6th Mar 2013
We celebrated Vintage Crop’s 26th birthday on Friday, twenty years after he shrank the racing globe by winning the biggest race in Australia and demonstrated that it could be done. In the two decades since, we have seen the growth of the world racing schedule with the development of the Dubai World Cup and the Singapore Gold Cup, the Hong Kong international races and a burgeoning desire among other nations, most recently Qatar, to join the party. Vintage Crop did not make all this happen, but in demonstrating the possibilities, there was greater confidence that the idea of a top class Thoroughbred racing circuit was worth pursuing.
A potential victim of this is the “World Racing Championship” or the Breeders Cup as we recognise it. Having created the perfect environment at Santa Anita a few seasons back, the xenophobes are back in the driving seat and the barriers to true competition are being swiftly re-erected. The track was taken up, the link with Europe was broken and the drugs are back on centre-stage. We put a tidy sum into the concept from here, but maybe we should reconsider the financial support, since it can be argued that the whole event is less relevant to us now and there is obviously no appetite for change among the dirt balls.
We have bigger matters to attend to, such as finishing off the carrot cake from the birthday party. The big word at the top of the page means “attributing human characteristics to non-humans” or something like that. We were accused of it in a complimentary piece in the Racing Post, because all hard-boots know that horses don’t have birthday parties. We want to spark a bit of curiosity and attract as many visitors as we can. When they are here we might clarify a few details. In advance of HM The Queen’s visit, a photojournalist asked me to brush a mare’s teeth and the resultant picture was the one which made the papers. Shameless slave to the publicity machine? I suppose so.
We went on national radio on Monday for a “name the foal” competition. I know, I know, it doesn’t work like that, but the response has been fantastic and the winning name will be announced next week. She is a three-parts sister to Coral Wave, so there might be a few chapters in her biography. We hope the filly is a champion, but at least she will be a celebrity. So maybe the winner will be “Get Me Outta Here”.
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