Friday, January 30, 2015

Three seasons in one week

We had an unproductive trip to Lingfield on Saturday with Senator Matt, but it wasn't an unpleasant one.  We've been having very up-and-down weather (as you can see in the last paragraph, in the shot taken at 10 pm last night, when the snow was giving us plenty of light, but otherwise creating a bleak midwinter picture) and at times we've had some very strong, icy winds this week, while a couple of days ago we had torrential rain which turned into the fiercest hailstorm you'd ever find.  And I happened to get caught riding out it in, which wasn't ideal.  But conditions at Lingfield on Saturday were very benign, as you can see.

So it was nice to be there, the only downside being that Senator Matt ran poorly.  Still, that's not the end of the world - Lingfield can be a tricky track for some horses and, as an inexperienced horse racing against more talented horses, he got a bit lost.  No harm done, but.  I'll just finish this brief chapter on another subject, by pondering Meydan, which is filling our screens some afternoons at present.  We were treated to the debate about whether Meydan should have AW or dirt for its non-turf circuit, but wouldn't the sensible option have been to have had had both, ie have three circuits.  I can't see that either money or space would have been an issue.  Would this just have been too sensible?

Around the world, there are two surfaces for staging top-class racing: turf and dirt. The AW is a turf alternative so that one can have more racing without wearing out one's turf course so much that the horses are always racing on bad ground (or can race when the weather is really bad, which doesn't really apply in the UAE).  Meydan clearly needs a turf course, and clearly needs a dirt course too if the DWC is going to be what it is intended to be, ie a UAE version of the Breeders' Cup Classic.  But at the meetings which aren't aimed at attracted American runners, it makes no sense to have the non-turf races run on dirt, as nearly all of the runners are from countries where the horses are accustomed to racing on turf.  It is as silly holding the non-turf races (and there need to be some, because there's too much racing just for the one turf track) at the moment, say, on dirt as it would be to hold the DWC on the AW, thus turning it into the joke race which it had become.  Three circuits the obvious answer?  Seemples?

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