Bullying, Protesting Trainers and Jingoism

So yesterday evening some “high profile” trainers decided to turn into bully boys and staged a somewhat pathetic and futile protest against the perceived low prize money on offer at Worcester.

Just in case you are not aware of what happened, these high profile trainers entered runners in a low grade novices hurdle. The sort of race they, frankly, wouldn’t touch with a barge pole. Presumably a ploy to keep out entries from smaller stables which may have upset their childish little game.

There were, ultimately a dozen entries at the final declaration stage and then eleven of the trainers withdrew their runners leaving the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Moulin de La Croix to walkover.

OK they gained some cheap publicity but did they actually gain anything from this cheap stunt, except expose them to be the arrogant bully boys they clearly are.

Taking the action they did is immature and farcical, if you don’t like the prize money on offer don’t enter your horses. Of course that wouldn’t work because there are plenty of smaller trainers and owners who are happy to compete for that level of prize money. So to prevent them spoiling their little game these big trainers adopted the bullying tactics they did yesterday.

Of course these “big” trainers will claim they took the action they did for the benefit of all in racing – bullshit. They don’t care a jot about the smaller owner and trainer all they care about is their own bottom line – which is absolutely fine, I can relate to that but please don’t pretend it is for the greater good of the sport.

These trainers are generally supported by big owners, they charge huge training fees and try to pay their staff as little as possible for as many hours as possible – I’m sure it’s just coincidence the large stables seem to have the majority of staff from Eastern European and other countries with a low cost of living where the stable hands wages are comparatively high by their standards.   

Perhaps they should come and join the real world and accept we are in a recession, perhaps they need to look at downsizing their operation if it is no longer economically viable.

Where do they expect the extra money to come from when we already have a bloated fixture list and too many horses in training?

For the overwhelming majority of owners having a racehorse is merely a hobby, yet these hobbyists expect others to blithely subsidise their hobby.

My hobby is travel, perhaps I should ask others to subsidise the two weeks I would like to spend in the Seychelles later on this year.  

It will be interesting to see if the BHA take any action against these trainers, it is within their power to do so. Rule (A) 30.1 states:-

"A Person must not act in any manner which the Authority considers to be prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct or good reputation of horseracing in Great Britain."

I think there is a prima face case for those trainers to answer, the question is will the BHA have the balls to take that action?

I came in for quite a large amount of stick over the weekend, nothing unusual and as I am quick to dish it out I can do nothing but accept it when it is thrown back at me.

However I was bemused at the stick I received when I said I hoped Andy Murray would lose the Wimbledon Singles final.

Why was I bemused?

Well it was because of the strange logic applied by many that I should support Murray because he happens to be British.

The fact I don’t think he is good enough to win a Grand Slam, the fact I don’t like him as a person (a belief his ill gracious, emotional display after the match only served to strengthen) is totally irrelevant – apparently I MUST support him because he is British.

The fact he, or any sportsman is British is not a reason to give unconditional, or indeed, any kind of support.

I want a sporting contest to be won by the best sportsman or team in the competition. I don’t want a worse player (Murray) to win when he is playing one of the greatest tennis players of all time, who has more talent, ability, sportsmanship and grace at the age of 30 than “Mummy’s boy” Murray will ever have.

More to the point why do people always have to support somebody when there is a sporting contest taking place.

Why do some people say they can only enjoy a horse race if they have had a bet in it?

I remember watching the epic Men’s Singles final in 2009 between Federer and Roddick, the one that went 16-14 in the final set. I didn’t care who won that game but it turned out to be one of the best sporting contests I have seen in my entire life.

I am a pariah because I don’t support the England Football team in major tournaments. I don’t support them because a) they are not good enough and b) most of the players are graceless individuals who care more about the money than playing for the national team. Some cannot even be bothered to sing the National Anthem.

I want the football tournaments to be won by teams who play positive football, whose players are “up for it”.

In the Olympics I don’t want to cheer on a British drug cheat in the 100m – I want Bolt to show how great he is on the world stage.

One final note on having to support Andy Murray – is this not the same Andy Murray who hates the English and is on record as saying he would support any team whom plays against England?

I am not going to blindly support a sportsman or sports team just because they happen to have been born on the same lump of rock as me in the Eastern Atlantic – it that makes me unpatriotic, so be it.


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