Jockey Concerns – But No Evidence To Support Fairview’s ‘Bermuda Triangle’

Just pure coincidence?

Concerns from jockeys regarding the safety of the Fairview pull-up area and what appear to be a series of mysterious accidents have been addressed by 4Racing and the National Horseracing Authority.

After Jason Gates had fallen from Mia Regina at Fairview on 16 February and fractured his clavicle, the Sporting Post was contacted by a number of jockeys who expressed concerns that there appeared to be problems in the pull-up area, as four accidents between 5 January and the Gates’ incident, occurred without apparent cause.

The Fairview Turf (Pic – Pauline Herman)

Fairview General Manager Luciano Passerini received our query and met with Track Manager Charles Newcombe about the Gates fall from the Alan Greeff-trained filly.

“He assured me that he had received no complaints and that he and Alan Greeff had inspected the area where Mia Regina had fallen and that nothing untoward was found regarding the track,” said Mr Passerini who proactively took special note as to the pull-up area during subsequent meetings.

“I spoke to a few jockeys and officials on the raceday following Jason’s unfortunate fall and there weren’t any complaints regarding the area in question. I have discussed the matter at length with Mr Newcombe and it is worth noting not one of them took place in the same area and for the same apparent reason. I can assure you that it is, and will always be,  our striving to ensure a racing surface that is safe for both horse and jockey,” he concluded.

National Horseracing Authority CEO Vee Moodley requested a report from Stipendiary Steward Nick Shearer on the four incidents, and he provided the following details:

  • 5 January 2024 – Race 7: Jockey Yeni was dislodged approximately 400m after the finish. He attributed the incident to his horse shying away from a fast-moving vehicle on the inside of the track, though no evidence supports this claim.
  • 2 February 2024 – Race 8: Jockey R Khathi was dislodged when his mount ducked in the Pull-Up Area.
  • 9 February – Race 5: Jockey Wesley Marwing was dislodged shortly after the finish when his mount stumbled. Limited footage is available for this incident.
  • 16 February – Race 8: Jockey Gates was dislodged when his mount fell about 300m past the finish.

Shearer went on to add that all incidents occurred in different areas.

“The Pull-Up Area was inspected after the last race on 16 February by the Track Manager, accompanied by Trainer Greeff, and nothing untoward was reported. While brief footage exists for Jockey Marwing’s incident, the other three occurrences happened too far past the finish for any available footage.”

The Sporting Post has had sight of the brief footage of the Marwing fall, and his mount simply stumbles without apparent reason.

While all the accidents happened at different positions after the line in Fairview’s ‘Bermuda Triangle’, they all occurred in a relatively short period of five weeks. That’s four incidents in nine racemeetings – which frequency should probably give rise to cause for some alarm. Or is it just pure coincidence?

We can record that we appreciate the manner in which 4Racing and the NHA officials responded and dealt with this query.

The next Fairview racemeeting is on Friday. First is off at 12h25 and the Listed Breeders Guineas heads the card.

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