Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 24th 2013 Contents Much has been said for
the need to harmonise
racing rules to ensure
punters come up with
of results and conditions.
While some progress has
been made in this regard,
there remain two areas
in need of significant
of medication and poli-
cies with respect to
infringements in running.
Of the two, the former has the biggest
implications for the horses while the
latter has major implications for punters.
The United Kingdom racing world
was rocked in early April with the news
that one of the two Godolphin trainers,
Mahmood Al Zarooni, was found using
steroids on some of his horses. The use
of steroids is banned in the UK.
Substantial debate then raged since
the use of steroids is not banned in
many other countries, such as Australia
and Dubai. Add T&T to the list in which
the use of steroids is not banned. Dubai
immediately announced that it would
ban the use of steroids while it is not
clear what the Australia policy will be.
The debate can now be added to the
debate over the use of other medications
such as Lasix, which is also banned in
the UK but permitted in the US and
There are pros and cons on both
sides but it is undeniable that the use
of the medication does assist the horse
in achieving its potential. Steroids are
much more dangerous than Lasix how-
ever since, while its use is permitted
in the various countries, the horse
should not be found to contain any
trace of the substance when tested on
The implication is obvious and
known to most trainers, and that is,
the treatment must cease a prescribed
number of days before the horse is due
to race. This ritual raises a number of
concerns since it is clear that the intent
is that the horse should not race on
steroids though it can be trained on
the substance. It is difficult to conclude
what is the right approach but the inter-
national racing authorities should get
the heads together and agree on a uni-
versally acceptable standard.
The second issue relates to the dis-
qualification policy following infringe-
ments in running. There are a number
of different interpretations adopted
throughout the international scene. The
two most divergent considerations how-
i. Did the horse who committed the
infringement improve its position rel-
ative to the horse impeded?; and
ii. Did the horse commit an infringe-
Most territories initially adopted the
approach that once an infringement
was committed, the horse committing
the infringement should be disqualified
and placed last. This approach subse-
quently morphed to
placing the horse com-
mitting the infringement
immediately after the
Eventually, in most of
the developed countries
this morphed into plac-
ing the horse behind the
impeded animal if the
that the horse had
improved its position rel-
ative to the horse imped-
ed. The decision taken
however, had no impact on the disci-
plinary action taken against the rider
judged to have committed the offense.
Here, the approach appears to be
rooted in an assessment of whether the
impeded horse would have placed high-
er but for being impeded as opposed
to whether its position relative to the
horse committing the infringement had
been negatively affected. The difference
in the two approaches is most stark.
In the UK recently, we had the run-
ning of the prestigious Eclipse Stakes
at Sandown Park. The winner, Al
Kazeem, was in a prolonged battle with
the eventual third place finisher,
Mukhadram, and had just gotten the
better of that rival when he came across
Mukhadram, causing the latter to
almost clip heels and lose its action
Mukhadram could not recover in
time and was passed for second by
Declaration of War. The Stewards in
reviewing the incident decided that Al
Kazeem had already gotten the better
of Mukhadram when the infringement
was committed and allowed the results
to stand. The rider of Al Kazeem was
stood down for five racing days for
In Trinidad and Tobago , two week-
ends ago, Bold Destiny, (owned by my
brother Nigel Mark and myself) came
from a long way back to finish a clear
second to easy winner Bandwagon. In
reviewing the event, the Stewards
decided that Bold Destiny had impeded
Enigmatic when going by and since
that horse had been narrowly beaten
out of fourth position, Bold Destiny
should be disqualified and relegated to
fifth behind Enigmatic.
The rider of Bold Destiny was stood
down for one racing day. There is little
doubt that Bold Destiny had not
improved its position relative to Enig-
matic (who was well beaten when being
overtaken) and as such, would not have
been disqualified in any jurisdiction
other than Trinidad. One is left to draw
one s own conclusions as to which
approach is the fairer to the punters.
However there is no doubt that there
should be some harmonisation of the
approach to treatment of infringements.
Let us hope that the new Racing
Authority looks at areas such as the
two areas highlighted above to bring
our racing in line with international
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian Need to bring
racing in line with
Andre E Baptiste
Better be ready
Are you ready for ahurricane?
HURRICANE SAFETY TIPS
Source: The T&T Red Cross Society
Before a hurricane:
The hurricane season lasts from June through
November, with August and September being
the peak months.
Know the location of the nearest emergency
shelter in your area.
Trim the trees in your yard, especially those
near your home, so limbs won't fly around
during a storm.
If you have hurricane shutters, inspect them
now and repair damaged ones. Know how to
install them, and if you will be boarding up
your windows, have the wood and tools ready.
Know the location of the main electrical
breaker and the gas and water valves in your
home. Have a clear path to easily access them
to shut them off when a hurricane approach-
Make a list of the items in and around your
yard to bring in or tie down when a tropical
storm or hurricane approaches. For example:
TV antenna, plants, garbage cans and yard fur-
Check your insurance policy for coverage on
wind and flood damage, especially if you''re in
a low-lying area.
Keep a portable radio, flashlight (both with
extra batteries), emergency supplies, first aid
kit, canned food and bottled water on hand
throughout the hurricane season.
Keep yourself updated as to the weather con-
ditions and the possibilities of severe weather.
Have your emergency numbers at hand and in
a convenient location.
Designate an interior room with no windows
or external doors as a "Safe Room." Work
with your local professionals in the design of
Discuss the types of potential hazards with
your family and know your community's and
Determine escape routes and places to meet if
Have an out-of-the-area-friend as a family
contact so all have a single point of contact
and someone knows where you are.
Make a plan for your pets if you need to evac-
Take First Aid and CPR classes. Your Red Cross
can help you.
Stay away from windows and stay inside if you
are not told to evacuate.
Beware that the centre of a hurricane, or the
eye, can be very calm and deceptive. When
the eye passes, the storm is not over. Stay
inside because the fury of the winds will
return, this time from the opposite direction.
Remain in your safe location until the storm
has passed completely and the all clear has
During a hurricane:
A HURRICANE WATCH is given when the hurri-
cane is possible within 36 hours.
When a hurricane watch is issued, you should
monitor news reports closely for more infor-
Continue your preparation activities and be
prepared to evacuate immediately when
instructed to do so.
When a hurricane is 24 hours away, a HURRI-
CANE WARNING is issued. Hurricane landfall is
When a hurricane warning is issued, you
should board up your windows and doors,
bring in loose items from outside, shut off
electrical, gas and water hook-ups and seek
Contact the Red Cross: Headquarters - 627-8215/8128, Northern branch - 627-8214, Southern branch - 652-2024, Tobago branch - 639-2781
As we brace for the unpredictability
of the hurricane season, it is impor-
tant to be prepared. Here are some
simple steps to help protect your
family from a storm or hurricane.
T&T Red Cross Society
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