We take a look at the worst rides of all time with some absolute stinkers amongst them and perhaps a ride that may surprise you that it made the list as it was actually a winning ride. View our worst rides of all time below.
A common talking point around the water cooler Monday morning is that of which hoops slaughtered which horse and what we would have done in the same situation. Forget the fact that most of us neither have the body nor the bravery to be a jockey, but most of us have never even sat on a horse! But here we are, continually finding ourselves post-race cursing and analysing where they got it wrong. We also forget they are on the back of an animal running upwards of 60 km/h, weights 500+ kilograms sitting on something that is nothing more than a thin piece of leather, we the punters, could most definitely do it better!
So, let’s examine what I believe to be five of the worst rides of all time and why.
Up ‘N’ Rolling... well not really.
A more recent “shocker” occurred earlier this year, when South African born hoop Glyn Schofield was engaged to ride the Chris Waller trained Up ‘N’ Rolling in an Easter Monday Benchmark 70.
The horse was well backed late in betting, considered to have a future in the middle-distance ranks since arriving from NZ. The gelding settled second last in the run, awkwardly placed on the rails. From the top of the back straight, horses began to make moves three and four wide.
Glyn had the option to follow these horses which would seem the right move given his big motor if able to wind-up in the centre of the track. Instead he stayed in behind the two-wide line of horses that were going nowhere, all the while the leader/winner had kicked 2 or 3 lengths clear at the top of the straight.
Up ‘N’ Rolling was finally angled clear by Glyn at about the 200m mark, lost a stack of momentum almost having to go sideways to get out and gave the winner 6-8 lengths at that point. The horse flashed home to officially go under by 0.2L in what was seen by many industry pundits as one of the great slaughters of all time.
Amazingly, Glyn Schofield was cleared of any wrong doing in the ride, saying that he thought the inside was the best part of the track, and in hindsight may have erred in his judgement when not electing to come around them. An understatement at the very least.
Here’s a replay of the race and a voice over of the incident.
Celebration 10/10, ride 0/10
Roger Loughran had to be added to the list for his early celebration in a jumps race at Leopardstown in 2005.
Riding Central House in a small field of 5, he was involved in a ding-dong battle after the last fence with two of the other horses. All of a sudden, Loughran stood up and started to celebrate the win, 100 yards before the ACTUAL winning post! There have been countless times this has happened worldwide, but this is one that certainly is hard to watch and we didn’t even back it…
Veandercross gone the carpark 😯
Raymond Shane Dye. Never one to shy away from the spotlight or his own opinions of not only himself but of other jocks/horses both now and when he was riding, once again showed here why we all have a love/hate relationship with the Kiwi.
The race was the 1992 Caulfield Cup. The horse was Veandercross. The NZ Derby runner-up came to Australia and showed potential as a 3yo when winning a Group 1 and runner-up in two others including an AJC Derby. He returned to Australia the following year with the Big Cups double as his target. He started 5/2 in the Caulfield Cup, was ridden back but when they were coming down the side of the Caulfield circuit is where things got Interesting.
R.S.Dye had the plan to stay well away from the fence, electing to navigate very wide round the turn and get to where he believed to be the better going in the straight in the middle of the track. He hit the lead seemingly way to early and was ultimately run down in the shadows by Mannerism, with D Oliver taking a much shorter route on the way home.
Some believe that Veandercross ran up to 100m further than what the mile and a half that the Caulfield Cup is listed at.
To this day he defends the ride and insists that had he his time over again, would do exactly the same thing.
Was it an error in judgement or was the Kiwi just not good enough on the day. Nobody will ever know but one thing is for sure, Raymond Shane Dye will never admit that it was a bad ride.
Here’s Kenny Callender’s take on the race….
Luke Nolen saved by a nose
Going a little bit away from the norm here but the next candidate in the five worst rides of all time is actually a winning ride.
Luke Nolen had ridden Black Caviar in all but three of her previous 21 wins before heading across the other side of the world to put her undefeated record on the line against the world’s best at Royal Ascot. She was clearly the best horse in the race but we later found out that the preparation wasn’t exactly all smooth sailing.
The 1200m Diamond Jubilee was the race that connections had targeted to show off Australia’s Queen of the Turf, the Ascot track a gruelling uphill run for the majority of the second half of the 6 furlongs. Drawn nearest to the grandstand, Black Caviar began well and travelled comfortable throughout. Nolan went for her at the 400, she skipped 2 lengths clear by the time she got to the last 100, the run to the post is then as good as flat and the race looked over.
However Luke Nolen seemed to sit up at this point, either not knowing where the winning post was (poor knowledge of the track) or he thought the mighty mare had them covered and wanted to show boat a little over the last 50? He quickly realised that those in pursuit were closing rapidly, gave the big girl a dig in the rump a couple of times and she lifted to narrowly hang on. Those Aussies that were up late to watch her try and go a perfect 22/22 had their hearts in their mouths, not knowing the camera angles at the finish, and not knowing whether Luke Nolen had made a blunder that would haunt him forever. She got the photo, returned to Australia to finish off her career with three more wins to make a perfect 25.
Here is a replay of that “questionable” ride that almost saw the greatest sprinter of our lifetime lose for the first time.
Wrong turn costs punters
We stay in the UK for the second worst ride of all time.
Brendan Powell Jr (just 17 years old at the time) was the jockey in question, not exactly a household name here in Australia. The track was Fakenham, about three-hour’s drive north of London.
Benny The Swinger was the horse’s name, trained by Chris Gordon, engaged in a two-mile jumps race as a dominant 5/4 favourite. Having navigated the course and coming to the last fence with at least an 8-length lead, he seemingly only had to jump the last to win. He did just that, but that’s where thing’s got interesting. After the last obstacle, the course veers back to the inside where the winning post is positioned, instead of continuing on through the jumps course.
He traded at 1/100 on the exchange for 35 thousands pounds in the run, looked set to bolt in before taking a “wrong turn”. Apparently not the first time at the track, but certainly one I remember vividly.
Here is a replay of the final stages courtesy of At The Races.
'Keep going son, keep going'
When this topic was raised as the baseline for this week’s article, the team at JustHorseRacing immediately pin-pointed the following ride as the worst of all time.
Rhys Mcleod, an apprentice at the time back in 2002, was riding Mystic Outlaw in a 3000m race at Moonee Valley. It’s fair to say that Moonee Valley is not the biggest racetrack in Australia, starting in the back straight the field has to run a lap and a half of the city circuit. After jumping well, McLeod took him straight to the front and was never headed.
Well that isn’t entirely true, the horse was beaten more than 70 lengths as the official margin.
McLeod found the whip down the side of the track and “went for home” approaching the straight, THE FIRST TIME AROUND. The rest of the field must have been sitting back watching the catch-me-if-you-can tactics adopted by the jock, and constructing a plan mid-race on when to try and reel in the run-away leader. He went past the winning past the first time around about 10-12 lengths clear, Mcleod easing down close to the post thinking that 25/1 chance had bolted in. He continued to ease the gelding down, soon noticing that the field where not doing the same and were closing in fast down the back.
Who knows what was going through his mind when it finally clicked that he had got it all wrong, the horse was overtaken quickly and found nothing in the run home, understandably.
He was given two months on the sidelines to think about it, no doubt it has been in the back of his mind ever since.
Have Your Say: Got a ride which should be added to our list? – Tell us in a comment below.