The Inside Rail

Racing on Thursday 7 February cancelled due to equine influenza cases.

That text came through at 3:43, my time. 8:43, U.K. time. Underneath the article, a quick editorial comment, “I’d say no racing here for a while.”

We scratched Valdez once because of ground – too firm – and two of his races were abandoned – frost. He’s entered at Warwick Saturday. He’s 12 years old, looking at his third race off the layoff, time is not on our side. Now equine influenza has racing stalled for a while. Nothing worse than hearing, “for a while.” That’s bad news in any context. How long have you been drinking beer? For a while. How long do you think you’ll be out of work? For a while. How long has it been making that noise? For a while.

In a variable-filled game, we have now added equine influenza to the maddening list of things that can and will go wrong. Obviously, we are not alone and with just one horse in England at the moment, it affects us less than most. Still frustrating. Still maddening.