Typical Monday morning canters yet again and Christmas nearly upon us yet again!
The weekends runners have all come out of their races in good order. Kimberlite Candy ran an absolute storming race; his jumping was a sight to behold. I’d say you would find it hard to see a horse jumped Beeches Brook any better and get away from it as if it were a hurdle. I can’t say I’m ever pleased to finish second in any race but was immensely proud of him.
Lamanver Storm took a step forward and will be winning races as he develops mentally and physically. I was disappointed with Dorking Cock, he possibly over raced on the front end and we may drop him back in trip.
Tea Clipper was very brave having missed the last hurdle in getting back up to win first time up against seasoned campaigners, in a handicap, aged 4. He deservers and will get a little rest.
Stan became a member of the Sandown 7 on Coningsby. It was probably a bridge too far for him over that trip at his age but unless you try, you don’t know. That’s Coningsby not Stan.
Regarding the race, what a mess. It just shows how dangerous indecision is. I watched at Aintree with Sholto and as soon as the horse went down on the bend I turned to him and said the race will have to be stopped. Dan Skelton reportedly stood in the stands saying similar words. Quite how we can see that immediately yet those in power can’t is nothing short of astonishing. I do believe that some jockeys didn’t see the yellow flag but the body language of others suggests they did. Much has been said on the subject and I’ve read snippets in the papers and online. The lad running across the track on the turn down the back hadn’t been given the go ahead to wave his yellow flag. The officials had plenty of time to access the situation and were too slow in stopping the race. There has been reference to the number of yellow flags on any racecourse and I see the danger of having too many. However, the officials must know where the yellow flags are in relation to the course, they lost the use of the one on the top bend so where was the second one of three if the third was just before the pond fence. I don’t believe it was between the pond fence and the winning post. If my thoughts are correct they missed opportunity one and two to stop the race. They choose to stop it with their last opportunity, when, as it happened, horses and riders negotiated the course and the race was finished without further drama. It was all rather Dad’s Army.
If the jockeys are appealing and paying money to do so they are nuts. I believe they don’t have a leg to stand on. Behind every clerk of the scales is a yellow flag hanging on the wall with the words to the effect “stop race” on it. What I find most intriguing is what is it that’s stopping the jockeys having the confidence to stop when they see the yellow flag even if others don’t. Is it purely lack of trust in officials or something deeper in the heat of battle. I have ridden in enough races to know that you can communicate with other jockeys during any race and it is relatively easy to do so. With the number of cars following a race surely one of them can carry a fog horn or the likes of to stop a race in such circumstances at any point on any course. The episode is another poor reflection on the powers that be. As I have eluded to before they are unaccountable, all we can expect is an apology. They will walk away reviewing the situation without punishment for their inability to make a decision sooner or have implemented better practice for a stop race situation. As we all know, this isn’t the first time the yellow flag has failed to do its job.
Nocte Volatus and Christopher Robin head to Uttoxeter, to read my thoughts click here.