It was a kind of strange feeling sitting at the big square Saturday evening in Bratislava’s Old Town, sipping a glass of white wine and watching the Swedish Derby on the Ipad (it was a triple for Swedish trained horses – all by the Reuterskiöld brothers). And in the backgrund you could hear a big youth orchestra playing beautiful tunes. That it was about 20 soft degrees didn’t diminish the impression.
The Swedish Derby is sadly nowadays (well since 1980) run on the dirt track but in Bratislava it was the real thing next day. The Slovakian Derby is as it should be run on the turf. It was an easy win for the favorite Timekeeper, trained in the Czech Republik by Josef Vana and ridden by Vaclav Janacek. (See picture above – by Karel Nemec)
The Irish bred winner’s pedigree is in good order – by Galileo-Looking Back by Stravinski.
The win was worth 32 000 euros.
The racecourse in Bratislava is charming situated in a park landscape. The circuit is about 1600 metres.
The arrangements were very good as were the arrangements next day at the meeting in the Executive Council of the EMHF (European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation).
A blogger shouldn’t be too positive but mind you I can’t fault much at the meeting, well chaired by Irish racing boss Brian Kavanagh and well prepared by secretary general Paull Khan.
Well there is something worth critizising. The board of the EMHF – as it is in most horseracing boards lack representation of women (se picture below). We must be much better encouraging the better sex to step forward. It’s the same in IFHA (the International Federation of Horseracing Authorites) and in several other organisations.
A consolation is that in Slovakia’s neighbour the Czech Republic the administrative chief is a woman, Martina Krejci.
EMHF Board: from left Sadettin Atig, Turkey, Behcet Homorlu, Turkey (board member) Henry Birtles (guest speaker), Henri Poiret, France (board member), Brian Kavanagh (chairman), Marian Surda, Slovakia (board member), Rüdiger Schmanns, Germany (board member), Omar Skalli, Morocco (board member), Paull Khan (secretary general), Björn Eklund (honorary life president). Photo: Peter Lukac.