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O’Brien / Rebranding racing and paltry fines

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  • #11650
    cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8992

    Long thread title but….

    I attended the Derby yesterday with three people having not only their first visit to the Derby but their first ever visit to a racecourse.

    On our way to the paddock before the big race I told them they’d see the world’s greatest thoroughbreds.

    The first few came into the paddock and they looked great, we enjoyed looking at them. Then, after they’d gone around a few times and we’d had a good look we wondered when the other half of them would appear, there were only six in the paddock. We waited and waited. And waited. And waited some more. It was bloody cold at that point as well which only made the waiting seem longer.

    Eventually my companions gave up and went to the stands where they were too late to get a good view of the race itself.

    I waited and waited some more, because I really wanted to see the Ballydoyle horses. Eventually they arrived and I had a fleeting glimpse of the O’Brien horses. I’d travelled hundreds of miles to see that race, I’m sure many people had travelled further, and it felt we were treated in a derisory manner.

    IT WAS UNFORGIVEABLE!!!!

    I read today that O’Brien was fined £800 for having his horses late into the paddock. I’m not sure if that was the maximum fine or not but I hope it was. I also hope that they look at increasing that fine to a more meaningful level in future. 10% of the prize or something like that for Group and Grade 1 races.

    I am a huge fan and supporter of the O’Brien/Ballydoyle operation and understand that, from their viewpoint, they are acting to protect their own interests. However racing should have robust rules and penalties in place to ensure that when trainers are tempted in this way the penalties are such that it makes them think twice. Hey, if they’re not in the paddock by a certain pre-ordained time they’re withdrawn!! That’d sort it.

    If racing is to flourish everyone involved needs to understand that racing is not run for racing’s sake. It’s run to provide entertainment for the paying public. People who paid £55 for a ticket to watch that race yesterday were short changed a little IMO. Judging by comments being made by others within my earshot we weren’t the only ones a little peeved.

    #232551
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total Posts 1198

    Perhaps this title should also bring in John Gosden who was fined for the very same thing with Rainbow View in the Oaks.

    #232556
    cormack15
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    • Total Posts 8992

    By the way, Sea The Stars was in there in plenty time and even my inexperienced friends commented on how stunning he was to look at. I’ve seen thousands of horses over the years and it is hard to recall a horse who looked as good. Conformation could hardly be faulted, walked wonderfully, good size about him, muscular without being hard looking and a fantastic head. Above all he had a real presence. He had an aura, as many of the really good ones do. An absolutely fantastic looking horse.

    #232567
    moehat
    Participant
    • Total Posts 8373

    Didn’t all bar a couple of O’Briens horses sweat up quite badly anyway, so the tactic didn’t work all that well. Were people able to see them in the pre parade ring? [I don’t know the layout of Epsom at all, never having been there. When we go racing we spend most of our time by the paddock or pre parade ring watching the horses, so we would have been really disappointed. Was that the reason why the race was late starting as well? If so, it wasn’t fair on the other horses. I’d love to see Sea the Stars close up! I have a great deal of admiration for Aidan O’Brien, but he also does a lot of things that annoy. What would happen if an English trainer took a group of horses over for the Irish Derby and behaved in such a way; would they be as accommodating towards them? Or in France?

    #232570
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total Posts 1198

    Didn’t all bar a couple of O’Briens horses sweat up quite badly anyway, so the tactic didn’t work all that well. Were people able to see them in the pre parade ring? [I don’t know the layout of Epsom at all, never having been there. When we go racing we spend most of our time by the paddock or pre parade ring watching the horses, so we would have been really disappointed. Was that the reason why the race was late starting as well? If so, it wasn’t fair on the other horses. I’d love to see Sea the Stars close up! I have a great deal of admiration for Aidan O’Brien, but he also does a lot of things that annoy. What would happen if an English trainer took a group of horses over for the Irish Derby and behaved in such a way; would they be as accommodating towards them? Or in France?

    Its a once off, never done it before and he apologied to the authorities after the race….lets not make a mountain out of a mole hill.

    #232583
    seabird
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    • Total Posts 2924

    Aidan, have you any sympathy for Cormack’s experience?

    Colin

    #232585
    cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8992

    Quote –

    Its a once off, never done it before and he apologied to the authorities after the race….lets not make a mountain out of a mole hill.

    Yep Aidan, you are right and your point re-Gosden is well made.

    To be fair O’Brien usually saddles his on the lawn in full view and normally has them in there in plenty time. Could have been the number of runners he was saddling that caused the arrangements.

    It was disappointing nevertheless.

    #232589
    davidjohnson
    Member
    • Total Posts 4491

    Aidan, have you any sympathy for Cormack’s experience?

    Colin

    No – he should have been here getting the site fixed. :lol:

    #232591
    % MAN
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5104

    £140 the maximum fine for a first offence, fines double for second and third offences – it is only referred at the fourth.

    By all accounts both the stewards and course management were far from impressed and although the fine was "notional" I understand Mr O’Brien was left in absolutely no doubt whatsoever as to their feelings on the matter.

