Is This Logic – Or Stipes Spin?

Was this a human or system error? Or something else?

The longstanding aggravation for punters of raceday card changes is again illustrated at Fairview on Friday, with 21 ‘equipment changes’ listed.

While it’s nothing new, the inability of the NRB system to accommodate a variety of equipment applications and combinations has been a discussion point for years.

But is that set to change?

At the Fairview meeting last Friday, a horse that seemingly inadvertently ran with equipment that had been ‘removed’ created a confusing statement on the subsequent official NHRA reports, that requires some thought.

The Stipes report last Friday read:

Khaya’s Hope raced without a compression mask (declared 05h23 on 20221007).

But we watched the replay – he wore the equipment!

Then the report for the Fairview third race on Friday 7 October 2022, published as an addendum on Tuesday 11 October 2022, reads:

The Stewards considered the circumstances surrounding Khaya’s Hope being fitted and racing with a compression mask when this piece of equipment was effectively removed by Trainer Smith before the documented deadline in place to make equipment changes on a race day.

The absence of an official symbol that denotes this piece of equipment in the race card together with certain issues pertaining to making on-line equipment changes were considered when assessing this matter.

The racing manners and racing history of Khaya’s Hope were also considered and consequently the gelding will be required to race in a compression mask in all of its future races.

While a symbol that denotes a compression mask has now been put in place for future use in the race cards, the matter insofar as the Officials involved has been dealt with in terms of internal NHA Staff policies.

So what actually happened here?

Despite what the Stipes reported originally, Khaya’s Hope ran in the compression mask and won like the good thing he was.

Will the man-in-the-street actually understand this, or does it simply take ‘racing the brain game’ to new levels?

Any thoughts?

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