‘Sloppy systems are letting the sport down’

‘Sloppy systems are letting the sport down’

THE big news this week over jumps was the farce around The Young Master. 

The horse won the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton but it turns out it should never have been allowed to run as it hadn’t completed the required number of races over hurdles.

Neil Mulholland, the trainer, was allowed to make the entry and allowed to run The Young Master by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) who didn’t flag it up. I’m sure the bookies weren’t best pleased, what with all the money that was gambled.

This just shows how sloppy the BHA is.

Our industry is a very valuable one. It turns over a lot of money and a lot of people work in the industry. It connects countries together, such as the USA, Japan, the UAE and Australia.

It’s a bit annoying that the BHA still hasn’t got its systems up to top specification in our sport. I can’t see why a horse got through the entry process and on the track to run when it wasn’t entitled to.

Bringing it back to myself, I was asked to ride in the flat jockeys’ jump race at Lingfield.

I hold a dual licence, so I can ride on the flat and over jumps. I rang the BHA to see if I could ride. They told me I could, only to ring me back 20 minutes later saying I couldn’t.

Again, I feel there is a lot of sloppiness in the BHA at the moment in terms of how it conducts its business.

Richard Hughes rode in the jump jockeys’ flat race at Goodwood. He’s a flat jockey with a dual licence like myself and the BHA let him ride in that race. It’s a frustrating that I’m not allowed to ride in the flat jockeys’ jump race.

It’s a race put on for the spectators, which I think is brilliant. From their point of view I don’t think they want to see jump jockeys in a race over hurdles for flat jockeys. It’s one rule for one and one for another.

In terms of myself, I had a great week. I was booked to ride a horse called Frizzo at Fakenham and I quietly fancied him. I had four rides booked and I won on the first one, Hi Tide for John Jenkins. John’s a great guy who has supported me on the flat so it was nice to repay him.

The two rides in between ran OK and then Frizzo won. It was a great day. Fakenham is not the closest track for anybody to get to. It’s near King’s Lynn. But it does a great job in terms of prize money and making sure everybody is well looked after. It was nice to land two winners.

At the minute, I’m going through a bit of a purple patch and rode four winners in total last week, following up with El Beau for John Quinn at Musselburgh and then Le Reve for Lucy Wadham at Sandown.

I’m riding the same as I did last year but I’m just having a good bit of luck. Long may it continue!