    #232601
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17716

    Isn’t AOB a hands on bit of a charachter who likes everything to be spot on? If he is surely a ittle bit of allowance shoud be made with the numbers of runners he has. I understand ones feelings on this as you get very few chances to see horses who may be just about to win a Derby.

    Personally I don’t like Epsom and went only a couple of times. First time Fallon won the Derby for Cecil on Oath and it wasn’t anything like I expected. It felt like 4 Cheltenham crowds wrapped into one and I saw very little of anything.

    #232613
    % MAN
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    • Total Posts 5104

    Isn’t AOB a hands on bit of a charachter who likes everything to be spot on? If he is surely a ittle bit of allowance shoud be made with the numbers of runners he has.

    Why?

    Having so many runners in the race is his choice.

    Anyway it is a big enough stable and he has more than enough staff to prepare the horses.

    I have little doubt he knew full well what he was doing and once again it illustrates the contempt he chooses to show for the rules when it suits him.

    I have not seen a transcript of the Enquiry but I wonder if, once again, he pleaded not knowing the rules.

    Call me cynical but I suspect he knows the rules inside out and also knew the worse that would happen would be a token Band B fine.

    #232618
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total Posts 1198

    Isn’t AOB a hands on bit of a charachter who likes everything to be spot on? If he is surely a ittle bit of allowance shoud be made with the numbers of runners he has.

    Why?

    Having so many runners in the race is his choice.

    Anyway it is a big enough stable and he has more than enough staff to prepare the horses.

    I have little doubt he knew full well what he was doing and once again it illustrates the contempt he chooses to show for the rules when it suits him.

    I have not seen a transcript of the Enquiry but I wonder if, once again, he pleaded not knowing the rules.

    Call me cynical but I suspect he knows the rules inside out and also knew the worse that would happen would be a token Band B fine.

    Presumably you feel the same way about Gosden?

    Has he done this before? No…..of course he knew the rules on this matter, its pretty standard. He obviously got delayed saddling the horses up…..he apologied to the stewards….what more do you want?

    Personally I feel however aggreived Epsom were about this, they were also pretty appreciative of the undiminishing support O’Brien heaps on to their race year in year out when others fall away. Not an excuse for what happened by any means but a context nonetheless to the image of O’Brien flouting the rules in Epsom’s face.

    And rather than making assumptions (with no basis) perhaps you should get the transcripts…..make sure you get Gosdens too at the same time.

    #232622
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total Posts 1198

    Aidan, have you any sympathy for Cormack’s experience?

    Colin

    Absolutely I do Colin, and to be honest my post was not in response to his fair views but those that followed him along the lines of "imagine an English trainer or french trainer did it in Ireland etc"…what the feck has that got to do with anything?!

    #232623
    wallace-no7
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    • Total Posts 1511

    My Word this AOB witchhunt is geting out of hand. Sure he was late and very late for that matter but wasnt the Oaks off 10 Mins late on Friday despite the antics of Rainbow View they were only trotting down to the start and mulling around the back when the race was supposed to be off.

    Also people blaming AOB for having 6 horses in the race on other threads is a bit Silly since he has no input into which horses go for which races. John Magnier as always makes the decision and fully stood by it in a article in one of the English Papers last week.

    Its just the nature of these things that they go off late…He was rightly fined and the issue ends there.

    I think theres a bit of a bit of a backlash against Ballydoyle since they didnt win the Derby this year. Sometimes in Life you cant win no matter what you do.

    #232624
    cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8992

    Agree with some of what you are saying Aidan and the yard have been fantastic supporters not only of the Derby but of English racing generally.

    However, he knows how long it takes to saddle a horse surely. Also once one was saddled they could have sent it to the paddock. They all arrived at once and they’d clearly waited until they were all ready before sending them up en masse.

    I would have had more sympathy if there was a specific problem horse that they wanted to ‘protect’ and sent it late but to delay all six?

    #232625
    wallace-no7
    Member
    • Total Posts 1511

    "undiminishing support O’Brien heaps on to their race year in year out when others fall away."

    Great point made there…Aga Khan pulled out of British Racing can they really afford to annoy Coolmore who send over Plane Loads of Horses for all the Big Meetings and even Small ones especially Godolphin are going backwards at a rate of knots. Despite what People say they support Epsom and Fill there Prize Money by entering near 100 odd horses every year

    #232626
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total Posts 1198

    Agree with some of what you are saying Aidan and the yard have been fantastic supporters not only of the Derby but of English racing generally.

    However, he knows how long it takes to saddle a horse surely. Also once one was saddled they could have sent it to the paddock. They all arrived at once and they’d clearly waited until they were all ready before sending them up en masse.

    I would have had more sympathy if there was a specific problem horse that they wanted to ‘protect’ and sent it late but to delay all six?

    I think it would be worse the other way to be honest! Part of the Derby/Epsom is to test a horses temperment…they should be there early and if anything was done purposefully over the weekend it was that Rainbow View was put in as late as possible for that very reason seeing as she is the type to get pretty hot and rowdy.

    O’Brien got delayed saddling them up, and he didnt want any horse to walk up the way without his supervision. Over controlling, over bearing perhaps…but I do not expect it to happen again much in the same way it has not happened previously when he has had other bunch runners.

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