The Bangalore Turf Club authorities need to change the track timings. Despite requests from track reporters to defer the start of morning track work to 6 a.m., the officials are adamant and starting the trackwork at 5.45 a.m. when it is dark, and the lights are not good enough. Race goes were puzzled when Anjeze won the Gr 2 Bangalore 1000 Guineas on Saturday with no report of her workouts. Majority of racegoers put importance on the trackwork to assess the fitness of the horses. Anjeze did not qualify on this score as there was no reported track work.
Quite often we see horses which have no reported track work being gambled and winning much to the chagrin of punters. Just as the veterinary report of a horse is compulsorily given in official racebooks, any horse participating in a race should have a reported track work being notified in the official race card to clear any misgivings on the part of the racing public. This should be made mandatory to ensure greater transparency.
When queried about this, trainer Sulaiman Attaollahi said that in view of the fact that the horse tends to go light and she is a temperamental horse, he had worked the filly twice on the inner sand before running her in the Guineas on November 16 and 23. The track reporters say that they had noticed the horse work fast on the inner sand but the lighting was not conducive to record accurate timings. The owner of Anjeze had tweeted that the track reporters need to their work properly and that they had missed the workout of the filly who had worked seven furlongs in 1 one minute 34 seconds which was a good enough piece of work for winning the classic.
From the many interactions that I have seen on the opinion exchange in WhatsApp, there was this belief that Anjeze`s victory was a well-disguised gamble because the track work was done in the dark! This is the impression that the sport would do without because every effort should be made to provide all possible information to keep the racegoer well informed. In fact, our Form Guide has as many as 120 parameters about a horse participating in a race but the absence of track work is a big dissuading factor for those who put great emphasis on the latest workouts to ascertain the fitness of a horse especially participating in a classic. One rarely sees a horse winning a classic without rigorous workouts.
In an earlier dispensation, the officials wanted to set right the lacunae about accurate track work and had telecast track work and later put a capsule on the website for the information of the punters. But that practice was given up in no time as the club found the logistical exercise cumbersome and taxing its resources. In foreign countries, you can readily access track work on the club`s website but on our club`s website, you can see huge pictures of the worthies presenting the trophies than anything worthwhile. The website is incomplete, and no progress has been made since the time it was conceived. The club is spending a lot of money on its upkeep, but the information is not up to date. The club started the practice of giving track work but that too has been abandoned. On the contrary, the RWITC website is comprehensive. There is an attempt to provide every possible information to the racegoers including selections from an expert. The international racecards are comprehensive with speed ratings and selections of handicappers being given out to help the punters. There is transparency in everything whereas secrecy is the name of the game in BTC.
A friend of mine, Sohil Patel, who covers Hong Kong Racing sent this message: ``Nicely written Sharan. It is a pity that a case needs to be made for requesting this "basic" information. Hong Kong has every trot, gallop, swim, and barrier trial of every horse reported. The track work video is also available to view at https://racing.hkjc.com/racing/english/showcase/trackwork.asp