HOWLING OF THE WOLVES
On site I refer to many All Weather results like so: "Tis like the howling of Irish wolves against the moon." I have said before to various people that the All Weather is "a surface that can throw up many wierd and bewildering results."
I have an inbuilt dislike of artificial surfaces. They are okay, I suppose, to supplement a small stable's income but they are not a reliable racing medium for many punters. No horse likes the surfaces, most run with the choke in, and many absolutely detest the kickback. All this talk about horses liking the tracks is nonsense. The tracks are simply suited to some of their racing styles and physiques. Most of the horses are "turf rejects", i.e. horses that show little or no promise of a turf win.
If you doubt that assertion just try an experiment. Go to the Racing Post website on any All Weather racing day. Check the form of All Weather winners. If you click on the "Statistics" tab you can easily see all the horse's past form at every track it has raced on. Now, compare its All Weather form to its turf form. Answers on a postcard, please (but don't quote the likes of Young Mick - there are exceptions to every rule).
All Weather surfaces are ideal for getting a horse fit to race. In fact, more and more trainers are using them on the gallops. It provides a consistent surface that yields to a horses hoof and has minimal maintenance. Unlike turf, artificial surfaces can be used when there is no rain (hard turf surface) and when there has been too much rain (making turf bottomless or waterlogged). So it is easy to see why trainers are beginning to prefer an artificial galloping surface. But it doesn't follow that the trainers like All Weather racing. Small trainers do. The predominantly low grade racing is a godsend for trainers of moderate horses. Good for them. Bad for us.
The very best trainers use the All Weather sparingly; and here I'm talking about the Stoute's, Gosden's and Jarvis's. When they do run horses on these surfaces it is for extra racing experience or for one of the reasons I noted earlier. Mark Johnston uses the All Weather a lot more than other big trainers, but in the main his best horses don't go near the stuff.