Talking Horses Thursday 1st July 2021

It was a relief to hear that Robbie Cotgrave and Kit Campbell are going to be all right. I note they are now ‘colleagues’ rather than ‘freelance cameramen’ to Race Tech. What a turnaround in 24 hours, eh?

I see the whip has raised its leather-knobbed head once again via a story in the Post:

Changes to the whip’s role and deterrents for its misuse in British horseracing are set to be in place before May next year, with the BHA believing “some level of reform” is a likely consequence of the delayed consultation into the whip, which launches on Thursday. 

BHA chief executive Julie Harrington said racing “must be willing to listen” on the whip, while chief regulatory officer Brant Dunshea stated the aim was for any changes to “deal with the issue for some time”.

My nap today is that this will not go down well with Dilton. Sadly, it’s ‘no offers’ on that.

It’s well seen that the markets were running scared of me yesterday. Having put up Zagato at evens they backed him into 2/7. I’m going for the hat trick with Johnny Boom in the 1.45 Yarmouth today.

As ever, use the comments below for your nap and for anything else you want to discuss.

Good luck



  1. Cookie tipped Royal Chant yesterday at Worcester. Worth looking at next time out. Got knocked over at the last when mounting a serious challenge.


  2. Morning ,
    No ,its more PR bollocks ,driven by a tiny % of people who have no actual knowledge of horses in general and who simply do not like what they see and believe they can change things. Other weak minded individuals who also have no knowledge of the horse then jump on the band wagon because they also dont like what they see or understand what they are seeing.
    Theres a complete disconnect in this country about horses and animals in general.
    They wont stop at the whip. They need to be told in no uncertain terms to take a running jump.

    Yet again we have at the head of the BHA another person who has never worked in the industry at the coal face but who has progressed her career at executive level. We had 5 years of Rusts silly ideas and pandering ,now it seems we have another similar type who has finally surfaced after ” rolling up her sleeves ” .Which is code for ,trying to understand the game which I’ve somehow been employed to manage for months which I know nothing about.

    It’s where a horse is hit that matters and until that’s addressed properly the number of times its seen to be hit is irrelevant. We have several top riders who regularly hit under the stifle intentionally and who deliberately ride dangerously but get away with it ,nothings done .

    Theres far more important issues within the sport that needs to be addressed ,not least the salaries dolled out to those at BHA towers who as Charlie Mann accurately called idiots.Going to Uni and getting a useless degree should not mean that you are qualified to run a sport and industry that you have never worked in. Getting £320k pa plus perks doing it is ridiculous.

    For example, what exactly does the invisible woman ,Ms Phelps ,the rower actually do to merit such a huge wedge. Diversity committees ,ffs ,come on.

    Centralised stewards are still in the long grass but are badly needed. Events at Lingfield and Kempton last night prove that ( watch the re run of the Electkoric ride and tell me what you see )
    The handicapping system is outdated ,the programme disjointed and we face the prospect of 40 more fixtures made up of class 5/6 handicaps purely to satisfy a certain racecourse owning company and the bookies. Theres far to much low level racing as it is . How are the staff supposed to cope with yet more night meetings .
    Then the old chestnut, prize money. It’s been sat on for years ,yet somehow the alarm bells at the BHA have been muffled but are now ringing and they are saying all the right things but still not doing anything really constructive to defend us against the countries abroad who are leaping ahead of us.
    Hit the bookies, tell them how it’s going to be ,not vice versa . Grow some .


    1. Well said, yet again, on all fronts and, as on most things racing, I agree wholeheartedly. But unless all the horsemen, especially the big players, get together to force issues nothing will happen. We also need government to get involved but that will never happen.
      As for Frank …….. yet again (interesting to know what Hughes thinks – Simcock never seems too perturbed).
      Hope you’re both doing OK.


      1. Theres ways and means . Watch Pat Dobbs ride Bondi Man at Chepstow . Got him out ,settled him and taught him how to race without hitting him.
        Compare that to yet another jaw break ( official report Jumped awkwardly etc etc )
        Both fine thanks .


