Martin Dwyer did not having the best of days in India on Sunday. On a day when the first race on the Mahalaxmi card in Mumbai was Division II of the Ice Magic Plate, Dwyer had just three rides. His first went off without incident, and he finished a respectable third. In his second ride he lost his whip, but still rode into fourth place.
His problems came in the day’s final race, Division I of the Ice Magic Plate. How do you come up with a race programme where Division II of an event starts things off, and Division I concludes things?
He was riding the favourite, Ice Age, still a maiden after seven attempts when the race went off. Looking at it on rwitc.com it is not hard to see why. Her passage throughout the six-furlong contest was fraught with difficulties. Coming out of the stalls she swerved sharply after she was bumped. In the final furlong you would have thought she was on a yo-yo, running away to the right and slightly bumping a rival, pulling away to the left and then again to the right.
Ice Age finished third, beaten two short heads by horses at 30/1 and 20/1. In a photo finish, it’s no surprise that the stewards took a look as the race video, but it is the action they took after doing so that is odd to British racegoers. With angry punters apparently banging on the weighing room door, they decided that Ice Age had not been allowed to run on her merits, and declared the horse a non-runner!
That mollified most punters, who were able to get their money back on a horse that ran in the race and finished third. However, some remained, seemingly intent on letting Dwyer know what they thought of his ride, and there were reports that police had to be called to disperse the crowd.
The Mumbai Mirror reported the chief stipendiary steward of Racing West India Turf Club saying “The club’s stewards have further asked us to immediately initiate an enquiry into this incident and, if possible, to submit them the report next Sunday.”
Dwyer will hope that they take note that Ice Age was found to have broken a blood vessel, which may have contributes to her erratic running. He’ll also have in mind the 50-day suspension the RWITC placed on Richard Hughes last year, and hoping they do not impose a similar ban on him.