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The home of intelligent horse racing discussion

High Ken

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Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 45 total)
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  • in reply to: Tony Dobbin retires #157593
    High Ken
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    I don’t blame Tony Dobbin for what happened, but the fact 3 horses were declared non runners in a field of 8 was a tad suspicious to start with.

    I taped the the race on RUK and have watched it a number of times and haven’t changed my view at all. Just like the presenters and stewards you would have to be blind to ignore what happened after the last.

    in reply to: Tony Dobbin retires #157454
    High Ken
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    Once I heard Dobbin had decided during the Aintree meeting to hang up his boots at Carlisle on Thursday I knew a certain winner lay in wait, especially when I heard all family and friends were going to watch him ride in a race named after him. I would have staked my mortgage on it which in the current climate shows just how confident I was.

    Surely the decent thing to do is ride a winner and then say you have retired. The bookies and punters knew full well what was going to happen, and the race descended into farce. The race comment for the runner-up in the Racing Post is as follows;

    "chased winner throughout, hit 3 out, shaken up next, edged right and rider dropped reins run-in (I’m sure it said twice in todays’s Post), kept on"

    It was quite embarrassing to watch when McAlistar realised his horse was going to catch Dobbin despite his lack of riding out, so then dropped his reins and changed his whip from hand to hand (even though the horse was going straight). If Fist Of Fury couldn’t see this then there is no hope for the sport.

    I fully respect Tony Dobbin but this wasn’t a good way to retire.

    in reply to: Aintree second to last fence #157312
    High Ken
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    If upturned dandy brush was meant to describe any fence it’s the second last at Aintree. Horses just walked through it and Mahogany Blaze did literally walk through it without even bothering to lift his feet!!

    These are not the fences that One Man and Strong Promise lost their lives and if these are going to be altered yet again I will soon give up with this sport. Steeplechasing is about stamina and jumping. One of those will very soon be removed from the calculation (just look at Haydock, Ludlow, Ascot, Kempton, Wetherby to the way the sport is moving).

    As for the course that resites it’s fences the most. Surely this is Stratford, that is if they even bother to jump them!!

    in reply to: McKelvey Death Gives Animal Aid Another Stick #156734
    High Ken
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    I was pleased to see the One Show did not make this a political issue. They told it how it was. Having a young vet in the studio brought some credence to the whole issue.

    As for banning the National. Be in no doubt that would be the death knell for NH racing. Millions like me were captivated by the National in the Red Rum years and but for that would have taken no interest in the sport.

    To think the future might be watching horses jumping nothing bigger than a brush hurdle, and wall-to-wall sand racing round ever increasing identical racecourses every day. What a nightmare scenario.

    in reply to: Mike Cattermole Commentry #156727
    High Ken
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    Perhaps it was the green hoop on every jockeys silks that caused the confusion. My daughter did ask me why all the owners used the same green hoop for their logo!!

    in reply to: McKelvey Death Gives Animal Aid Another Stick #156546
    High Ken
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    George J

    You state my comments about certain charity workers (or campaign members if you wish Maxilon) earnings are speculative. I am speaking from knowledge and experience so need to question me on that aspect. I will not quote figures to you to avoid embarrassment to those concerned.

    Yes 25 horses failed to finish. The figure was generally lower before all the "safety improvements" were made to Aintree fences which begs the question, do bigger fences make for slower/safer races, but nobody cares to listen to that argument either? If you want 40 horses to hurdle fences at speed you get this type of result. Just look at the number of fatalities before and since the supposed improvements. Furthermore if you had a 4½ mile 40 runner handicap chase at Cheltenham, Ayr or Punchestown would you get any more finishers. I doubt it.

    The National has been watered down far enough. The respected Alaistair Down made this observation a few years ago. The race has to be a challenge fair to both man & beast. Even the RSPCA spokesperson David Muir can just about accept that and knows Aintree have done as much as they can in the last 20 years. Bechers must have been altered at least 4 times during that period, Valentines lowered and The Chair had all it’s traditional venom removed.
    Racehorses are not abused and racing for the most part has nothing to be ashamed of. If we question whether the National or horse racing is cruel then you are questioning the motives of thousands of owners/trainers/stable employees, etc. To use an example of children/women working down mines and racism is like comparing a group of British Asians wanting to blow up thousands of people including their own children with the freak death of 2 animals in the Grand National over the last 2 years. Irrelevant.

    F1 has become the most tedious sport because the element of danger has all but been removed. Why do you think most people watch the first lap and then turn off or go make a cup of tea? I do agree the Nanny state would love to get involved (it has tried before) and ban the National but thankfully there are over 300 million people worldwide that watch the National and assuming there are not 300 million sadists out there, their interest should override a small group of so called animal rights groups.

    in reply to: McKelvey Death Gives Animal Aid Another Stick #156498
    High Ken
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    Maxilon 5

    You obviously missed the point.

    Why should any reasonable person listen to a small anti-horseracing group who’s not insubstantial earnings are from charitable donations by others who have little idea where their money goes. Who is the charity there for? The horses? I think not.

    Horses have died in the National since it began. Every year we end up defending the race. Alverton, Dark Ivy, Brown Trix, Eudipe, Kintai, Winter Rain, the list is long. But what do we want, a 20 runner 3 mile Cesarewitch? If so, count me out and the hundreds of millions of others throughout the world who watch in every year.

