Roy The Boy blog which looks at the disgraceful Charles Bishop Windsor incident and Diore Lia in Saturday's Epsom Derby.
Jockey Charles Bishop Should be Banned and Windsor Stewards Retired
Rarely can the standard of stewarding in Ireland be compared to that in the UK. But in September last year the Irish stewards (at Clonmel) did make a rare intervention, demoting a winner and banning a rider.
On that occasion the first past the post, Little Folke, did not cause any interference. The reason for his demotion was the choice of his jockey, Davy Russell to repeatedly strike the horse alongside him in the face with his whip. As I said at the time: “It was brutal to watch, like a scene from the chariot race in Ben Hur. If any animal rights organisation had of seen this obscene and blatant cruelty they would have ensured the ‘News at 10’ was given a copy of the footage and the sport would be having to defend itself from something as dire as Grand National runner having a post-race heart attack in full view of the grandstands.”
Likewise a replay of the 4.05 at Windsor on May 29 2017 (an innocuous 7-runner 0-95 handicap) is unlikely to find its way on to terrestrial TV and while its result is etched in form books it will not be remembered for the right reasons – the one occasion when stewards took the decision to hand down a three-month ban for improper conduct and animal cruelty to fledgling jockey Charles Bishop.
Aboard the heavily backed Toulson and alongside the Shane Kelly ridden Getback In Paris in the closing stages of this 1m2f contest Bishop, who rides in a style reminiscent of George Duffield, repeatedly attempted to poke his rivals horse in the eye (not strike over the race) with his whip. It was clear, it was blatant and it was replayed on At The Races (SKY channel 415). I’ve also posted it on my Twitter feed @RoyTheBoyF1.
But what did the stewards do when reviewing the closing stages? Absolutely nothing, one presumes they simply chose to retire for tea and cucumber sandwiches. Their decision not to call an enquiry, in a race where the winning margin was a short-head and both improper conduct and animal cruelty clearly took place, underlines they are not fit for duty.
If these ‘stewards’ were professionals, and one would presume they should be, no workplace lawyer would be able to defend them if they were dismissed by their employers for failure to perform their duties.
Not only have the stewards failed to do their job. Many would argue the jockey on the runner-up should be duty bound to bring the incident to the attention of the incompetent stewards by lodging an objection.
As it stands I cannot recall the last time an objection was lodged which fits with the well-known secret code of all jockeys, their cosy freemasonry weighing-room agreement whereby they see all, know all and say nothing.
Diore Lia, Not the first 1,000/1 Derby Kipper
Thankfully the rules of racing are being observed in regards to the Epsom Derby where a 1,000/1 kipper, Diore Lia, will be allowed to run in the showpiece race under a 7lb claiming rider. Rules are rules and those rules state the horse is allowed to take her place in the field simple as.
Many will remember the 500/1 poke Terimon finishing runner-up in the Derby back in 1989 but few will recall Vakul de Mulk who was trained by a character I was to become friendly with back in the 1980’s.
His name was John Meacock and he ran his owner-trained horse in the 1963 Epsom Derby under a similar shit-storm. In fact, as he drove the horse box to the circuit himself and his 1,000/1 shot beat a few rivals home, the story carried cult status for a few decades afterwards.
Sadly that sub-plot does not find its way into this Pathé news item but it is very interesting all the same: http://www.britishpathe.com/video/the-derby-technicolor-1