It was a week in which we argued about the whip (again), Frankie Dettori was the difference between G1 victory and defeat (again), and a US Grade 1 ended with a deja vu stewards’ enquiry (again). It all feels so normal in 2019 but that’s Social Discourse for you, writes William Kedjanyi.
- Can’t Catch The Star
Death, taxes and Frankie Dettori Group 1 winners. They’re the three certainties of this summer, so perhaps in hindsight Star Catcher’s win in the Irish Oaks shouldn’t have come as a surprise.
I mean, this is the level of form he was in before the off:
However, if there’s one thing you can’t do, it’s give the world’s most in-form jockey any sort of easy lead. Lo and behold then:
Can’t Say We Didn’t Warn You: All of the Irish classics this year have been won from the front. The signals were there...
Give Frankie a lead like that and he'll devour you. Great ride - Fleeting went down fighting and not much between her and the winner
— Diarmuid Nolan (@dermonolan91) July 20, 2019
Ballydoyle lads giving Frankie an easy lead, probably not the best of ideas!
— Calum Madell (@calummadell) July 20, 2019
Dettori schools them all again, class, makes them all look silly.
— Shane Ketteridge (@ShaneK_RP) July 20, 2019
They’ve give Frankie a freebie there
— Jack (@_Frankelstein_) July 20, 2019
What was Seamie doing?
— Rob Yetman (@78Roberto856) July 20, 2019
Money where your mouth is: The decision to supplement Royal Ascot scorer Star Catcher for the Irish Oaks at a cost of €40,000? Brave at the time, a snip now.
The Man Of The Hour:
Updated list of Dettori’s Group One winners since 31 May (six of them for Gosden):
Annapurna - Oaks
Crystal Ocean - Prince of Wales
Stradivarius - Gold Cup
Advertise - Commonwealth Cup
Coronet - Saint Cloud
Enable - Eclipse
Too Darn Hot - Jean Prat
Star Catcher - Irish Oaks
— Jason Brautigam (@DizzyJB) July 20, 2019
Marked For Export: Eight of the last 11 winners of the Irish Oaks have been won by UK-trained runners.
- Whip It And Rip It
These are just a small number of the tweets I’ve read on social media over the issue of The Whip in the past week.
Can you name me one benefit of using the whip in a finish for horse welfare?
(Discluding safety measures because I’m not disputing that)
— Lois (@lowy121) July 20, 2019
The debate about the whip is getting tiresome and ridiculous. The issue is that jockeys are not obeying the rules regarding the whip. We do not need to ban it, as the whip serves a clear purpose and does not harm a horse. Racing should not bow down to PETA or the likes.
— Killian Broderick (@KillianBroderi1) July 20, 2019
Banning the whip in horse racing achieves nothing; it neither legitimises the sport to its opponents, nor enhances it for its stakeholders. Those wanting to facilitate debate don’t understand the ideology that prompts it. A whip ban isn’t the answer, it’s a half-baked concession.
— Tom® (@tomhrobinson) July 20, 2019
"I find it bizarre people are trying to create problems surrounding the whip when there aren't any."@meg_nicholls11 is back with her latest column for us and weighs in on the whip debate as well as looking ahead to the action @curraghrace 👇https://t.co/d75LW0e1tG
— Sun Racing (@SunRacing) July 20, 2019
It’s all a process of evolution though; showjumping for example is just about to adopt the racing whip for welfare reasons. All moves the sport forward in the right way. It doesn’t always have to be radical solutions, just enough to safeguard the future of equine sport.
— Jason Brautigam (@DizzyJB) July 19, 2019
People are going on & on about the whip but the horrendously unbalanced fixture list in racing is a far more relevant & important issue.
Why are there days in the week when we see 6/7/8 fixtures, why are there clashes like having Southwell & Nottingham on the same day ? stupid.
— Tommy Buckley (@tbuckleythinks) July 21, 2019
Virtual racing biggest joke from the bookmakers . A desperate way to create revenue and greyhounds are more corrupt than governments. The whip must remain . Helps horses keeping straight at the most important times of a race.
— Johnny51 (@Johnny554637729) July 21, 2019
For a freelance jockey to be suspended for whip abuse is bad enough
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) July 21, 2019
It is quickly becoming the social issue of the summer for racing and one that is ferociously polarising too.
The Big Battle: Perception has never been more key for the sport, and many fear putting off a new generation of supporters. The whip is misunderstood by many, on a number of levels - can minds be changed? And if so, which?
I’m uncomfortable with the nonchalance towards the whip.
The whip is not a welfare issue, but there are those who want to end the sport of Horse Racing & if you give an inch, they’ll a mile.
Perception is circumstantial. Banning the whip condemns Racing.
— Emmet Kennedy (@RadioEmmet) July 20, 2019
Many have accused the BHA of not educating general racegoers – the sort who are non-industry professionals – enough, so it was tremendous to see this from Ellie Hudson, founder of In The Paddock TV going out into the public and educating them. Do please give it a watch:
Thoughts? Do get in touch.
