https://www.freewebs.com/becher123/formguidefor2018velkapa.htmChris Simpson has been writing about steeplechasing in continental Europe for at least twenty years on the Becher123 website. Although it is a few years since he last came to Pardubice, he is still remarkably well informed. Where his opinions differ from mine, he is probably rigth. However, when the two of us agree, it is quite possible that we are both wrong.
The last of the four Velka Pardubicka qualification races run at Pardubice racecourse produced a good-quality race. At last, there was a qualification race run on a cool afternoon and on good ground. The ploughed fields were a bit dusty, but we must again be grateful to the ground staff for their hard work on preparing the course.
There were ten runners, including two promising young horses, Buonarotti and Tzigane du Berlais, that had not yet qualified for the big race on October 14th.
The race meeting planned for Kolesa on Saturday 11 August has been cancelled because of the rock-hard ground. The organizers at Kolesa intend to discuss whether a replacement date can be found in the autumn, and will make an announcement in September. The organizers apologize to everyone who had taken an interest in the race meeting, and ask for their understanding.
In preparation for writing the August 2018 newsletter, I jotted down a few ideas on what I might write about. Then, I decided to reread my August newsletters for 2015 to 2017. I was quite disappointed to see that most of my ‘ideas’ mentioned in the first sentence here had, in fact, been discussed in some detail in the August newsletters in each of the last three years!
The June qualification race for the 2018 Velka Pardubicka was run on good ground, on a pleasantly mild afternoon. Fifteen runners went to the start. Ange Guardian, which had finished 2nd in the May qualification race, started as favourite, and the second favourite was Zarif, also trained by Josef Váňa.
This must have been by some margin the hottest of the 26 months of May that I have spent in the Czech Republic. In addition, it has been extremely dry where I have been. Some severe local storms have been shown on television, but none of them fell onto the northwestern parts of Prague where I spend most of my time. Heavy rain is forecast for tomorrow’s race meeting at Most – but by then it will be June 1st.