Racing’s Biggest Farces

Discussion in 'Horse Racing' started by Sir Barney Chuckles, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Sir Barney Chuckles

    Sir Barney Chuckles Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,787
    Likes Received:
    611
    Racing has had its fair share of great events and wonderful stories, over the years, but to counterbalance this it has, over recent terms, also produced a multitude of farces. By definition a farce is ‘an event or situation that is absurd, unfair or disorganized’. Which ones stand out in your memory as being either absurd or completely and utterly ridiculous??? Narrowly missing out on inclusion in my list are the Kauto Star / Denman duel that neither animal won! And Elizabeth Kelly’s infamous ‘poor little rich girl rant’ after winning a Grade 1. Here in reverse order are, in my view, the biggest farces our sport has had to endure in recent times.

    5. Cheltenham naming their Grandstand after a minor Royal
    I’m sure we could all name a countless number of human and equine heroes who would have been worthy of having the new £45 million Grandstand at Cheltenham named after them. It isn’t hard as our sport has produced so many people and horses who should be celebrated in such a manner. Cheltenham Racecourse though choose to ignore them all and opted instead to name their new wonder structure after some minor Royal who has never achieved anything at the professed ‘Home of NH Racing’. Illogical, insulting and, quite frankly an obscene decision. At least the name will be swiftly changed if old boy Jerry Corbyn ever gets in (not that I’m advocated that however).

    4. Victoria Pendleton’s amateur riding career

    Victoria Pendleton apparently once rode a bicycle and I’m told, by my mole at the velodrome, that the old girl did so rather well. However, when anno domini ruled that it was time to pursue an alternative career she opted not to do what the rest of us have to do and go down the old ‘Labour Exchange’ but try to remain in the public eye. She bombed out early on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ before turning her attentions to becoming a noted amateur rider in the NH sphere (albeit a noted amateur rider in the NH sphere who was, according to reports, being paid between £250k and £300k, by Betfair, to take part in their ‘ switching saddles’ promotion). A number of failures were punctuated with the odd half decent performance and even win but Pendleton arrived at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival and the Foxhunters with not the greatest of expectations. In the run up to this event we had Ms Pendleton melt down in the media and amazingly in the run-up to the race and on the day this exposure exceeded even that given to the Cheltenham Gold Cup run on the same day. In the event the old girl finished 5th after giving her mount, to put it mildly, extremely tender handling. After this the fuss died down somewhat and without Betfair’s money behind her she’s rarely been heard from since re NH racing. A total farce which simmered out almost as soon as it begun!

    3. Colin Tizzard’s actions re Thistlecrack’s run on 26 December 2016
    I know that I get shouted at every time that I mention this farce but I still find the whole thing baffling and quite simply ridiculous! In the 2 weeks leading up to the final decs for the 2016 ‘King George VI Chase’ Colin Tizzard could be observed or read about, in ever gee-gee media outlet going, mulling over whether he was going to run Thistlecrack in the big ‘un on St Stephen’s Day or alternatively the novice equivalent run earlier on the card. Why he did this I’ve no idea as the decision was never going to be his (he after all is merely the ‘hired hand’) and ultimately wasn’t as Thistlecrack’s owners made the final call. Why was he so keen to give the impression he had full control??? I really don’t know but contrast this behaviour with that of Lieutenant Henderson, the forum’s favourite Lieutenant, a couple of months, or so, later when quizzed where one of his animals was going at the Cheltenham Festival. ‘I’ve no idea’, snorted the great man, ‘But the owner will tell me!’ I still regular pontificate on the question, ‘Why Colin did you behave like this?!?’

    2. Lieutenant Henderson banned for 3 months
    It was the vet. End of. How could a National Institution be treated like the Lieutenant was?!? ‘The Lambourn One’ is purer than the driven snow and has the straightest bat in racing. Disgraceful treatment of a legend!
    It was akin to old boy Poirot calling all the country house guests into the library at the conclusion of the novel and then accusing the pure and innocent Lady Georgina rather than the correct dour old murdering rogue.

