This evening in 9.10pm at Worcester Sam Twiston-Davies notched up his 15th winner of the season. As he entered the winners enclosure he did not do just one flamboyant flying dismount but out did Frankie Dettori by doing two. Hi mare Moulin de la Croix trained by his father covered the last furlong well to the winning post – but that was all that she did of two and half miles as this was that rare occasion in racing nowadays – a walkover.
In this Sport of Kings, trainers, jockeys and owners are faced by what could often be called paupers prize money. The risk and danger involved in this sport we love (especially National Hunt) is not being rewarded. Tonight’s walkover was designed to highlight this fact and the minimum tariff as argued for by the Horsemen’s Group.
Charlie Mann led the boycott of the last race on the Worcester card leaving only the Twiston-Davies horse in to pick up the prize which is to be donated. The boycott had full support from ten other leading trainers – Phillip Hobbs, Donald McCain, Venetia Williams, Gary Moore, Alan King, David Pipe, Nicky Henderson, Evan Williams and Seamus Mullins – who like many others are frustrated with the level of prize money in the game and that the recommended tariffs are not being met.
David Roberts (Managing Director of Arena Leisure – Midlands) commented to ATR that it was a “disappointing way to finish a day” but understood the reason for the protest and confirmed their commitment that all Worcester races would meet the tariff from next season. Many hope that others will follow this example and that a fairer balance is achieved in racing.
Successful or not in its mission, at least the £60 was still well deserved for the best turned out on the night.