The Cough

Discussion in 'Horse Racing' started by Bustino74, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. Bustino74

    Bustino74 Thouroughbred Breed Enthusiast

    Jun 15, 2011
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    People have been saying there were some virus problems in Newmarket but today Saeed bin Suroor has confirmed his horses are coughing and have been for a good part of a month. Apparently he is not alone and he is quoted as saying "Most have been coughing. You can see it all over Newmarket. I have been here for 22 years and this is the worst thing like that to happen here."

    To those who have been around for a bit longer than that will remember the virus ridden years of the '60s and '70s when people had to learn what to do. Peter Walwyn was totally decimated by a virus he got in 1979 and the result for him was that he lost a lot of good horses and one could argue his jockey. One minute he was the hero the next minute he was zero. It hasn't seemed such a problem recently but I'm sure some of Henry Cecil's problems from 2000 to 2008 were the result of a virus too.

    However this year it seems to have come back with a vengeance after seeming to be controllable. Horses can appear on top of their game one day yet the next run in a race and fall away to nothing. The only thing to do is to shut up shop and sit it out. Suroor will run his first runner this week since the 6th August when a hot favourite finished almost last. We must all wish him well as this virus (whatever it is) is an insidious thing.
  2. PNkt

    PNkt Well-Known Member

    Jul 25, 2011
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    Varian has had something this year too as his yard went very quiet for a while. As great a hub as Newmarket is for facilities, etc it does mean that if something gets into the population it can spread like wildfire.
  3. woolcombe-folly007

    woolcombe-folly007 Well-Known Member

    May 9, 2011
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    Has hit the trainers in Chantilly as well - look at the likes of Criquette -head and Mdme corine barber compared to JC Rouget one of the main reasons why he is storming away with the championship over there!!
    Bustino74 likes this.
  4. gazboy

    gazboy Well-Known Member

    Jun 4, 2011
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    Has hit Richard Branson also! Apparently when told Corbyn, when he was PM, he planned to nationalise the railways he coughed!
    floridaspearl and Bustino74 like this.
  5. PNkt

    PNkt Well-Known Member

    Jul 25, 2011
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    From today's Racing Post:

    • Racing battling worst summer of virus
      By Bruce Jackson 3:30PM 31 AUG 2016
      RACING is battling what some professionals consider to be the worst summer in 30 years for health problems in stables not only in Britain but also France.

      Newmarket, home to 3,000 horses, appears to have been worst hit, although the leading French centre of Chantilly has not escaped.

      Many trainers big and small have reported their horses "out of sorts" with bad scopes or blood analysis and suffering from respiratory problems.

      Angus Gold, who manages Hamdam Al Maktoum's horses, said: "I don't think people have realised quite what a difficult year this has been for horse-health issues and just what a tough time trainers have had. It has been the worst year in my 30 years as racing manager."

      Another leading racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe, who handles Khalid Abdullah's string, backed up his view, saying: "It's been a real problem this year, no question.

      Europe-wide problem

      "I think it's a Europe-wide problem. It's been bad in Chantilly and there certainly have been spells when various Newmarket trainers have struggled. It doesn't seem like it's one thing - there seems to be so many different strains of flu or rhino flu. I think it's a perfect storm of a number of things."

      The storm may have started brewing with an abnormally mild winter and no cold snap to naturally kill off infections.

      Gold added: "After an incredibly mild winter I remember telling Sheikh Hamdan just how well the horses were looking in March and hoped they still would be in the summer. Then it went cold in April and they had coughs and dirty noses and they never really recovered in the next three months."

      Problem with the young

      Jenny Hall, the BHA chief veterinary officer, said there is ongoing research at the Animal Health Trust but pointed out that stables with first yearlings and then two-year-olds were replicating the primary school environment where diseases are picked up and passed around and on to adults until they build up immunity.

      "It's a reminder how important hygiene is in stables and how difficult it is, as well as at the races, with horses constantly coming and going," said Hall.

      She added that while still trying to identify strains of disease is continuing, none of the health problems is to do with serious exotic infectious diseases.

      "I think it's also the case people are more open about the problems, which is good, and helps as a reminder we have to continue to fund and carry out investigation and research," she said.

      High-profile sufferers

      There has been no more high-profile an example of the problems many trainers have faced than Postponed, who had to miss the King George.

      Trainer Roger Varian said at the time: "It's like humans. You can feel all right with a lung infection until your lungs start burning, then you can forget it. If you run them when they're sick they take longer to recover."

      Varian had half the number of runners in July that he did in May and June, while Saeed Bin Suroor shut up shop after a disappointing July, sending out runners again only this week.

      "We've given the horses an easy time," said Bin Suroor. "Most have been coughing. You can see it all over Newmarket. I've been here 22 years and this is the worst thing like that to happen here. You have to stop and give them time to recover."

      Lambourn has not escaped either, with Henry Candy reporting his horses under the weather through the first two months of the season before coming good.

      Change of seasons

      Wiltshire-based former champion trainer Richard Hannon, another with a three-figure strong stable, played down this year being any worse than other years.

      "There's a lot of talk there's more this year than any other but it's pretty much an annual thing with the change of seasons," he said. "As weeks go by some of them are all right but others aren't and you can't run them; it's pretty standard."

      Epsom trainer Jim Boyle said: "I know plenty have struggled but it's not a country-wide thing."

      Boyle took a stringent precaution at bank holiday Monday's Epsom open day with requests for visitors to disinfect and not to feed or pat the horses.

      "It was a sensible precaution, you can't afford any bugs and open days can be a source of contamination," added Boyle.

    Bustino74 likes this.
  6. Cyclonic

    Cyclonic Well Hung Member

    Mar 4, 2011
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    Sorry for the following Princess, I couldn't help but hunt down a nice little cough, just to keep us in the right spirit. :)


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