Racehorse weights shuould be published

Sir, - Greyhounds are weighed at every meeting before they run. If they are over or under their ‘racing weight’ by more than the allowance, they are withdrawn from their race. Horse racing has, for years, resisted this system. Why?

During Royal Ascot a Group 1 winner from last year was favourite for a Group 2 race. As I watched this particular horse walking around at the start, even my untrained eye could see that the horse was carrying quite a lot of condition. Indeed, one of the TV pundits was of the same opinion.

Although the horse ran well to a point, not surprisingly he faded in the last couple of furlongs of the race and the jockey was not unduly hard on him as they passed the post.

Post race, the trainer of this beaten favourite admitted the horse was not at full fitness as his main target was the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. As I recall this did not even cause a ripple of discontent among the racing scribes or TV pundits.

This is not an isolated case though. Every so often top horses making their seasonal debuts are said by their trainers - both before and after the race - to be not fully fit. Some do win but a lot don’t.

Really, this has to stop. It is hard enough to pick winners without having to guess whether or not the horse you are backing is near to full fitness. The sooner racing goes down the greyhound route, the better! - Yours etc.,

Declan O’Connell


Co Kildare

Derby distance should change


I know they have tickets to sell, but what disingenuous nonsense is being spouted by the Curragh management.

The Irish Derby has been described as a ‘mouth-watering prospect’. Rubbish. Until Ballydoyle supplemented their Oaks winner, which in itself shows what a poor race it is, it was a clash between the Epsom Derby third and the Epsom Derby sixth.

If you want to charge €50, at least put on a clash between Manchester United and Liverpool. Hartlepool versus Rotherham doesn’t put bums on seats.

In one breath we are told that numbers don’t matter, but €50 tickets are justified because they are running a business. Dear God.

If the board of the Curragh can’t see their way to changing the distance of the race, then their €80 million grandstand will remain just a passing attraction to those heading south on the N7. - Yours etc.,

Patrick Cooper,

BBA (Ireland).

Kilwarden Lodge,


Co Kildare