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Offline vedder

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O.P. « 2008-Dec-15, 07:46 PM »
Top trainer takes aim at Australia

Tom Reilly
December 14, 2008

LEADING European trainer Jim Bolger has taken an extraordinary swipe at Australian racing and slammed the media in Victoria for its treatment of fellow Irish handler Aidan O'Brien after the Melbourne Cup.

Bolger, who was a mentor to O'Brien early in his career, insisted "Australians have a lot of growing up to do" and scoffed at the fact that the country's most popular race was a handicap.

Speaking to the The Sunday Age at Sha Tin racecourse as he prepared to saddle his champion filly Lush Lashes in today's Hong Kong Cup, the 66-year-old said: "The way Aidan was treated Down Under was disgusting, there are a lot of people who should feel ashamed."

His comments follow a controversial running of the Melbourne Cup when O'Brien's three runners trailed in at the back of the field after setting a fierce pace.

Stewards at Flemington summoned O'Brien 90 minutes after the final race on Cup Day to quiz him over the riding instructions he had given his jockeys. However, Bolger, who has trained a host of big-race winners, including this year's English Derby victor New Approach, insisted the officials had it wrong, saying: "I suppose that's what happens when you get professional stewards. People have to justify themselves and their position."

Asked if he would ever have a runner in Australia, he replied: "Maybe if you had a proper race over a mile and a half in which the colts carried nine stone and the fillies eights stone eleven (pounds) then I might come out. But you think the Cup is one of the best races in the world even though it is a handicap. A handicap? Imagine.

"That's not what proper international racing should be about."

Offline MagiC~*

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« 2008-Dec-15, 07:50 PM Reply #1 »
I think he was rightly questioned over the tactics of his runners, no one person is bigger then racing and everybody should be held accountable.

If they hadn't of asked the question then that would have been a disappointment in my mind.

as for his comment about the MC being a hcp ... well maybe O'Brien needs to rethink his strategy and the type or horses he brings over.

 :/

Offline OldLarsy

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« 2008-Dec-15, 08:42 PM Reply #2 »
He can stay home then, we don't need him here

Online westie

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« 2008-Dec-15, 08:52 PM Reply #3 »

.........as for his comment about the MC being a hcp ... well maybe O'Brien needs to rethink his strategy and the type or horses he brings over.

 :/
Magic it was Bolger not O'Brien complainging our two miler - But you think the Cup is one of the best races in the world even though it is a handicap. A handicap? Imagine.

Mighty have a point re the race.

Offline MagiC~*

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« 2008-Dec-15, 09:37 PM Reply #4 »
Magic it was Bolger not O'Brien complaining our two miler - But you think the Cup is one of the best races in the world even though it is a handicap. A handicap? Imagine.

Yeh I know Westie, but he was sticking up for O'Brien, then proceded to go about bagging our great race, I was just stating that just because it is a handicap that maybe O'Brien should select his horse's better, ones that would be better suited to win these handicaps, maybe then he wouldn't be under such scrutiny by the Australian stewards for doing such stupid things as he did this year.

 ;)

Offline OldLarsy

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« 2008-Dec-15, 09:43 PM Reply #5 »
Maybe he should bring the 3 of them back for the Oakleigh Plate   :lol:

Offline Hillbilly

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« 2008-Dec-16, 05:20 AM Reply #6 »
 

"was just stating that just because it is a handicap that maybe O'Brien should select his horse's better, ones that would be better suited to win these handicaps"

1) You can send any horse you like and it wont win when repugnant riding tactics are engaged.

2) You can enter any horse you like but it wont win if it's as outrageously handicapped as Septimus was.

3) Handicaps are the prevail of rogues and the cunning who are often looking to pull the wool over everyone's eyes. They will never make satisfactory contests for the determination of equine greatness.


Are we simply embarrassed to promote the Cox Plate better because it's run at a goat track? The other top class 2000m races at the time are the BC Classic on dirt and the ever diminishing Champion Stakes from Newmarket ( often run on soft ground ). The Cox Plate should be the perfect stepping stone ( timing wise ) for the Hong Kong Cup run last weekend.

Now how about a campaign to kill off the Mackinnon Stakes. It has to be the most worthless race with a big label on the Australian calendar. What is the purpose of a high stakes WFA 2000m race the week after a Championship event at the same distance? What a waste of prizemoney and programming.

I think that insular comments like "stay home" and "we don't need you here" are both outdated and counterproductive. Racing is a global industry that's slowly coming together like never before. We don't need to regress for the future prosperity of the sport.

