Royal Ascot 2015 And Fantasy Racing
By UK Hot Tips
Royal Ascot starts today and I am really gutted that US horse of the year, California Chrome is not going to be running this week. I was really looking forward to seeing how he handled the tough Ascot course.
As you know US horses usually run on dirt and most of their tracks (just like their car racing) is on oval, straight, level courses. This is totally unlike the courses at Epsom or Ascot where the camber rises and falls so you could be higher up in the air on one side of the track than a horse on the other, plus the hills and dips can be as much as 8 busses high (Epsom).
Even though California Chrome is not running this week, I am really excited to see who will win in the Queen Anne Stakes today between Solow and Able Friend. He maybe the internationally ranked no 2 horse in the world after US Triple Crown winner American Pharoah but will he handle the course?
I sometimes think that with all the international big events such as Royal Ascot, Hong Kong Cup, Dubai World Cup, Breeders Cup etc that there should be a proper World Cup for horses to race each other to get their international ratings. It would be so good to see the best milers from the US, Australia, UK, France, Hong Kong and Japan all race each other.
Having to travel anywhere is the problem though, The Dubai World Cup, may call itself the World Cup, and be the richest event in the world, but it is run on a new AW surface, and horses must hop on a plane and adjust to the hot climate to race there.
This is what I think may hamper Able Friend’s chances today in the Queen Anne Stakes.
Whereas Solow has only had to come from France and the UK horses from down the road at Newmarket, he has had to fly halfway around the world. How this affects a horse mentally I have no idea but I cannot imagine it is too pleasant unless they are knocked out for the trip and given enough time to re-cover afterwards.
I remember when Black Caviar wore her rubber suit to travel from Australia to British Champions Day in the same year both she and Frankel were unbeaten. To me she looked more like a horse than a filly, but then we all know in Australia you are allowed to give horses steroids in training as long as they are not in the blood come racing day. To me she looked roided up, but then her trainer has denied this. Maybe time will tell.
Despite this it was such a shame they couldn’t have faced each other off to prove who was the better 3-year-old.
It would have obviously have been Frankel in my opinion but if you ask any Australian I bet they would say different, just as the Americans say Wise Dan would have beaten him if he had shown up in the USA for the Breeders Cup in 2012.
Of course it all depends on the course, the surface, climate and who has to travel to get there to race.
If a horse cannot take the climate change and sweats up then they could be unbeaten at home but lose due to that issue alone. Therefore if a true World Cup race were to be run the only fair thing to do is to hold it in a country with a moderate climate, and somewhere where ALL horses have to travel to race.
Otherwise it would just be unfair on the home-bred horses who don’t have any travelling and climate adjusting to do.
Seeing that US horses mainly race on dirt, we on turf and overseas countries on synthetic surfaces maybe there should be a three race play off on each surface. Turf, AW and dirt, so that to become the best horse in the world that year you had to get the best positions out of all three races.
Can you just imagine a race where Frankel, Wise Dan, Black Caviar, American Pharoah, Able Friend, Solow and other top class milers all faced each other off over 3 races held over the space of a month or so?
The thought of fantasy racing is one debated in forums all over the world, and it is one I think of all the time. Especially when an American pipes up to claim that Wise Dan would have beaten Frankel if he had shown up in the Breeders Cup as we all hoped he would, or an Australian claims that Black Caviar would have won on home turf against him.
I hope you all watched the Channel 4 documentary on Frankel that was shown last Saturday. It showed just what a powerful horse he was and when he beat the no 2 (at the time), ranked Cirrus Des Aigles. He was racing on really soft ground for the first time, came out of the stalls last, and had to catch up with the pack but he still won with style and a mad turn of foot.
Obviously his mad sprint over the Rowley Mile in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket is something we will never get to witness again. What a race that was. He was drawn at he opposite end of the stalls from his pacemaker Bullet Train and just shot out and ran like a 100 metres sprinter on steroids. It was a race I will never forget.
I don’t think we will ever see anything of that quality again but it so gutting the UK flat scene has to submit to Dubai and put our best racers to stud at 3 or 4 if lucky. We hardly get to see them race once over 4 unless gelded and if we didn’t have to put stud fees in front of everything else the racing fan would be in for some treats today if a 7-year-old Frankel was still racing and able to attend today’s Royal Ascot.
Can you just imagine a Queen Anne Stakes where Frankel was able to race against Able Friend and Solow, two of the best milers around at the moment?
The thought of it just makes me a bit mad that we have to allow multi billionaire Dubai Sheiks who don’t need the money to concentrate more on Stud fees than the racing fans.
Anyway enough of my ranting and imaginary thoughts of a perfect racing world.
Let’s just hope today’s first day of Royal Ascot is amazing.
Will it be another winning favourite after favourite as it was last year, or will it be a drought of favourite winners as it was the year before?
Whatever happens lets just hope for some good racing!
UK HOT TIPS
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