The resumption of racing still seems a very emotive topic, one of which I have resisted the temptation to comment on on social media. I thought Ralph Beckett stated some important points last week on Luck on Sunday and my view of public perception remain unchanged. There are knockers around every corner and I think it is vitally important that they gain no more power than they seem to have accumulated already. My issue with it all was franked by many more respected voices than my own in that the lack of communication and transparency of what work has been going on seems to be causing most annoyance. Only for Ralph stating that private hospitals had agreed to cope with any casualties thrown at them through racing we would have had no idea this good work had been agreed. Had we all known such things were being agreed we could have appreciated so much more was being done. No doubt, resulting in a lot more sympathy and possibly less criticism in the direction of the BHA and Nick Rust. I’m baffled by Ann Marie Phelps involvement or lack of it, I wonder if her lack of knowledge about racing and how it all works is causing her to be shielded. When she was signed as chair of the BHA her working relationship with ministers was flagged as a huge positive for the industry? Maybe she’s too focused on tweeting about missing out on her lunch during a cancelled shopping trip to Dublin. I do agree with Mark Johnson that those who run our sport should be going to government stating what plans they have in place to resume racing safely rather than waiting to be told. However, some commentators say this is being done, if so, why aren’t we being kept in the loop with some open and honest communication rather than being treated like mushrooms. Incidentally, I have no doubt this work is being done but it would be nice to be included in the findings. It appears that we are no closer to a resumption than we were this time last week. I’m not sure who keeps dreaming up these dates of a resumption but for me, a resumption will now have to be seen to be believed. To that end, our horses have all had an easy week lobbing away around the sand or up the hill. Yes No Maybe So, Black Anthem and Pirate of the Sea have all stayed on the sand since returning to training on Monday. I am not complaining nor do I wish for our industry to be put before the health and wellbeing of people. I do however, expect to be able to hit the ground running as and when it is perceived safe to do so.
Reading about a trainer misleading an owner this week was hugely damaging for the industry. When everyone is working incredibly hard to encourage a new audience and new owners to the sport that type of carry on is not helpful. I must say that the punishment did not reflect the seriousness of the crime but thankfully, the horses’ welfare was not compromised.
I have had more time on twitter than normal and am confused that adults seem unable to compute simple instructions. The lockdown remains in place until Sunday night when the prime minister will address the nation about his road map out. Yet folk say they are confused by the mixed messages they are receiving from government. Perhaps, the BHA are right in keeping their cards close to their chests, communicating nothing avoids unmixed messages getting mixed.