One of the things we prize about Australian racing is just how accurate, swift, and diligent the Stewards are.
Perhaps rivalled by those in Hong Kong, but substantially better than most other racing jurisdictions on earth.
And I for one am a fan of the Aussie Stewards.
So when you read this, it’s not a criticism, just a big fat – QUESTION.
How was this missed?
OK, enough preamble. Watch the video. Watch in particular the winner, the favourite the horse in pink and white quarters, pink cap, SHAMUS STAR.
As the big lug turns for home and rider Luke Rolls beautifully gets him into the clear ready for his home straight assault….watch closely.
A big black bit of gear comes off.
As I watched the race I thought it was weight from the lead bag….but that theory was quashed because he didn’t weigh in light.
So what was it? I turned to the Stewards Report and nothing. Not a mention, zilch about it. ALL gear is vital and if a horse in running loses any gear, ie: saddle shifts, jock loses irons, tongue over the bit, lost shoe, it is REPORTED.
But not this time.
So why not? And why didn’t trainer Todd Howlett report it? Ok, I don’t know if he did or he didn’t report it, but there was no mention of it reported in the Steward’s findings. I did leave a message with Todd re the incident but no reply as yet.
As best I can ascertain from watching the footage several times, it looks to me like the off side winker is knocked off when Rolls starts urging Shamus Star (Shamus Award-Sienna Star) along with the stick.
The near side winker shifts back a fair bit down the running which you can see as they cross the line.
Obviously didn’t effect the horse…or did it? Maybe he was so frightened by it flight mode took over.
Who knows? What I do know is that the mystery of the missing winker was not found in the Steward’s Report.
I contacted Marc van Gestal, Chief of Stewards for Racing NSW. He watched the video and to his credit, confirmed it was a winker. “And. it wasn’t in the original report, but I will amend it now.”
Soooo, all is good!