Multiple champion trainer Mike de Kock has had his fill of keyboard phantoms who almost demand transparency and then sling off behind the mask of a pseudonym.
“One of my most insightful mottos in life is, ‘Suspicion haunts the guilty’. My message to the consistently bitter, obstructive commentators, who often suggest skulduggery in the racing industry is, ‘If racing is so bad, why are you still around? Why don’t you do us all a favour and get out?’”
Speaking on his website, www.mikedekockracing.com, De Kock referred to negativity among “faceless internet trolls”, who complain about a lack of transparency and then criticize those who reveal stable information and offer reasons for disappointing runs.
He said: “People are quick to sling off, but they don’t really have the facts. I challenge anybody to come from Cape Town to Johannesburg and to do what we do coming the other way. Never mind acclimatisation, it works both ways.
“Having said all of this, I’m not sure we owe anyone an explanation about runners running below par. Whatever gets into the press in the interest of transparency seems to get twisted, especially on racing forums.
“We’ve tried to inform the racing public with transparent comments in everyone’s interest, but we have to suffer for that at the hands of internet trolls, many of whom have little understanding of the industry and feel it’s their right to sling off at trainers, jockeys, horses and administrators whilst hiding behind pseudonyms.
“We’re suffering abuse for our transparency. It’s often the same individuals slinging off, week after week. They contribute no value whatsoever. There are several trainers who are re-considering their stance on transparency. We’ve tried to help the punters and racing fans, those who really love racing, but all we get back in return is ridicule. Why should we continue?
“This is not the racing media’s fault, they have reported our words, but there are a few negative people out there who misconstrue or purposefully misrepresent our comments and it’s doing the industry no good.”