Javier Castellano joins Covid-19 club

Wednesday May 13 2020
HORSE

Robbie Power rides Sizing John to win the prestigious 3.4 mile Cheltenham Gold Cup during the Cheltenham Festival. PHOTO | COURTESY

By DEJA VU

Who says the elderly are most at risk of contraction? Healthy young Hall of Fame jockey, Javier Castellano, has also tested positive as asymptomatic.

At least feels not too bad, so far. Castellano had not ridden since March 15 at Gulfstream, after which he flew to his home in New York to remain with his family.

It was certainly shocking to learn that he had joined the Covid-19 Club. That is more challenging than riding in a Classic, as it is an unseen enemy on the loose.

It takes a mental toll on everyone. Safety is an absolute must under these circumstances.

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Trainer, Nicky Henderson, 69, has described the current global outbreak as the worst crisis since World War II. It is exactly the same except with no artillery and soldiers.

 CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL

Only three weeks ago, Nicky was readying a star-studded squadron for the Cheltenham Festival, where he enjoyed four strikers, three at the top level. Life has changed drastically since then. 

He saddled his first winner in 1978 and has won five champion titles: "We've been a lucky generation as we don't know what hostilities are like. It is really scary. The end is unclear to one and all. On top of that, winter is truly bitter so the horses are unable to go out for grazing."

Plans to potentially resume racing by using a series of regional hubs, were given a cautious reception by the whole community.

FRUSTRATING

Nicky's only major absence from a glittery Curriculum Vitae, is the Grand National Cancellation of the race, scheduled for Saturday, is even more frustrating, with the trainer believing he had a fabulous chance of winning either from Ok Corral, Beware the Bear, or, Valtor.

His claim to fame is that he did win the American edition courtesy of Brain Power, but it is not anywhere near the same.

Luckily, the Randox Grand National is included with insurance companies against beleaguered financials restraints. Ascot and the Investec Derby, are also among those to receive some respite.

Apparently, The All England Club has cancelled Wimbledon tennis championships this June/July, but organisers are likely to be spared an enormous monetary loss due to a policy that takes in pandemics. Looks like a gloomy future in every aspect.