Yesterday's void race has been subject to much activity this afternoon and evening with phone calls between the racecourse, and trainers Jennie Candlish/ Alan O'Keeffe, Donald McCain and ourselves. We trainers are disappointed with the time taken to stop the race, resulting in our horses jumping at least three more fences after the decision was made to void the race.
There were three 'Stop' flags waved. The first was held by a man on the bend out of the eyeline of the jockeys. A second flag was after the third last, but on the hurdle track well to the left of the chase track. Neither of these flags was visible to the jockeys. The final flag was after the last fence and waved only after the leading horses had committed to jump the final fence.
Derek has a quote in the RP today, and, as we have come to expect from Derek he sums the situation up with a very straightforward and sensible quote,
'I do not think that this is a clear cut, black and white incident, so ten days seems harsh. I saw the flag only at the last minute and then only out of the corner of my eye as I had my head down in a driving finish. By then though it was too late. It is all really unfortunate, it is a pity that there was not someone actually stood in front of one of the fences up the straight. '
The jockeys feel particularly hard done by and have been in contact with the solicitor Rory Mcneice. They are going to speak to him again tomorrow afternoon and make a decision whether to appeal or not.
Our idea is to speak further with Hazel and Harriet from Perth and the NTF to try to ensure that such a situation that endangers the welfare of our horses does not happen again on any racecourse.