The Rabbit CZ Czech Oaks, 2400 metres, CZK 550 000, was run at Karlovy Vary on Sunday, July 21st. In the Oaks trial on Derby day at Prague Velka Chuchle, there had been pandemonium in the starting boxes, and it was fortunate that fillies and jockeys did not suffer serious injury. In the Oaks itself, the connections of more than half of the field had asked for an outside draw, and numerous trainers had permission to be at the start. Happily, there were no problems this time.
St Pancras (May 12th), St Servatus (May 13th) and St Boniface (May14th) are known in the Czech Republic as the Ice Saints, and it is interesting how often these saints’ days produce a night frost long after winter seems to have been left behind and long after nature has burst into spring mode. Climate change seems not yet to have affected the Ice Saints.
The field for Saturday’s VP qualification race at Pardubice can boast not only the winner of the 2018 Velka, but also a horse that won the Velka without finishing the race in first place. In the Lokotrans colours, 11-y-o Ribelino will be running at Pardubice for the second time this year. However, his previous run did not leave his trainer, Luboš Urbánek (photo), any the wiser!
Since we have - or used to have - a fairly hard and long winter in the Czech Republic, and we do not have any racing on all-weather tracks, our horseracing season does not begin until April, and it ends early in November. Owners and racing fans can deal with the situation quite well by having other interests in their lives for the winter months, but the long off-season is a problem for our professional trainers and riders.
The April newsletter got delayed this year, as I have been very busy helping colleagues to get grant applications in, on time and in good English. Having missed my self-imposed deadline of midnight on March 31st, my next target is to post the newsletter before the Grand National, at 6.15 pm CET on Saturday, April 6th.
Various stories have appeared in the Czech media claiming that the failure so far to name a main sponsor for the 2019 Velka Pardubicka indicates that the race is under threat. As my earlier article indicates, http://www.dostihovy-svet.cz/en/node/8390, the race is under no threat from lack of sponsorship for this year. Sponsorship will surely be found for the flagship event of the Czech horseracing season. The mass media rightly reported on the problems of finding a sponsor for the 2019 running of the race.
Race conditions for the major flat races at Warsaw and at Bratislava in 2019 have been published, in English. Note that entries close in March, though supplementary entries are also possible.