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Turf Deli Spring Racing Carnival - Respect Our Authority

Turf Deli Racing News

Respect Our Authority

This week we thought that seeing there are a lot of negative stories in the papers at the moment about racing we might turn our attention to the racing stewards and the vital role that they play in the racing industry.

Stewards are there to make sure all of the rules of racing are strictly adhered too.

That means that they need to make sure that all the jockeys have clean silks for the day, crystal clear clean nails and sparkly shiny polished boots.

They also need to make sure that the horses in Sydney race clockwise and the horses in Melbourne race anti-clockwise, cause those sort of mix ups can tend to get a wee bit messy.

Being a steward is often a job for life. It is a life long dedication to the pursuit of study and knowledge and seeking the ultimate truth about the many mysteries of the universe - and in particular who caused the interference in Race 5.

Many stewards can recall the moment that they had "the calling".

Often stewards will report that they knew something was different about them from an early age, that they felt different, sometimes that they felt trapped in their own bodies. Whilst all the other kids were out splashing in puddles, they had an overwhelming desire to secretly dress up in a suit and pork pie hat. Cause it just felt so right.

At school, a potential steward can often be recognized as the kid who got A+ on their "What I did over my summer holidays" essays. These would be written in intricate detail, reporting that they were slowly away getting out of bed, racing erratically when prowling the streets on their BMX and reporting the thumps whenever the big kid beat them up for pocket money.

Stewards need to have a keen eye for detail.

Everything needs to be recorded, documented, reviewed and regulated.

The jockeys colours need to have the exact number of polka dots required under the rules of racing.

If you stand behind a steward whilst they are buying 200 grams of shaved ham at the deli, they will want precisely 200 grams. None of this little bit under or over business, or close enough is good enough. You need to weigh out at 200 grams. Precisely. Else you will be stood down for 10 city meetings.

Stewards have their own secret hiding place, otherwise known as the stewards tower.

This is a high elevated and secluded place, only accessible by a steep set of stairs. Once you climb these stairs you will find, like any good cubby house a card board sign with a messily scrawled "No girls allowed". Cause stewards are invariably male.

Stewards also need to adjudicate on protests.

This is where two jockeys come into the room and one tries really badly to plead innocence, that they hadn't been naughty and even if they did the other jockey started it anyway. It is important that stewards record every single "Did Too" and "Did Not" in these hearings so they can make the correct decision on the protest outcome.

Reading a stewards report gives the punter a wealth of information. Who was late on track and got given detention. Who had to be scratched because they had lice. Who went too fast, who went too slow, who didn't get a clear run and does anyone know who owns the whip that was left at the starting stalls.


Jockey Fined for Subdued Celebration

Here is a prime example from the Stewards Report for the Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington a few weeks back, when SOUTHERN SPEED won narrowly in a deceiving photo from MANIGHAR.

"Jockey Crag Williams on SOUTHERN SPEED was reminded of his obligations under the rules of racing to celebrate in an over stated and exuberant manner when winning a race."

"When questioned C. Williams stated he was not sure he had held on to win the race. C.Williams was reminded of the rules of racing that state that when winning a race by a nose margin that a determined fist pump was compulsory, that for margins up to 2 lengths there is the expectation that the winning jockey will display a stylised personal signature winning gesture and for margins over 2 lengths jockeys are expecting to adhere to the rule of standing up in the saddle, turning around and thumbing their nose at the opposition."

"C. Williams was fined $500 and advised to practice signing his name on the mirror till he got it right."

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