Wind Ops and Handicap Marks
- November 23, 2017
- Katie Scott
- 6 Comments
Yesterday marked the day that wind-op declarations became compulsory for all racehorses in the UK. From January 19th it will be published in race cards when a horse has its first run post treatment. I think it is brilliant to include the public in as much knowledge as possible in regards to horses running and why/how they may be open to improvement but the general opinion that a ‘wind-op’ will guarantee improvement is far from true. It seems from my point of view a more sensible option would have been to collate the figures over a period of time and try to assess how successful these surgeries are before beginning to publish. In doing that we could have had a firm figure as to how many horses actually come out and win after their treatment. Some horses that have suffered breathing problems will never try to push through the finish of a race even after they have had their issue fixed as they remember how it felt previously. Where other horses are merely having small tweaks to keep them fit and healthy. Then there are the honest horses that have suffered and find themselves ahead of the handicapper post surgery and can look at an improved career. It is not going to turn horse struggling to win off 80 into a championship level machines. From speaking to people and reading interviews, the consensus seems to be 40-60% success rate but it will be very interesting to see the figures. We can get a rough idea of improvement at home but a lot of horses are never under enough pressure on the gallops to replicate a true raceday experience.
We head to Newcastle with our first ever flat runner tomorrow in Nice Vintage. Slightly inadequate trip but we need to start somewhere. We popped ‘Morag’ out of the stalls on Monday and she definitely has not forgotten her job. Slightly frustrated as she had an AW rating of 62 from one previous run but the handicapper felt the need to pop her up to 70 upon entering, she hasn’t run on the flat for over a year and her last couple of starts weren’t competitive so seemed a little harsh. Anyway we will see where we are tomorrow and hopefully there will be a 10 furlong race for her soon enough!
The picture is of The Dawn Bandit having a pop under Hayley this morning, she does love her jumping.