Day At The Track

Unfair start causes friction

08:46 AM 12 Nov 2020 NZDT
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Starter Peter Lamb was questioned by stewards, but not censured, for allowing an unfair start to the New Zealand Trotting Cup, Harness racing
Starter Peter Lamb was questioned by stewards, but not censured, for allowing an unfair start to the New Zealand Trotting Cup.

Concerned horsemen are considering their next move after yet another unfair start cast a long shadow over Tuesday’s New Zealand Trotting Cup at Addington.

But sorting out what has become a blight on not only harness racing’s marquee event but the entire racing industry will not be easy with reported friction between the Canterbury starter and drivers, differing opinions on ‘moving’ standing starts and inconsistent policing of unspecified rules.

Most of the talk that followed Tuesday’s big day centred not on the finish of the great race but the start where horses on the outside of the front line gained a huge advantage over those on the inner, several, including winner Self Assured, allowed to pace away at speed while their rivals, including race favourite Copy That, were at a standstill.

No one was more frustrated watching the farcical start than Ken Barron, chair of the Greater Canterbury Branch of the NZ Harness Racing Trainers and Drivers’ Association, who just four weeks earlier took the pro-active step of calling a meeting with officials to try to prevent exactly what transpired.

“I was sickened watching it because we worked so hard to get the right procedures in place before the showcase races.

“It was very disappointing and so unfair on the connections of a number of horses.”

Now, as the inevitable post mortems are held, and punters who bet more than $1.5 million on the race cry foul, Barron and his fellow horsemen are weighing up their options on what to do next.

 

Read the full story click here

By Barry Lichter

Courtesy of Lincoln Farms

 

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