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No Horsing Around At Start

'Things do go wrong'

Leading equine behaviourist Malan du Toit was at the much debated L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate start at Kenilworth on Saturday and has rejected conspiracy theories, putting the various equipment issues down to ‘things that do go wrong’.

Writing on social media, Malan says that horses can lose shoes at any time – either on their way to the start or while ringing at the back of the stalls.

Malan with Anton Marcus and Mike de Kock – this was at the Vaal late in 2019

“That is why we have a farrier on course that can assist in a case like that. Bridles can break or come off at any time and that is why we have an extra set at the start. Incidents like this happen at every racecourse in SA and all over the world.”

He goes on to say that shortly after the horses arrived at the start the first horse lost a shoe and the farrier assisted.

“Then it happened to another horse while the first one lost another shoe! In the meantime the bridle of Do it Again broke and we had to fit the extra set. At the same time the bridle of Hawwaam came off and had to be refitted. There is absolutely no conspiracy here. All of us that deal with horses, no matter in what discipline, on a daily basis want to give them every possible chance to perform to their full potential and that is why we do everything in our power to make that possible. Why do we do that? Because we have a passion for horses and we love working with them,” he says.

He sums up by saying that the cold reality is that things can go wrong.

“I just watched the reply of the race and I must say Vardy won in a fascinating way! Well done to Adam Marcus and all the connections!”

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33 comments on “No Horsing Around At Start

  1. Rudy Moodley says:

    We respect Malan du toit’s view.The bottom line is, how are all these delays affecting the outcome of the race results as opposed to a smooth start.Stats need to provided on success of horses chances being 1.re- shod at the start 2.horses being reloaded after breaking through the starting stalls 3. Long delays at the start affecting highly strung horses. At the end of the day, the betting public have no control and always seem to lose their money in ” cold blood” with little or no concern from the authorities to try and improve the situation.

  2. Ashleigh says:

    Lest we forget that Variety Club had his Queen’s Plate complicated with a false start. He still won.

  3. Brian says:

    Yeh, things like this do happen. Sure. But too often and in a race of this standing excuses remain unacceptable

  4. Rudy Moodley says:

    I strongly recommend that NHRA should categorise these highly strung horses and evaluate their behaviour every time they run.If the horse is proven to have unreliable behaviour consistently, then the starting stall certificate should be withdrawn.Mr Malan du toit must issue a letter after evaluating such horse’s behaviour before allowing such horse to be nominated.Malan shud train assessors to evaluate such horse behaviour at the starting pens and decide whether to scratch or run.The vet ability seems to only evaluate the horse physical condition.The assessor will provide expert opinion on the horse mental state.

  5. Owen says:

    All the other races went off without problems why only this one, and only when Hawaam runs, then the nephew of the fav wins the race common if they had given the ride to Craig Zackey he would have won the race

  6. Graham HJ. says:

    Races are won and lost at the stalls……especially features…..especially in SA.

  7. Ray says:

    Mr Malan du Toit is correct this does happen. However when has this happened all at the same time for the same race. Also trainers jockeys know that Hawaam igets unsettled and I believe this is deliberately done.

    The exact same issues happen at meetings weekly especially KZN befire the p6 takes iff. Delaying the start to push pools up then yosets win the first leg. These conspiracies need to stop as it is bad for racing. Trainers should be penalised for these delays because shoes should ve fitted correctly and horses should be scratched immidiatly and the trainers fined when equipment us not flitted correctly. Jockeys included. See hiw quuckly all this shenanigans stop.

  8. Dee says:

    Losing shoes on Saturday had nothing to do with behavior Rudy, you missing the point.

  9. Prasheen harrimohan says:

    If mdk knew hawaam gonna run (*edited) cos of the delays why didnt he scratch it like the July not cry after. Sour grapes typical of big trainers

  10. Beverley Hibbert says:

    What I think so many forget is that racing involves a breathing, living creature who, like any athlete, is susceptible to things that happen around it. You cannot blame anyone. (*Edited) happens, and personally I think the handlers did a superb job at the start with what was obviously very trying circumstances and the general public watching and yelling at them. These guys are pros, handle horses all day and every day, but things still happen. Maybe you should stop thinking about how much money you won/lost, which is in itself rather disgusting that you actually put money on animals forcing them to run, but think about what the horses were actually going through waiting for things to calm down and be sorted so they could do what they were there for. And take absolutely NOTHING away from Vardy, he ran a brilliant race and was the deserved winner on the day.

  11. Rudy Moodley says:

    I was referring to any incident affecting the delay to loading the horses……does have a negative effect on highly strung horses.We see this happen all the time, the horse delivers a lower par performance as a result.I was suggesting that the trainer should have an option to scratch based on history of horse behaviour.

  12. Rudy Moodley says:

    Those who believe HAWWAAM is not a top horse have little or no clue about racing.Dont discredit Vardy as well.He won a super race with a terrific burst of accelaration.The conspiracy theories seem way over the top.

  13. Rudy Moodley says:

    Well done to Deez Dayanand who tipped the public, A Nel horse, Vase, at 14/1 on Wed Greyville last week.He shared to the public why the Nel horse ran badly on its previous occasion.apparently re shoes.( which some believe are unimportant).Deez is one of the few presenters that is transparent to the general public.Thanks Deez, I took the 14/1 about Vase.👍👍

  14. Muhtiman says:

    Hawwaam was not the only horse inconvenienced by the problems at the start…. his half brother clearly boiled over as he was worked into a noticeable sweat at the gates yet still ran a creditable race despite the problems….and thankfully the delay enabled me to cancel bets and find something else to occupy myself with ….as racing here is a declining pastime and the problems with our major seasonal showcase race is the last straw….this camel has finally been broken

  15. Simeon says:

    Sir how many times happen it international racing?????