    2. Whips are banned in Norway and racing continues. It can be done.

      The general public does not like to see horses being whipped. Simple as that. Horse racing does not exist in a bubble. There are forces at work that take no account of the interests of the sport as it currently exists, which is why, I guess, though I haven’t studied it, there are changes afoot. Those in control apparently recognize that politicians respond to public pressure and they intend to take the sting out of the emotional issue of horse whipping. I can’t see anything wrong with that, it’s what they are paid to do.

      As for their pay, etc, we are living in a culture in Britain where the Government hands out money to its cronies in vast sums in a corrupt fashion. The pay of people at the BHA is very far down the scale. Most CEOs are paid wildly excessive sums in our “levelled up” world.

      Your points about where a horse is whipped are very well made, but you are the only person with detailed knowledge of the sport who has identified this issue. I think that ti would be well worth a journalist pursuing, such as Chris Cook.


      1. Norway ! Come on,not that again .Utterly meaningless in racing terms.
        What’s the general public got to do with it,they fall into the exact categories I’ve given. If they do not like what they see simply dont watch it .We have to fight our corner.
        Better education of those that complain by the BHA would be better than caving into it .What next, jockeys and horses taking the knee.
        Governments the world over do that in one form or another but I’m just interested in the racing angle ,not the political one . That will never change though the current lot seem to be at G1 level at it dont they .


        1. You make some great points in your usual forthright manner Dilton but you can’t just totally dismiss the general public line. The general public and their opinions affect politicians; politicians make decisions; the BHA or whoever can’t just ignore that. Even if purely cosmetic something will probably change around the use of the whip (or where it can be used, as per your original point). Unless you and other informed parties can change general opinion (and good luck with that!) it’s practically inevitable. Just my view of course.

          Liked by 1 person

    3. Franks seems to get away with bad rides due his “famed style” of riding just abut everything from the back of field. i’ve no idea how he continues to get rides tbh.


    4. Many good points, Dilton, but you are fighting a losing battle with your views on the whip. I’ll expand on this later. Got to take Archie out to his favourite stream so he can cool off.


    5. We’re replaying old debates here, Dilton, but no matter what we in racing think, the opinion of the general public matters more than ours. Their key weapon is the vote. Education on the whip might help, but most people don’t want to invest the time in being educated. They much prefer being shocked and disgusted, states in which they need learn nothing. And who would trust our ‘management’ to educate in an effective way? For my money they are already on the wrong path with their defence, which seems to consist of various strands of the same theme – racehorses are treated like royalty.

      In many cases racehorses get detailed, tender and expensive care, but the public surely are not daft enough to spot that what is being looked after is an asset rather than an animal. Once these ‘much-loved’ horses have run their last race, the sun lamps, the swimming pools, the physios, the top nutrition are withdrawn. Racing’s defence, in essence, is that of those who owned the Gladiators: all right, they might die in the Colosseum, but by God we treat them well on the way!

      That, for me, is no defence at all.

      I believe that part of the anxiety to deal with the whip issue once and for all is to discourage deeper dives into matters like ant-inflammatories, broken blood vessels and other out-of-sight downsides for the horse. As with most major changes, abolition of the whip for encouragement purposes would raise many rebellious voices, but, in the end, everyone would adjust and the great game would go on.


      1. I dont agree one bit, its defeatist talk. Why should a body of people who have no knowledge of a subject dictate an agenda .


    1. Margy hasn’t much racing knowledge but she, who favours horses ridden by jockeys in green, is bathing in doubloons and browsing Harrods online on a 5m square screen, while I, in my cob-webbed garret, root in desperation through dog-eared form books.


  3. I may have have been wrong about my nap yesterday, but I was right about my thoughts on Tampa Bay Downs, It was hot and it rained heavily causing all the turf races to be switched to the dirt resulting in a fair number of non-runners. The last race was cancelled due to lightning (not on my bingo card) in the area. While perusing the display of the track history, I noticed that the great Julie Krone had her first ever winner at TBD back in 1981.

    Today’s great hope is Mamillius in the 18;38 at Epsom Downs


  4. Well hello! Bit late today after a lot of work. How about my nap yesterday??!! Takes a lot to nap a yak that is off the bridle 2 out, I mean miles not fences to be clear although I am sure he was getting his third wind just before he fell poor love.
    1 race left in the day so the nap will have to go on professor calculus.

    Liked by 1 person

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