The rain continues to fall and the temperature is as low as it has been most of the winter. We are potentially weeks, if not months away from spring grass. No one is escaping the effects of this health crisis and economic disaster.
I don’t wish to make light of the Corona virus, it is incredibly serious but my mind hasn’t change, I still believe the BHA threw the industry under the bus. I experienced racing behind closed doors at Taunton and believe I am placed to offer an opinion based on my experience. It was thanks to Ireland’s authorities who got us back racing with their invitation for us to travel over there with our runners when the equine flu struck. I only hope that the BHA now realize they have a responsibility to get us back racing ASAP. They are reportedly working closely with government in the hope of obtaining cash hand outs. I expect racing to be quite a long way down the list when it comes to prioritizing who gets those. Should funds become available, the likelihood is, it will be too late. I’d be interested to know where they think it is most needed. That in itself could be an eye opener! I also think racing has contradicted itself, they claim that racing would lose all confidence from the public should it continue to race. Yet, they are happy to join the queue for government hand outs when I’m sure the money is needed for those suffering far worse than racing. I would respect any industry that could lessen the burden of financial pressure on the government and manage alone in such a crisis. If Ireland can do it so can we, racing in more than a sport, it is an industry. The Irish government backed the continuation of racing, they clearly understand the importance of the economy in such circumstances. You can’t just bring an industry to the floor with one swipe of a pen. I’d rather sweep streets than take any cash hand out. Our leaders fail to realize others will need is far more than us, they need to concentrate on getting us racing again rather than holding out their begging bowls. Fear not, their automated text and email system is still functional as we are bombarded with daily reminders that meetings are being abandoned.
I know people will think I’m insane suggesting that racing should have carried on and they’re allowed to think that. However, many other industries that have higher incidents of accidents than racing continue to operate. Why hasn’t the government suggested they stop work. After all, they only said we didn’t have government backing they did not put a stop on us. Nowadays, too many people roll over and have their tummies tickled, the easy option seems to be the option of choice all too often.
I believe anyone of us would be safer on a racecourse with thirty others than in a supermarket with two hundred people stocking up on supplies of pasta and loo roll. Talk about added pressure on the NHS, just wait until the DIY fanatics start cutting their fingers off and falling off ladders when the country comes to a complete standstill.