All horses returned from Doncaster in fine shape as has Adrimel from Cheltenham.
There are more people leaving Cheltenham disappointed that elated, we all know how tough it is to win there and the Irish have dominated this week more so that I can recall any other year. The press is mad to write about the Irish domination. I have not heard a single commentator even attempt to explain the dynamics involved in buying and selling horses. The Irish have for years produced horses through p2p’s and continue to do on a large scale. Those producing horses through the p2p’s will have relationships with many of the top trainers training under rules. The under rules trainers will be in conversation with p2p trainers as early as October about what they have. They will have their cards marked and will often have a horse bought before it leaves the p2p track where it has won its maiden. I don’t think that is happening as much as it once may have done. For obvious reasons, vendors/p2p trainers need to bring their horses to market so every trainer/owner they have recommended the horse to has an equal chance of buying it. P2p trainers recommending horses with average ability will destroy their business with one swipe of a pen. The number of times I have bought horses home from a sale as a result of having to tell those with deep pockets that the horse isn’t good enough for them is quite shocking. Finding an owner to spend 40-80,000 is difficult, they either have 10-25,000 or very deep pockets indeed for horses that are considered the elite of a crop. In my experience Irish agents seem to have a lot more clout than English agents. I have sold horses to Ireland on the back of a very short phone call. In England, the agents have to go off and talk to their client and their client’s friends. The Irish just agree to buy the horse at asking price on trust. The English then moan that they didn’t get a fair chance.
Irish trainers attract more English, Irish and foreign owners with deep pockets. The BHA need to ask themselves why – they need not as I can answer that question for them. It comes down to prize money, unless prize money increases in the UK we can expect more Irish dominance at the Cheltenham festival for years to come. They will continually be buying the best horses that are fed to them from the p2p field whether that be privately or at auction. Thank goodness for Punchestown otherwise, they would be cleaning up at Aintree too.
Rosmuc Relay heads to Uttoxeter tomorrow, to read my thoughts click here.