Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 22nd 2016 Contents One of the best race meetings of
the year took place from Tuesday to
Saturday last week at the Ascot Race-
course in Britain.
As Britain contemplates its exit from
the European Union, the opportunity
was taken to highlight the best of its
racing during five spectacular days.
Trinidad and Tobago got a chance to
witness the racing live (outside of the
betting shops) for the first time when
Sportsmax brought each day s activities
from the entrance of the royal proces-
sion to the last race. While we can only
dream about seeing that quality of ani-
mal compete here, there was a lot that
we could learn on the administration
One striking feature was the trans-
parency of activities. During the meet-
ing, there were two stewards enquiries
and both were televised live to the track
and the tv audience. This would be a
welcome enhancement and something
that can be easily implemented in T&T.
A second feature was the depth of
information provided. Every piece of
information that could influence the
performance of the racehorse is advised
to the betting public, from the equip-
ment used to the medical history.
We have long advocated for more
useful information for the betting pub-
lic and the administrators can certainly
use the Royal Ascot programme as a
guide. It is interesting that the Arima
Race Club has now taken to printing
the racing programme of one of the
foreign tracks as an additional sup-
plement inside of their racing pro-
gramme. This additional information
is unnecessary and it can only be hoped
that the additional cost is marginal.
The highlight of Day 1 had to be
the performance of the American horse
Tepin in the Queen Anne Stakes. This
mare had been well touted before the
meeting but the rain prior to the race
saw her drift in the betting. In the
race itself, she made a mockery of those
concerns running out a ready winner
of the event.
Her future is undoubtedly golden.
The second day was again provided
by another American trained racehorse,
the two year Lady Aurelia in the Queen
Mary. In a jawdropping performance,
this filly made all and surged away
from her rivals in the final 300 metres
with her rider doing almost nothing.
One has to go back to the eleven length
victory of Frankel in 2012 to remember
an as visually impressive performance.
She undoubtedly has a brilliant
sprinting future. The third day must
be the staying performance of Order
of St George in the Gold Cup.
This horse looked beaten on more
than one occasion during the event
but was eventually able to swoop past
his rivals in the home straight and once
his master trainer is able to keep him
sound, he could be winning quite a
few of these Gold Cups. On the fourth
day, the highlight was the filly Quiet
Reflection in the Commonwealth Cup.
While not visually impressive, this was
a victory for the small man in racing---
her rider was formerly a national hunt
jockey switching codes; the trainer was
winning his first Group 1 in the UK;
and the owners are a collection of aver-
age punters for whom this is their first
and only horse.
The highlight on final day was the
victory for the Queen s Dartmouth. In
this, the year of her 90th birthday,
nothing could have been more poignant
or deserving than to see the sheer joy
on her face as her runner just scram-
bled home. All in all, a great race
meeting that was also notable because
of the record equalling performances
of Aidan O Brien (no relative to John)
and Sir Michael Stoute.
Both men equalled records set by
another great man of the turf, Sir
Henry Cecil. O Brien won seven races
equaling Cecil s record in 1987 but over
only four days of racing. Sir Michael
equalled Cecil s record of 75 Royal Ascot
winners and will no doubt exceed that
amount and establish his own record
in the years to come.
The last couple of racing days in
T&T has seen the re-appearance of
Precise Moment and Desert Dancer,
two horses still under investigation for
the presence of prohibited substances
in their urine.
It appears that the absence of a
Board for the TTRA has resulted in
the two animals being given the all
clear to race while their respective
trainers, Shaffique Khan and John
O Brien continue to wait with baited
breath for the eventual hearing of their
respective matters. Word on the street
is that a Board for the TTRA may have
been approved by Cabinet last week
and while a few names have been cir-
culated, we wait for the official
announcement. The Betting Levy
Board also requires confirmation and
we look forward to this one also being
At the moment, without these
checks and balances, one can easily
get the feeling, that some in the
horseracing industry can do whatever
they want and be left alone, we have
only on the last day experienced the
handicappers being a little "gung ho"
in their weight allocation going against
normal practice until enough noise
was made to cause a reversal. It begs
the question given the current trans-
parent ratings system, of---"Do we need
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, June 22, 2016
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Royal moments to
treasure at Ascot
talks with her
II, after the
day five of Royal
Ascot 2016, at
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