Hats off to HRNZ and the two Clubs involved in trying (at time of writing still subject to alert levels changing) to cobble together a race meeting that will cater for all horses wanting to race in Canterbury this weekend.
When, for reasons that I could make an educated guess at, conducting the NZ Metropolitan clubs meeting on Saturday wasn’t a goer, HRNZ got together with the Ashburton club and combined the two to race at Addington. That’s what you call thinking outside the square. It’s likely Ashburton had to make some concessions and could take a hit, but hopefully their efforts of compromise will benefit them in some way.
On a totally different tack, I don’t follow the gallops, but I do peruse the new RIB website’s list of charges brought against participants in all codes. As all will be aware, rules governing whip use have changed in both codes in the past wee while, and I do know that stewards have been pleasantly surprised at the way the harness code has adapted. Yes, there are drivers spoken to and warned on a regular basis, but the number of actual charges laid has dried up to a trickle.
However, the same cannot be said of our jockeys. Since 1 August there have been 17 charges successfully laid against riders in relation to whip use. In comparison, 3 drivers have been penalised during the same time frame. That would suggest that either harness people are more compliant and possibly skilful, or, and I’m not familiar with the thoroughbred rules, there is a serious need to modify the latter!