Horses Flatter In Barbados, Officials Taking Notes

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Horse-racing officials here have labeled last weekend’s experience at the Sandy Lane Gold Cup in Barbados a learning experience. Two of the country’s top thoroughbreds – Burndines known locally as Baba-Baba, and Flying to Honour known locally as Mulatto – were both unsuccessful in their bid to impress at the coveted regional meet. Both horses finished back of the pack in their respective races, with Burndines ending 10th in the 10-horse Gold Cup and Mulatto finishing last in the nine-horse Sandy Lane Spa Sprint. President of the Antigua Turf Club Neil Cochrane said a number of factors worked against the horses, with one of the main issues being the absence of a vaccination record which left the animals quarantined for some time after arriving in Barbados.
“The first thing we’re going to do is launch a vaccination progrmme where every six months horses will have to be vaccinated for specific diseases which although not in the country, it helps whenever you’re going to travel and there are requirements for vaccination from those particular diseases,” he said. “When the horses arrived in Barbados they were held at the airport for quite a significant period of time, and after several hours at the airport, they went to a quarantine farm. The horses were not allowed to move from the quarantine farm for a couple of days; there was not a track to train on,” he added.
Burndines in particular, picked up an injury to one of its legs which, according to owner Dr. Dwayne “Baba” Thwaites, significantly reduced the animal’s chances of doing well. “For the first three or four furlongs he was there and in good position and it was right on peak, but then as it got around to about the sixth or seventh furlong that’s when junior realised he was having pain. Not only that; if you look at the repeat images you would see when he got bumped coming out of the gate and I think that jockey was reprimanded for bumping him,” the doctor said.
The avid horse race fan said this year’s participation in the prestigious event will definitely not be the last for his horses. “You know I don’t like blows so definitely coming back with a vengeance. We set up a programme appropriately in terms of the financing and getting down there [Barbados] as we had everything in place and appropriately put in place so that we could make the trip. The hiccups is what we didn’t expect and immunising a horse five days before it runs is just something that is not done,” Dr. Thwaites said. The horse racing fraternity will now refocus on local rivalries with racing set to return to the Cassada Gardens Race Track on March 17

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