SCRATCHING OF SAXON COAST
Over the past few weeks, we have been subjected to more attention from stewards, firstly over my old mate GUYNO and now over a tough little competitor called SAXON COAST.
I will not bother to bore you with what took place as far as GUYNO is concerned. It is a long story without a happy ending however I will say that he passed all stringent tests he was put through by RWWA Vets and it is now old news however the SAXON COAST issue really irks me. SAXON COAST was a late scratching from yesterdays Belmont meeting due to, as appears in the Stewards report - Veterinary Policy. Well gollllly!!!
The Policy which the scratching took place under appears clearly written in each publication of the Racing Ahead magazine and in part states:
Horses that have raced 4 times in 22 days will be formally "flagged" and Stewards will advise if the trainer's intention is to race again within 8 days.
The Stewards and/or RWWA Veterinarians will interview the trainer to assess the horses past and future programs and training regime.
Following consultation with the trainer, where deemed appropriate acting on advice of the RWWA Vet.... blah blah blah.
My son was informed by a Steward at track work on Tuesday morning that SAXON COAST was to be scratched from his race the following day. So much for interview the trainer, consult the trainer etc etc. There was none of that. Simply a message that the horse would be scratched from his Wednesday engagement..
Now I may have become a bit cynical in my old age and I may have even become a bit forgetful. I haven't however lost my ability to count!
SAXON COAST had the first of his last four starts on September 12th 2012. He had the fourth of his past four starts on October 7th at Toodyay. Now I am no mathematical genius, but when I went to school 18 plus 7 made 25. (12/9/2012 to 30/9/2012 = 18days. 1/10/2012 to 7/10/2012 =7 days). Total 25 days.
Putting it bluntly,and trying to apply the situation to the policy in place, neither the Stewards nor Vets had any right to scratch this horse from yesterdays event as he fell well outside the policy guide lines and he should never have been "flagged" in the first place! Even if they remove his last start and go back, the horse should have been flagged previously as he had had four starts in 16 days however we then waited 14 days before he had his next start. They must have missed that one.
But hey, that's just my opinion and what the hell would I know. I do know that punters like to back winning horses and SAXON COAST would have been first or second favourite on Wednesday and would have been a real winning chance. If he didn't win, it would have had nothing to do with how many races he had competed in in however many days!
Maybe I may get a written explanation or even an apology to the owners but I won't be holding my breath.