I think the stupidity, naievity and arrogance of industry employed Australian stewards has been well proven over the last few years. Personal comments attributable to various individuals through the whole Betfair licensing saga and the Fallon trial fiasco provide ample evidence for my claim without looking too much further. The heavy handed approach to both O'Brien and McEvoy of late further support my assertion.   

Offline wily ole dog

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« 2008-Dec-16, 06:50 AM Reply #7 »
I was with you all the way Hillbilly until the bit about O'Brien being treated heavy handidly

Offline MagiC~*

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« 2008-Dec-16, 07:37 AM Reply #8 »
1) You can send any horse you like and it wont win when repugnant riding tactics are engaged.

Yes totally agree Hilly, but why did he employ these tactics in the first place ?

2)You can enter any horse you like but it wont win if it's as outrageously handicapped as Septimus was.

In any sport or competition you play to the conditions, the Melbourne Cup is no different, everybody was saying that he was the best stayer in the world, if this was the case then surely 58.5 kg was an excellent weight.

Not that what most of the media has to say here in Australia has much credence, but they all where saying Septimus was thrown in at the weights and he was a handicapping certainty.

 :what:

And as for the next one

3) Handicaps are the prevail of rogues and the cunning who are often looking to pull the wool over everyone's eyes. They will never make satisfactory contests for the determination of equine greatness

If the MC was a WFA event it would have a field of 7 or 8 runners and would not capture the imagination of the whole population of a sports crazed nation and would not be the most anticipated sporting event in the world (ok debatable), so whether or not handicaps are about the best horse winning, I believe it is the best fit for the MC and the reason it has become what it has become.

Luca Cumani has figured out what type of horse to bring over for the MC, why the hell can't Aiden O'Brien

  :biggrin:
« Last Edit: 2008-Dec-16, 07:39 AM by MagiC~* »

Offline Big Wheel

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« 2008-Dec-16, 07:52 AM Reply #9 »
or fellas, when are they gonna learn there JOCKS are
SPASTICS

Offline smarta

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« 2008-Dec-16, 08:08 AM Reply #10 »
Hey forum,

I live in Ireland and personally have no time for bolger (why Lush Lashes was entered is beyond me?) BUT i have to agree with him on this one  :(.
What happened this year was a mistake and i think everyone involved will be the wiser next time around, Ballydoyle want to win the big races - i think the MC would fall into the National Hunt sire needs and nothing more.
I think you would see the true O'Brien genius if he brought over a squad of 10 or so... some nice races would be heading back to Co. Tipperary...



Offline MagiC~*

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« 2008-Dec-16, 08:15 AM Reply #11 »
Welcome Smarta, good to see some more Internationals on our forum  :thumbsup:

I am not having a dig at O'Brien or questioning his ability as a trainer, but I do believe the stewards had every right to question him, whether or not the way they questioned him was right I am not sure of  :/

Hope he does learn from it, and brings the right horse back for it next time, because I truely belive it is only enhanced as a race when the international horses compete well.

Can't wait for the Japanese to come back   :biggrin:

Has anybody heard if they will be back this year with all the quarantine issues that they would have had to contend with this year ?

Offline bolt_babe

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« 2008-Dec-16, 12:21 PM Reply #12 »
In relation to Jim Bolger's comments of not coming over to Aus unless "you had a proper race over a mile and a half in which the colts carried nine stone and the fillies eights stone eleven (pounds) then I might come out."

Has he not heard of the BMW Stakes? that fits his conditions. A race, in Australia at WFA over 2400m... still don't see him out here and that race has been run for awhile..

Offline GoBaggers

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« 2008-Dec-16, 02:03 PM Reply #13 »

3) Handicaps are the prevail of rogues and the cunning who are often looking to pull the wool over everyone's eyes. They will never make satisfactory contests for the determination of equine greatness

If the MC was a WFA event it would have a field of 7 or 8 runners and would not capture the imagination of the whole population of a sports crazed nation and would not be the most anticipated sporting event in the world (ok debatable), so whether or not handicaps are about the best horse winning, I believe it is the best fit for the MC and the reason it has become what it has become.

Luca Cumani has figured out what type of horse to bring over for the MC, why the hell can't Aiden O'Brien

  :biggrin:

I dont think anything you wrote in your reply disputes the credibility or truth of what hillbilly wrote.

But then, since when has the melbourne cup been about determining which horse is the best horse in the country? Only your once a year punters think the MC is the best race (ie best quality horses) in the country.


Offline BurntToast

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« 2008-Dec-16, 02:20 PM Reply #14 »
Who said the best race had to have the best horses?

