Weather permitting

Turns out that the all-weather fibersand in Deauville isn’t very all-weather at all, because it has turned rock-hard after several days of sub-zero temperatures. Racing was canceled on Dec. 31 because of a thick layer of fog, and then canceled again today because of the hard track. Latest news is that the groundskeepers are going to try to treat it with the same salt mixture used on the autoroutes, which strikes me as not a good idea.

We are entered for Tuesday with Pixie, but I’m not confident there will be racing at all. But in case there is, she worked on the all-weather here in Maisons-Laffitte today (which is a different surface than Deauville and is handling the cold just fine, thank you). Nadege, our jockey, galloped her with Hard Way, and both worked well. Hard Way is entered for Jan. 10 – again, weather permitting. Best news is that all the horses are eating well at the moment.

I know all these weather complaints sound stupid to those who live where there is real winter, like Chicago and points north, but France isn’t equipped for this sort of thing. We’re used to maybe a week of freezing, maybe in January. Meanwhile, we’re just trying to deal with it. And ordering more firewood.

0 Replies to “Weather permitting”

  1. What is it about the fibresand that makes it perform so poorly? Turfway is the only track I can think of that has poly and holds meets in the winter and I don’t think they have canceled any cards due to track conditions.

    Then again, we like to use drugs and run on concrete so we probably aren’t the best side to look to for safe track conditions.

  2. The Deauville all-weather was one of the first in France, and I’m not sure what the composition of it is, but from walking on it I think it relies more on sand than some of the other formulas. The all-weather in Maisons-Laffitte is actually part of the old strip Sheik Mo put in at Evry when he was going to train two-year-olds there. It has handled the weather really well, but seems to be very high in fiberglass fibers and chopped up tires and other plastics. A new surface just went in at Cagnes-sur-Mer in the south, so it will be interesting to see how that rides. The synthetic track in Pau seems to be quite light and fluffy, but I have never raced on it. None of these came from the companies you know in the United States, like Tapeta or PolyTrak, so I can’t offer a comparison to those.

    As for drugs and concrete, unfortunately I agree; I am hoping (probably stupidly) that something might change before the sport dies completely over there…

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