Bloodstock & Breeding

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25 Mar 14 14:54
Date Joined: 11 Jun 10
| Topic/replies: 640 | Blogger: Jezebel's blog

Putting aside the obvious point that, shock horror, a survey commissioned by the TBA recommends investment in breeders...isn't this ar$e about face? 

IMO the fact that breeders cut back in the face of a general economic downturn was a responsible response to the problem of overproduction.  The issue now is that there is too much low-grade betting-shop-fodder racing, especially on the Flat, and breeding more low-grade cr@p to fill the demand for this is surely not the answer, not least from a welfare perspective.  Why should there be racing 363 days out of 365?  Familiarity breeds contempt. 

Jumps racing has never been more popular yet jumps breeding is in a parlous state.  What are British jumps breeders missing that makes their stock less attractive to buyers than Irish or French horses?  There is more impatience to see the results of the outlay on the track, so the 3- and 4yo unbroken store sales are no longer meeting the demand of precocious horses ready to run.  Maybe introduce bonuses (meaningful ones) for winners of NH races who have never raced on the Flat or in France?

I'd advocate a retraction of the fixture list.  Less summer jumping and no all-weather during the turf season unless there are freak weather conditions and replacement meetings need to be staged.  Fewer races but each one more valuable.  Shrink the bloated Pattern programme. 

In an ideal world I'd also like to see a return to the proper old-fashioned type of National Hunt horse too, but I appreciate that is unlikely to happen in this changing world of lightly-built gazelles.
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