Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 8th 2013 Contents A67
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Just when you think things could not get
worse in the horse racing industry, the fraternity
was rocked by the demise of Republic Bank
Gold Cup winner Mobthewarrior.
One can only feel empathy towards owner
Mobthewarrior was one of eight horses entered
in a 1,750 metres handicap for horses rated 70
and above on April 27.
On the night before the race, his stall was
broken into and the horse injected with a toxic
substance. He was scratched from the event as
soon as the tampering was discovered.
After failing to recover from attempts to treat
the ailment, the gelding was humanely put down.
The race was eventually won by Galveston,
owned by Shivam Maharaj and trained by Derick
Mosca. Galveston was ridden by Santiago Gon-
The question on the minds of all race fans is
why would someone permanently injure a race-
horse to prevent the horse from competing in
a run of the mill, 90k purse event? Who would
want to do such a thing in what is supposed to
be a gentleman s event?
To be clear though, horse racing has long since
given up its claim to be either the sport of kings
or a gentlemen s event. It is becoming increas-
Racing must be wary of thugs, criminals
ingly clear that the sport in T&T is being overrun
by thugs and criminals. What is surprising is the
continued inability of the powers that be to do any-
thing about it.
In any reputable jurisdiction, an investigation
would be triggered and the first question to be
answered would be who stood to benefit from the
Who had the motive? Once you identify the pos-
sible motives, it is not difficult to shortlist the
possible miscreants and take any investigation for-
ward from there.
The ARC announced after the Jadoo incident that
the police were being brought in as well as a private
investigator. Presumably they will put this matter
into their hands also, so that the two recent incidents
can be jointly reviewed.
The investigators/police may be able to determine
if there are any common parties and whether the
two incidents may even be linked.
The old adage of "where there is smoke there is
usually fire" does come to mind quite readily, how-
ever. So what are we to do in the face of inaction
by those in authority? The second old adage of
"when you neighbour s house is on fire, it is wise
to throw water on yours" also comes to mind quite
readily. That is to say, does every owner or trainer
wait until their horse is tampered with to get out
of the sport in Trinidad?
If that is the approach then there is more than
one way to achieve that objective.
One needs to ask the question, why would some-
one continue to train for an individual who is being
widely alleged to be bringing the sport into constant
disrepute? Equally important, one needs to ask the
question why other owners would place their horse
in the care of a trainer who seems indifferent to the
allegations surrounding one of his owners. One can
only wonder what would happen if owners decided
that they would not leave their horses in the care
of this trainer.
Then for there to be a race, you need more than
one horse to compete. For the Arima Race Club to
make any money at all, you need more than one
horse owned by at least two different individuals
to compete. As an owner, do you wait for the needle
to be injected in your horse when it is scheduled
to compete against a horse(s) owned by that indi-
The solution is a simple one---once the decla-
rations are announced and there is a horse owned
by that person in the race, scratch your horse! The
horse might get scratched anyway if the miscreants
are desirous enough of winning the race, in which
case you also run the risk of losing the animal as
occurred with Mobthewarrior.
In an ideal state (and I admit that T&T is far from
ideal) even punters will refuse to bet on races in
which that individual has a horse slated to compete,
but maybe this is already happening given the mori-
bund state of turnover on local racing compared to
what is happening on American and British racing.
Natural justice might prevent the ARC from taking
action against the individual.
However, concerns over natural justice do not
apply if trainers decide not to train for the individual,
or if owners decide to withdraw their horses from
trainers who are willing to train for that individual
or if owners decide to withdraw their horses from
races in which that individual also has horses slated
to compete or if punters decide to withhold their
There are alternative avenues for owners to race
horses in their colours---Jamaica and Barbados are
not far and, as far as we know, horses get an oppor-
tunity to compete on their merits.
Failure to act by the authorities is reprehensible,
but failure to act by owners, trainers and punters
is really testimony to our failure to appreciate the
wider implications of our inaction.
While we dither, racing will just continue to go
from worse to worst.
Andre E Baptiste
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