Thursday, 3 July 2014

Lambourn  home of Toast Of New York. Team (Jamie)  Osborne. (GB)


As published in the Racing Post on Thursday July 3rd.
Jamie Osborne continues a daily diary leading up to Toast Of New York's run in Saturday's
Grade 1 Belmont Derby.
"QUARANTINE no problem as good rest better than any work. "

"The process involved in transporting Toast Of New York across the Atlantic at first appears quite complex. But it's made simpler thanks to the expert shipping agent Luke Greayer, which is headed by Nick Luck's brother James. Surprisingly, there's no freight service that will carry horses directly to New York from the UK.


"As a consequence, last Friday at noon Toast and Jimmy (McCarthy, assistant trainer/work rider) loaded on to an LRT lorry, with their first stop at Kingsclere to collect Side Glance. From there it was a road trip, via Eurotunnel, to Liege in Belgium. Nine hours later, after a brief leg stretch, both horses stepped onto a pallet that would then be lifted into the hold of a TNT Boeing 777 freighter plane along with a couple of Jaguars- that's the car not the cat - and other assorted extras.


"To the uninitiated it all sounds rather frightening, but the procedure has stood the test of time over many years and it is all done under the expert guidance of Brian  Taylor, son of Snow Knight's 1974 Derby-winning jockey of the same name.


"As we'd hoped, Toast was his normal laid-back self. He munched his hay, drank plenty and had a nap en route before landing six hours and four minutes later at JFK.


"With the pallet lifted off, Toast said goodbye to Side Glance, who runs at Monmouth Park on Sunday, and walked straight up the ramp of an articulated horse transporter. Around 15 minutes later he was in the quarantine station at Belmont Park racecourse. After a two-hour wait his feed arrived, having cleared customs, and he was fed and relaxed in his new surroundings.


"Quarantine regulations meant he couldn't be ridden on the track until Monday morning. This wasn't a problem, however, as a good rest for 48 hours is more beneficial than any amount of work.


"Weight loss, or lack of it, is a great gauge as to how well a horse has taken the travelling. On the journey to Dubai he lost eight kilos, which took him a day and a half to recover. Sadly, we can only guess at the impact this time as Jimmy had been unable to locate a set of weighing scales in Belmont. Seemingly, US trainers don't see the benefit of knowing how much their horses weigh, Having observed the different work policies of  trainers in the week leading up to the Dubai World Cup meeting this year, it's clear there are no hard and fast rules. We decided not to gallop Toast during that week, he merely cantered sedately for a mile on the track. We'll engage the same approach this time and are hoping to be allowed to do it on the grass this morning. If not, the dirt will have to suffice.


"I've never understood why horses are galloped too close to a race. I don't see how it can increase fitness and I feel it's more likely to draw on a horse's reserves and risk a diminished performance. Toast has done all the galloping he needs. The work is in the bank.


"All Jimmy and I need to do now is to keep him eating and drinking, check his temperature and keep him safe and happy. And guard him with our lives. "

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