Green To Gold’s win at Worcester yesterday was rather like watching his owner’s football team, Manchester United, playing. He didn’t look in any difficulty at any time, and in the final furlong pulled five lengths clear, rather like Giggs and co scoring twice in the last few minutes.
The comparisons didn’t end there. It wasn’t Sir Alex Ferguson in trouble here, but jockey Paul Moloney, who weighed in a pound and a half light after the race. He had already been involved in a stewards’ enquiry after the first race, when Andrew Glassonbury’s mount, Allerford Jack drifted across in front of Moloney and Chandlers Cross. That proved to be a key factor when he was called before them again after the clerk of the scales raised an objection because of the weight discrepancy.
If a jockey weighs in at more than a pound less than his allotted weight then the clerk of the scales has to notify the stewards, as Paul Barton, the stipendiary on duty at Worcester for the British Horseracing Authority explained to At The Races. In a welcome display of openness about the procedures Barton went on to say, “The rule then gives the stewards the power to disqualify if they are not satisfied, or even on some occasions where they are satisfied and the know the reason.” He illustrated this with the situation of a rider losing a weight cloth during the race and so weighing in light. In those circumstances they would disqualify the horse, but not punish the jockey.
Yesterday a combination of Moloney’s involvement in the first enquiry and the extreme heat led the stewards to take no action against either horse or rider. Barton said, “We held a stewards enquiry straight after the first race and came into our stewards’ room which was extremely hot and sat in there, still sweating, and went out for the second race. What we heard from the clerk of the scales on his (Moloney’s) body weight before he went out and when he came back in, the weight loss was caused by him sweating. All the lads can do is take a drink ad hope they rehydrate. We had him in the stewards’ room for five minutes or more, holding an enquiry, so he didn’t get the opportunity to rehydrate. These circumstances are exceptional so the stewards allowed the result to stand.”