Fast ground horses and soft ground horses
I’ve had a couple of searches come up on the blog about the pre-eminent sire Pivotal, a bonny chestnut who stands at Cheveley Park for a fee of £68,000. I mention this merely because the searches keywords were “fast ground Pivotal”, which surprised me because the he is known more for progeny that are able to operate on soft ground. So if you are entering the above search term, or similar, I hope you are now straight! The thing is the stallion is only one side of the coin, there is all the dam’s side of the gene pool to consider too. However I think it is fair to say looking at the sire and his progeny’s proclivities in general is as good a guide as anything else ever is in racing.
If you are in situ, watch the horse move to post. A horse that has a high knee action (think pistons pumping) is more likely to be able to cope on softer ground as the hooves are leaving the ground in a more upright trajectory. A horse that has a more sweeping action (think long skirts sweeping across the turf) are more likely to be effective on good or better ground. They say that the best horses cope with most going (barring the extremes of heavy and firm) but the majority of horses are not the best and knowing a sire’s action and going preferences gives you another small angle on a field.
Some of Pivotal’s sons also stand as stallions and get racehorses who can go on the soft e.g. Kyllachy and Captain Rio and Pivotal’s own sire, Polar Falcon has passed on a soft ground preference.
The lovely Sariska, a daughter of Pivotal, won the Musidora Stakes today at York and is now installed as favourite for the Oaks. Long may Pivotal’s reign.