17th October 2015
What a remarkable horse Fire Fighting is. Last night, at Dundalk he won the Listed Carlingford Stakes by five lengths. That was his 22nd start of 2015. But, if we look a little further back through his relatively short career, we see that it was his 37th start since May 2014.
Even more fascinating is that, when looking at his training record, I see, since the 8th January 2014, he has only twice had two consecutive days when he was not ridden. Those were when travelling to and from Dubai.
In January 2014 he was coming back from a complete break and he had 27 days walking and trotting before he commenced cantering. Since then, the longest period he has had without cantering is 22 days in December 2014 when we were preparing him for Dubai.
It is remarkable because, in most sports and particularly in horse racing, it is very unusual for an athlete to go two years in training without some form of injury enforcing a period of rest. But it does make me wonder how many other horses might thrive on constant training and racing. Fire Fighting, like every other horse, had at least one run during that period when the jockey got off and said he needed a break. It is an easy thing to say and, if you give a horse a break, it is impossible to prove that it was the wrong decision. They can’t get beaten if you don’t run them but, then again, they can’t win either. It depends whether you are judging your horses on their best performances or their worst. Fire Fighting has suffered many defeats but last night he performed as well as at any time in his 48 race, three year, career.