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Peters Point – Worth Pondering?

Racing needs to start listening

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.

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21 comments on “Peters Point – Worth Pondering?


    This appeal/outcry was not defamatory, was not done under the guise of anonymity, pertains to the punter, raises issues with jockeys and is one of a myriad examples of defragmentation within the provinces.

    Bravo Sir, hardly a rant.

  2. Brian says:

    Hardly a rant at all. As usual the powers that obviously need to be deaf to qualify for the job. They sure **edited never listen to the punter

    Good on you Craig

  3. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Hallo Mr Ed.

    Can I translate what Craig said in Afrikaans.

    1. Editor says:

      Always worth a listen, yes Cecil

  4. marlon says:

    I agree 100% with Craig Peters will the powers in charge come forward and explain to the public and punters how do we read a barrier trial,I feel it’s only fair gold circle management come forward and explain to us.

  5. Adrian says:

    Well done on those comments Mr Peter’s.Also a point in question should be why do horses that are racing on turf going down on the poly?

  6. Cecil Pienaar says:

    ” Hierdie Proef Wedrenne is n pot K…,
    EN help F*kk*l “

  7. Joe says:

    Barrier Trials should be renamed to ‘exercise gallops’ for the purpose of teaching young horses
    and reintroducing horses that have been away for more than ‘X’ number of days especially a horse returning from an operation. Fantastic for the owner and trainer to assess the horse. Definitely NOT
    for the punter. I wish JHB had them.

  8. Joe, in essence you have summed it up perfectly Sir.

  9. Rod Mattheyse says:

    Only criticism I have for Mr Peters’s outburst. He did not make mention at the waste of money on this putrid exercise.

  10. And Mr Piennar, @ 7.52 in the am, howzit going..did you burn your toast ????♂️ ????♂️ ???? ??

  11. Rian says:

    This argument has been going on for to long now with very little achieved by our posts on not only barrier trails but on a number of issues, maybe its time for New Brooms /Action and make South African Racing great again….

  12. Graeme Hawkins says:

    Like I mentioned on ABC, everyone is entitled to a view as far as Barrier Trials are concerned and I am the first to admit that more could be done in terms of the rules and regulations to make them more relevant. Qualifying times should be tightened further and all horses should have to be ridden out, if only with the hands.

    That having being said, as far as I am concerned, I make no apology for supporting Barrier Trials, most of all in my capacity as a (small time) owner but also as a punter and racing enthusiast.

    But with specific reference to Torrent let’s just examine a few facts:-

    1. Torrent ran a shade over 59 secs when winning the Barrier Trial and a shade under 58 secs when making her debut. Despite being beaten 5 lengths, she confirmed that she can run a bit.

    2. Torrent’s Barrier Trial was exclusive to juveniles whereas she made her debut in “open” company and was beaten only by the older brigade, some with fair form in this class. In other words she was the first juvenile home in this race.

    3. Of course, winning a Barrier Trial (or being placed) does not guarantee a winning debut – there are so many other factors at play, not least the strength of opposition, when it comes to raceday. But I am satisfied that Barrier Trials at least offer me the opportunity to see the horse in action prior to it making its debut – and I watch them all very closely.

    4. On a different note, I was highly impressed with the Trial of On The Bayou on Saturday – I know much more about him now that I would have otherwise. I would be confident of him making a winning debut in an “ordinary” maiden first time out.

    5. My final take – lets improve Barrier Trials rather than doing away with them. If trainers used them more often in the normal course of preparing a horse for any race (as they do in many very successful racing jurisdictions), we may have fewer horses coming to the track “needing a run”. Barrier Trials should not just be for first-timers or horses coming back from a long rest – they can (and should) become a vital training tool for ensuring horses getting the race track in as fit a condition as possible. Its the only time in training when you can legally simulate race conditions in and amongst horses that are trained by others.

  13. Wayne Fouche says:

    I wonder when one (or more) of those geniuses who run racing in KZN will WAKE UP and get the message!!!

  14. Roderick Mattheyse says:


    Would you as a punter prefer barrier trials or less takeout, substituting these costs and reducing takeout – assuming you could only have one over the other?

    Has this initiative generated an increase in turnover?

    Has the initiative achieved its objectives in terms of the cost vs benefit that was initially hoped for?

    What additional cost would it take to expand the initiative as per your desires?

    Will this additional cost achieve the cost vs benefit?

    As for Torrents race, you as a student, with impeccable credentials know that to use only time as a yardstick is short-sighted. That was a field of absolute battlers – and based on her first run Torrent will need to improve somewhat to elevate herself into can run a bit categories.

  15. hilton witz says:

    Why have the barrier trials for raced runners who have not run for 150 days or more been done away with?

  16. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Hello William, I owe you a Bells, I included Flichity by Farr to my QT on Sat, and won a few a Rands.

    Look fwd to our July P6

    LOL, lucky R4 onwards won’t have any 1st timers/Barrier horses in it….


    Cecil, what a pity she couldn’t win for you. At one stage I thought she might wear Seville Orange down but alas !

    I hoping she will take up her place in the 3000m or 2200m (consolation) races on July day.

    If I tip you a decent winner on July day you can sent me 50 teabags

    Go well

    1. Editor says:

      First leg of the R15 bar Pick 6 – Flichity

      Race-4 (Turf) R500 000 3000m 13:35 Ref-844
      1st R312500, 2nd R100000, 3rd R50000, 4th R25000, 5th R12500
      DStv GOLD VASE (Grade 3)
      WFA: 3yrs-3.5kgs 4yrs-0.5kgs
      No Apprentice Allowance
      1 16 Strathdon 60 101 A R Fourie Justin Snaith
      2 5 Walter Smoothie 57 95 BA D De Gouveia Stuart Pettigrew
      3 3 Mangrove 57 92 A N Juglall Yvette Bremner
      4 8 Pacific Chestnut 57 91 BA C Zackey Candice Bass-Robinson
      5 12 Wealthy 55.5 89 TBA S Veale Dennis Drier
      6 9 Run Rhino Run 55.5 87 A …………… Kumaran Naidoo
      7 14 Warfarer 55.5 85 AM M Khan Lezeanne Forbes
      8 15 Sunshine Silk 54.5 95 A M V’Rensburg Geoff Woodruff
      9 7 Dynasty’s Blossom 54.5 93 T A S Khumalo Joey Ramsden
      10 13 Flichity By Farr 54.5 93 A L Hewitson Alyson Wright
      11 11 Paths Of Victory 54 89 A W Kennedy Gareth van Zyl
      12 4 Wonderous Climber 54 84 T AM …………… Sean Tarry
      13 10 Evolver 54 81 BA C Maujean Gavin Smith
      14 2 Major Return 51.5 80 T A *L J Ferraris M G Azzie/A A Azzie
      15 1 Ballad Of The Sea (AUS) 51.5 79 T A G Cheyne Candice Bass-Robinson
      16 6 Multi Gold 51.5 79 A R Munger Sharon B Kotzen
      Same Trainer – Not Coupled on Tote

  18. Roderick Mattheyse says:

    Graham, I suppose Gold Circle answered my question about expanding barrier trials, with Raf Sheik’s press release.

    R300 seems to be the amount of incremental cost per trialist – i think this could be a bit light


    Well well Mr Editor, Flichity By Farr runs ! Yipee

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