It’s less prevalent nowadays, but I still hear the odd owner grizzling about a lack of communication from their trainer. I accept that not all trainers are experts in that field, and there is always room for improvement. However there are ways that other industry participants can make to easier for these people to ply their trade, and make decisions on behalf of owners.
One of these would be for Clubs to indicate in their programmes, how fields are to be selected. This is particularly frustrating at this time of year in the Canterbury region when there are often far too many horses to squeeze in to the allocated number of races, especially at the grass track meetings.
I know that clause No. 4. says that ‘In the event any race or races are split on the Programme, unless specific in the individual race conditions, races will be split and selected at the clubs discretion, with consideration given to Ratings in the first instance.’ That’s all very nice except it tells the trainer nothing of how the ratings will be considered, either from the bottom or the top.
I recall when the points system was introduced, it was proposed that these type of fields would be selected from the bottom up one week, and from the top down the following week, so everyone gets a chance at starting. That seems to have gone out the window, although admittedly some Clubs are good at indicating how they are selecting. I suppose in the case of one day Clubs that makes it a bit more tricky as they don’t want the lower rated horses, but it needs to be remembered that we are an Industry and selfish attitudes only serve to damage that.
The situation was brought home to me a while back when I rang a Club Secretary to ask how the balance of the field for a race where one win horses would be given preference, would be selected, and found he didn’t know. Having promised to find out, he came back a bit later and said the person responsible for selecting the field didn’t know either!
It doesn’t matter how these decisions are made, either on high to low ratings, vice versa, or even on form, but it would be a big help to know prior to nomination or acceptance time, so that everyone knows where they are and can make decisions based on information available.