Newsflash: Strydom Slams Start Rules

Top jockey speaks his mind and lashes out at 'ridiculous rules'

starting_gates_photo_big_01“The loading process at the starting gates is ridiculous and at the end of the day fingers will be pointed at the jockey and the punter will be out of pocket.”

Multiple champion jockey Piere Strydom was expressing his opinion after yet another top-class ride when bringing the Grant Maroun trained odds-on favourite Special Announce home in the first race at the Vaal today.

Strydom said he felt that the rules of loading needed to be reviewed urgently. Recent changes in the rules mean that age groups have been phased in with a load with draw order.

Piere Strydom

Piere Strydom – top man speaks his mind

“It is like when a human being gets into a lift. Some are claustrophobic – some are not. My horse doesn’t enjoy the confines of the starting stalls. That is the reality of his mind. Simply trying to bundle him in line with his draw is just tempting fate. What is already ridiculous is that he started at 5 to 10 in the first place.”

Strydom went on to explain that he had given the starter the go ahead to spring the gates while his one foot was still out of the irons.

“It was either that or risk injury to the horse or myself if he rears up. The irony is that bad results and failed favourites costs the punter money – it costs Phumelela money – and it’s bad for the game. If we had lost lengths at the start there would have been a big story and fingers are always pointed at the jockey. I hope that something is going to be done soon.”

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