The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Stipes still being lenient


The RCTC stipendiary stewards (stipes) seem to have given their approval to the practice of running favourites into the ground.

On the second day of the season when jockey Md Amil gave the half-money favourite Brighter Future a long lead from the start and thus totally tired the Daniel David-trainee nearing the final turn, one thought the august body was being very lenient over crime of such a magnitude as Amil had gone back home laughing all the way.

It is because Amil was handed a fine of only Rs 1,000 and a reprimand, instead of a suspension. Paul Kujur riding another of Daniel’s favourite, Dashing Chief, did an Amil, last Wednesday, but the stipes totally ignored his heroics. Jockeys. S. Shanker, too was lucky when tried to follow Kujur’s tactics on the 5-4 Vijay Singh-trained favourite King’s Crest. The stipes merely questioned Shanker as to his riding instructions and let go the jockey.

Surprisingly, it never struck the stipes to cross check ‘instructions’ spelt out by the offending jockeys with their respective trainers.

Any other race club in the world would have done so and shown these jockeys the door if they misguided the stipes. In any case, each of them merited a four-day suspension for giving injudicious rides to favourites. Further, if the ‘instructions’ do not corroborate with that of the trainer, God help the jockey.

Barring these incidents, one, however, must admit the sport on the day was much cleaner, though it is another matter that outsiders had a field day. If Flying Dash and Royal Command’s improved performance in the first-half of the card took the punters by surprise, the 8-10 favourite Sergeant Slipper’s victory brought back the lost smiles. Incidentally, the three winners hailed from Errol Bhungard’s yard and were ably ridden by Amyn Merchant.

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