Yes, despite the headline, this is a horse racing story, but it is US racing.
To be honest, the only strict connection between racing, as I know it in this country, and in the US, is that involves horses. Over here, the longest continuous spell of racing at any one track, is 5 days. In Ireland, I think Galway is actually 6 days, or was at one point, but thats it. In the US, tracks race pretty much non stop for months on end!
Fine, thats on dirt (as the US calls it), or all weather surfaces (as we Brits call it), so I guess the tracks can stand it? Also, over here, horses are trained all over the country, whereas in the US, as much as I can gather, most of the horses are stabled at the race tracks? Due to the amount of times they seemingly run, many horses in the US run on various ‘supplements’ to enable them to survive their regular running rate.
Most of the US racing we see over here is pretty low grade stuff, to be honest. I’m not saying that some of ours (especially our all weather stuff) isnt pretty awful stuff too, but anyway…
But seemingly, in the US somewhere, they must have better grade racing, we just dont use it for betting fodder!
One thing both do have in common, is something called the triple crown. In the US, its the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. No horse has achieved the Triple Crown since 1978, and its not hard to see why. Again, this year, California Chrome won the first two, then came up short in the Belmont. It is the race that seems to catch them out, its longer than the other two, and presumably the stamina issues show up? Not helped by the fact that all 3 races are within a 2 month span!
The triple crown over here, hasnt been won since 1970, but that is as much that horses, even if they win the first 2 legs, have more important targets than the third leg in September. Also, our first race is over a mile, the second over a mile and a half, and the last, an extended mile and three quarters! So, finding a horse who is fast enough to win over a mile, and have the stamina to win over a mile and three quarters… Also, as I say, in the old days, these sort of horses had little other challenges to go for. Nowadays, with major races worldwide, at their feet, why risk it?
So in all honesty, I wouldnt be surprised, if Nijinsky, in 1970 doesnt become the last to do it.
Oh, and fine, I’m trying to ignore it, but it wont go away, the football/soccer World Cup starts on Thursday. Much though I’d like to avoid it, with my job, its hard to do. With luck, it wont get mentioned again. Thankfully I miss the build up to the first of England’s matches on Saturday, I’m off to the Postmodern Jukebox concert in Manchester. The other two matches, hmm…
The video, for California Chrome, and all those who tried before him, a touch of Queen