    If the National had no element of danger (and my God the Aintree executive have bent over backwards to the RSPCA and animal rights lobby in recent times), then we would end up with something as boring and watered down as F1.

    It said it all for me when McCoy thought the Red Marauder National was the most exciting race he had ridden in. And he remounted to finish 3rd!!

    in reply to: McKelvey Death Gives Animal Aid Another Stick #156435
    High Ken
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    "Scribbles" wrote: My angle is that if there was an escape route at each fence then horses could run the course rather than running all over the infield. I don’t see why the fences have to stretch the whole width of the course personally ala Auteuil. It wouldn’t be a whole lot of trouble surely, to help avoid these types of occurance, to widen the course by six ft or so onto the infield.

    Surely the danger here is that if a loose horse spots a gap on the inside and he is running on the other side he/she will cross the whole field to get to it. Disaster then awaits.

    I think it is highly dangerous having vehicles running along the inside of the track with the loose horses about although I don’t know of an incident involving a vehicle and loose horse. This was a freak accident and you can’t cater for every eventuality.

    in reply to: Mike Cattermole Commentry #156433
    High Ken
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    Totally agree. Shockingly embarrassing. It was the worse commentary since the Topham family had a go many years ago. He makes mistakes in 8 runner fields, so why on earth would you let him loose on 40 runners? I think C4 & RUK like his voice, but his eyes/brain never seem to kick in.

    Saying that who can forget the legendary Peter O’Sullivan missing Boom Docker’s refusal at the 17th in the 1977 National when nearly 60 lengths in front, but noticing instead that Barony Fort was a fence behind!! Classic.

    Speaking of which does anyone know what became of Boom Docker?

    in reply to: McKelvey Death Gives Animal Aid Another Stick #156420
    High Ken
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    This was touched upon on an earlier message but Mr Tyler and many other "animal welfare" charities do very well out of ill informed individuals donations. It is not unusual for some "charity" workers to earn more than some vets and doctors, which just about says it all. These "charities" need the National to boost their income. It is little to do with caring about racehorses.

    You would have to come from another planet not to realise that the National is inherently dangerous. It’s on the wrapper and the BBC would have surely been aware of this unless they had another agenda. They knew all too well this horse was fragile.

    With NH racing becoming softer by the day, this is the only race that tests both the bravery and stamina of both man and beast. The fences are getting lower and softer, but of course the knock on effect is the race is getting quicker. You can’t have it both ways.

    If any other horse apart from McKelvey had died in this way it wouldn’t get the same publicity.

    in reply to: Aintree fences (not the national ones) #156295
    High Ken
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    What is the point of fences at a top track such as Aintree if you can walk straight through them?

    If Kauto had been in racing just 10 years ago he would have more letters next to his name than numbers.

    in reply to: McKelvey Death Gives Animal Aid Another Stick #156286
    High Ken
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    We had been discussing at my workplace what would happen if McKelvey died in the National after being followed by One Show viewers for over a month. A PR disaster we all agreed.

    This is a very popular program, and already I am not keen on watching on Monday. I know it was a total accident (last years accidental death near the finishing line was worse but thankfully did not have the same exposure as this one will have).

    It was great to hear McKelvey was back in training and I backed him last year, but after seeing him I could hardly bring myself to back him this year. I’m no vet but to me the clips of him walking at his stables worried me, and his 2 racecourse appearances were hardly inspiring especially on quicker ground.

    A sad day for the Bowen’s and stable staff.

    in reply to: National Fences omitted due to low sun! #155024
    High Ken
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    Joking aside it is only a matter of time before The Chair and Water are dolled off for some bizarre reason. Those people with the dolls can’t wait to spring into action, like they seem to do at nearly every other course now.

    in reply to: National reserves #154805
    High Ken
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    • Total Posts 47

    We could run more than 2 Nationals this week. I really hope all 40 declared turn up on Saturday as some connections are going to be slightly miffed if some certain owners/trainers swamp the field with their horses and don’t run for whatever reason.

    in reply to: Yarmouth Boycott #153947
    High Ken
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    I have very little interest in flat racing, but can someone tell me if there are professional owners of racehorses who have no other income stream? No I didn’t think so, so what on earth are they moaning about when it comes to prize money?

    Do racehorse owners throughout the world get the VAT concession paid by us other mugs who have no or little chance of ever owning a racehorse?

    Racehorse ownership is a hobby and most people don’t expect to make money from a hobby.

    in reply to: Fences at Ludlow #153767
    High Ken
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    • Total Posts 47

    Ludlow must have some of the weakest fences in the UK. I have seen better built/stiffer fences at my local point to point. How often is a fence demolished at Ludlow and then not jump for the rest of the afternoon?

    The portables at Haydock almost put them on a par with Ludlow. Such a crying shame when you think Red Rum used to grace this course so often on his way to Aintree truimph.

    The stiffest and best presented fences in the UK? Wincanton?

    in reply to: Hobbs/National runners #152620
    High Ken
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    All we are going to be left with are McManus/Hemmings/Ogden/Stewart horses and not much else!! Thank the lord we don’t have horses coupled in the betting or it would get very boring.

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 45 total)