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Trainer Says Horse ‘Raced Too Freely’

'He ought to have eased pace back'

Jockey Bernard Fayd’herbe and trainer Paul Reeves appeared before the Stipes after the first race at Kenilworth on Tuesday after the Oratorio gelding Night Song was sent to lead his field by many lengths by the experienced rider and compounded badly.

Fayd’herbe, who enjoyed a 34% win strike-rate last season with Reeves, was aboard the 3-1 favourite Night Song in the first. He finished 13,80 lengths last in a six horse field.

Bernard Fayd'herbe (photo: hamishNIVENPhotography)

Bernard Fayd’herbe (photo:

The Stipes reported that Night Song (B Fayd’Herbe), which raced to the front of a small field approaching the bend at the 1000m and obtained a substantial lead on the field between the 1000m and 650m, came under pressure and tired quickly from the 300m.

Trainer P Reeves and Jockey B Fayd’Herbe appeared before the Board and were interviewed regarding the running and riding of this gelding in the early and middle stages.

Whilst no specific instructions were given, the intention was for Jockey Fayd’Herbe to take Night Song  to the front of the field in the early stages.

Jockey Fayd’Herbe, from a wide draw, had maintained a straight course off the rail in the back straight and approaching the 1000m had approximately a 7 length lead on the rest of the field. This lead extended to approximately 18 lengths through the 650m.

It was Trainer P Reeves opinion that Jockey Fayd’Herbe had allowed this gelding to race too freely during the middle stages of the race and ought to have eased the pace slightly.

Jockey Fayd’Herbe stated that he had obtained the lead easily approaching the first bend and this gelding was travelling comfortably underneath him through the middle stages of the race and, despite the lead, he did not deem it necessary to ease the pace on this gelding.

He stated that at no point did this gelding not feel comfortable at this pace.

Upon entering the straight, Jockey Fayd’Herbe stated that he encouraged this gelding and he had initially responded but tired quickly at the 300m.

He further reported that this gelding had made an abnormal respiratory noise post-race. In his opinion, this had been a factor in the latter stages of the race.

The Board reviewed Night Song’s previous run on 18/02/2020, over the same course and distance, where he raced in a similar manner.

The opinions of both Trainer Reeves and Jockey Fayd’Herbe were noted and the Board adjourned for further review.

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16 comments on “Trainer Says Horse ‘Raced Too Freely’

  1. Truth seeker says:

    Bernard is a world class Jockey, but that was an exceptionally poorly judged ride. He should hang his head in shame! Let’s think of the Punters here (myself included) for a shocker of note.

    At the end of the day we are all human and I am sure Bernie will bounce back

  2. Jay August says:

    Comparing this race to the 18/1/20 race in which NS ran second:

    * both races were run by the winner in 126s;

    * by my timing Night Song ran to the top of the bend and straight 1.6s faster in this race than he did in Jan. That’s around 9 lengths faster. If these are correct then compounding off that extreme effort is a no-brainer.

    SP you have your own hand timed sectionals – what do they show?

  3. Y T says:

    The jockeys excuse is ridiculous and pathetic. His ride was worse than his excuse. He has been a professional jockey for more than 20 years. He knows how to judge pace. He would also know that the pace he was riding at was not the usual pace and that it was way faster than normal for the class of horses in the field. He would have known that the horse would tire. He needs to get suspended from riding for a long while. If he did not ride the horse with intention to ride as badly as he did, he definitely rode in a reckless and thoughtless manner costing everyone who backed the horse. The jockey club needs to send out a message to all jockeys that it will not tolerate such a bad ride and excuse. I reckon that had he been in Mauritius, he would have been given 3 months for the shocking ride. A friendly note to the trainer. Next time put on a jockey who wants to win and who will try his heart out for you and the owners and punters who have backed the horse.

  4. Vicke p says:

    The problem with the stipes board inquiries is that too much latitude is given to the so called senior and top riders amongst the jockeys..the Stipes need to send a strong message in ensuring punitive measures fit the offence.i am off the view the are many variables from jockey trainer and the like.to put this matter to rest the jockey deserves to be given the harshest possible punishment.sadly senior jockeys in general are calling the shots here in SA and it is high time they are punished for their disgraceful conduct…shocking ride and a first year apprentice would have done better.

