Racing review from the south-west
- Credit: Cameron Geran/PPAUK
For supporters of Horse Racing, last weekend proved to be very disappointing, with the cancellation of Cheltenham's scheduled trials.
It all meant that the South West's leading trainers were left kicking their heels and having to rearrange plans for their stable stars.
Given the current situation with the Covid crisis, it is extremely unlikely that crowds will be allowed at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
The horse racing industry was criticised in 2020 for allowing is annual blue ribband event to take place at a time when the number of infections from Covid-19 was growing in the UK.
In 2021, it is already understood that the general public will not be allowed to attend - the question will be whether a limited entry will be allowed for owners to see their horses run. This will unravel over the next six weeks and, like all sporting events at present, a very fluid situation.
The racing world isn't all about Cheltenham, however, and this was underlined by the tortuous journey undertaken by Bryony Frost last Thursday when she made the long drive to Fakenham in Norfolk in horrendous weather conditions.
It was an ultimately fruitful journey though, with two winners, Admiral Barraty and Shantung for one of her big supporters, Newmarket trainer Lucy Wadham.
At least the journey there and back for the trainer and the horses was a much shorter one than Bryony endured.
The life of a National Hunt jockey is a tough one. It can feature, like Bryony's did on Thursday, a 5am morning call, three hours of riding work at a stable, a 500-mile round trip, a late arrival home and back for more of the same the next morning.
The glory that comes for those big race wins is certainly earned with the efforts and sacrifices that are made to get there.
Weather permitting, racing resumes in the South West this Thursday with a competitive card at Paul Nicholls’ local track, Wincanton, where the champion trainer is always worth following.