TO breathe or not to breathe – that is the question!
In the New Year you will know whether the horse you have backed has had a breathing operation – but only in time, a long time, will you know whether that will help you back a winner.
In a turbulent period for the BHA, it was revealed earlier this week racecards from January 19 will show when a horse is having his or her first run since receiving treatment for a breathing-related issue.
The official notification concerning treatment for a breathing condition will only be documented for a horse’s first outing subsequent to the veterinary treatment.
The BHA has told industry professionals it has moved to formally make the information public for the first time in a bid to be “open and transparent”, thus heeding calls from punters and their representatives, who have been lobbying the organisation over a number of years.
The Horseracing Bettors Forum has described the mandatory declaration of wind operation as at the top of punters’ wishlists based on survey evidence.
It’s impossible to argue against more information being anything other than a good thing for punters.
But whether it will help you back a winner is open to question.
The problem is that it’s only after a horse has won that connections sometimes reveal a horse has had a procedure to help its breathing.
I have never heard those closest to a beaten runner shout from the rooftops about an animal having had a breathing operation after it has just been tailed off!
Of course after many years a pattern may emerge. It might just be there is a trainer out there who has an incredible strike rate with horses he or she gets operated on. But there might not.
One thing for sure is that if you think just backing every horse who has had a breathing operation will make you rich then you will be poorer than you are now very quickly.
I would just like to a put a word in for owners as well.
Matt Chapman’s TV Tips
1.50 Haydock – Value At Risk: ‘He goes in the mud and will be hard to keep out of the frame’ (add to your betslip)
2.05 Ascot – Smad Place: ‘He jumps for fun and is still a force in these sort of races’ (add to your betslip)
2.25 Haydock – The Worlds End: ‘Could develop into a Stayers’ Hurdle contender’ (add to your betslip)
2.40 Ascot – Defi Du Seuil: ‘Needs to win this to hold Champion Hurdle claims’ (add to your betslip)
3.00 Haydock – Bristol De Mai: ‘Will handle the testing conditions better than the rest’ (add to your betslip)
3.15 Ascot – Sire De Grugy: ‘Class act can defy hefty weight’ (add to your betslip)
3.35 Haydock – Kaki De La Pree: ‘Slow enough to be suited by this slog’ (add to your betslip)
I’m all for punters winning, but sometimes you just have to think about those who keep the show on the road, and while backers might think it’s them, there would be no horses to support without those putting horses into training.
Not all owners are super rich.
Let’s just say I like a little bet and I manage to one day afford to have a horse in training. I buy one for 35,000gns. For two years I pay for his keep – at 25,000 a year – and he wins me nothing.
BHA = SHAMBLES
THE BHA is an easy organisation to have a pop at, but it really has been shambolic recently.
First there was the Raul da Silva ‘sandgate’ saga where he got banned for being sensible.
Then the BHA had to defend itself after deciding to caution Daryl Jacob with ‘improper conduct’ after the jockey grabbed the silks of another rider.
The move came despite its own independent disciplinary panel deciding that the offence amounted to ‘a strong expression of opinion’.
Jacob’s solicitor, Rory Mac Neice, said the the move to charge Jacob had been “a total waste of time”.
And then racing’s ruling body went crazy contemplating a rule change to insist on trainers being punished every time a horse tests positive for a banned substance and the trainer cannot discover how the substance got into the animal.
The BHA might be inviting its own destruction if it took such authoritarian action, according to the barrister who successfully argued that trainer Philip Hobbs should not be penalised.
“I think if the BHA push ahead and change the rules to say what the BHA would like them to say, they would have a mutiny on their hands,” Roderick Moore said.
“They would be playing with fire. “They should remember that the BHA is not a statutory authority. It is only there because racing’s stakeholders agree to put it there and pay for it.
“If it began to run racing like a totalitarian regime, there would come a time when people would say: ‘Enough is enough.”
One could argue the BHA just needs to take a step back…and breath!
Then my trainer turns to me and says: “We think we have found an issue, so I’m going to give him a little breathing operation.”
After the op my horse works well. So I intend to have a little punt just to try and recoup my losses to date. But I can’t keep the information to myself. I have to tell the world.
That seems a little unfair to me.