This week, a lot of the conversation going on in racing circles has had to do with how the superstars of last year have failed to impress against aged horses now that they have turned four. As you are aware, this was the first year the 'Gural Rule', the rule which indicates the off-spring of four year old stallions would be ineligible to many stake races at the Gural tracks and others such as WEG. With this rule taking effect this year, many horses stayed on the track as a four year old instead of taking up residence at a breeding farm.
Well, with many of these four year olds having mediocre at best seasons, some people are claiming the owners of these horses are being deprived of the right to maximize the value of their horses. I disagree. After all, how are you being deprived of the right when you knowingly and willingly gave that right up?
The Gural Rule was first announced in 2011 to take effect with the year’s yearling crop, so anyone who purchased a yearling in 2011 with the intention and/or hope of standing the horse at stud knew, baring an injury, they were committing to racing the horse at the age of four and taking on the risks of racing at four. They were not blindsided and no one forced them to buy a yearling in 2011 if they were opposed to the rule. No one with a four year old stallion racing this year can say they were shocked or unaware such a rule existed when they bought or bought in to the horse.
You can argue whether or not the Gural Rule is a good rule or not, but no one can say they were coerced into racing at four.