    And Number 1, by a million miles, A.P. McCoy’s Final Day riding
    Before this day I’d never heard of this chap but apparently he won a lot of novice, selling and claiming hurdles in his time. Also, regularly won a Championship that during his duration of holding it only 2 other people ever tried to win – the real stars of his generation, Barry Geraghty and the Ruby boy, never showed even the slightest interest in competing for it. Anyway, back to the day itself and, in the words of a Chav, it was a ‘total cringfest’. McCoy was put on some sort of pedestal, during the proceedings, which he was never entitled to be on when in reality he was merely a journeyman who got extremely lucky not once but twice – the first when given the ‘Daddy’ Martin job and the second time when employed by a chap who had the undoubted hots for him and seemed to think he was the second coming. In the interests of balance what should have happened was the 3 Champion Hurdles he stuffed up in, during the period 2009-14, be played to those assembled. I was never a big fan of Richard Hughes when he rode but have to say that the way he and his wife handled his ‘final day’ at Goodwood was Class with a capital ‘C’. McCoy’s fiasco though was a complete and utter farce.
     
    #1
    Ron and redcgull like this.
  2. gazboy

    gazboy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,977
    Likes Received:
    577
    Surely, like tizzard, the vet was Henderson's hired hand and therefore the decision was never the vets to make. Consistency and that eh?
     
    #2
  3. Sir Barney Chuckles

    Sir Barney Chuckles Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,787
    Likes Received:
    611
    The vet was something of a lone wolf spreading despair and despondency in his wake. A total and utter rogue. If the Lieutenant had ever been consulted, as of course he should have been, then things would have been totally different. An oversight on the Lieutenant’s part in not keeping a closer eye on proceedings, yes perhaps, but don’t forget he was dealing with a total wrong ‘un in that veterinary. Lieutenant Henderson and his straight bat ‘they knew nothing’…
     
    #3
    gazboy likes this.
  4. stick

    stick Bumper King

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    12,910
    Likes Received:
    3,988
    Very amusing Barney.
    In the case of Pendleton I am glad you finally jumped on my crusade. However, the positive to come out of that farce for me was the fact that I knew that Pacha De Polder was definitely good enough if the pilot was. Without Pendleton I would never have been laid 22/1 for the horse I considered banker material at the 2017 Festival. Not lost on me either is the irony that Bryony Frost is now less than a year later near the top of everybodys go to jockeys.

    By the way, if racings authorities scrutinised Nicky the Needles dealings as they did Jim Best's then he would probably be banged up for life! As always with racing, its not what you know, its not about your talent, its all about where you went to school.
     
    #4
  5. poshfan

    poshfan Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    15
    What you after a bloody knighthood your so far up peoples arses
     
    #5
    mick the jolly sailor likes this.
  6. Sir Barney Chuckles

    Sir Barney Chuckles Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,787
    Likes Received:
    611
    That’s a bit harsh, Stick, my old love. I take the opposite view. The Racing Authorities (who are usually made up of failed military men and bankrupt businessmen) are always horrendously jealous of genius and feel inadequate around them. As a result they relish the opportunity to punish those who fall into this category more than anyone else. The Lieutenant and ‘King’ Kieren would be the obvious examples.
     
    #6
  7. stick

    stick Bumper King

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    12,910
    Likes Received:
    3,988
    So to prove your point you name two of the biggest cheats on the planet <laugh><laugh><laugh>

    Ballinger Ridge
     
    #7
  8. Sir Barney Chuckles

    Sir Barney Chuckles Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,787
    Likes Received:
    611
    That’s outrageous, old boy. Hang your head in shame.

    If you look in the dictionary you will find a picture of both the Lieutenant and ‘King’ Kieren under the words ‘genius’ and ‘honest’. Both are true inspirations and that is why those in authority, in our sport, dislike them so much.
     
