22nd April 2015
It is April and we have already enjoyed some unseasonably good weather, but rain and low temperatures are set to run on Friday all across the country and that is forecast to continue well into next week. Yet many clerks of courses are already watering and setting us up for unnaturally softened and false ground.
Wetherby stages its first flat meeting on Sunday and the clerk of the course has admitted that he has been watering and is aiming for Good ground. BHA instructions are to aim for Good to Firm but virtually every clerk ignores those instructions.
At Sandown they are watering ‘to maintain current conditions’ which are Good (Good to Firm in places) and, worst of all, at Newcastle they are watering to ‘ensure safe ground’ when there are four or five days of rain forecast in the run up to their meeting.
Clearly we now, generally, get ground conditions that are softer than would be the case if it was left to nature and, in my opinion, that is not good for racing or the future of the breed but, beyond that, I am certain that the continuous watering does untold damage to the turf and results in false, loose, ground regardless of the going description.