Towcester have shown a willingness for debate by introducing a poll on their Twitter account to canvass opinion on disqualified greyhounds being barred from contesting the Star Sports English Derby writes Floyd Amphlett.
As was explained in a recent Editors Chair, the rule barring runners who have previously had their card marked for deliberate interference was instigated by the owners of the competition GRA, more than 40 years ago.
At the time, the event was effectively a 48 runner invitation with the racing manager choosing the runners. That later changed to a ’24 chosen, 24 qualified on time’ event. It has though never been a rule of racing. (Nor was the rule, later rescinded, that spayed bitches could not contest the Oaks. Purely a GRA invention.)
Towcester recently took the view that they would follow the GRA lead; a decision that seems particularly bizarre given the track’s apparently more liberal interpretation of ‘deliberate interference’.
No one was more disappointed than Liz and Rab McNair whose King Turbo had his card marked as a 20 month old puppy – in the opening round of the Produce Stakes. That was 12 races and six mixed trials ago and Turbo has not put a whisker wrong since.
No one knows if Turbo will blot his copybook again, but as Rab McNair said recently – knowing that a second ‘yellow card’ would end the dog’s career, ‘does anybody really think we would want him to run if we thought he would do it again?”
The brilliant British bred dog is of course due to contest Saturday’s Astute Electronics Gold Cup Final at Towcester. The race will not be broadcast in the betting shops or on RPGTV though anyone intending to watch the race – plus a superb support card featuring several likely GAIN Trainers Championship contenders – can be see on the Towcester App or on their Youtube Channel.