We asked Hawkesbury trainer Noel Mayfield-Smith, who had a runner at Rosehill on Saturday 18 January 2020, what he thinks of the latest welcomed rain and how it effects his horses.
“It’s very good to see the rain, like everywhere we’re desperate and in need of water. The dam was getting very low and there are a couple of the tracks that are very water dependant and there was only a month’s supply of water left in the dam. There is a bore, but it is quite acidic so has to be mixed with fresh water anyway, so it was great to get a good down pour of rain, but we’ll need more to top us up.
Very happy to see the rain to settle some of the dust because a lot of horses tend to get a box cough so as soon as the rain comes they immediately seem to shake off that cough and obviously it also softens the tracks which cuts down on jarring of the horses joints.
I think with horses and rain there’s two things I notice, it seems to freshen them up around the stable and they also seem to handle their work a lot better because of that little give in the ground. For example, a horse that’s not that great of a doer and working of rain affected ground seems to pull up a lot better and eat better too. Not all horses handle the wet, there’s usually plenty that don’t but you just have to work through that.
My training, I probably use the grass more when it has been raining or is raining because it’s got a bit of give in it. I don’t like particularly using the grass when it’s firm especially when we have the polytrack available.
Track closures and race meeting abandonment’s don’t worry me, it’s a part of the game. It’s just like what we’ve had recently from hot temperatures and smokey skies and calling race meetings off because of that, where as these days they try to pick up the race day elsewhere where as previously they’d just be lost, so it’s not that bad really.”
Written by Amy Halliday