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.
In the weeks before the beginning of our new season, much effort is put into visiting stables and discussing with trainers, and others, what the plans and prospects are for 2018, taking photographs and writing up articles. Most of the reports are of limited interest, and repeat the same messages of hope for the future, and gratitude to the owners and to the stable staff.
The family of billionaire Radovan Vítek has taken control over the famous racecourse in the Velká Chuchle suburb of Prague, by obtaining 93.6% of the shares of Turf Holding.
On its web pages, the Jockey Club of the Czech Republic published a report yesterday [December 14th] evening concerning Monday’s meeting of the Disciplinary Commission of the Jockey Club of the Czech Republic, which imposed a punishment of withdrawing the trainer’s licence from trainer Ludvík Haris for a period of ten months.
The 127th running of the Velka Pardubicka was a muddy event. The turf was only on the soft side of good, after good amounts of rain in the weeks, days, hours and minutes before the race. However, the ploughed fields had pools of water on them, and by the end of the afternoon they were muddy rather than very deep. Be that as it may, these were tough conditions.