Smart – Or Just Wukkin’ Around?

TAB are quiet - but the NHA are on the ball as they explain decision with quick response

Wukkin Up

Wukkin’ Up (Alec Forbes) bolts in on debut – at 50 to 1

The Scottsville Wednesday 15 July meeting was a generally unhappy one for many punters, with a Mullins Bay first-timer blowing the whole world out in the jackpot opener and a backed horse unseating his jockey, before being passed fit to run – and then arriving a dirty fourth.

The appropriately named first-timer Wukkin’ Up sauntered home in the fifth at any price, to give the underrated Alec Forbes the second of his hat-trick of winners.

But Sporting Post reader Kenn Smart was quickly on the wire earlier in the eventful afternoon after the 2-1 Al Wahed had unseated Muzi Yeni in the pre-race parade of the fourth race.

“This is a punter message we sent to the NHRA earlier today,” writes Mr Smart.

We punters are fuming that Al Wahed was allowed to run in Race 4 at Scotsville today (15 June). GROSSLY UNFAIR to the punter public.

This horse should have been scratched after dumping Yeni and bolting for 800m to the start. His race was run.

We would like him to be declared a non-starter and all bets transferred to the second favourite (Dance On Air). Please. Even in retrospect.

Al Wahed was falling over at the finish in his valiant effort to place. Poor animal. How could he be allowed to start. (Irrespective of the vet report). Grossly unfair. And the rules are inconsistent, and have little regard for the punters.

Excuse the outburst but we are fuming.

Winning Form-sponsored jockey Muzi Yeni rode a double at Fairview

Muzi Yeni – no fall guy

Bolting or Cantering – the different interpretations

It is interesting to note the vastly differing interpretation of the punter versus the stipe, as to what Al Wahed is alleged to have done after dumping Muzi Yeni.

Ken Smart suggests ‘bolting for 800m’ – while the stipes report that he ‘cantered.’

The official stipes report says:

There was a slight delay to the start of the 4th Race as a result of AL WAHED dislodging Jockey M Yeni en route to the start and thereafter cantering to the start.  Examined by the Veterinary Surgeon and declared fit to run.

Derk Anderson, Deputy Chairman of the KZN Stipendiary Board, responded to our enquiry via Racing Control Executive, Arnold Hyde:

While proceeding to the start AL WAHED ‘spooked’ near the 400 metre mark resulting in Muzi Yeni being dislodged. The horse then cantered to the start, initially quite quickly, but thereafter he slowed as he reached the vicinity of the start. He reached the start well before the other horses. Dr Roehann Sutherland examined the horse at the start and found the horse not blowing or in any way distressed, and he was entirely happy that AL WAHED was fit to race. Dr Sutherland also had a brief conversation with Duncan Howells, as did Muzi Yeni. Both Mr Howells and Mr Yeni were happy that the horse race. The mouth injury found post race was slight and was not apparent prior to the race.

I think it’s important to bear in mind that AL WAHED was returning to racing after a break of nearly a year.

Fall Guy

As for Mr Smart’s suggestion that Al Wahed was ‘falling all over at the finish’, the stipes reported that he ‘shifted from the crop’.

It is frankly difficult to fault the Stipes decision, given the detail provided – and we applaud the commendable turnaround and attention afforded the enquiry by the NHA.

Jackpot Rules

Love Of Life. And this extraordinary game!

This guy must have got the jackpot

One would have imagined that Wukkin’ Up’s win would have evoked more punter emotion as the jackpot does not provide for first-timer immunity, like the Pick 6.

When an unsupported, relatively unfashionably bred-on- staying lines first-timer arrives from one of the smaller yards, then all hell can be expected to break loose in the jackpot.

And so it did, with only approximately 2% of punters surviving the first leg.

The only smiling faces in the post-race interviews were the effervescent Deez Dayanand and a young owner called Donny Boy Sukhraj, whose first winner it apparently was – and who added that he had been working on ‘building up muscle since Monday’. Yes, that confused us too.

But good luck to the connections.

While cowboys shouldn’t be crying when they play games where the rules are well publicised in advance, it is a bit of an anomaly that this jackpot first timer gate has not been closed and the rules adjusted.

Let’s face it – this is supposed to be a brain game – but conspiracy theories will abound when things go pear-shaped.

And we can’t blame punters for feeling that they did their money in cold blood. We thank Kenn Smart for taking up the cudgel – maybe somebody will sit up and take notice.

TAB’s silence is deafening – are they talking to their customers?


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