  5. Kenny says:

    He was gonna be on the first flight home if it was Mauritius.

  6. Editor says:

    SP Clockwatcher Steve Furnish says that although it is difficult to compare on different days, he did splits from the start to the start of the bend, and then to the 400m. He added that the camera didn’t allow him to do the end of the bend. He says that the false rail was in the same position as Saturday, but whereas the headwind was gusting up to 49km/h on Saturday, there was no wind on Tuesday. The pen around the turn on Saturday was 22 against 20 on Tuesday. Night Song ran the first segment 0,5 seconds faster than the Derby (which was not a fast run race) and 1,46 seconds slower than the Derby from the start of the bend to the 400m.

  7. Francis says:

    Pathetic with their jockeys

  8. Editor says:

    SP analyst Mark McGilliwie gave his view:
    Unfortunately the cameraman focused mainly on the rest of field rather than pacemaker so fractions were impossible.
    For me the race was a combination of pacemaker slightly too fast and the rest also going slowly causing a much bigger gap than it should have been.
    The way the pacemaker faded so badly could be due to respiratory and blowing as reported rather than Jockey riding such a ‘shocker’
    also if he’d hung on to win he would have judged it perfectly(when it suits the pockets )
    NIGHT SONG – abnormal respiratory noise and blowing.
    Due to respiratory I would give the jockey the benefit of doub

  9. Frankie says:

    Frankie Zackey…my view it was a suicidal pace…Answer this one champ why use the stick on the poor animal at the 400m 300m and 200m,,at the 400m the horse was already dead and buried and cemented 😂 did you honestly believe it would give you a kick 😂

  10. Jay August says:

    Mark (from SP), firstly, I must disagree with the statement that no comparable sections are possible because of the camera work. Yes the camera loses the leader at times but there are two points before entering the straight where it does not and both appear to provide viable and comparable sections from race one to race two. Running the two race video’s side by side will show you those two moments quite clearly.

    Secondly, the respiratory noise could easily have been the result of the horse going too fast and therefore returning in some distress. To believe that the noise is the result for the poor run is conjecture. In any case it tells you nothing about how the race was run initially and how that may have impacted the result, if at all.

    In my opinion there is enough evidence to allow for a viable sectional analysis of the race. How you interpret those sections given the variables at play, and the effect if any on the result, is one for the review panel to consider. They however should not use the excuse that there is no comparable visual evidence and therefore no valid timing of sections possible.

    PS – the Stipes will no doubt have multiple camera angles of the race available which neither of us do and that extra visual data should without doubt show the pace scenario in both races.

    1. karel says:

      The horse was also reported as ‘blowing’ – in my experience ‘blowing’ can indicate a high degree of discomfort in a horse and it is not unusual for some form of injury/hurt to come to light subsequently. Conjecture for now, of course, but worth noting.

  11. Rian says:

    The other day, he got a R2500:fine for abuse of whip which was twice over short period
    Now must agree with Frankie and others, this was bad, really bad, he has lost plot a little and if I had gone that fast I wouldnt have made any noises
    Let’s have a R0.50 pick 5 no fractionals for the Durban season , please

  12. Raman says:

    Bernard is past his sell by date.
    Retirement is due.
    Do ride work for the Snaith stable.

  13. Jay August says:

    Conjecture it is and will always be, but in this case what is being questioned is the initial pace setup and whether that may have compromised the horse.

    When that question is answered in the positive then other questions may be asked as to why the horse compounded and finished last

    What is not being asked is, what is the reason for the horse finishing last?

    The review board on this issue would be wise not to be swayed by incorrect questions and lay observations from the experts who may be seeking to influence the first question by answering the second.

    For the sake of punters, I trust the review panel will exercise their minds properly on this matter.

  14. Gman says:

    Was there an enquiry on baby shooz when marcus rode it and finished 2nd with this odds on fav.He apologised afterwards and admitted he rode a bad race.Does that apology put the money back in the punters pockets or was the apoligy good enuf for the stipes to waive an enquiry.CONSISTENCY PLZ!!!

  15. Shanil says:

    An inquiry was warranted as an Appie would have won that race with the horse that day. Marcus had so much horse under him . It was proven next start when the horse beat a better field. You would think an apoologetic Marcus would make himself available at interviews to assist punters after that. No way.

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