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Marco Didn’t Strike Horse Intentionally

Turffontein feature objection explained

The objection in Saturday’s Gr2 Joburg Spring Challenge at Turffontein arose as a result of a jockey accidentally striking another runner in the face.

This has emerged from the official Stipes Report published by the National Horseracing Authority, which indicates that the originally fourth-placed Infamous Fox (AUS) (W Kennedy) was carried out by runner-up Zouaves (M van Rensburg) from the 300m to the 150m.

Marco van Rensburg (Pic – Candiese Marnewick)

Thereafter, when racing in close quarters, Infamous Fox (IRE) was accidentally struck in the face on at least two occasions by Jockey Marco van Rensburg, resulting in this gelding reacting to the strikes.

A member of the Stipendiary Board called a race review into this incident, which was followed by him lodging an objection on behalf of Infamous Fox (AUS), placed fourth, against the second placed Zouaves on the grounds of interference and intimidation in the concluding stages.

The Objection Board, after reviewing the patrol film of the incident complained of, was of the opinion that this had affected the result of the race and the two strikes to Infamous Fox’s (IRE) head had been detrimental to its performance when taking into consideration the 0.10 distance between the horses at the line. They upheld the objection and amended the judge’s result.

The Board was satisfied that Jockey Marco van Rensburg’s  use of the crop when he accidentally struck Infamous Fox (IRE)  was unintentional and therefore took no action against him.

While the Stipes may have got it right, the communication flow and information dissemination, or lack it, to the punting public has irked a few of our readers, including a former owner.

He suggests in an email to the Sporting Post that the handling of the objection, and the new result will do nothing to enhance the current poor situation of our racing.

One hour after the decision to place the 2nd horse 4th, still no explanation.

The only positive is that I am left pondering why I play this game, that used to be great and transparent. What happened to the explanations regarding similar issues. What happened to inquiries regarding complete outsiders winning?

The Sporting Post has sent the query to Tellytrack, Phumelela and the NHRA for comment. We will publish any response that is received.

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13 comments on “Marco Didn’t Strike Horse Intentionally

  1. Donald says:

    Poor management / No P.R. – plain and simple – what happened to the virtual inquiry we were all supposed to be able to see when it comes to objections ?

  2. Gandolph says:

    Thank you to the Sporting Post. Without you I would not have been able to understand why the NHRA changed the result.

    After reading your article I went to the website of the NHRA to read the stipes report. It has not been published there.

    I do not know how the Sporting Post got the stipes report. Thankfully, it did.

    There is something seriously wrong when the national regulator does not explain to punters what happened. These people working for the NHRA act like government employees. They appear to be clock watchers and think they owe us no explanations.

    How hard is it for the NHRA to publish the stipes report on the NHRA website immediately after the race meeting. It is the least it can do.

    I was thinking that there are a maximum of three race meetings a week in the Central Provinces. What do the stipes who work in the Central Provinces do when there is no race meetings?

    1. Editor says:

      Hi Gandolph

      The Stipes Reports are disseminated to various email recipients (we are one of those) at varying times after the various racemeeetings.
      We suggested some months ago to the NHRA that these be made available online and / or published with results, as in Hong Kong, Mauritius and some other countries.We are not sure of the practical hurdles in SA to what should be a straightforward process today.

      The Stipes officiate at racemeetings, but also supervise starting stalls licencing, gallops, inspect stables etc , and do paperwork during the week, we believe.

  3. Steve Reid says:

    The answer is not publishing the stipes report online. Whilst this will assist the privileged that have access to the internet, it will no assist the majority of punters who do not. The answer is to disseminate these findings through Tellytrack as soon as they are decided, and preferably before the amended result goes all clear. It is time that live coverage of the stipes boardroom during an objection takes place, or if time constraints are an issue, an explanation of the objectiin and the outcome thereof by the chief stipe on duty on the day should be televised. Let the virtual boardroom serve as a national communication centre in this regard. This is the answer to the communication problem. When Vee was appointed he committed himself to a transparant NHA. Actions speak a lot louder than words.

    1. Editor says:

      Steve, we have debated this aspect previously.
      As you know, the operator puts on the show, Tellytrack broadcast it and the NHRA police it.
      So where stops the buck in ensuring delivery of the information?

  4. hilton witz says:

    The official stipes reports are available on the nhra website the morning after the race meeting during the week and for friday and saturdays meeting they available on monday morning on the nhra website ..With due respect i dont see what the outcry is .

  5. Steve Reid says:

    Mr. Ed I hear you. Isn’t this so symptomatic of the way things are done by our so-called leaders of the sport?

    Let the regulator tell the regulated what is required and stop the pissing competition.

  6. master says:

    Marco struck Infamous Fox accidentally…..so he is off the hook, but Zouaves gets demoted to 4th.
    Who caused interference to Infamous Fox (AUS)?
    Was it Marco (have nothing against the Jock) or Zouaves?
    It is the same with finding a Jockey guilty months after (…..failed to ensure that he did not cause……..blah blah blah), Jockey gets a suspension but results remain the same………
    In this case result changes but nothing happens to the Jockey……..
    WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH…… BUNCH OF (*edited)……..

  7. Pops says:

    When Andrew Fortune hit Flipflash once on the head he got a 10 day holiday and R 25 000 fine.
    So now the Stipes are going to get into the heads of the jockeys.
    Surely the jockeys can now plead that they did not intentionally hit the horse more than 12 times.

  8. Gandolph says:

    Mr Hilton,

    I have read most of your comments on Sporting Post. You always adopt a reasonable approach and I respect your views.

    The change of the result by the NHRA affected my back pocket. I do not like losing money without knowing the reasons for it.

    The NHRA knows that it was the reason for the change of the way the horses passed the post. It would similarly know that punters would not know the reasons without it publishing its stipes report. As a punter I should be informed then and there of the reasons.

    I should not have to wait for the reasons. We live in a time where everything is modernised. If the NHRA can act so quickly on an objection it can likewise act quickly and publish its reasons.

    You may not find this a problem. I do.

    Thank you.

  9. gops says:

    the findings should be the same for the jockey as with the horse involved. however I cant help think of the objection that was overruled by the incident regarding celebration rock with.keegan de melo and j. samuel at scotsville.

  10. Tom says:

    I was waiting for someone else to say this. It seems I may wait forever. The reasons given by the SS for not taking any action against Marco van Rensburg are very questionable.How the SS can conclude that what he did was accidental is boggling. In such a tight finish he should not have used his crop. He would know that by using his crop he may hit another horse or jockey. He knew the risks but decided otherwise. He should have suffered consequences. What if the incident related to using the crop more than 12x in that he struck the horse 13x and he said the last one was because he counted incorrectly and it was accidental? There is no doubt the SS would have laughed at him and said learn to count and fined him. This incident is not much different. I need to go on the same mind reading course as the Central Province SS. At the very least the use of the crop by van Rensburg in the circumstances he found himself was reckless or extremely negligent and should have been sanctioned.

  11. ENABLE says:

    NHRA, and their inconsistencies, so in a nutshell what they are saying is that , it’s fine for Marco to hit a horse but not Good for Yeni to stick his hand out and protect himself from the danger of falling. One jock gets three months whilst the other not even a fine???? Double standards are at play here, or is Yeni being Gelded for The contraventional Greyville interview???

    They will now have to prove that Yeni was not at risk, when he stuck his hand out , after being bumped and carried in by Hewitson..

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