March 13, 2007

Day One!: Cheltenham begins today, the world's greatest national hunt festival. The favourites have been discussed for months. Now it is time to let the fun begin, not to mention the betting

posted by Fence to other at 04:51 AM - 11 comments

WHY!!! Im not a peta supporter, but this crap has to stop.

posted by vipers-pit at 08:23 AM on March 13, 2007

And I thought "day one!" was referring to the first day of march madness! people and their priorities... Anyhow go NU!

posted by nymetsfan at 10:03 AM on March 13, 2007

Why what? Why horse-racing? Why not?

posted by Fence at 11:01 AM on March 13, 2007

Wish I could be there. In my student days, my part-time job was as a bookie's runner around the Sydney racetracks. We don't have much steeplechasing down under (except for a couple of meetings in Adelaide and Melbourne), but I've managed to catch a few races when travelling in Britain.

posted by owlhouse at 03:04 PM on March 13, 2007

vipers-pit: WHY!!! Im not a peta supporter, but this crap has to stop. Fence: Why what? Why horse-racing? Why not? I will go out on a limb here and suggest that vipers-pit was asking why does this event still take place in light of the fact that a bunch of horses die each year at Cheltenham. I don't have enough information to know how Cheltenham measures up in terms of risk to the horses when compared against other events of a like nature, other equestrian events (of a different type), etc., so I'll sit this one out. From a pure spectator (putting aside the horses dying) and betting perspective, it sounds like a great event.

posted by holden at 03:54 PM on March 13, 2007

Yeah, I figured that'd be the reason. There were 9 equine fatalities last year (I've just looked it up), so I suppose you could argue that it is an excessively dangerous sport, but horses are fragile creatures. For the most part they are extremely well looked after, although there are always some who are mistreated. The winner of yesterday's big race, Sublimity, almost died at Christmas after contracting a virus. Luckily he was well looked after and pulled through, probably because of the care a thoroughbred receives. You can argue that the horses have no say in whether they run or not, and so argue for the banning of jump racing, but it is pretty much what horses in general are born to do. They run. That's what they are.

posted by Fence at 04:09 PM on March 14, 2007

Horses can injure themselves and have to be put down by putting a foot through a fence, by post-natal trauma or by getting colic. I know - I've lost three in three years by these means. I also know horses love to run and jump. Any group of young horses in a field will race each other, just for fun.

posted by owlhouse at 07:20 PM on March 14, 2007

"Do the horses know that it's a race? Are they aware of what is going on here? After the race are the horses walking back to the stable: "I was third, I was first, I was ninth."? I think they're thinking: "Oat bag, I get my oat bag now! Oat bag time." I gotta bet on this idiot? I mean, I'm sure the horses have some idea that the jockey is in a big hurry. I mean, he's on him, he's hitting him with this thing. He's going: "Come on, come on" Obviously he's in a hurry, the jockey's in a hurry. But the horse must get to the end and go: "We were just here! What was the point of that? This is where we were. That was the longest possible route you could take. Why didn't we just stay here? We would have been first!" I'll tell you one thing the horses definitely do not know. They do not know that if you should accidentally trip and break your leg at any point during the race we blow your brains out. I think they're missing that little tidbit of information. I think if they knew that you'd see some mighty careful stepping coming down that home stretch. "Take it easy, take it easy. You win, I'll place... whatever. The important thing is your health." "

posted by JJ at 05:12 AM on March 15, 2007

If I lose any more money on Cheltenham this year they're going to shot ME, never mind the horses.

posted by JJ at 11:18 AM on March 15, 2007

I hate, it is just too easy to place a bet. And, of course, lose.

posted by Fence at 11:25 AM on March 15, 2007

I loved it this afternoon when I logged in for the first time in a long time to throw some money away and discovered that there was 20 in my account that I'd forgotten I had (courtesy of Sergio Garcia who must have placed in the USPGA last year). Needless to say, I deposited what I was going to bet anyway and threw the bonus 20 on as well and watched the whole lot disappear as Natal was escorted to the glue factory (or might as well have been) in the 3:15. It is, as I've often been told, a mug's game.

posted by JJ at 12:29 PM on March 15, 2007

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