Tag Archives: Gelding

Gelded Commodore can Improve big time

Kilimanjaro

8.10 Kempton: Class 4 Handicap ,7f

Tricky affair but freshly gelded Commodore could be the answer, despite a bad draw. He was unlucky not to win at Sandown on his penultimate start. Subsequently failed to deliver off his revised mark at Newmarket, though didn’t have the run of the race going for himself.

He can be better than that and now switched to the All-Weather should suit. Going against older horses shouldn’t be an issue but the weight for age allowance can make a huge difference in a race that lacks depth. He probably doesn’t need to improve allot to be in the shake-up, but the fact that sons of Kodiac often show dramatic improvements for being gelded, there is every chance he can be a big runner tonight.

Commodore @ 14/1 Bet365 – 5pts Win

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Mujassam bound for a big run

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5.10 York: Nursery, Class 3, 5f

Astley Hall looks overpriced here if he could find back to the form he showed on his impressive debut run. That day he looked extremely green throughout, completely messing up the start but still was overcame that all to win well in a decent maiden.

He was disappointing in his two starts subsequently, but now dropped down to 5f again on quick ground should help on his nursery debut. An opening mark off 77 doesn’t look impossible.

He has been gelded since his last run There are positive sire stats for this kind of procedure and Richard Fahey often gets it right if it comes to geldings.

Astley Hall @ 16/1 Sportingbet – 5pts Win

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8.15 Salisbury: Handicap, Class 4, 7f

Roger Varian has only one runner at Salisbury today and that looks significant. His Mujassam is an intriguing contender, dropping in class off a lowered mark with ground likely in his favour. He didn’t show too much in two starts this year but remains with potential.

A gelding now, this may help him to focus a bit better on his racing too. Kyllachy’s often improve as geldings and Varian has a positive track record for first time geldings too. He could go well tonight.

Mujassam @ 13/2 Betfred – 5pts Win

Steve Prescott Can Improve As A Gelding

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4.55 Chester: Class 3 Handicap, 6f

I’ll be having a speculative on Richard Fahey’s Steve Prescott. On pure form this horse has a bit too find on his seasonal reappearance but there is plenty to like about him nonetheless. His penultimate performance last season over course and distance rates a good one. He missed the kick but stayed on strongly to finish 2nd. Off a 2lb higher mark he couldn’t follow up in a subsequent start, but most of his racing came here at Chester and he did rather well.

However he seemed to develop a habit of starting slowly, which would be a problem today. He’s never been tried on really soft ground before, however his sire is one with a good record in these conditions usually. Furthermore he should improve with age.

What makes him interesting is the fact that he’s first time out as gelding today. That may well help him to overcome temperamental problems and he could be able to improve a bit. As a fresh horse today, now gelded, you would expect him to be ready for this meeting given who the trainer and owner is. Draw isn’t ideal, but it is a wide open race with a good but overbet favourite.
Steve Prescott @ 25/1 Coral – 5pts Win

A wind of change?

Wind operations certainly have been a big topic at Cheltenham last week after a couple of horses produced some dramatic improvement of form at the Festival following this type of surgery. Most prominent example was World Hurdle winner Cole Harden, who gamely stormed up the hill at the end of a three mile race, when before he would probably have stopped at the final furlong marker.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. Improved performance and well-being of the horse is the intention of such a surgical intervention. However there is a question of how horse racing fans and punters are informed about it. The logic says, since a wind operation can have a drastic effect on a horses performance, it’ll be clearly stated in the race card or at least somewhere in the profile of the horse on the official BHA website.

Guess what, that is not the case. Of course not. We know that. Therefore many people were stunned about one or another performance last week. Right now you have to read carefully through trainer quotes in all the different publications in order to find this kind of information. Sometimes it is more widely known, because it is a bigger race and connections made it public. Sometimes it is not so well known and only becomes public in the aftermath.

Same applies to gelding operations. Not so relevant in jump racing, but very much on the flat. A gelding operation can have a dramatic effect on the performance of a horse. It can influence temperament and attitude. We know that. Many racing jurisdictions worldwide make the date of gelding available in racecards. For example here in South Africa:

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The same sort of detail is not available in British Racing at the moment. And that despite – one would think so at least – racing in the UK is much more advanced if it comes to data and the availability of data. But if it comes to such important things as the gelding date…. well it is just not there.

Now, the recent incidents from the Cheltenham Festival made me curious to find out what the BHA actually has to say about this. Well, judge for yourself – this is what they replied to my questions about the availability of either wind op and gelding date – BHA Response:

[…] “I’m afraid due to a technical fault the sex of the horses on the BHA website is missing, the IT team are working to get his corrected as quickly as possible. However you can see that status on the Racing Post’s profiles (http://www.racingpost.com/ ).
I’m afraid at this stage we are not able to include the date of a gelding on the horse profile page.

I can confirm that the British Horseracing Authority has been considering the proposal to make public wind operations. After initial consultation it is clear this development is not going to be straightforward and wider consultation is required.

We are progressing this with trainers, Weatherbys and BHA’s Veterinary Committee with a view to developing a mechanism for effective and meaningful information sharing on the matter.

I’m afraid at this point we can give no clearer detail or timeframe, until the consultation is further down the line”. […]

Good to hear that they consider changes – but if I’m not completely wrong, then this wasn’t the first time that this kind of thing was brought up. It looks to me though, much more like a lack of willingness to make changes actually happen. In my mind it’s hard to understand why other racing jurisdictions can provide this vital information, but in a powerful racing nation as the UK or even Ireland, it is just not there. Why is it so difficult to import gelding dates to a data base? if you want it, you can do it.

Of course it is understandable that not every racing nation can offer such an enormous data base like Singapore or Hong Kong usually do (check it out, it’s amazing. every workout, every medical treatment, absolutely everything is stated there!) – but key details, like gelding date or wind operation, should simply be part of the standard package.