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“Variety Is The Spice Of Life!” Woodbine Readying For Their Right Handed Turf Race Series

Toronto Ont.May16, 2016.Woodbine Racetrack. Euro Turf Trial. WEG/michael burns photo

Up to 40 races will be contested clockwise over Woodbine's expansive turf course throughout the 2016 season. By running races clockwise, more of the turf course will be utilized, allowing for more turf races at Woodbine.

Internal Bourbon, trained by Roger Attfield and ridden by Emma-Jayne Wilson, crossed the wire first in the EuroTurf trial while stopping the clock in 1:01.96 over a yielding turf course.

“I don't know if we can label it the first official winner, but we can definitely call the day a success,” said Wilson. “Internal Bourbon is a nice filly. I was confident in her. Everyone was safe and we've all learned a little more about moving forward with this. I'm pleased with how it turned out.”

Wilson noted that the short run to the turn will be a test of agility for horse and rider.

“It's a different kind of turn and you have to make sure your horse is prepared for it,” said Wilson. “In the early portion of the race, you can't shoot them forward too quick. That run to the turn is the shortest run we'll use, but it seemed like we had plenty of room.

“It's a matter of being balanced and having the horse in a nice rhythm before the turn,” continued Wilson. “As we have more horses run that direction, we'll all get more accustomed to it. We're all experienced jocks that were out there and it was good that we all chatted before the race. It was a little reserved, but that's what we were out there to do.”

Emile Ramsammy, rider of the Steve Owens trained Zazinga, enjoyed the right-handed experience, in particular the run down the hill towards the stretch run.

“I did feel a different bounce coming down the hill onto the shorter stretch. I thought the horses all handled it well,” said Ramsammy. “This morning, the riders didn't ride as aggressive as we will in the afternoon, so it will be a little different for sure. Today we just wanted to see how the horses would handle it and we didn't have any problems at all.”

The veteran jock rode clockwise for much of the early part of his career in his native Trinidad and he expects his colleagues will all have a learning curve to maneuver.

“It did take me awhile to get adjusted to going the other way as a rider. Because we ride ‘acey-deucey', going the other way, the jockeys will all have to ride ‘acey-deucey' the wrong way just to keep their comfort,” noted Ramsammy of the practice of riding with the inside stirrup a little bit longer. “I know from personal experience it will take some adjustment.”