You've got races that are best from a breeding perspective and their black-type added to your pedigree page is coveted, but you also have races that are best from an entertainment perspective that actually mean something to the public pouring their money into the industry via betting or attendance - races like the Melbourne Cup and the Grand National do that job extremely well... so what if it is a handicap? the fact that most horses in the race have a realistic chance adds to the excitement.

Racing doesn't serve a single interest, their needs to be a mix... the Melbourne Cup has massive entertainment value, and that in turn produces  big prize money to entice the best field for those conditions - so what if it suits the hard working 6yr old gelding more than (or as much as) the 4yo prima donna blue blood - it's clearly a successful and entertaining event that has few rivals throughout the world.

Offline GoBaggers

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« 2008-Dec-16, 02:47 PM Reply #15 »
The melbourne cup is a circus. If anyone thinks the best horse in europe has ever run in it they are clueless, only one horse that could vaguely claim to be the 'best horse in europe' has ever come to australia's shores and that was grandera. I think we're getting our terms mixed up. Everyone knows the MC is the most popular race in australia.

Offline gratlog

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« 2008-Dec-16, 02:48 PM Reply #16 »
it's clearly a successful and entertaining event that has few rivals throughout the world.

Oh so true BT.  emthup

Offline Hillbilly

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« 2008-Dec-16, 06:55 PM Reply #17 »
I'm not quite sure who "everyone" is Magic. Tell me that last time a horse was allotted 58.5kg without a single Gr1 win next to its name. I'd be delighted if you could find a single one in the last twenty years. I think Septimus was the worst weighted non Gr1 winner ever in the history of the Melbourne Cup.

I haven't said that it's time to make the Melbourne Cup WFA. That would be pure folly. I have suggested that more debate is required regarding the running of the Cox Plate and Mackinnon Stakes.

I agree with most of what has been said on this thread. Luca Cumani has a long and well earned reputation as a handicap coup lander. Even the best horses in his yard are often unexposed to some extent. It's not quite within the Coolmore charter to hold anything back too much at two and three. Perhaps they shouldn't bother with the MC at all if the handicapper is to employ guess work and over rate exposed form.

The BMW ( or whatever they call it these days ) is dead in the water as an International race concept. It is in programming conflict with the well established Dubai Sheema Classic let alone unsuitable for any horse that wants to race in Europe for most of the season.

In any sport or competition you play to the conditions, the Melbourne Cup is no different, everybody was saying that he was the best stayer in the world, if this was the case then surely 58.5 kg was an excellent weight.

Offline MagiC~*

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« 2008-Dec-16, 07:34 PM Reply #18 »
I'm not quite sure who "everyone" is Magic.

I meant the media people, Lloyd Williams etc Hilly

Not that what most of the media has to say here in Australia has much credence, but they all where saying Septimus was thrown in at the weights and he was a handicapping certainty.

 :what:

I am not saying the horse deserved to carry 58.5kg, nor did I think he was a chance in the race  ;)

It just seemed that Bolger was trying to put the blame on O'Briens failure in the race down to the Melbourne Cup being a handicap, when in fact it was due to other reasons.

Maybe I misinterpreted what he was saying
« Last Edit: 2008-Dec-16, 07:37 PM by MagiC~* »

Offline woodywob

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« 2008-Dec-16, 07:40 PM Reply #19 »
I am Australian but I am loathed to put my name in amongst the "arrogants" .....

Grow up Australia ....... the sun doesn't shine through your arse and your arse alone ....

We "Australians" think we are so much "better" and "wiser" than any other country, culture or being...... how arrogant are we ? "We ALWAYS know best or better than anyone else ...."

Well thank goodness for those that over the years have said to other Australians "Pull your head in mate .... maybe they know something we don't. Maybe we could learn something from them."

To those that say things like, "Well they can stay where they are..."

Get your head out of your bum, listen and learn. Listen to people who DO KNOW BETTER ..... We Aussies ARE NOT the be all and end all of everything like most of us think we are ...... we are a nation founded on convicts who still need a queen from another country to rule us ....... but we know best, don't we ?



Offline Hillbilly

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« 2008-Dec-16, 08:02 PM Reply #20 »
Racing media in Australia is full of conflicts of interest mate. I'd love to see all writers and commentators declare all vested interests outside their jobs on TV or in the newspapers. Other trainers and owners are happy to shine the spotlight on Coolmore runners too. It's in their interest to have the media and handicappers focussing on the opposition rather than themselves. It may also be in the interests of some to over promote the chances of no hopers in the betting market.

meant the media people, Lloyd Williams etc Hilly


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