Tag Archive for: scott dixon

Dixon unlikely to forget chaotic events at Wolverhampton in a hurry

Scott Dixon was left to reflect on what for him proved an “incredibly strange” last race at Wolverhampton on Monday night, where only two runners eventually lined up after a false start.

The stalls did not seem to open when the starter’s flag fell in the closing Download The Racecourse App Raceday Ready Handicap but then released moments later, causing the starter to wave his flag to signal a false start.

By that point the horses were already a stride or two into the seven-furlong race and though the call to pull up appeared to spread fairly quickly, that was easier said than done for many of the riders.

Sue Gardner’s Kimifive and Dixon’s Mudlahhim were already locking horns and several other horses were reluctant to stop behind them.

The rules state horses are automatically withdrawn if they complete the course after the false start flag is waved, meaning all eight horses that crossed the line could not then partake in the rerun of the race. Oriental Spirit’s trainer Stuart Kittow decided not to take part after his horse ran keenly before being pulled up near the line, adding to earlier non-runner Captain Wentworth.

Eventually only two horses lined up for the delayed running, with Dixon’s other runner A Pint Of Bear losing out by three-quarters of a length to an old stablemate in John O’Shea’s Rose Fandango.

“It was an incredibly rare situation, from what I can gather the stalls didn’t open when they pressed the button,” Dixon said.

“I’ve watched the race back and I think it was all of them, it wasn’t a select few.

“The rule is if you cross the line you’re out and there were some horses that just couldn’t pull up and one of those was definitely mine.

“I had two runners, I had Mudlahhim and A Pint Of Bear. Mudlahhim is an unbelievably keen horse in his home work and he can be in his races. He just thought he was in a race.

“When my assistant and I saw what happened we both looked at each other and said there was zero chance of getting him back before the finishing line.

“Ultimately that’s what happened, him and another horse did another circuit and they were just taking each other on which wasn’t helping matters.”

The matter has been forwarded to the British Horseracing Authority for review after all riders, the starters, the starting stalls team leader, clerk of the course Fergus Cameron and others were interviewed and shown recordings of the incident.

“It was just incredibly strange, and to make it even stranger for me was that the horse we ended up in a match race with, Rose Fandango, I used to train,” Dixon added.

“His last win was with me, so it got even weirder! I ran down to the start and saw A Pint Of Bear myself to make sure he was all right.

“Phil (Dennis, jockey) and I thought he was fine and he was looked at by the vet and he was all good to go.

“It’s not going to be ideal for any of them but he was 100 per cent fine to run, we made the decision to let him have a go and sadly for us we lost the match race.

“All the horses were fine and all the jockeys were fine and that’s all that matters, really.

“It seems like it was a mechanical fault, which ultimately can just happen, and even human error is always going to happen occasionally.

“It’s just one of those things, you’ve got to feel sorry for people with horses that couldn’t run – they have spent the money and taken the time to go, it is very unfortunate but it is just one of those things.”

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Scott Dixon hoping Southwell not out of action for too long

Scott Dixon does not envisage being away from his Southwell racecourse base for long after flooding forced the handler to dramatically relocate his horses to Wolverhampton.

The trainer operates out of yards at both all-weather tracks but was left with the challenge of moving 40 of his horses as his Southwell facility bore the brunt of Storm Babet.

Having successfully shifted his Southwell string across the midlands to Dunstall Park, Dixon is eager to catch his breath before contemplating a return to the Nottinghamshire venue.

Dixon saddles plenty of runners on Southwell's all-weather track
Dixon saddles plenty of runners on Southwell’s all-weather track (Simon Marper/PA)

“Our yard at Southwell is totally and utterly clear of water and the water level receded pretty quickly,” explained Dixon.

“We’ll just take a deep breath, let the horses settle, and the horse’s who are due to be running at Wolverhampton during this busy month or two will naturally stop there.

“We’ve got a bit of a clean-up process at Southwell and when we move back there will all depend on when the track is back in action, which will be sooner rather than later I would have thought.

“It will be a moving timescale and we will take it day by day and we’ll be moving some of the horses back as soon as we can use the track for exercise.”

Dixon is thankful he is in the unique position of having stabling facilities to operate out of both Southwell and Wolverhampton, which meant he simply had to beat the rising water overflowing from the nearby River Greet rather than worry about what location a majority of his string could be transported to.

He added: “For now we’re absolutely fine where we are and thank goodness we are in a bit of a unique situation anyway in that we’ve got two yards.

“We’ve got Southwell and Wolverhampton and if we didn’t have that then getting 40 horses relocated to somewhere that has the facilities to exercise are few and far between.

“The important thing is all the horses are absolutely fine and all the staff are also absolutely fine.

Trainer Scott Dixon has hailed the efforts of his staff
Trainer Scott Dixon has hailed the efforts of his staff (Mike Egerton/PA)

“All animals and people are fine and the horses have dealt with it remarkably well, they have all eaten up and trotted up fine out on the track at Wolverhampton and we’ve managed to get every single horse out who was supposed to go out today.

“We’re keeping the show on the road and we’ve got multiple runners at Wolverhampton and we are just kicking on.”

The trainer has also hailed the efforts of his staff and the assistance of those nearby as the they pulled together to escape a potentially dangerous situation unscathed.

“Credit goes both to my team and some of the guys still at the racecourse and various people who came to help us during the whole process,” said Dixon.

“It’s less than ideal but you have just got to get your sensible head on and figure it out and as always the priority is always the horses and the people and the animals. We pulled it together and got it done.”

The fixtures at Southwell on October 26, October 30, November 2 and November 4 have been abandoned.

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