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danceronice
11-06-2011, 10:57 PM
Yes, if Joseph O'Brien wants to keep riding he can switch to the jump races/National Hunt--they carry higher imposts. (130+ isn't unheard of.) But if he's really as heavy as they say already he BARELY made weights today--122 or 125, I've heard, and that's heavy enough the might not even have had to add lead. He's much too big to race most horses--my own retired Allowance/Claimer ran for five years and never carried more than 117. Flat races don't carry much and the babies can go down to 105-110. He's already very, very limited in what he can ride on the flat.

Vagabond
11-07-2011, 03:52 PM
The weights assigned to horses are considerably higher than those assigned in North America. As Joseph O'Brien said in his interview, as long as he stays at around nine stone (126 lbs.), he can continue to ride on the flat. However, he does acknowledge that it is inevitable that he will grow heavier, as men normally do in their twenties.

I wish North American tracks would learn a thing or two from their European counterparts when it comes to weight assignments. Expecting grown men to ride at 114 lbs. or thereabouts only encourages eating disorders.

danceronice
11-08-2011, 03:51 PM
OTOH, expecting a two- or three-year-old average TB to go full racing tilt lugging 130+ isn't really fair either. I do think the older handicap horses should make a habit of carrying 125+ if they're good. (That's why I'll never rank Secretariat as highly as Man o' War or Citation--they both carried much heavier imposts and while Man o' War retired at three, as they could have reasonably expected 140+ his four year old season, Citation raced at five and they had to pack 135 pounds on him for him to get nipped at the wire coming off an injury.) And of course our horses race mostly on dirt or synthetic and are expected to set faster times rather than slow routes on grass. Dirt's harder (look at the Euros crapping out in the Marathon on Churchill's surface, though in fairness hte word of the day for track conditions was "peanut butter", at least down on the rail.)

Vagabond
11-08-2011, 07:15 PM
OTOH, expecting a two- or three-year-old average TB to go full racing tilt lugging 130+ isn't really fair either.

Let's be realistic.

Danedream (the winner of this year's Arc) carried 118 lbs. against colts in her first race as a two-year-old at an obscure provincial track in France last year. The colts carried 121. In her second race, a minor stakes race in Germany, the fillies carried between 118 and 123 and the colts carried between 121 and 128.

Snow Fairy (third to Danedream in the Arc) carried 126 lbs. in a minor stakes race for fillies in her last race before winning last year's Oaks, as did all of the others except one, who carried 129 lbs.

Maybe the higher weights engender a different racing style, with horses going full tilt only in the closing stages, but they are obviously nothing that the horses can't handle. And I'd rather have slower times than jockeys suffering from bulimia and anorexia. :scream:

Ziggy
11-08-2011, 07:16 PM
Breeder's Cup - sounds like a title of a porn film. :P

Rottie
11-08-2011, 08:00 PM
I've wondered if asking horses to carry higher weights wouldn't encourage breeding and training for more durability instead of just speed. I think that would be a good thing.

danceronice
11-10-2011, 05:01 AM
US races are shorter and almost exclusively on dirt or synthetic. That's not changing any time soon and favors lighter weights. (And even synthetics are still kind of dubious--Santa Anita ripped theirs up and put dirt back after lots of horses were having soft-tissue injuries.) The slow times on grass don't sell over here. About the only thing worse to wind up with is a turf SPRINTER as if they're not stakes quality there's nowhere to go. So Uncle Mo is probably going to command a high stud fee, while a horse like Fort Prado (stakes winner, son of El Prado, raced until eight) is only $3k and in Illinois to boot.

You can't pack weight on two-year-olds. The jockeys can make their own decisions, the horses can't. And of course it's not just two-year-olds or the stakes races that are on TV maybe four days a year. The jockeys have to make weights on older claimers and allowance horses (the real bread and butter of the sport) who are in the 112-120 range. Those are the horses who race for years and keep the tracks in business. CAN they carry more? Yes. Can they carry more and maintain racing speeds without increased risk of damage? Not a good idea.

I'd like to see the best horses getting asked for more weight. Not that there's been a flat racer in years who NEEDS 130+ packed on to make it fair... I don't want to see a $10000 claimer asked to carry more than Secretariat.