Consistency has been the clarion call to our Stipes forever but the actions of the men in the grey suits at the Vaal on Thursday suggest that they don’t always get it right.
After the scratching of Hawwaam from the seventh, Sean Tarry’s well-performed Cirillo started a 14-10 favourite. He ran a below-par race and the Stipes duly climbed in.
It is reported that in view of the performance from CIRILLO (P Strydom) (10.50 lengths, betting 14/10), the Veterinary Surgeon was requested to examine this colt.
When afforded the opportunity to place on record any factors which may have affected the performance of CIRILLO, Jockey P Strydom explained to the Board that this colt was returning from a four-month lay-off. It was their intention to race CIRILLO from a handy position, as per his previous form. CIRILLO had then come under pressure at the 400m and tired badly. It was Jockey Strydom’s opinion that CIRILLO would have benefitted from this race, as well as needing further. The Board have adjourned to interview Trainer S G Tarry regarding CIRILLO’S performance.
But just three races earlier, Corne Spies’ Decadent Lady started at 100-1, paid over R130 on the tote, and returned after an aggregate 44 lengths off the winner at her first three starts and a rest of 17 weeks, to easily beat the race-fit and form favourite Masaaqaat, whose credentials were leagues ahead on paper.
The Stipes failed to ask a question about the clearly improved form of the Corne Spies runner.
That will give punters little confidence that the racing regulator is on top of things.
If horses can improve out of the blue like that without even a bleat from the Stipes, then who is looking after the interests of those that keep the tote’s engine fuelled day in and day out?