Sunday, August 03, 2014

The Game Is A Foot

The Game Is A Foot.  What am I talking about?  Well, apart from saying the name of a Gary Moore-trained horse whom Joe Akehurst rode in a couple of hurdle races in the spring, I'm saying that the game of guessing what on earth the ground will be at Carlisle tomorrow is afoot.  This game has, of course, been afoot all week; but I'd been hoping that it would be over by now.  Only it isn't.  It is as I had feared, because I still don't know whether the going bulletins have been reporting what the ground was at the time, or what he clerk is predicting it will be after the first race.

Carlisle received 16mm of watering midweek, then 5mm of rain on Friday and then another 9mm of rain on yesterday (pretty much all of which fell after declaration time, I believe).  Anyway, these 9mm have changed the ground from 'good, good to firm in places' to 'good'.  Is this possible?  9mm isn't a deluge, but it's a significant quantity.  The temperatures are not high.  And the rain was falling on already moistened ground.  Can 9mm of rain really only change the (minority of) 'good to firm' places to 'good' and leave the bulk of the course unaltered?  Hard to know, really.  I suppose we'll just have to see how much has fallen today and will have fallen tonight - and that's hard to know, bearing in mind that I looked at two weather sites simultaneously and one gave current conditions for Carlisle as 'mostly cloudy' and the other gave them as 'heavy rain'.  And those weren't predictions; they were reports of what was (supposedly) happening at the time!

The Going Stick readings are no help at all either.  The one currently on Weatherbys' site was taken at 7.00 am on Friday, which isn't much use bearing in mind that 15mm of rain have fallen since then.  Furthermore, even if it were not hopelessly outdated, it would be meaningless anyway.  Looking at past Going Stick readings for Carlisle (and you should bear in mind that the lower it is, the softer the ground is, in theory anyway) we've had 5.7 as 'soft, heavy in places', 6.8 as 'good to soft, soft in places', 6.9 as 'soft, good to soft in places', 7.0 as 'soft, good to soft in places', 7.0 as 'good, good to soft in places', 7.1 as 'heavy', 7.6 as 'good, good to soft in places', 7.7 as 'good to firm', 7.8 as 'good', 7.9 as 'good, good to soft in places', 7.9 as 'good to firm, firm in places', 8.1 as 'good', 8.5 as 'good to firm, good down the hill', 9.1 as 'good to firm, firm in places'. Got that?  Well, all I can say is that, if you were to print these figures off, they wouldn't be worth the paper they would be printed on.

Anyway, I'm quietly confident that conditions will be acceptable.  I just can't see that they can have had such rainfall after significant watering and still then end up with ground that doesn't have a bit of cut in it.  Fingers crossed!  (And fingers crossed for two good runs too, Zarosa at Carlisle tomorrow and Gift Of Silence, pictured in this paragraph and in the field today, at Catterick on Tuesday).  (Previously in the chapter we have pictures, also taken today, of Panto posing in the yard in the morning, Indira drinking in the field in the afternoon, and Russian Link eating in the evening sunshine.


Cat Wood said...

A Sangoma could do same as said Clerk of Course, throw the bones. Gus would have a better clue perhaps, or Camelot!

neil kearns said...

Looked fair enough too me , good run don't think the ground was to blame just one better on the day another decent effort

John Berry said...

Thank you, Neil. My view entirely. Couldn't have put it better myself!