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Punters have had a rough week with Epsom stalls farce… but they enjoyed themselves when hi-jacking Animal Rising page



THE Great British sense of humour is alive and well. You love to see it.

In particular, I’ve been tickled by some of the mickey-taking over the last few days after the Holly Willoughby speech on This Morning.

But you need to have a special kind of sense of humour if you are a racing punter, especially after a challenging few days.

Now, deep breath. Are you okay?

You probably weren’t last Saturday if you backed one of the horses who broke from gates 16 to 20 in the Dash at Epsom.


Because, in a race that is run at such a speed that the margin for error is fag paper-thin, those horses drawn hard on the rail were stuffed before you could say stalls malfunction.

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One of the runners appeared to force open the front of the stalls a split-second before the start, causing the gates on the nearside to open fractionally slower than the rest.

Now, the rules are pretty black and white in this country.

You either void the entire race after a situation like that, which would have caused a bit of a s***storm, or the result has to stand.

Whether or not the stewards realised what had happened before the riders had weighed-in, which would make it too late to void the race anyway, is not clear.

But they let the race stand, angering the trainers and owners who were impacted and the punters who might as well have chucked their hard-earned in the bin.

For what it’s worth, I can see both sides of the argument, and I’m getting splinters in my arse sitting on this fence.


But in other countries, the rules are more fluid and stewards can use their discretion to make horses non-runners for betting purposes if something like this happens.

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There will be an investigation going on behind the scenes in racing’s corridors of power and I urge racing chiefs to consider a rule-change to protect punters. They are the lifeblood of the sport, after all.

And you should spare a thought for the poor souls that were falling over themselves to back the French Derby winner, Ace Impact, for next month’s Coral-Eclipse.

Jean-Claude Rouget’s newest flying machine bolted up at Chantilly on Sunday and there was initially a bit of 8-1 antepost on offer for Sandown’s big race.


Bettors were on it like flies on a fresh cow-pat and he was no bigger than 5s for the Eclipse come teatime. 

If the Shoe fits…

A LITTLE birdie tells me that the Gosden’s are zeroing in on Frankie Dettori’s replacement – but it isn’t a name you’d expect.

Word on the street is Kieran Shoemark is very high on their shortlist of candidates for the number one job at Clarehaven Stables.

Dettori, 52, is retiring at the end of the year and John and Thady Gosden are keen to get a replacement sorted sooner rather than later.

It’s thought that the big gig might be coming just a little too soon in the career of top-class apprentice Benoit De La Sayette.

Other top jocks in the frame are James Doyle and Oisin Murphy, but the Doyler is still a part of the Godolphin set-up and Murphy has a plum job with Qatar and Andrew Balding.

Shoemark, 27, has rebuilt his career after serving a six-month ban for cocaine in 2020-21.


He has picked up a few rides for the Gosden’s recently and rode a smart filly of theirs to victory at Newbury on Wednesday.

Watch this space.

You can see why, given the last two Eclipses have been won by the French Derby winner, including Rouget’s Vadeni last summer.

But the ink had barely dried on their betslips when Rouget scratched the horse from the race 48 hours later. What a cruel game this is.

At least they enjoyed a bit of light relief when hi-jacking Animal Rising’s Go Fund Me page.

The vegan extremists are attempting to raise £10,000 (they are falling well short, by the way) to pay for the damage to the front doors of their members who were nicked in dawn raids on Derby day.

They clearly didn’t realise, though, that they had just gifted racing fans the most open of open-goals.


All of a sudden, a flurry of £1 donations started flying in from a variety of amusingly-named donors.

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It started out fairly innocently with a quid from ‘Thady Gosden’, followed by a pound from ‘Animal Rising Killed Shergar’, before getting slightly more dark with ‘Gordon Elliott: My horses make excellent armchairs’.

Life isn’t easy if you like a bet on the horses, but if you don’t laugh you’ll cry.


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Remember to gamble responsibly

A responsible gambler is someone who:

  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chases their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
  • Gamcare –
  • Gamble Aware –

Source: The Sun

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