The substitution of leading rider Aldo Domeyer just sixteen minutes before the official carded off-time of the wsb.co.za Gr2 Southern Cross Stakes at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on Saturday has been slammed by a number of punters.
The Sporting Post received calls after Gareth Wright had been substituted for Domeyer, who could not get down to the 56kgs allotted to October Morn.
Domeyer, a talented rider at the top end of the scale, was engaged to ride the smart sprinter and was subsequently hit with a R3 000 fine after he signed an admission of guilt for a contravention of rule 55.4. He failed to weigh out at the carded weight.
Murphy’s Law threw a curved ball into the equation, with a rough race that saw October Morn run a dirty fourth for exotic backers.
Reader Fred Cochrane wrote to the Sporting Post Mailbag on Monday and said that he noted that everybody was raving about the upgrade in facilities at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth, ‘but what about an upgrade in common sense, transparency and accountability?’
Mr Cochrane asks:
- The race card was out on Tuesday – when last did Domeyer ride 56kgs?
- Did he work hard enough to get down to the carded weight?
- Why was the public only informed about the jockey change just before the canter down?
- Does the rules allow for the Bass yard and Domeyer to be punished for this?
We have no doubt that Domeyer wanted the potential Gr2 winning ride and he has been penalised.
Mr Cochrane points out that in the 2015 Vodacom Durban July Tellina was fancied to win by many shrewdies – he finished 3rd at big odds. The stipes report indicated that jockey Johnny Geroudis rode 1.5kgs overweight – there was no correspondence about this beforehand, he says.
He asks when punters will be protected from ‘all these basic and unnecessary negative occurrences’ and adds that after the jump of the stayers race on Saturday there was a lady still working on the track around the bend. Can you imagine if she had poor hearing and sight, he adds.
We copied the Fred Cochrane letter to both Cape Racing and the NHA for comment, as well as to a representative of the Bass yard.
“Unfortunately, there is nothing to add from a Cape Racing perspective as we have no jurisdiction over this matter. We found out about the jockey change when everybody else did. I imagine Mr Domeyer was attempting to make the weight, just failing. 56kg is not miles off his comfort zone, so I am not sure that the figure would raise too many “red flags”, but that is for the NHRA to decide on,” said Justin Vermaak.
NHA Racing Control Executive Arnold Hyde responded, saying that Vermaak had summarised the situation ‘perfectly’ and he confirmed that action was taken, as per the Stipendiary Stewards report.
“We will continue to monitor this matter,” he concluded.
Neither responded to the mystery lady allegedly working on the track after the field for the WSB Cape Summer Stayers had jumped. This could not be verified and no mention was made of a similar incident in the stipes report.