A comedy of errors at the Fairview starting gates on Friday that saw a horse left behind will be investigated.
“We got two Olympic gold medals last week – one for swimming and one for starting a race and forgetting about a horse,” an East Cape trainer quipped to the Sporting Post over the weekend.
The official stipes report for the eighth race on Friday states that as the start was effected the Kom Naidoo-trained Tsar Peter (F Herholdt) was still in the process of being installed.
A race review was called into the start of this race with regards to Tsar Peter (stall gate 11), where it was established that this gelding was not in the starting stalls when the starting stall gates were released.
The Stipendiary Board acting in terms of Rule 61.6.11 declared the gelding to be a non-runner.
The respective starting staff, amongst other participants were interviewed and an investigation has been opened into this incident.
Apparently Calvin Habib on Cliffie Miller’s Elegant General was meant to be the last horse loaded.
For some reason, with Miss Trinisha Pillay’s Tsar Peter still standing out as the designated penultimate horse to load, they bundled Elegant General in and the Starter launched the gates.
The Sporting Post has learnt that some of the jocks anticipated having to pull up for a false start. This never happened.
In October last year the PE starter put two horses in the wrong gates and even under protest from the jockeys, he released the gates. The matter was being investigated.
In 2019, between February and May the gate swapping happened twice. The second incident was reported by the Sporting Post as the NHA officials hadn’t even noticed it.
So what has happened to the outcome of these ‘investigations’? Or are the same personnel blundering ahead, regardless?