Can anyone answer this question for me please ? Almost always, when I’m having a flick through the RP I notice that the fields at the Irish meetings are huge. Except for the group races generally. Many have reserves sometimes every race. Why is this and why does this not happen in English racing? Just wondered…Is it to do with declarations? The beauty of this forum is that I know there is someone who can answer this>
It’s as a result of a major economic boom here in the past ten years which means that every man and his dog has a horse in training or at least a leg in one. A major increase in ownership has spawned a massive increase in horse producton and the number of horses in training has exploded. As we didn’t have an All-Weather track here till the other day, no equivalent corresponding increase in the number of fixtures was possible with the result that more and more horses are trying to get a run in a modestly increased number of fixtures and races, hence the orgy of big fields and ballotting out. The problem is especially acute at the bottom end of the class pyramid and lowly-rated horses both on the Flat and National Hunt struggle to get a run. The Turf Club are trying to address the issue by raising the minimum rating with so far limited success. Dundalk will help, another AWT is needed already, but the coming recession will sort it all out.