Monday 17th April, 2023
We have declared Fighting Poet in the 8pm at Southwell tomorrow evening. We are stepping him back up in trip and will ride him with a bit more patience this time in the hope that he will enjoy the pace of the race more. He will once again wear cheekpieces and we have booked promising apprentice Kaiya Fraser to ride him who claims seven pounds.
Unfortunately Ned Cash was balloted out of the bumper at Huntingdon on Sunday which was very annoying as it was due to there not being enough stables at the course to cater for the eight races. These circumstances do not help with race planning and surely there is a better system.
On Saturday I attended the Grand National meeting. With the protests having an effect on the start of the race and very possibly adding to the risk for the runners – it could well prove to be a pivotal day in the race’s history.
Congratulations to the brilliant winner and all connections, however due to the hurried start, one can’t help but think that the extremely sad fatality and the fallers over the first two fences made the race a difficult watch for many in the sport.
All those that have dedicated their life to racehorses know that the thoroughbred is given a life that many humans would be jealous of and National Racehorse Week and the progress of the Horse Welfare Board are integral in ensuring that the general public are kept on the side of horseracing.
However Saturdays event had other implications that should such a race watched by millions throughout the world, be a fair test for the thoroughbred.
Since 2012, the race has had many modifications in order to make it safer for both horses and humans and statistics show that these modifications have worked. However racing must never stop from going on the front foot and explaining what these modifications are and why they have been done.
Most reasonably minded people realise that you cannot reduce all fatalities in the sport, however it comes down to the moral argument that 99.8% of all runners enjoy a safe existence when participating and sadly 0.2% fail to return home from the track.
The sport has made much progress in reducing this number further and undoubtedly will continue to do so. There is a very clear argument to say that in nature that the percentage of fatalities would be higher and the care of the thoroughbred would be less.
We must continue to make this case and I believe if we do so with confidence and compassion that the majority of the British public will recognise our sincere love of the thoroughbred.