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Friday, March 6, 2015

When You're Hot, You're Hot; Openess to the Public

First he wins the World Driving Championship, what does Dexter Dunn do for an encore?  Winning the $250,000 Auckland Cup at Alexandra Park with Christen Me in an exciting race is pretty darn good.

Christen Me, a son of the super sire Christian Cullen, won the Cup in a New Zealand record of 3:13.8 (1:55.5 MR) for the 2,700 meters, defeating world record holder mare Adore Me by a nose.  It took a four wide move heading into the  home stretch for Christen Me to get into contention and it was a wild battle in the stretch   It truly was a classic finish.

If you want accessibility to racing information, the Australasians are great at it.  For example, looking at HRNZ's website at the Auckland Cup, you can see the history of the race (it goes back to 1890) with video replay of recent editions, the results, and the stewards report where you can see after the race Adore Me is suffering from mild soreness, and for the entire card if any horses had their classes changed.  In addition, their online form shows recent lines for horses including video replays.  All for free.  Besides the fact this information is free, the fact you can find out a horse is hurting or not is welcome; the information being open, not kept top secret.

Jody Jamieson and Tim Tetrick will certainly leave the Land of Oz with great memories and the Aussies will think warmly of them.  Australian driver Chris Alford's daughter suffers from neurofibromatosis and the drivers signed a shirt for auction.  At the auction Tetrick won the shirt for $2,000AUS and then donated it back at which time Jamieson won the auction for $2,000; meaning the shirt raised $4,000.  Not only are these great drivers, they are great ambassadors for the sport.

There was a nasty accident at Forbury Park in New Zealand last night, one that wiped out the entire outer tier.  I make a point of not posting wrecks in this blog, but if you are so inclined, you can locate it on YouTube.  If you want to read about it, has a story about it.  Amazingly, all the drivers and horses came out of the race in good shape.

No doubt some will say this is what happens when there are too many horses in a race, to which I say poppycock.  Take a race with your normal size field at any North American track which develops to tiers and have one upfront fall and see what happens; it will be pretty close to what happened at Forbury.  I have seen races where in the stretch a horse falls and if they are close enough, horses are going to go down.  Harness racing is dangerous.  It's the nature of the sport.

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