    #8
  9. mick the jolly sailor

    mick the jolly sailor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Messages:
    709
    Likes Received:
    338
    I met A.P. in the Hilton at Newbury the night before the Hennesey meeting ( won by the Mark Pitman steed ). An absolute gentleman and took the time to chat with me for over 15 minutes and even spoke to my mate over the phone for 10 minutes.
    He deserved his pedestal. Perhaps you should read his autobiography, might open your eyes. I'm sure the cheating one is mentioned somewhere whch would give you a stiffy.
    He told me Quevega was special and would win the novice and said Dino's Beano would also win.
    I also met the ignoramus needle bloke at Sandown who looked down his blood shot pissed up nose at me and walked away after I'd said hello. And yet John Gosden can make the time to chat for 10 minutes at York races.
     
    #9
    Ron, Cyclonic and SwanHills like this.
  10. Sir Barney Chuckles

    Sir Barney Chuckles Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,787
    Likes Received:
    611
    I say calm down, old boy. Anymore rants like that and you will lose your ranking of the forum’s 5th favourite jolly sailor.

    I have read his autobiography and seem to recall it was one of the blander variety (not a real critiscm of him as so many autobiogs are these days. Jenson Button’s published in October, incidentally, was a rare really good ‘un). The thing that amazed me about it, and I’ve said this before, is that not once in the whole book did he mention how ridiculously well-off his father-in-law is! Especially given how much McCoy does mention money in the book.

    In future when meeting the Lieutenant perhaps be a bit more respectful than merely saying ‘Hello’. Maybe, a few words of eulogising followed by a curtsey would produce better results.
     
    #10
    Ron and rudebwoy like this.

  11. stick

    stick Bumper King

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    12,910
    Likes Received:
    3,988
    "Can I have a go on your daughter"? isn't going to cut it then?
     
    #11
  12. mick the jolly sailor

    mick the jolly sailor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Messages:
    709
    Likes Received:
    338
    You carry on with your begging, I'll give the sot a kick in the nuts.
     
    #12
  13. Chaninbar

    Chaninbar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2011
    Messages:
    2,673
    Likes Received:
    955
    The biggest farce in racing by a country mile is the annual GB versus Ireland cup at the festival. Total horse **** of an idea which nobody I've met in racing cares about even 1%. It does give 2 minor celebs a pay day from a bookmaker as 'team captains' for the week. Other than that there is no other positive. The festival sells itself without this bullshit.
    Amusing list SBC though you have a similar set of blinkers to those worn by the AP fan club.
     
    #13
  14. CaptainPops

    CaptainPops Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    74
    That was pretty amusing to read Barney and I don't disagree with a lot of it. The only thing missing from that list has got to be Willie Mullins and the farce that is 'the guessing game...oooo which race....will be won't he ...I 'll decide at declaration deadline to the millisecond!

    Still find it amusing that Faugheen got an entry in the Stayers Hurdle...i guess everyone is perplexed on that one...you gotta laugh!
     
    #14
    Sir Barney Chuckles likes this.
  15. SwanHills

    SwanHills Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Messages:
    6,806
    Likes Received:
    1,463
    Oh **** it, allowing myself to be wummed again. <doh> But really, hasn't (2) been dealt with already on the forum, some time ago in fact, probably more than once? No need to dig it all up again. The Vet was, after all, one of the 'hands' like it or not, and in instances like this at work the buck stops at the person in charge, surely?
     
    #15
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018 at 2:22 AM
  16. OddDog

    OddDog Mild mannered janitor
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Messages:
    20,373
    Likes Received:
    3,264
    I missed the letter F in the thread title and was going to nominate Claire Balding's <ok>
     
    #16
  17. stick

    stick Bumper King

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    12,910
    Likes Received:
    3,988
    Did you see her hosting the winter olympics today with the two blond fit speed skaters? She must have gone home in a proper lather!
     
    #17
  18. mallafets123

    mallafets123 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2016
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    65
    She may of gone home with them?
     
    #18
    Chaninbar, SwanHills and stick like this.
  19. SwanHills

    SwanHills Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Messages:
    6,806
    Likes Received:
    1,463
    Couldn't get her skates on quick enough?
     
    #19
  20. StretchForTheLine

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    18
    No, that was when she saw Elise Christie flat on her back!!
     
    #20
    Chaninbar, SwanHills and stick like this.

Share This Page