Barzalona, such a beautiful horizon – Derby Day 2011

04 Jun


Months ago this was deemed as the possible saviour of racing. The media outlet racing could mould into its own, the voice racing needed, and today we saw how quickly that voice can be drowned out.

10am, give or take, Kieren Fallon was ruled as being in breach of contract, resulting in him being forced to watch from the sidelines. Cue mass hysteria…

Sorry, but Native Khan owners have one thing in mind, and that is Native Khan. Connections have the foresight as to his Derby credentials, and draw up a contract with regards to retaining the best possible jockey in their eyes, Kieren Fallon. Contract signed, done and dusted. Fallon gets a better offer in his eyes, what’s the problem?

Simple, Fallon breached a contract and deserved to see the race from the sidelines. I was astounded to read tweet after tweet questioning the ruling in first instance and also asking why KF was not up once Judge found in favour of NK connections.

In my opinion judge gave right to appeal in first instance in case connections wanted to purely make a point, in essence if KF wanted to treat such agreement with disdain, he was to be shown that connections weren’t happy to play ball and wanted to voice such concerns. The leave to appeal was an admission, an admission that KF breached contract, and that if NK connections wanted to, they could go for the jugular.

The jugular was sought, the jugular was gotten.

Now The Derby.

This year we have seen feats after feats accomplished, Frankel in the Guineas, Goldikova adding to her hoards of Group 1s, Queen coming into Derby Day with the favourite, and how do we end Saturday 4th June 2011?

“Never thought I’d see a jockey stand up and pull a horse back as he crossed the line in a Derby. Ludicrous. Not entertaining, just stupid.” @PaulHayward_gnm

This was a train of thought echoed throughout the “twittersphere”, hacks throughout the sport agreed, commenting on professionalism, the same hacks who were defending the sport, and trying to enhance the sport in the last 18 months. This sport time after time receives opportunities to show how inspiring, engrossing and enlightening it can be, yet many on the “gravy train” continue to spit out the fillet steaks they are served up.

Here we have a jockey, a 19yr old who has shown his skills on all different surfaces, in numerous continents. A kid with a 40% strike rate in the UK. A kid who is riding for Coolmore & Godolphin, something that Dettori has only tasted a handful of times, and can only dream of full time. This kid is gold, pure gold. How do we treat the showboater this sport needs – CRITICISM AFTER CRITICISM!?!

Barzalona in his 4th ride on one of the most demanding course in the world went from the back of the field, to win the biggest race in UK racing calendar by a head and able to give photographers and racing the picture it needed at the same time.

Racing means everything to some, something to everyone and Barzalona personified this today at Epsom Downs.

1 Comment

Posted by on June 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


One response to “Barzalona, such a beautiful horizon – Derby Day 2011

  1. Ian Sears

    June 5, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Interesting read Dan, Tend to agree re Fallon but not surprised there were people queueing up to defend him. The main thing I like about Twitter is that you are able to get peoples real opinions rather than the normal sanitised press coverage but there is always a downside and that is you will get some peoples opinions who are so far wide of the mark they are almost embarrassing. There was a link in a tweet I read yesterday from someone who claimed Barca wouldn’t finish top 4 if they played in the Premiership – and thats quite scary. I am not surprised some people took Fallons side as there will be a percentage who remember Piggott doing similar things all the time & don’t like legal redress being bought into sport but if he really signed a contract then the right decision was made.
    As for the jock on Pour Moi I think there are two fairly divided camps. The first i would call the racing men who are aware of the amount of money riding on the results of these things and don’t want such antics jeopardising their sport. By way of analogy if Frankie has been fighting out for 1st & 2nd in the Oaks rather than 3rd or 4th and rather than just easing up prematurely he had celebrated early & lost the victory nobody could have defended him. The second school will be those finding the sport for the first time (especially the young) who would have been thrilled at something so exciting & will come back again in the hope of something similar. When i was younger I wasn’t particularly into athletics & then along came Steve Ovett who not only won but waved to the crowd in the process. I was enthralled & ensured I watched every race of his that I could which in turn led to me to a more general interest in the sport until the drugs took over. Only now with Usain Bolt is my interest being rekindled.
    So should we applaud or deride the young man and to me there’s only one answer – he should be applauded by all & thanked for possibly adding something to the race which may bring in more people. One things for certain – he shouldn’t have got more negative press coverage than Frankie for what he did on the Friday.


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