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Four Furlong Races in 2011?

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  • #11795
    Maxilon 5
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    • Total Posts 2432

    The Queen Mary and Windsor Castle plaudits have just gone to America to precocious horses whose initial preparation came in four furlong races.

    I understand this topic briefly arose in the press two weeks ago to a muted response.

    Yet Wes Ward’s Strike The Tiger and Jealous Again appeared to be sharper, better prepared and more alert at the gate than our juveniles. Ward was open about this in his post-race thoughts yesterday. He spotted a rick and exploited it.

    In greyhound racing, top trainers like Charlie Lister and David Pruhs often run their best open racers over sprint trips immediately prior to a tournament as a sharpener. None of our trainers were able to do such a thing because we don’t run races over distances where speed and stalls work are critical.

    What does everyone think? Four, even three and a half furlong races, in 2011?

    #234881
    seabird
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    • Total Posts 2924

    Immediate reaction is that the stalls work and running over shorter trips is done at home. Agreed that isn’t exactly race conditions.

    Colin

    #234919
    rory
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    • Total Posts 2685

    For the sake of accuracy, the debuts of Strike The Tiger, Aegean and Jealous Again were over 4.5 furlongs, which would be a perfectly reasonable early seson distance for juveniles. The 2.5 furlong distance over which Yogaroo was beaten on debut may be pushing it a bit.

    The comparison with greyhound trainers is surely irrelevant, as a pipe opener over 285 yards for a 550 metre race is hardly the same as prepping the King George jolly over three furlongs in a race. If the top trainers thought a sprint prep was effective, there are ample opportunities available.

    Fair play to Wesley Ward by the way, although his son is beginning to grate on me :D

    #234945
    stilvi
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    • Total Posts 4515

    Fair play to Wesley Ward by the way, although his son is beginning to grate on me :D

    You can’t be serious – Riley was Rishi’s best interview of the week!

    #235127
    Gareth Flynn
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    • Total Posts 583

    France have the odd 900m race.

    #235314
    Maxilon 5
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    • Total Posts 2432

    The comparison with greyhound trainers is surely irrelevant, as a pipe opener over 285 yards for a 550 metre race is hardly the same as prepping the King George jolly over three furlongs in a race.

    Sorry, rory. Completely fail to see the irrelevance.

    In both cases, the object of the sprint exercise is to sharpen behaviour at the gates and to encourage early pace and momentum. In both cases, stamina is either assumed or trusted to God so when the animals are asked to peak on the big day, they will be able to take several spots/several lengths out of the field – which may, as with Jealous Again, prove critical in the climax of the race.

    #235364
    cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8992

    I don’t think it was their dexterity out of the stalls that made the difference. I think they were just a bit sharper and fitter than out lot.

    Nothing wrong with the idea of some 4 furlong races though. I also think an enterprising racecourse should stick on an ‘unofficial’ quarter race too. Not as a prep for Ascot but just for its own sake.

    #235403
    seabird
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    Would they be allowed to?

    I’ve always assumed, perhaps wrongly, that five furlongs was the minimum trip races, under rules, could be run over.

    Colin

    #235597
    Venusian
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    • Total Posts 1665

    Yes, the rules would have to be changed, but there’s case for allowing 4f 2-y-o races in the early part of the season, say, up to the end of April.

    Seeing early season 2-y-os struggling over 5f in heavy ground at somewhere like Newcastle is not a pretty sight.

    #235611
    rory
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    • Total Posts 2685

    Surely Tom has a view?

    #235653
    Anonymous
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    • Total Posts 17716

    Yes, the rules would have to be changed, but there’s case for allowing 4f 2-y-o races in the early part of the season, say, up to the end of April.

    Why bother to have 2yo’s running over such an inadequate distance as 4f, when late

    yearlings

    could be doing the same – say, from the Leger meeting at Doncaster onwards? :)

    #235690
    Neil Watson
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    Well Yearling racing was banned many many years ago.

    4f races could work even for older horses, after all the minimum trip in Athletics is 100m but 60m indoor.

    It would work but not all flat tracks could do it, for example Chester and Beverley would not be able to do it so just straight tracks would be needed.

    #235729
    Shadow Leader
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    • Total Posts 763

    I cannot believe that anyone is being serious when suggesting races of 2f, 3f or even 4f. Not if they have more than three brain cells in their head that is.

    #235811
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17716

    I cannot believe that anyone is being serious when suggesting races of 2f, 3f or even 4f. Not if they have more than three brain cells in their head that is.

    I certainly wasn’t being so! To quote (seriously) Lady Bracknell, the idea of racing over 4f or less is Grotesque and Irreligious.

    #235915
    griff11
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    • Total Posts 148

    We have a number of 2f races here and the first couple of weeks of the season are devoted to 10 race cards of only 5f races.

    Tremendous stuff if you don’t possess even a single brain cell that Shadow Leader mentioned.

    They later introduce the odd 6f race and now they are really stretching them with races that are stamina sapping 8f.

    We also have Quarter Horse racing which for some reason seems much more palatable in its own setting, yet not at Woodbine. They go like **** off a shovel.

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