“There is way too much tactical seeding going on. If trainers continue to seed dogs incorrectly, one of two things should happen: either the panel take tougher action, or middle seeding should be scrapped.”
Nottingham has long been one of Pat Rosney’s favourite haunts and he has three Select Stakes victories to prove it, along with ‘three figures worth’ of open race winners. Pat does not believe that the track has any kind of bias against wide runners, but the perception that it does, is in danger of ruining the Derby.
He said: “In my book, in general, traps one and two are for railers, three and four are for middle seeds, and five and six are for wide runners. I have seen many top class wide runners at Nottingham including Swift Hoffman who won the Select Stakes from five, and is the current 480 metre track record holder, from trap six.
“Yet I have a dog, Bower Luke, who is 100% a middle seed, albeit he won the All England Cup from five, who will be running from trap six in the first round because so many trainers are dishonestly seeding middle runners as rails.”
Of the middle seeds in the Derby first round, only five will be running from trap four, 16 will be running from trap five and four will run from trap six.
“I know trainers who are desperate for three or four at Nottingham, but instead of seeding ‘middle’ are seeding ‘rail’ because they are worried about getting five or six. We could get to a stage that the only dogs guaranteed not to get their box are ‘middles’. How can that be right? I would be better off seeding Luke as a railer, at least I would have a chance of getting three or four, but knowing full well he would ruin the race from trap one.
“The thing is, it is just a perception in my view. Whereas at Newcastle, where there is a perception that T1 is a disadvantage, there are 12 railers and 18 middles in the British Bred Maiden competition. A lot of those dogs running in the Derby will never be seeded as rails on any other track.”