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January 16, 2008 at 18:17 #6280absolutionMember
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Im sure this subject been brought up before but wonder what other members feel about horses having visors or blinkers for the first time. I thought of this seeing Shardakhan romp in at Kempton last saturday. I just wonder if some trainers are more adept at horses wearing headgear- im usually put off because too often horses go off too fast and have nothing left at the business end of the race but obviously there are exceptions!!!!!January 16, 2008 at 19:23 #135784ReasonoverFaithMember
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It’s something I’m aware of when I look at a race, but I have to say that it’s never, ever a factor for me. When I formulate my book on a race I can’t ever think of an occasion where I would alter my figures based on headgear.
If you look at the figures, there’s no real impact of horses in general wearing headgear for the first time. Whether specific trainers have better records than others … well, that’s possible.
If anyone runs a query and can identify those trainers I’d love to know.January 16, 2008 at 19:30 #135785
Certainly something I look out for, not to be backing horses FTO they have headgear but anytime headgear is used on horses that look like they may improve for it. Plenty of horses do concentrate that bit better in headgear.January 16, 2008 at 19:32 #135786
One good example is Smokey Rye, the Gary Moore trained filly in the 3yo handicap tonight. Although she is still flashing her tail, her form has gone the right way and it would be hard to crab any of her efforts since she’s had blinkers fitted.January 16, 2008 at 20:30 #135799apracingParticipant
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One reason why headgear might not produce results is that it only gets applied after a horse has run badly, very rarely when a horse is on a run of good form.
Having said that, I’ve seen it work myself – I owned a horse that was a maiden halfway through it’s fourth year and promptly won two staying handicaps when blinkers were applied. Of course, it might have been the step up in trip that was the key factor, or perhaps it was the fact that eleven of the sixteen runners in the first race were maidens when the race started and ten of them probably still are today.
And perhaps the follow up win was purely down to confidence (jockey as well as horse). The jockey admitted he only kept pushing from halfway in the second race because the horse was 11/8 favourite.
That’s the problem isn’t it – it might have been the blinkers, but there’s no way of being sure.
APJanuary 16, 2008 at 20:33 #135800
The jockey admitted he only kept pushing from halfway in the second race because the horse was 11/8 favourite.
A rare breed, there’s plenty of them that stop pushing at halfway for exactly the same reason!January 16, 2008 at 21:06 #135806SmithyMember
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It is probably more than coincedence that some of Stravinsky’s progeny improve for the fitting of headgear, as he did.January 16, 2008 at 21:22 #135809carvillshillParticipant
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AP will know that I was in despair about a horse I owned, Epidaurian King, after a series of expensive and disappointing performances. After a run in a visor over a mile when he didn’t get home he’s won his next three, allowing me to sell him! I don’t think he’s ungenuine but it just seems to help him concentrate- he’s a very buzzy, strong-going horse you’d expect might be lit up in headgear, but it worked.January 16, 2008 at 21:25 #135813VenusianParticipant
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Yes, not all horses who need blinkers are ungenuine, often they just need something to make them pay attention to the job in hand, rather than looking around at their pals or admiring the scenery. They can be the making of some horses, Skymaster and Amerigo being two notable examples.January 16, 2008 at 22:39 #135833graysonscolumnParticipant
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AP will know that I was in despair about a horse I owned, Epidaurian King, after a series of expensive and disappointing performances.
…and I was in despair with him on Sunday when I laid him on air! Seriously though, nice work with him, sir.
The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.January 16, 2008 at 22:47 #135837carvillshillParticipant
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Not quite as good as it sounds- I sold him after the first win fearing he wouldn’t reproduce it!January 16, 2008 at 22:52 #135838graysonscolumnParticipant
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The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.January 16, 2008 at 23:05 #135842MountyMember
- Total Posts 455
It’s generally negative but there are several notable exceptions – Alan King hurdlers with first-time blinkers are always worth a second look, whilst Amanda Perrett’s Flat runners must be avoided like the plague – Chocolate Caramel anyone? And will someone please tell Nicky Henderson to stop running first-time blinkered chasers in 24-runner handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival.
Here’s a few stats…
Since 1 January 2000 horses running in Britain in first-time blinkers (not
necessarily first-time headgear, as they may have worn a visor previously,
for example) won 6.2% of their races, as compared to 9.3% for horses without first-time blinkers.January 17, 2008 at 00:59 #135854AnonymousInactive
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Certainly something I look out for, not to be backing horses FTO they have headgear but anytime headgear is used on horses that look like they may improve for it. Plenty of horses do concentrate that bit better in headgear.
Agree with DJ on this.
Certainly not all the time, but often enough to make a difference, you can predict from a horse’s recent form whether they will be an asset to the horse or, – more often than not – a sign of the trainer’s desperation.
Where they do often have a beneficial effect is to help an inexperienced horse concentrate where it’s prone to the odd untidy jump, or to sharpen them up for when dropped in distance from one where they haven’t managed to win for a while. Hardy Eustace’s first Champion Hurdle win springs to mind, (though I wish I’d taken more notice at the time ).
Even the re-application of aids can be quite significant,as they were for Exotic Dancer and looked like being for Detroit City until his tragic exit so, even though often viewed as the rogue’s badge, they can certainly be a help in finding the occasional winner when the signs clearly indicate they might be.January 17, 2008 at 07:59 #135869MountyMember
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I see 11yo chaser Hi Cloy wears blinkers for the first time in the 2.45 at Thurles this afternoon. The word ‘lay’ springs to mind.
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