Yesterday gave us a break in the freezing weather so we capitalized on it and got everything needing a gallop galloped. This morning we were back to freezing temperatures. The woodchip and the schooling strip do not hold the water content that the sand gallop does so we are always able to keep moving. We schooled all the 4 year olds over fences this morning and many over hurdles. The 4 year olds are really starting to jump with fluency and accuracy.
Bells on Sunday heads to Wetherby tomorrow, she’s up in class and it is a competitive little race. She certainly appears to be fit and well.
This is the time of year when I have my rant about races for 4-year-old maidens in point to points. The race conditions at point to points are solely the prerogative of the organizing committees many of which are made up of a bunch of retros, some of them ex – military, who have got their heads firmly stuck in the sand. It would appear many committees seem to be deliberately putting obstacles in the way of saving the sport.
Although we have had some good competitive racing so far this season the number of Hunter Certificates issued to date is down 12 % year on year. Larkhill, in my opinion, is the best p2p course in the country with 2 meetings in January neither of which have a race framed for a 4-year-old maiden. I do not jest - their 2.4mile maiden race at the meeting in February is for maidens who have run at least 4 times in p2p races. There are plenty of military activities in the area, hopefully, the committees of those 3 early meetings may get caught up in some of them. We are then faced with the 7-year-old and over maidens on other cards. In life, I’m a big believer in you reap what you sow. Very little thought seems to have gone into the framing of races at Larkhill which annoys me no end. There is simply no better place to introduce a 4-year-old to racing. For every forward thinking fixture secretary/ committee there are three who are stuck in the practices of 30 years ago and completely closed to any idea of change. They need to be cleared out sharpish, they are very dangerous to the future of point to pointing. If you have a 7-year-old maiden and a maiden who has run 4 times and not won, the likelihood is they are moderate horses. They are races to nothing, who wants to watch them and where is the winner going after - it will hardly win a restricted.