Forgettable Phase for SA Racing

Stipes issue official report after a kind of hush all over the world following the mix up!

African Dream

Hollow Victory. African Dream beats a two time winner in a maiden race
at Scottsville on 10 November

The case of a two time winner being placed second in a maiden race at Scottsville on 10 November 2013, has resulted in an amendment to the official result, and an instruction to Gold Circle to pay the stake monies on the amended result. But we are still actually none the wiser.

The case of the Mike De Kock trained New Zealand bred mare Forgive No Forget, who won two races in New Zealand, is shrouded in a cloud of mystery and intrigue. She ran second in a race that she most definitely did not qualify to participate in, when just beaten by African Dream.

Following so close on the heels of the Magic Feet ringer saga, the National Horseracing Authority now finds itself in a state of a crisis of confidence, and their subdued reaction to this incident raises more questions than answers.

How does an apparently unraced mare run in a maiden here, after having won two races abroad? Was this an attempt to purposely mislead the public, or was it an administrative error?

If an error, who made the error and how can the NHA assure Joe Public that this doesn’t happen every week? Forgive No Forget runs in the Chow silks worn by the champion The Apache, and is trained by SA Champion trainer Mike De Kock. In a tight finish to the race run over 1200m, she was pipped by the favourite African Dream.

The Stipes reported that she had run green in running. A report from New Zealand dated 13 October 2011 says that Forgive No Forget added to Darci Brahma’s growing list of winning three-year-olds, when scoring on debut over 1200 metres at Hawke’s Bay. Racing very greenly down the Hastings straight, by lugging inwards for much of the run home, jockey Jason Collett balanced the filly up for a late run which saw them get up by a long neck margin, beating the hot favourite Red Cougar.

“She does a bit wrong, and I thought she’d need today’s run,” said her trainer Shaune Ritchie. “She’ll be a good horse when she gets it right.” “She a raw filly,” said Jason Collett. “She wasn’t quick away, came out awkwardly, but she came home strongly.”

“She’s by Darci Brahma, they’re really coming up well… she’s obviously one of them.” In a low key addendum to this past Sunday’s stipes report at Clairwood, we are informed that Forgive No Forget has been disqualified and the stake has been redistributed. The delayed Stipes Report says:

Scottsville Racecourse: 10 November 2013: Race 1:
An objection was lodged on the 11th November 2013, in terms of Rule 68.3.2, against FORGIVE NO FORGET (NZ) who finished 2nd in Race 1 at Scottsville Racecourse, RAISETHORPE SECONDARY SCHOOL PATRONS ‘5’ MAIDEN PLATE (F & M) on the 10th November 2013. The objection was heard on the 14th November 2013 and the grounds of objection being that FORGIVE NO FORGET (NZ) was not qualified for the said Race in that she was imported into South Africa as a two time winner in New Zealand and as such was not eligible for a Maiden Plate.

The Objection Board, after considering the evidence presented as well as referring to the import documentation supplied by Racing New Zealand at the time of import, was satisfied that this mare was indeed a two time winner. The objection was upheld and FORGIVE NO FORGET (NZ) was disqualified in terms of Rule 69.6. The result was amended for statistical purposes.

The Racing Operator was advised to pay the stake monies on the amended results. Forgive No Forget is nominated twice later this month, including a maiden plate at Greyville.

Is it really sufficient that the result be amended, and the stake cheques simply be shuffled? Should an enquiry not be held to determine the source of the negligence or foul play? Because if there was neither, then the system does not work. And lest we forget that just two weeks ago, an official in the Cape lost her job for doing what appears to be little worse.

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