Perhaps life is too good at the Olympic stables

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 February, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 February, 2010, 12:00am

One of the talking points of the current season has been the performance of the four trainers who moved to the new Olympic stables - David Ferraris, Andreas Schutz, Sean Woods and Michael Chang Chun-wai.

We are now at what would have been the halfway mark in any previous season of the season and, with the exception of Chang, the Olympic stables trainers are falling well short of what would have been expected.

The point here is not to criticise that performance, but to wonder aloud about the reasons - it seems something of a remarkable coincidence that three of the four trainers are having such dismal seasons, at this stage.

The underlying reasons for performance in any yard at any time are myriad, even the particular chemistry of many reasons, but one reader, former Post racing editor Murray Bell, has produced a theory - the new setup is too good.

According to his observations, horses from all of the Olympic stables have regularly reported substantial weight increases from one run to another and may simply be doing too well, thriving in the state of the art surrounds.

There are many instances but one happier example is Chang's recent winner, Steel Nerves, who weighed in at a career-high 1,172 pounds when he won and has weighed in heavier at all five of this season's starts - make it six tonight - than in 32 previous starts over three seasons under three different handlers. It was also the first time he handled the mile distance well, so he looks to have become bigger and stronger by virtue of the relocation.

Sure, it's a long season and things may change between now and July that make the search for an answer irrelevant, but the standings for Schutz (24 wins last season and four at halfway this term), Woods (34 last season and six currently) and Ferraris (38 last season and 10 so far this season) seems well out of kilter with their historical performance levels.