Phrases that are never said in racing but should be!

Jockey: I gave that a shocker of a ride

Jockeys come back in and NEVER admit they messed up. Why not? Be honest and take ownership of your mistake. I would love to hear a jockey be self-critical and explain how they gave a horse a terrible ride.

Jockey: I should have moved closer to the slow pace

Similar to the above, it would be great to hear a jockey talk about how the race pace went against them BUT that they didn’t act quickly enough to stop this from being an issue. Divine Magic was a prime example over the weekend. I think jockeys would get a lot less abuse/stick online if they owned up to their mistakes.

Trainer: He/She has no chance and we are only running here as the owners wanted to run here.

All trainers ever seem to say is we are hopeful, we go there with a chance, we hope to go close etc. That just can’t be true for all horses in races. I know owners sometimes overrule the trainer and want to run at Goodwood or Ascot or Newmarket etc as they can go and watch. The owners don’t understand they wont be able to win the race but the trainer should be honest about this instead of trying to pull the wool over the owners eyes.

Trainer: This was a complete surprise, the horse has very limited ability.

‘We’ve always thought a lot of him/her’ – this is the most commonly used phrase after a race when a trainer talks about a winner. Again, that just can’t be true all the time. I would love to hear a trainer explain that he/she thinks it’s a complete fluke on the day that they won as the horse is rather limited in ability and unlikely to go on any further. They don’t because they want to keep the horse in the yard and the owner paying the bills.

Trainer: Our jockey has given that a poor ride, we talked about tactics and they went completely against them

We’ve had one example of this recently with John Gosden suggesting Stradivarius was positioned in the wrong place by Frankie. Why do more trainers not publicly state this and explain that the ride their jockey gave a horse was not what was discussed/asked for. We are all far too worried about causing offence and constructive criticism/honest appraisals being seen as abuse.

Trainer: We want to win as much prize money as we can with him/her

We never hear a trainer talk about how they are trying to win as many races as they can with a horse in order to try and win as much prize money as they can. This may include running in a class 3 race that they are confident of winning rather than running in a class 2 feature handicap etc.

Trainer: We are gutted, we were clearly the best horse in the race.

‘I’m delighted for x trainer’ – why do trainers say this after each race when they don’t win. I would be gutted and frustrated that my horse didn’t win. It’s far too nicey nicey and too many racing cliques in racing. I want to hear a trainer come back and sound absolutely gutted and show some competitive spirit and fighting spirit after a race. Talk about how they are gutted and how they are confident they had the best horse in the race and yet for one reason or another they didn’t win.

Jockey: This looks beyond him/her but we’ll give it our best

Jockey columns are everywhere now and again we get jockeys always talking up their rides. This is because the horse will be backed based on this and to suggest to the owners that they have a chance when in fact sometimes I’m sure the jockey knows they have no chance and should be honest about it. Talk about how it’s unlikely they will get involved and whilst they are going to try, not to expect much.

Trainer: We are going to change tactics today as there is no pace.

It would be good to hear a trainer talking pre-race about how they have actually studied the race they are involved in and how they’ve seen there is unlikely to be any pace or that there’s going to be a load of pace early on and they are going to have to change tactics on their horse to give themselves a chance of winning the race. We get races where there are 5 or 6 front runners in the race and when they start, they still all go forward or try to, why hinder your chances just by doing the same tactics race after race regardless of the opposition?

Jockey: I tried to win cosily and got it wrong

Jockey’s definitely ride races sometimes and think they are going to win comfortably and as such give their horse too much to do or wait too long before making an effort. Time Test yesterday was arguably given such ride. Did the jockey come back in and say he was too confident? No.

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