As usual, there is some controversy about the horses that have got places in the field for the Czech Derby. Qualification is on the basis of the ratings awarded by the official handicappers.
Only a total of 5 steeplechases, hurdles races and crosscountry steeplechases were run in the Czech Republic in the six-month period prior to May 1st when, all of a sudden, eight jumps races were run at Pardubice. After a five-week period of hot weather and no rain, the going was firm (official going, 3.0 good) and clouds of sand and dust rose up whenever the horses crossed the ploughed fields that are, for better or for worse, a feature of Pardubice racecourse.
Open Day at the Luka stable, on the Saturday before the beginning of our racing season was a chilly occasion, but the staff were smartly and warmly dressed in blue!
January 2018 was a remarkably mild month in the Czech Republic. The main way for residents of Prague to see snow or even a proper frost this winter has been to get into a car and drive up into the mountains. Personally, I would not dream of going in search of snow and frost, in a car, on narrow, icy mountain roads.
Former jumps jockey and racehorse trainer František Grassl passed away on December 16th, at the age of 79.