  16. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Happy Mr Malan responded.

    I enjoy reading the theories, reminds me of Conspiracy Theorists Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, X Files

    Hawwaam will be back, so will Vardy, DIA and RB.

    But for now, King Vardy, wow what acceleration……

    PS – Nice pic in happier times.

  17. Theuns says:

    Conspiracy or “tactics”? I concur with MDK that why does these unsettling things dont happen in a maiden plate? A thinly veiled suspicion that for 2 shoes to come off and a broken bridle on 3 different horses to boot leaves any normal person or punter to ponder all of it was a mere co-incidence?
    Hawaam is renowned to hv temperamental issues and the delay of app 25 min was most definitely the reason why he ran below par. However whether he would hv beaten Vardy on the day is debatable. Hats off to the connections of Vardy. Im looking forward to the ” rematch.

  18. Kay says:

    Enough said sour grapes and sore losers. Punters always know everything. That’s racing. Now move on.

  19. Matthew says:

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Going forward in big races all horses that lose a shoe or are gonna delay the race scratch the horse immediately so there is no delay

  20. MAC says:

    This is a concern delay at start to refit shoes and for this greyville takes it. But 25 mins to refit shoes and bridle got me gobsmacked never seen anything like this before. Lots of horses got affected by this delay waiting for the next to see Socqrat huge runner next time out

  21. Art says:

    Can someone tell me are the bridles made in China?

  22. Rian says:

    What you actually saying Kay is that punters know nothing and horsey folk know everything, sure bulldust baffled brains that’s why punters when they increase the pools then they are the best
    You should move on

  23. Rudy Moodley says:

    Agree with Rian fully.Kay probably a Phumelela ringer

  24. Tshungu says:

    All thanks to Mr Malan’s feedback. I however share Theuns sentiments, though we accept that unforeseen do happen in racing what we experience on Saturday is not far from clear conspiracy, a pre-planned tactic to slow Hawaam knowing the horse weakness and it is not acceptable. The public and the owners of the horse are at end of the day victims of the mafia unethical act and we are not doing justice to our racing by suger coating the incident which is clearly far from a coincident. In the july handicap we accused it to the horse and no investigation done, so was during the tripple crown in joburg hence it happen in a clear unprofessional fusion this time.. Cos we have those that can do the cover up.. STOP IT NOW FOR THE SAKE OF RACING

  25. Richard Letwaba says:

    Without revenue from punters betting & buying tickets into racecourse, there’s no horseracing because sponsors want publicity. It is clear that all complications affect outcome of the race unanticipated resulting in useless pre-analysis & punter suffers, the only stakeholder who loses money while others lose opportunity to make money. If the operator can have opportunity cost as a result of these shenanigans, it wud b quickly sorted. To solve this, if there’s a problem & it delays a race by more than 10 min, betting must b nullified because its as bad as a starting stall opens b4 others(false start). The other flaw in the industry is lack of punters association standing 4 the rights of punters.

  26. Allan says:

    Horse racing is now operating as our government does and make excuses as the do as well. They take the public as fool’s.

  27. Theuns says:

    No no Kay. To suggest that punters are talking out of their pocket borders on ignorance. With the restricted odds on Hawaam it was not conducive to rational thinking that the average punter would wager on Hawaam.

    Champions, as been proofed across the globe , lure the racegoers to the racecourse . “To the victor goes the spoils” Nobody has detracted from Vardy’s great win. Sadly the cloud will hang over his victory, which he won with great aplomb.
    Die hard punters wanted to see the best of the temperamental Hawaam but circumstances begged to differ, hence the outcry in certain quarters.
    For now on Vardy, as champion elect, will have to stamp his authority once again.
    Nothing beats seeing a champion in action and the same goes for Vardy to proof beyond doubt that he is the new kid on the block. Another resounding win over Hawaam and co. will increase his following.
    Such is the nature of man.

  28. Mashie says:

    What a load of trash in half these comments. A horse pulling a shoe or breaking it’s bridle cannot be done on purpose. These are animals and this stuff happens.
    Next time keep your money in your pocket or keep your mouth shut once you have done your cash and stop looking to blame someone – simple

  29. Tracy Low says:

    Great read Malan ,Vardy shat in no if and or buts about it,all credits to the team. Half of being a champion is holding your head when others are losing theirs.

  30. Art says:

    Has anyone at KR asked the fire dept to be on standby at Kenilworth on met day?

  31. Rian says:

    Hey Art, the Wynberg Fire Station 100m from Kenilworth, and the response great….
    They had a huge fire many years ago when cars were burnt that parked against the Wetton Rd fence and nearly all way up to Rosmead Ave, don’t think garage was there yet but can’t remember year
    Racing delayed for long, and it’s no go zone for parking now, I think

  32. Theuns says:

    Gavin Lerena replaced by British rider Ryan Moore?
    Now that Rainbow Bridge is on arguably on his right trip the affable and great jockey Gavin Lerena has been ” jocked off” the mount.
    What a cut throat business…money money money.
    Lerana knows the horse well and its a great pity that Sands has opted to import another great jock to ride the ” Bridge”.
    Whatever Moore can achieve on this horse many staunch followers will agree that Lerana wld hv coax that little extra out of Rainbow Bridge, considering that he knows the mount so well and his ability to switch him off possibly could hv made the difference.
    Good luck to the stable, hope they made the right choice.

  33. Theuns says:

    And then Wahaam reversed the form by beating Vardy comprehensively. Great milers like Wolf Power, Politician etc has proven that ” milers” do win the formerly dubbed the ” Metropolitan mile” . I rest my case.
    As for Rainbow Bridge, which was given a superb ride, should Lerana was aboard he wld surely had to shoulder the blame…again. !

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