The Czech horseracing season opened on a Monday afternoon at Most racecourse on May 18th. It was a late start, to the season, of course, but congratulations to everybody who ensured that racing, behind closed doors, took place at the first possible opportunity, on the day when the state of emergency in the Czech Republic was lifted.
Tomáš Hurt, who rode seven times in the Velka Pardubicka, has died suddenly at the age of 38. His biggest success as a rider was when he finished second on Decent Fellow behind Sixteen in the 2007 Velka Pardubicka. He gave up riding some years ago, and became a successful trainer, based at Benešov.
March 2020 was the month when the coronavirus burst into the headlines and ended up totally disrupting our lives. The Czech government was very quick to take action and to restrict the risk of spreading the virus. Coronavirus entered the country mainly via northern Italy, which is for obvious reasons a very attractive destination for skiing. And skiing and other winter sports are very popular in the Czech Republic.
On March 12th, the Czech Republic was the first country in Europe to announce a state of emergency and special measures aimed at reducing and regulating the impacts of the coronavirus epidemic. According to Czech law, a state of emergency can be announced for a maximum of 30 days, after which it may be renewed.
January 2020 was a month without snow here in Prague. Maybe you will tell me that a few flakes fell in the middle of the night, somewhere in the middle of the month, but they did not settle, and I did not see any traces of them when I went out in the morning. There was quite frequent moderate rainfall, but little ice formation. Very little grit seems to have been used on the streets of Prague, maybe none at all so far this winter.
Václav Janáček (photo) has won his sixth champion jockeyʼs title in Spain, after missing out last year. Before going to Spain, Janáček dominated the Czech championship. He was our flat jockeysʼ champion from 2006 until 2010. In 2009, he rode 84 winners here, smashing the previous record, which had been 48 winners. The following year, he also rode 84 winners, winning both the Czech championship and the Slovak championship.
From today (December 16th), a fine open-air skating rink will be available to the public at Pardubice racecourse. Horseracing fans will be pleased to hear that the skating rink is located behind the paddock, and not on the finishing straight, where it was very controversially set up last winter.
Czech-trained Subway Dancer’s name is on the list of entries for the Hong Kong Vase, one of the races at the international meeting in Hong Kong in December. Trainer Zdeno Koplík’s horse, which won a Group 2 race in France last Sunday, figures among the 72 entries, sixty of which are from outside Hong Kong. The 2400-metre Hong Kong Vase will be run on December 8th.