Disaster Averted But Better Professionalism Needed

Race three at Sydney's Wentworth Park on Saturday evening confirmed the adage “It’s not how you start, but it's how you finish."

Peter Davis

19 June 2022

RACE three at Wentworth Park on Saturday confirmed the adage “It’s not how you start, but how you finish.”

Promising youngster Guelph was sent out the $2.25 favourite and her effort to prevail in 30.22 was no only impressive but, moreover, remarkable.

First reserve Ruff Shot had been replaced in the field by outsider Bankrolled (box six) and the starter replaced the appropriate number on the front of the boxes but the tin place number six was left resting on the boxes.

Guelph, fortunately, avoided the flying numeral and secured a clear passage to be second at the first turn and came away to score by just under five lengths.

The win was her sixth at start 10 and higher honors appear certain for the Mark Gatt-trained juvenile.

Stewards rightly considered the incident before deciding to call the contest a fair race.

Mistakes are made and staff need not be condemned for a silly oversight but more professionalism needs to be maintained.

On March 30 last year a rake was left leaning on the 380m boxes at Townsville but stewards somehow deemed no dog was considered disadvantaged.

The same thing happened at Palmerston North in New Zealand a few years back while only old timers may recall the Smithy’s Star episode at Sale in the 1970’s.

He won a novice over 366m by 17 lengths but the starter had failed to remove the hessian bag covering the lure in the pre-race parade.

Despite the hollow margin of victory, that contest was declared null and void. Just bizarre!

Adding a little mirth to the contest, however, were the antics of three likely lads stationed on the track forecourt adjacent to the winning post.

The boys were clearly staging something to boast about on social media and it did not go unnoticed.