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Pushed The Gate Early – But A Runner

What happens if he had won?

Questions have been raised by a reader about the Stipes decision to treat the fancied Red Rascal as a runner in the final race at Kenilworth on Tuesday.

The obviously upset reader sent us freeze frame shots of the start of the eight race.

We watched the replay on www.tellytrack.com and it appears that Red Rascal rears a moment before the start is effected and nudges his gate open.


The Starter confirms that the Adam Marcus galloper ‘struck the front gate shortly before the start was effected’.

The Stipes report says that the start was reviewed regarding Red Rascal (C Zackey) in stall gate 6. It confirms the horse struck the front gate shortly before the start was effected, and the patrol films showed that this gelding gained no advantage, and therefore was declared to be a runner.

Our unhappy reader indicates in his email that ‘it’s sad that the punters have no voice in this game its absolutely pathetic.’

He writes:

I thank Vee Moodley for responding and directing me through the right channels – I appreciate it. But there needs to be something done seriously to at least stand for those 99% of punters who just can’t do ‘anything’ – but just watch. I don’t blame them no matter if you take a R6 Pick 6 or a R200 PA. You are still a punter.

We referred the matter to NHA Racing Control Executive, Arnold Hyde.

He responded:

I am out of Office at present – however the Stipes report clearly sets out how the Stipendiary Stewards arrived at the decision.

Does it? What is the rule reference?

The mere fact that the horse pushed its gate open ahead of the rest and jumped early doesn’t seem to count. The subjective assessment of whether the horse is deemed to have gained an advantage or not obviously weighs in favour of declaring it a non-runner.

And what happens if Red Rascal had won the race?

And read rule 61.6.11:

The only HORSES which shall be deemed to have started will be those in the stalls when the starter releases the gates; provided that the SB after a hearing, may in its sole discretion and within the time period specified for the lodging of notification of an OBJECTION, declare any HORSE to be a non-starter.

So was Red Rascal in the stalls?

Maybe the punter deserves more detail from the Stipes – rather than simply that Red Rascal didn’t gain an advantage.

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9 comments on “Pushed The Gate Early – But A Runner

  1. Graham Hurlstone-Jones says:

    Maybe they should be consistent and ask why they are not ? ( Vettel got 5 seconds, contentious but the rules are the rules ) They almost definitely missed it……You have to question the integrity of anything from these people running racing today…..its like Zuma is the president, you know he is up to something just by being there. Basically the reader has been told “we make things up as we go along ” that usually means someone is manipulating to suit a small agenda. Sounds like globalists. I am looking at that picture and I I would love to hear every stipe around the world or anyone look at it and tell me thats all above board ? the pic says it all……what a joke.

  2. Steve Reid says:

    Just for the sake of debate let’s recreate this scenario and hypothetically duplicate the incident in this years July. Let’s hypothetically let a horse, it matters not whom, get the same sort of advantage at the jump. Let’s hypothetically create a finish where this horse who has got the advantage, wins the July by a short head. Let’s hypothetically say the runner-up is Hawwaam.

    Do you think the July result will stand?

  3. Anand Chetty says:

    The rules are clear. If the gate was pushed open BEFORE the official start, the horse is a non runner. If as Steve says, the horse won by a short head or nose, even if the stipes say there was no advantage, nothing stops the jockey or connections of the second placed horse from objecting. And if it was the July!
    Having said that, in the event of the winning horses gate opening late, the result should stand as obviously there was no advantage

  4. Ralph Fell. says:

    Forgive if I miss the point. I would venture that the Red Rascal might well be at a disadvantage. The horse nudged the gate open and might well be unbalanced, possibly injured. That initial adrenaline rush has come and gone. Must I surmise that the irate reader was intimating that he expected a refund or the tote favourite? Another can of worms to digest.

  5. hylton says:

    Clearly something wrong here the rule states that “read rule 61.6.11:

    The only HORSES which shall be deemed to have started will be those in the stalls when the starter releases the gates; ”

    The rule clearly states the starter needs to release the gates for a horse to be a leagle runner, not where a horse opens its own gate.

    Somewhere up there it is stated that the horse reared and nudged the gate opened.
    Logic is if you rear you go back so how will he nudge the front gate open.
    The horse obviously didn’t rear it went front to nudge the gate open.
    So maybe the jock encouraged the horse to take off early.

    These guys need training to understand their own rules.

    Surely there should be some corrective action from the seniors when mistakes are made.

    They should just admit and move forward with corrective measures for the future.

  6. Pops says:

    People it is now the Stewards opinion that counts and not the Rules.


    Very good point Ralph. That horse might still have a toothache today or a banged up lip !

  8. Trivolen Padayachee says:

    All the jocks called false start they simply gave a f#*k how would the stipes know if the horse had a advantage the horse came back with full blood to his face what advantage was that this flipping game is gone sick because of useless people put in places they can’t handle

  9. Oscar Hollywood says:

    Dear Sirs

    The answer is elementary.

    The stipes report for each race must contain a comment about every horse.

    If there is nothing to report, a short insert stating this will suffice.

    A report on each horse will comfort punters that the stipes have done their job and it will similarly show us if they have not.

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