By Keyser Soze

It was “only” a very very average Thursday race meeting at Ararat, but average or not, in this day and age of technology and speed of delivery, what happens anywhere doesn’t stay there. It travels. And if the news is bad, it travels faster and picks up pace as it goes like some runaway train.

Thursday’s race meeting at Ararat was a disaster from almost start to finish. Will heads roll at the racing club? They should, but one doubts it, even if some of what was allowed to go on brought horse racing into disrepute. After all, it was “only Ararat”. It wasn’t exactly, well, Geraldton.

The leading contender for the day’s major screwup happened in the last race. Watch the video below and ask yourself how on earth the horse that veered out so sharply- the well backed Ardra Storm- despite ridden by the very experienced Craig Robertson, who did a sterling job to bring it back from Never Never Land after no doubt giving everything following it brain freeze, managed to keep the race?

The Stewards Report is an insult to one’s intelligence and must have been cobbled together by Dumb and Dumber.

Then ask where the fault lay. Was the horse trained well enough to race? It couldn’t have been because it has to pass a trial before being allowed to race again. More importantly, why was the protest by the second placed horse so easily and quickly dismissed? Yes, Craig Robertson has been in enough enquiries going back to when he rode in Macau. But even he would have struggled to receive a Get Out Of Jail Free card in this instance. He must have had his fairy godmother with him.

This race and the ensuing result should go to the very top of the heap of racing in Victoria and with a need for some answers- solid answers and not corporate waffle.

It shouldn’t be a case of it “only” being a Thursday meeting at bloody Ararat, so just let it go and listen instead to dear Amanda Elliott trot out vapidity to those impressed with figures and buying into the land of unicorns, fairies and make believe.

What the meeting at “only” Ararat showed was the professionalism and thorough schooling of the Darren Weir runners, all ridden by Dean Yendall, whereas many other runners were either still unfit to race or will never be ready to set foot on a racetrack. They’re a hazard to every jockey and simply not betting propositions. But someone has given them a pass mark. Someone in authority. This has to raise some serious questions, Martin.

Someone in authority also passed race favourite Dame Vassa fit to take its place in race five at Ararat, which, looking back, was more like racing over Yassir Arafat’s dead body. Dame Vassa was badly caste in the barriers, played up terribly and was a certainty to be withdrawn. It wasn’t. As the gates opened, it went into rodeo buck jumping overdrive and dumped jockey Jordan Childs.

Apart from those who backed the horse being stung by her not being declared a non-starter, incidents like these reach the eyes and ears of animal activists with the end result often sullying the image of a sport still trying to find its feet and convince the naysayers that everything is above board and tickyboo.

The Ararat Disaster should NOT end here. Someone in authority with racing in Victoria or Country Racing in Victoria should take it up and show the racing world that they have balls and not just reach for the vacuum cleaner again with a cheesy smile.

#Ararat #ArdraStorm #CraigRobertson #DameVassa #JordanChilds

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