Without realising their microphones were turned on, SKY commentators Andy Gray and Richard Keys engaged in a highly sexist conversation ridiculing the FA’s decision to appoint a female linesman for a game, before concluding that ‘the game’s gone mad’.
“Well somebody better get down there and explain offside to her.” Gray and Keys were shown the door and are now employed elsewhere.
Whether veteran KZN racecaller Craig Peters post-race opinion about barrier trial assessments on Saturday will be viewed as far offside by his masters at the KZN racing operator remains to be seen.
The debate around the unique-to-KZN process, which appears to enjoy a very mixed acceptability rate in the ranks, was cast into the spotlight again at Scottsville when Peters’ obvious frustration with the system got a little of the better of him after the third race, where first-timer Torrent, who had won her trial on 5 June, ran unplaced.
Watch Torrent’s trial here:
Watch what Peters said here:
By calling on ‘all those experts out there to please come and talk to me about how to read barrier trials’, was Peters out of line – or was he merely echoing the frustrations of the vast unheard?
Many experienced trainers in the region see trials in their present format as a waste of money.
The jockeys wanted to be paid for riding in them. What happened about that?
What sort of instructions do trainers give to riders? Remembering that, with a liberal time qualifier of 70secs, It’s not difficult or even illegal to give them ‘an easy’.
The average punter – even apparently Craig Peters, who has watched more races than many of us – can’t read a barrier trial.
Ironically, despite all their good intentions of transparency, KZN is the only province in the country who don’t officially provide first-timer and rested horse comments. Yet they go through the barrier trials motions week in and week out.
Two wrongs don’t make a right. If everybody behind a mic started voicing opinions we’d have more chaos than we have.
But let’s use the Peters generally courteous point as a wake-up call rather than a witch-hunt to show how nobody is bigger than the game.
And maybe it’s time for a referendum and for racing to start listening.