Cry god for Adayar, the Derby and King George
Mike Deasy on Adayar’s boost for the Derby and King George, why the Racing Post is hard to get, scruitiny needed for Animal Aid’s Panorama claims and Ascot’s clear-out irks racegoers
After the Derby these scribblings hoped that, unlike Serpentine, the 2021 winner would continue to make his mark at the highest level of the game. Adyar did not let us down.
Twenty years after his grandsire Galileo went on from his Derby victory to beat the older generations at Ascot in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Adayar (pictured below) did the same – in impressive style.
It’s far too soon to be making comparisons, but it’s sets a decent precedent.
The Epsom and Ascot Group 1s have received a much-needed boost and the same can be said for the three-year-old generation, with Hurricane Lane moving on from the promise shown when winning last year’s Dante to scoring in the Irish Derby and Grand Prix de Paris. And, with the Ballydoyle brigade not yet firing on all cylinders, Godolphin look to be heading to top spot as owner-breeder giants.
Coolmore have sadly lost Galileo and that’s going to be felt for some time. They are far from struggling but the behemoth wont be all-conquering in the style they’ve been used to.
Godolphin on the other hand are beginning to hold the aces and it’s going to be fascinating to see what’s mapped out for their two twelve-furlong heroes this year and hopefully next. A nice problem for the “lads” in blue to have.
The Post’s supply and demand issues
Mention here the other week of the difficulty in getting hold of the Racing Post in central London has been echoed by other racegoers. Shops selling newspapers are fewer and father between, and few supermarkets who sell papers stock the Post.
That puts the reliance on WHSmith and, unless you are up with the early morning smokers’ cough, they will have sold out what few copies they’ve had delivered.
I asked WHSmith why that is and it’s all down to how many copies wholesaler John Menzies decide to provide. It’s their decision from shop-to-shop how many copies of different newspapers are supplied.
Whilst that may work for most titles, from the Mirror to The Times and from the Sun to the Guardian, it doesn’t take into account the dynamics of racing. Such factors as racing on ITV and meetings served by trains from London stations are not taken into account. A shop gets its quota of copies regardless of peaks and troughs in demand.
It’s a strange situation that a retailer’s stock control is determined by its supplier.
Would Animal Aid claims stand-up to a fact check?
“Why do thousands of horses die in training?” asked an Animal Aid activist on BBC Panorama’s “The Dark Side of Horseracing. After twice showing the picture of discraced trainer Gordon Elliott sitting astride a dead horse, and an early foretaste of the distressing scenes of horses being slaughtered in an abattoir, the tone of the programme was set.
And that early question was an indication of the standard of journalism being set. Secretly taken footage, by Animal Aid, of the appaling methods used at an abattoir formed the core of the programme and there is every justification for it being broadcast.
But the footage was spoon-fed to Panorama by an organisation which does not have charitable status and has the intention of getting horseracing banned. Also spoonfed were the observations of the organisation, such as the question on why do thousands of horses die in training.
Leaving aside the fact that no animals live for ever, what is the basis for the statement? Of course, thousands of horses die in training but over what period? Are natural causes included in the seemingly random figure?
The BBC News website now features fact-checking of such things as politicians’ statements. Would all of Animal Aid’s statements reported on Panorama stand up to fact-checking scrutiny?
It’s always a pleasure to watch Hollie Doyle and no more so than when she won a treble at Goodwood, starting with a five-furlong dash and then a trek over two miles.
When she returned to the winners’ encloure after he third victory, she was beaming from ear-to-ear, and so too where crowds at the West Sussex track.
Ascot’s clear-out irks racegoers
From time-to-time an over-zealous member of a racecourse’s bar staff will clear a table of unfinished drinks whilst its occupants leave to watch a race. The situation is explained and amicably sorted.
But not at Ascot.
If a table is temporarily left by racegoers to watch a race, unfinished drinks and anything else, for example copies of the Racing Post, are removed – it’s Ascot’s policy.
The table, you see, is not yours. You have not booked it. So, if you leave a table, then anything left is cleared.
When this happened last week, the consequences raised by yours truly on behalf of a group of six, who suffered at the hands of this policy, were politely rebuked.
The options are:
- don’t drink
- drink quickly between races if you want to watch a race
- have someone remain at the table so that others can watch a race
- take the drinks outside in order to watch a race
Of course, the first option can be exercised but wouldn’t be too popular with the caterers if it lasted all day (nor is it that popular with a substantial number of racegoers).
The second option isn’t how I’d want to drink a pint of Guinness (if I could find a bar at Ascot that served Guinness).
The third defeats the object of going racing
The last is fine unless you are holding a newspaper and a pair of binoculars and would want to avoid being bumped into or putting the drink down.
The Ascot policy is racegoer unfriendly and the suggested alternatives are ridiculous. One explanatin for its instigation is because perople try to get free drinks by saying they’ve had theirs stolen. At the prices Ascot charge, it’s not too surprising.