WATCH - 'Wind comes out a horse's tail end ' - Ted Walsh gives his view on breathing operation debate
Renowned horse racing trainer and pundit Ted Walsh has backed the move of the British Horseracing Authority that requires trainers to declare wind operations on their horses.
From January 19 in Britain, trainers will be obliged to declare when a horse is running for the first time since a wind operation, with the information recorded on racecards as “WS” (wind surgery).
While the move has been welcomed by punters, there are concerns over how the rule will be policed, especially regarding horses trained outside of Britain.
Breeders are also worried that if a potential sire or broodmare is confirmed as having a wind infirmity that might be inherited by his/her foals.
Top trainer Ger Lyons tweeted: "The good thing about this declaration of wind ops issue is that Future sires with issues will be made public. This could effectively solve the breeding of horses with inherited problems.
"Ironically, that’s why it won’t/can’t work."
The good thing about this declaration of wind ops issue is that Future sires with issues will be made public. This could effectively solve the breeding of horses with inherited problems.— Ger Lyons (@gerlyonsracing) December 3, 2017
Ironically, that’s why it won’t/can’t work.#sundayforum @AtTheRaces
Will also allow studs to be more selective with the mares they accept. Can only improve the quality of racing down— Robbie McNamara (@RobbiepMcN) December 3, 2017
While the rule exists in other jurisdictions, it doesn't in Ireland. Wind operations can, but not in all circumstances, result in an upturn in form.
Speaking in the Sunday Forum on Attheraces this morning, Walsh said that the industry relies on punters and they should be given the information.
"I'm not a big punter. I know well that punting keeps the game going. Betting is the biggest source of income to racing and I think if the punters want it then by all means give it to them. I've no problem with it whatsoever," he said.
"I just think it's confusing.
"It's not wind, it's a breathing operation. Wind comes out a horse's tail end not out of his nose.
"It's a breathing operation he wants, not a wind operation."