The Weekly Wrap

The Weekly Wrap: Long May They Run

It has been quite a week for the old boys. Continuing a fine season, Way To Paris (GB) (Champs Elysees {GB}) finally notched a deserved Group 1 victory for himself and his trainer Andrea Marcialis in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud. At seven, he is a year younger than the sprinting duo of Limato (Ire) (Tagula {Ire}) and Judicial (Ire) (Iffraaj {GB}) who respectively recorded their 14th and 15th victories in Group 3 contests at Newmarket and Newcastle on Saturday. Then of course there's the redoubtable Caspian Prince (Ire), who...

[ Read More ]
The Weekly Wrap: By Royal Acclaim

Back in April, when major sporting events across the world were being cancelled left, right and centre, the management team at the Queen's racecourse took the decision that, if racing had resumed in time, Royal Ascot would go ahead behind closed doors. The announcement was met with incredulity in some quarters, particularly by those keen to blame the spread of coronavirus on the Cheltenham Festival, but thank goodness Ascot stuck to its resolve to go ahead, even in extraordinary circumstances. Of course the meeting lost some of its lustre, just...

[ Read More ]
The Weekly Wrap: Peace, Love and Understanding

First Love, now Peaceful. In another alarming week in world events, we could all use a little of both, but they are of course the two latest Classic winners for their peerless sire Galileo (Ire). When winning the Moyglare Stud S. last September, Love (Ire), now also the 1000 Guineas winner, sparked a Group 1 double on Irish Champions Weekend which was completed by the Irish St Leger winner Search For A Song (Ire). By November, Galileo had drawn level with Danehill's record on 84 individual Group 1 winners thanks...

[ Read More ]
The Weekly Wrap: From Famine To Feast

There were days when we were drumming our fingers on our at-home desks or dining tables wondering what on earth to write about for tomorrow. But now that the shock of racing's shutdown has been completely erased by the return, finally, of racing in Ireland to complete a European full set, the panic is not what to write but how on earth to keep up with it all. No complaints here. The last few weeks since the French return in mid-May and Britain just over a week ago have provided...

[ Read More ]
The Weekly Wrap: The Final Countdown?

Today's the day that trainers in Britain can make entries for the first race meeting to be staged in Britain since March 17. Never will there have been so much interest in a Class 6 handicap at Newcastle as there will be next Monday at 1pm when the gates ping back to deliver a long awaited resumption of activity. As we have seen in France and Germany with last-minute interventions and location changes, it is perhaps unwise to assume that racing will actually take place on Monday in Britain, but...

[ Read More ]
The Weekly Wrap: Flaming June

Setting aside the disappointment that most of us won't actually be able to attend race meetings, June is promising to be a stellar month of action after a prolonged spell of inactivity. France has eased us back into the idea of being able to watch live European racing with a week of informative meetings, including a number of trials and juvenile contests, and Ireland was given a boost by government on Friday when it was confirmed that racing could begin again on June 8. In theory, British racing will start...

[ Read More ]
The Weekly Wrap: La Reprise

Following some eleventh-hour persuasive talks between racing's leaders and the French government on Friday, action returned to three of France's racecourses on Monday, with ParisLongchamp meaning business by opening its ten-race card with the G3 Prix de Saint-Georges. The yellow and white silks of Guy Pariente are now a regular fixture on racecourses and, almost invariably, they are carried by the offspring of the owner-breeder's Haras de Colleville flagbearer Kendargent (Fr). With the stallion's 5-year-old son Batwan (Fr), Pariente and trainer Philippe Sogorb took the first, long-awaited race of the...

[ Read More ]
The Weekly Wrap: Racing at the Ready

European racing authorities are doubtless looking on with interest as Germany prepares to stage its first post-lockdown race meeting. That should have been on Monday, but a late intervention owing to a delayed government decision regarding the resumption of sporting fixtures, meant that on Saturday Dortmund was forced to call off its first race meeting. All eyes are now on Hannover, which has a 12-race card scheduled on Thursday with 189 entries. The easing of lockdown restrictions began in Germany on Apr. 20 and, in common with the phased approach...

[ Read More ]
The Weekly Wrap: When One Door Closes

The daily reality check comes via the evening news. Coronavirus by numbers: new infections and, brutally, the death toll. Otherwise, for people working day-to-day with racehorses and breeding stock, not an awful lot has changed. Yes, we take care not to get too close to other people, wash our hands more, wear latex gloves to the supermarket. But the horses still need to be fed, exercised, mucked out and to be prepared, as much as we all can be, for a return to some sort of normality. In our old...

[ Read More ]