Saturday, 16 May 2009

No Infield Trouble Expected Over Here

Today, this season finally kicks off at Dresden-Seidnitz Racecourse, about five weeks later than usual. Dresden, which usually started in early to mid-April, always tried to get its first race date later in the year, because of the lower likelihood of bad weather. It never got its will though, since other tracks insisted on their traditional claims to those dates at the annual meeting of Eastern German racing secretaries (because Eastern German racecourses are considerably better managed than Western, Southwestern and most Northern tracks, they are effective in avoiding conflicting dates, which unfortunately is worth special mention). So eventually they got rid of the date by striking the raceday all together, which follows the general trend, although the reduction in race dates is far less dramatic in Eastern Germany.

They may have kicked themselves for doing it though. We had great weather practically all through April (its not that good today), and a race day on the traditional date would have been a dunker. Also, I would have preferred to get rid of today’s date, which directly competes with Dresden Dixieland, the biggest jazz festival outside North America, which is expected to attract more than 500.000 visitors again, and should draw away at least a thousand from the track. That’s bad news, because with German racing’s ineptitude to market its product and the declining off-track handle this causes, German racedays are increasingly dependent on on-track handle and attendance.

And because I know it’s the race you all have your eyes on today, the play of the day is #1 First Lilly in the third, one of two 3yo races with quite attractive fields.

I planned on taking a few photos and posting them this evening, but unfortunately my new camera, a bold 12,08€ investment on eBay (includes shipping), hasn't arrived yet.

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