The height of the waters is of serious flood concern in our part of Oxfordshire, and I have tried to stiffen my resolve, lest we repeat the ghastliness of 2007. This was easy to do having looked at the pictures of the great and the good inspecting the course at Ascot today. I didn’t have sound, but there appeared to be hundreds of yard of tweed, on some slow, slightly wavering walk. This herd, on their migratory search for better ground, I watched with the sound down, but I could imagine a great deal of waffle-waffle-piffle-piffle-crikeybob-lummycharlie-never-not-maybe-lawks. The scene was positively Edwardian and yet it’s 2020 as near as damn it. I remember a company called Turftrax was heavily involved some years ago in creating the perfect going-stick and creating various other bits of going measurement. Maybe I’m missing something, but you would think someone had invented some sort of towable rubber-tyred cart on which sat a piece of battery-powered, electromagnetic GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar). GPR pulses can penetrate through shallow freshwater and into bottom sediments, providing detailed information about sediment stratigraphy, obstructions, and depth to bedrock. Or what is sometimes called the Going. You might even think that this piece of kit could turn up with the TV crews or starting stalls or whoever else has to turn up at the various courses – thus obviating the need for each course to have such a piece of kit. Now I wonder whether anyone has ever invented such a thing – and if they have whether the racecourses thought this might speed up the inspection process? Tricky one.
Tricky is also the word we can apply to today’s now-on racing
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