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Information – Should Be A Priority

National uniformity of comments process is needed

The possibility of instituting compulsory pre-race comments for first-timers and rested horses lies with the racing operators.

Vee Moodley – operators need to establish local conditions

This was the word from newly appointed National Horseracing Authority CEO Vee Moodley, who confirmed that he would suggest that the racing operators – as Gold Circle had done with the Barrier Trials – give consideration to implementing a local condition with regard to comments from trainers

“The NHA will be responsible for the overall policing of any local condition implemented,’’ confirmed Mr Moodley on inquiry as to the status of the pre-race comments.

The Sporting Post has been publishing pre-race comments, kindly provided by Phumelela Publishing, for the past year and in most cases these appear to be valued by players as a punting tool that adds some transparency to calculations.

The introduction of Barrier Trials in KZN over a year ago has also proven a general success, with the further requirement announced in November 2018 that participants are subjected to testing for prohibited substances.

But some don’t believe they serve a purpose.

In an interview late last year, Ashburton champion trainer Duncan Howells welcomed the introduction of testing for drugs for Barrier Trial participants, but was adamant it didn’t change his general impression that the facility was a bit of a confusing waste of time in its present format.

“I feel that the trials have been introduced incorrectly and should have been structured properly to produce a clearer picture. If we want to assimilate race conditions, then the jockeys should also at the very least be obliged to ride their mounts out – even if only from the 400m marker. At the moment, the horse that jumps in front usually stays there with everything else behind him on a tight hold and watching him.”

The national picture with regard to pre-raceday information on first-timers and rested horses is currently fragmented with no uniform process in place – and nothing more than a moral obligation on the trainer to express an opinion.

Some trainers refuse to comment while KZN trainers, beyond a few isolated cases, do not provide any comments in advance of raceday.

Players are expected to watch the Barrier Trials and draw their own conclusions. This is not a user friendly option for all customers.

We are informed that first-timers / rested horses are flagged on acceptance and the trainer then chooses a suitable comment when accepting via the National Racing Bureau.

This could not be confirmed by anybody in authority and is not being disseminated to publications.

So the ball is in the court of the operators. Hopefully progress can be made in the interests of the game. Can it really be that complicated?

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6 comments on “Information – Should Be A Priority

  1. Ian Jayes says:

    It always has been the case that information on first-timers was for the owner to decide if he wanted to share it. If you make it compulsory, a lot of horses that “will need the run” could win and the public would be better off looking at the horses and watching the betting.

  2. Niran says:

    I share Mr Howells sentiments,the way barrier trials are implemented currently is confusing and inconclusive to say the least ,a classic example is third race at scotsville yesterday ,the drier trained horse was beaten 5,5 lengths in a barrier trail and wins beating his barrier trial conqueror convincingly, obviously a horse comes on with work and gallops ,but is it enough to turn around ,5 lengths in a space of 2 weeks ??, trainers will never be transparent ,horseracing is a betting game these days and in most instances trainers want to make sure their “connections” get the best price available ,there is alot of indiscretions in racing ,especially once bookmakers started getting involved with race and trainer sponsoships .

  3. Peter Caine says:

    The easy “way out”, and most fruitless comment pre race is, “We are hoping for a good run”. Really!!!!
    Surely all owners and trainers are hoping for a good run!

  4. Art says:

    And all of a sudden because Vee Moodley says jump everybody will jump.Wsiting with bated breath

  5. Realist says:

    Unfortunately racing is tarnished, until the rand strengthens on a global scale, the racing industry will continue to face, what’s seems to be trivial issues between racing figures of old and merit ratings, which have being proven to be inaccurate continously, and corrupt and inept people, and I transgress, where there is massive amounts of money in SA there is corruption, need we remind all and sundry the money spin off of Grambling of horses, even with Casinos

  6. JessK says:

    This is a tough one to resolve. The trainer acts on behalf of the owner and if the owner instructs him/her not to comment, the trainer has no choice but to accede to the owners’ instructions (bearing in mind that the horse is after all his (the owners’ property). On the other side there is the punter, in an ever competitive gambling market, who demands/expects more info for him/her to decide on where to spend his/her money. The Operator is already using the owners’ intellectual property without compensating him/her and will be hard pressed to demand more from said owner. What is encouraging though is our new NHA CEO, Vee Moodley stance in becoming more actively involved in trying to improve and clean up the game and to try improve the integrity of the NHA, which has been damaged by his predecessor and his predecessor’s backers.
    To emphasize this point, one is further encouraged by Mr. Moodley’s instruction that no owner’s horse will be scratched should the owner refuse his runner to wear the sectional timing devices.
    I was at the NHA AGM on the 16th January and was encouraged by the way our new CEO and also the Chairman conducted the meeting, showing no bias and also displaying transparency not seen for ages. It was a breath of fresh air and augers well for the future.

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