Before heading to Sydney, Australia, for the Asian Racing Conference, the always entertaining Michael Dickinson took time to respond to the many comments to his interview in last week's Paulick Report Forum brought to you by Breeders' Cup. Below is his lengthy and thoughtful response.
A big thank you to everyone for their comments. It is always interesting to hear other people's opinions.
# 5- Barry, we acknowledge that some of the synthetic surfaces in the USA are not perfect but the jockeys and trainers have nothing but priase for the Tapeta at Meydan. There are many trainers who are in Dubai year round and have been training on Tapeta for over 12 months and they love the surface.
# 8- Rachel asks about inhaling the “Goop” and the contamination of air and ground. This is a very good question except for the fact that it has been asked 100 times before and I have replied 100 times before. Tapeta Farm is on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay, the most heavily regulated piece of water in the world. When before, during and over the last 10 years, we have had to past every environmental test known to man, likewise at GGF, which is right on the San Francisco Bay. Robert Hartman, the General Manager at GGF, has just received an Environmental Award.
When I was training at Tapeta for 10 years, we did a lot of scoping at the barn and never once did we see any “goop” in a horse's throat. No vet has ever reported to me at any of our tracks, that they have found any Tapeta material in the horse's throats or eyes. However, all vets have seen dirt down a horse's trachea on many occasions. If that is not bad enough, its get worse because the kickback from dirt has caused a lot of damage to many horses' eyes. In addition, Government an approved human Environment Engineer conducted tests with air samplers on a horse's bridle and the rider's stirrups and the result was: the Tapeta was below the level of detection, while dirt tracks are high in particle matter. This is all on our website if you had done your homework first. I am surprised about your lack of knowledge but at least you have given me the opportunity to give 2 more reasons why Tapeta is better than dirt.
# 11- Polo says, “Ambient temperature makes speed on the track and the horse's system is more efficient in hot weather” I have never seen a scientific paper to justify those claims. It is well known the horse has a wide temperature range for top performance.
# 14- I Davis- There is no plastic in Tapeta and you are also talking rubbish about “gunk” Have you physically seen the Tapeta at Meydan? Have you spoken to any trainers who have trained on it for the last 12 months?
# 15 Funny Cide Over- Printed out the vets list.
Timely Jazz was euthanized but the trainer did not blame the track, he had conformation problems which predisposed him to injury and in fact he loved training on the Tapeta track.
Invula- passed fit to race
Jalil- passed fit to race
Nil Blanc- passed fit
Tawaasol- full recovery expected
This is the pot calling the kettle black. Now go and look at the vet's list of 2 of America's most famous dirt tracks and you will see it is over 100 horses. Funny Cide Over- you are hiding behind your pen name. What is your real name and what are your achievements in life? Judging by your blogs, you are obviously a world expert, well at least in your own mind!!!
# 19- River City Smitty- The handle 2010 DWC was up 23%.
# 25 FunnyCideOver- I am quoting Bill Oppenheim in the TDN-
“DWC has a huge international cast, with 100 runners bred and or trained in 17 different countries, in 7 races running for $26 million. How elements of American racing can carry on with the reactionary, isolationist, assumption that the rest of the world doesn't really matter is frankly beyond me. This event is a mega-accomplishment.”
# 29- FunnyCideOver- There are 20 trainers who have trained and raced on Tapeta for the last 12 months in Dubai and 20 trainers loved the surface. Game,set and match.
# 32 Malcer- We all love the fabulous dirt horses of the past. The modern trainers don't like using all this medication because they get into trouble from the owners for producing big vet bills. The modern American racehorse is not the same as he was 30 years ago. He is 3rd generation medication. When I trained, I used legal therapeutic medication, only because you have to do to compete in the USA. If the modern American dirt horse is so good, he should be in Dubai where there is fantastic prize money, his expenses are paid and dirt horses perform well on Tapeta.
# 35- RatherRapid- you are quite correct. Hard tracks cause more bleeders, but the UK races are not 4 seconds slower than the USA. The clocks start from a standing start and many of the courses have an uphill finish.
# 37 Bill O'Gorman- A brilliant trainer, very articulate and is always worth reading.
I have really enjoyed this project and I would like to thank all those who support Tapeta.
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