Four easy ways to beat equine flu and ensure Cheltenham goes ahead

Lemsip all round, please...


We’ll be honest: we’re getting a little worried here in Power Tower.

With the news that equine influenza is spreading like melted butter on a hot baguette through stables in the UK, racing is going into lockdown. Yards under the stewardship of Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson, to name but two top trainers, are now in quarantine.

All things considered, this isn’t great, especially with the Cheltenham Festival drawing into view over the horizon. It’s clear that action is being taken, but we reckon precautions can be stepped up even further.

So, we’ve put together some ideas we feel will sort out the problem post-haste and make sure racing gets back to normal as quickly as possible.

Instead of nosebands and blinkers, make the horses wear full-on gas masks

A surgical mask just won’t cut it. Okay, so there probably aren’t a great deal of gas masks designed for horses knocking around the place, but we’re sure the likes of Henderson and Nicholls are resourceful enough to figure something out.

Kitting out their trusty thoroughbreds in masks would simultaneously remove the possibility of those lovely horses inhaling contaminated air – if that’s actually how equine flu spreads; we have no idea – and lay down a “horse couture” benchmark for years to come.

The sight of a bemasked Buveur d’Air and Apple’s Jade pounding away in the Champion Hurdle would make it all worthwhile.

Spray Lemsip over the stables via purpose-built anti-flu spray-drones

Other remedies are, of course, available. But here in the Tower of Power we believe firmly in the restorative power of those sweet, sweet Hot Lemon sachets.

And we reckon a few million litres of that heady brew bursting forth from the nozzles of a swarm of spray-drones would probably do the trick for the afflicted horses.

Maybe a thoroughbred-specific blend will need to be created, but we’re sure the good people atĀ Reckitt Benckiser, Inc. can step up to the mark.

Just, you know, let the horses get some sun for a week

Warm-weather training is pretty commonplace in the sporting world these days. It seems like every time there’s anything approaching a cold snap, the likes of Man United or Liverpool are jetting off to Abu Dhabi or Thailand for a few days of “rest and recuperation.”

So why not the hard-working stallions and mares of the UK’s racing scene too?

Get those immune-systems boosted with a few days on the beach in Dubai, maybe? Given the middle-east’s growing influence and importance in the racing world, they might even fit in a top-level training camp while they’re there.

Move the whole Festival to a sterile environment

Like the Emirates Stadium, eh? Eh?

Seriously, though, there’s something to be said for just upping sticks and shifting the whole Cheltenham Festival to somewhere disease cannot spread. The moon – or Mars – would be ideal, but that would probably require a fairly massive leap in technology and Elon Musk to take a sudden interest in the sport.

So, if we’re limited to staying within Earth’s boundaries, we suggest the Atacama desert in Chile. Apparently the only life there is a few “micro-organisms” living deep inside some rocks. Nothing else survives there, and there’s plenty of space for a track.

We’ll take our chances.

Find the latest odds on the Cheltenham Festival over at

What do you think?