- Heat And The Haskell
It’s been a hot summer. June was literally the hottest month on record, and July hasn’t been far behind. Indeed, another heatwave is set to come to the UK next week – we could have the hottest day of the year so far. Not a bad time to own a fast ground horse, amongst other things.
In the US, the East Coast has been enduring a heatwave which has sent temperatures into the 90’s, and it affected two of the biggest meetings of the year in the shape of Saratoga’s summer meet and Monmouth Park's Haskell Stakes.
— New York Post (@nypost) July 20, 2019
With fans and horses drained, the decision was taken to cancel all non-stakes races after the first two races had been completed.
Political pressure was applied from the governor's office to push back the card, with Gov. Phil Murphy involved at one stage, whilst Saratoga and other East Coast tracks cancelled their Saturday meetings. The Haskell would be delayed, eventually going off at 1:05 am UK time.
.@MonmouthPark has announced an abbreviated schedule for TVG Haskell Day.
Races 3, 4, 6 , 7, 13 and 14 have been cancelled.
— TVG (@TVG) July 20, 2019
3-hour+ delay here at Monmouth Park on Haskell Invitational Day due to heat, but this racetrack has a sportsbook pic.twitter.com/MjrUMilzER
— John Brennan (@BergenBrennan) July 20, 2019
“Nonetheless, given the heightened concern from the general public in regards to the warmth, and within the curiosity of the protection of the horses and jockeys, we’ve determined to proceed with an abundance of warning, to cancel the remaining non-stakes races and to delay the six stakes races,” - Dennis Drazin, chairman and chief govt of Darby Improvement, operators of Monmouth Park
- Maximum Security, Minimum Margin
So after all that, there was a race for the Haskell. And because it’s 2019, we just simply had to have more drama, so the gods controlling the universe firstly gave us:
- A thrilling stretch duel where Maximum Security hit the front a full three furlongs from home and then fought off Bob Baffert’s Mucho Gusto to take the win
Maximum Security is IN.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) July 21, 2019
- Another stewards’ enquiry – yes, another one –was called when he impeded the retreating King for A Day, who had beaten Maximum Security in his prep race. The stewards were kinder this time, however, and he kept the race.
The year is 2035. Maximum Security is a hit in the shed. His sons Maximum Inquiry, Derby Denial, Changing Lanes, Holdalltickets, and Steward's Prejudice are making headlines. #NotMyDerbyWinner is still trending in the community--Bodexpress is still popular for whatever reason.
— Leila Elliott (@LeilaElliott9) July 21, 2019
- "After I saw a replay, I knew they would not take him down," West said. "The other horse was going backwards. That sort of thing happens in 25 percent of the races, and they don't take 25 percent of the horses down. If they took him down today, I would know for sure that the racing gods had something against me." – Gary West, owner of Maximum Security, speaking to Bob Ehalt of the BloodHorse
- Rod Millman's Bettys Hope and Silvestre de Sousa headed Show Me Show Me in the final stride of the Super Sprint at Newbury, with hot favourite Ventura Rebel fourth
- Roger Charlton's former Cesarewitch and Northumberland Plate winner Withhold defied a nine-month absence in the valuable Marsh Cup at Newbury and is now one of the favourites for the Ebor
- On the same Newbury card, there was a surprise International win for the Germans as Waldpfad was an impressive winner of the bet365 Hackwood Stakes, winning by a length and three-quarters from Khaadem, with Keystroke a further neck behind in third as The Tin Man disappointed
- Fox Chairman made up for two luckless runs at Chester and Royal Ascot with a game success in the Steventon Stakes
- Romanized came with a late rattle to take the Minstrel Stakes, beating James Tate's 7-4 favourite Hey Gaman and John Quinn’s Safe Voyage.
Full replay and report: Romanised storms to success in the @paddypower Minstrel Stakes and records his first victory since landing the Irish 2,000 Guineas. Watch what @kencondonracing and Billy Lee had to say about his success >>>https://t.co/Ls5Mq3fjyE pic.twitter.com/tZvUCVvpDN
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) July 20, 2019
- Roman Turbo showed a good turn of foot to see off his rivals in the Anglesey Stakes
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) July 20, 2019
- There was yet another big race win for Frankie Dettori as A'Ali was relatively untroubled in an impressive success in the Prix Robert Papin at Deauville
A’Ali follows up his Royal Ascot success with a cosy victory in the Group 2 @DarleyStallions Prix Robert Papin at @fgdeauville under that man @FrankieDettori for @crisfordracing… pic.twitter.com/u3hAdrwufH
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) July 21, 2019
- And Soffia denied a host of British challengers to take the Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday
Soffia came from off the pace with a superb late thrust under @declanmcdonogh for trainer Eddie Lynam as the English invaders were vanquished in the big Group 2 sprint at @curraghrace pic.twitter.com/bfQfq1sENa
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) July 21, 2019
That's all for this week - back in seven days!