Gosden: Race-Day Meds Have ‘Contaminated’ and ‘Degraded’ American Thoroughbred

by | 01.28.2015 | 6:40pm
John Gosden

In a recent Q&A with Thoroughbred Racing Commentary, trainer John Gosden gave a candid account of his opinions on the contrast between American racing and British racing. The biggest problem according to the multiple G1-winning trainer who has trained both in Britain and the States, is that Lasix degrades his ability to trust the American thoroughbred.

“How many generations of American horses have now raced on known medications, let alone other stuff where some vet was being extremely clever and ahead of the testing program? Given those circumstances, how can you trust the breed?” said Gosden. “Have you contaminated the breed? Yes. Have you degraded it? Yes. I think it is becoming increasingly difficult for people to trust performances of horses in Black Type races in America because they don't truly know what the horses raced on.”

When asked about other differences between racing stateside and across the pond, Gosden pointed out that times are less of an issue for trainers in Europe who are working over softer, more varying ground like the grass gallops at Newmarket.

There are different attitudes between the two countries when it comes to surface, too. Admittedly, Gosden says he prefers turf courses but believes that synthetic surfaces “have their place … I have found that training on dirt is tougher to keep horses sound, longer-term, than on turf or synthetics … I also regard the ripping up of synthetics in the U.S. as a retrograde step.”

Finally, Gosden said, he is concerned with the image problem in Thoroughbred racing in the U.S., though Britain deals with a similar issue in a world where racing is no longer fashionable nor well-understood by the public.

Read more at Thoroughbred Racing Commentary

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