A rumour that had been going around has been confirmed. Last year's winner of the Velka Pardubicka, Tzigane du Berlais, which is also currently the favourite for this year's race, had a colic attack and spent a couple of days in a clinic in Brno a few days after his last race, 5 weeks before the Velka Pardubicka. He had run very disappointingly in the September Qualification Race, and finished only fifth, well beaten by Talent and Theophilos.
We are told that Tzigane du Berlais seems to be OK and is expected to run in the Velka Pardubicka on Sunday.
Richard Askwith's outstanding biography of Countess Lata Brandisová, who in 1937 rode the winner of the Velka Pardubicka, was published in English a few months ago. Now, the book has appeared in a Czech translation, which will be presented at Řitka on Friday afternoon, October 11th and at Pardubice racecourse on Saturday, October 12th.
According to IRB https://www.irbracing.com/, the Newmarket-based agency which has for many years facilitated the transportation and all arrangements for horses from the UK that are entered for the Velka Pardubicka, both of the British horses entered for the VP are expected to ru
EJC day is on Saturday. There are nine races on the card. The first two races, at 1 pm and at 1.30 are outside the EJC competition, though some of the riders in the EJC competition have been engaged to ride in these races. Races 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 are EJC races. Each of the 12 riders in the competition will ride in at least 5 of the 6 competition races, and will be awarded points according to his finishing position in his five best races. The final race in the afternoon will be the celebrities race. Josef Vána senior will ride in this race.
An unfamiliar but welcome sight in August 2019 has been the colour of green grass. In recent years, our racecourses have been yellow or brown from quite early in July until mid-September, and this year, too, the grass was looking stressed by the end of July. Nevertheless, the better equipped Czech racecourses had made an effort to keep the racetrack itself watered. Since the beginning of the racing season here, the going has been mainly good, or good to firm.
The three main events in central European steeplechasing, marking the highpoint of our 2019 season, all take place within a five-week period between September 8th and October 13th. Each of the three meetings, at Wroclaw in Poland, at Merano, in the northernmost part of Italy, and at Pardubice, 100 km east of Prague in the Czech Republic, celebrates the varieties of crosscountry steeplechasing in the central European region.