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Punters lose out on weighty issue

 Sep 14 2012

It is a well-worn and often repeated claim that the rules of racing have stood the test of time and remain rigid.

But that shouldn't mean a bit of refinement or change isn't necessary. Certainly the weighing-in light aspect deserves, at the very least, careful consideration with the view to an amicable amendment.

There is popular unwritten rule of betting that it you can't win you can't lose. Consequently there is a nagging anomaly when punters do their dough cold if a horse, winner or placegetter, weighs in light as happened last week when James McDonald, the rider of third placegetter and hot favourite, Charge Account, was 800grams (or .8-kilo) under the required weight.
As a result Charge Account was disqualified, McDonald was suspended for carelessness in that he mistakenly thought Charge Account had 57.5 kilograms and not 58.5 kilograms.
An error that deserved some form of punishment but there was no suggestion of anything sinister in the unfortunate act.

Additionally you would think that there should be a more strict official scrutiny of jockeys weighing out to avoid these dire results.
The bottom line, though, is that the poor punters lose their money through no fault of their own. Would it not be fairer if the horse weighing in "light" was declared a non-runner and punters got their money back with winning bets paid at the designated reductions?

While horses weighing in light relatively are rare the owners, trainers and jockeys are punished by missing out on prizemoney but it is an unfair punishment that the punter, an innocent bystander, cops the rough end of the betting pineapple!

Pig-headed I may be, but I am not giving up on the so far expensive thoroughbred All Too Hard.

Certainly he appeared disappointing when unplaced in the Run To The Rose a fortnight ago and his name may be starting to sound rather prophetic. However, he is a colt that remains burly and babyish, a condition that only can be overcome by racing experience. Maybe we won't see the best of him until he edges up the distance scale to 1600 metres. At least I fervently hope so.

The $1million Golden Rose, on the score of class and prizemoney, is the racing highlight this Saturday in Australia and a field of 10 will line up at Rosehill as a platform for further graduation for last season's two-year-olds. Only two fillies are in the field with one of them, Nechita, a pronounced favourite.
Her cramped odds are justifiable because the daughter of Fastnet Rock has been unbeaten at two starts -- the most recent being the Silver Shadow Stakes on August 25.
She won't have a cushy run because the colts and geldings represent strong opposition. Albrecht is a last start winner in the Up And Coming and Epaulette was a hardy third to Pierro in the Run To The Rose last Saturday week.

To many this will sound like folly but I think the other filly, Doubtfilly, represents a better chance than her price would indicate. Remember she did run a splendid fourth in the Golden Slipper in the autumn and clearly will do better than her fifth in the Furious Stakes last Saturday.
And, after all, the TAB's price of $100 has to be grossly over the odds.

There was an air of cacophony, if not controversy, this year when Streama was declared NSW Horse of the Year ahead of More Joyous. Well, any ill feeling or conflict can be settled on the track this Saturday when the two mares shape up in the Listed Sheraco Stakes. More Joyous may have the edge over her arch rival because of a better first-up record – five wins and two placings from seven attempts – and two recent barrier trial wins.

However, if there is an upset it may be provided by Gai's Choice. She has been tuned up by two recent barrier trials and showed promise in the winter with three consecutive wins at Rosehill and Ipswich before a splendid third in the Group One Tatts Tiara at Eagle Farm.

By Rod Gallegos

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