Wednesday, 25 August 2010




Rob Smith and Jon Lees reporting for the Racing Post
“THE BHA last night refused to countenance a review of the rule book despite backers of Yorkshire Oaks favourite Sariska being left high and dry when she failed to come out of the stalls.

J. Margaret Clarke reporting for Turfcall.
Typical shoddy attitude from BHA.

Rob Smith and Jon Lees reporting for the Racing Post
“Last year’s duel Oaks winner 85-40 market leader for the Darley-sponsored York Group 1, left connections and supporters bitterly frustrated when refusing to budge under Jamie Spencer.

“Several bookmakers, including Paddy Power and Boylesports, refunded stakes, but as Sariska had entered the stalls she was deemed to have taken part in the race.

J. Margaret Clarke reporting for Turfcall.
SARISKA took no part in this race, as neither did she misbehave in any way whilst standing quietly in the stalls. That she was left to stand in the stalls for a very long time, may well be why she lost interest. As Richard Hughes pointed out recently on The Morning Line at least four further (‘Bloodhorse Literate’) Stalls Handlers are needed on all tracks as a matter of some urgency. This incident only goes to prove this to be the case. No runners should be left for long periods of time standing in the starting stalls.

Rob Smith and Jon Lees reporting for the Racing Post
“No rule 4 deductions could be enforced and the vast majority of bookmakers refused to return stakes to Sariska backers, despite howls of protests.

“BHA spokesman Paul Struthers said: “We have had no approach from anyone asking us to change the rule. The rule is clear and it is part and parcel of racing, however frustrating it is for those who backed her.

J. Margaret Clarke reporting for Turfcall.
Paul Struthers is talking rubbish as usual. And this is a rubbish rule. Who would bother to waste their time attempting to approach the BHA? Who authorised such a ridiculous rule as this to be passed in the first place/?

BHA spokesman Paul Struthers said:
“We’d consider reviewing it only if Racing For Change or the Horsemem’s Group approached us. We like to have the rules as clear as possible, even though it was a horrible situation for the owner, trainer, jockey and punters.”

J. Margaret Clarke reporting for Turfcall.
How can ‘Bloodhorse Illiterate’ parties as Paul Struthers ever expect to keep any rule as clear as possible.

Rob Smith and Jon Lees reporting for the Racing Post
“Paddy Power claimed they would be giving back more than £200,000 in loosing bets, while also refunding were Skybet, Jenningsbet and Betterbet.

“A spokesman for Jenningsbet said:”People have moaned about these rules before.
We decided punters didn’t get a run for their money, so we are refunding.”

“Championing the stance of most firms, William Hill spokeswoman Kate Miller said: “Sariska’s stubbornness is disappointing for punters but, as per the rules of racing, we have chosen not to refund bets. We review each situation individually, but won’t be taken to task by competitors .”

“Many of those who posted comments on were critical of firms not refunding. There were also calls for a rule change, others thought it would have been unfair on Midday backers had the rules allowed for deductions to winning bets.

“Spencer – whose mount in the following race, Zarebiya reared up and hit her head on the stalls, forfeiting any chance and completing a miserable 40 minutes for the rider - said of Sariska:”What can I say? She was in the stalls a long time. We were waiting for Midday and then Barshibe. It’s disappointing, but no one died, did they?”

“Sariska has raced at York three times before, winning twice and finishing runner-up in the Yorkshire Oaks a year ago.

“Trainer Michael Bell said: “It’s very worrying, but I can’t say what we’re going to do because we’re in a state of shock.

“She moved beautifully to the post but knows her way round the Knavesmire very well and the stable entrance is bang next to the stalls. She’s cute, she’s bright, and whether that’s the reason, I don’t know.

“It’s very disappointing. I need to talk to Carol (Lady Bamford, owner- breeder) and Hugo (Lascelles, racing manager) and get our heads round a plan.

“She has a little bit of a quirk and we need to reflect. She was in for a long time and I suppose she’s been slow into stride, but she has always jumped out.”

“Something for punters to ponder on Sariska’s next start is that she will not have been the subject of a compulsory stalls test.

“Stewards’ secretary Tony McGlone explained: “She will be logged as unruly, for as she refused to race, but will not have to have a stalls test as she was not badly behaved in them.”

J. Margaret Clarke reporting for Turfcall
But SARISKA was not unruly in any way, just bored stiff, left standing in an entrapment starting stall for so long.

Rob Smith and Jon Lees reporting for the Racing Post
“Should all bets be refunded when a horse refuses to race? Have your say in Question of the Day on”

J. Margaret Clarke reporting for Turfcall
Yes, all bets should be refunded for whatever reason a horse is unable to race.
If and when this happens in the future no further alterations should be made involving any other runner.

Racecourses using man made clattering shattering starting stall machine, totally alien to thoroughbred racehorses. Causing all too often bad experiences for the horses.

Its good to note that many bookmakers did refund all bets on SARISKA.

All ‘Bloodhorse Illiterate’ BHA parties take runners and riders lives for granted.