by spinning a load of rubbish.  Footballers, golfers, cricketers, rugby players and exponents of every other sport one can mention accept criticism as part of the game.  Why can’t jockeys?  If Carson and his ilk discussed honestly the errors made by jockeys, the viewe’/punter would have a better understanding of when errors are made and are not made.  As it is, they engage in a pretence that mistakes are never made.  Ridiculous.

    Ian Davies – I have a lot of respect for your opinions and so maybe Carson is a decent bloke but as an expert commentator he fails to do his job (although he used TV to do his other job in June 1999 by describing his employer’s Derby winner which never won another race as potentially the best since Nijinsky;) ) honestly.

    Incidentally, I take your point about Hold That Tiger in both the BC race and the Grand Criterium but in the Longchamp race he was running close behind Loving Kindness who was also off the pace and while her run petered out inside the last furlong, he kept going..and going..and going.  I think he has plenty of stamina and will get 10fs.

    • Total Posts 15

    Apart from the bell and the clanging, Kieron Fallon has said Hold That Tiger (and the other Europeans) was distracted by the stall handlers, alot of the american horses had lads in the stalls at the start and he said his horse was looking at the bloke next door, like ‘ what are YOU doing in here?’ and wasn’ t paying attention when the gates opened. Something to work on for next year, maybe……..

    • Total Posts 32

    Robgomm<br>I would even suggest that they i.e. the american jockeys, are better outside their own environment. Have you seen Gary Stevens on the Englist tracks (or Steve Cauthen) or Jerry Bailey at Dubie?They were brilliant.

    • Total Posts 32

    Spook<br>All excuses. The european horses with American jockeys all managed to break smartly. So it was not the handlers!

    • Total Posts 1198

    American jockeys brilliant over here?!! Did you not see the ride Best Of The Bests got in the English Derby from the American jockey?! It was simply brutal…………it took Stevens a while to get used to our tracks. He was here for a whole summer……..not just a day or two. As for Dubai well that may as well be an American track,it was designed to be so that it would attract American runners. Anyway the Europeans are’nt bad in Dubai are they? Fallon and co have plenty of winners over there.<br>                   Rob I think you’ll find that Van Nistlerooy actually came out third slowest in the Juvenile………he certainly did not break eveningly as you would suggest. People are complaining about how badly the horses were breaking on Saturday. Well yeah they were……..thats what their trained to do. Over here we have more stamina demands in our races so we need to train our horses to settle from the start so that they will get home. In America their races demand speed so they need to get a flying start so they train their horses to break fast.Simple as that. It is impossible to train a horse for three quarters of the year to break slowly and relax and then expect them to understand that when in America you must break fast. Their animals not humans. This is just something we’ll have to accept. OK its possible some trainers will devise a technique to teach the horses to break quicker i.e to completely re-educate the horse but they will never be able to break like the Americans.<br>   Then it gets tricky………….in Europe you train 2 year old to break slowly and relax…………you then decided to send him to Breeders Cup meeting to you getting him breaking fast.  Then you bring him back for his 3 year old career in Europe and his starting technique is American. Then you have one serious confused horse who could be ruined for the year. These are the REAL problems facing the European horses not the damn bloody jockeys. If it was that simple why did’nt Godolphin have one winner last weekend?

    • Total Posts 2685

    It’s been suggested that the European horses with American jockeys all broke well, with Van Nistelrooy as an example.  I was obviously watching a different race, because the Van Nistelrooy I watched was detached from the field after 100 yards.

    • Total Posts 226

    Mike Smith and John Velazquez are my 2 favourite North American riders and they both had great days on Saturday-winning half of the Breeders’ Cup races between them.

    But I thought that Johhnie gave Dansili a dire ride in the 2000 BC Mile.

    • Total Posts 2685

    Oh yes Peng, an absolute shocker, he finished full of running but still in a pocket if memory serves. He could have switched to the outside, stopped and had a cuppa, and still picked them up!

    • Total Posts 1041

    Just a couple of notes:

    The horses should not hear the bell as it sounds after the gates open to encourage ones that are late out.

    The European trainers requested no stall handlers in the gates along side their horses.  This was as true for, say, Domedriver, as the O’Brien horses etc.

    • Total Posts 994

    To be honest you can talk about jockey errors till the cows come home, but surely what hampered the European horses was how quickly they broke from the stalls and took a position.

    It is quite evident that horses are not trained to react to breaking like lightning when the stalls open. Robgomm you commented that Van Nilsteroy broke level because he had a US Jockey on board, after half a furlong he had only two behind him, Hold that Tiger and Tomahawk, so to be honest I don’t think he broke well at all.

    Also Benmore you say that Lester Piggot found himself in a similiar position on Royal Academy as MJK, was Lester hampered when he was just about to get to work on the horse? I would be interested to know the answer to that?

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