13 Jan 1997 Pre-2014 Releases

Help For Punters and the Betting Industry

Published: 13 January 1997

The Stewards have agreed that a trial of further measures to help punters and the betting industry should include significant changes to the procedures for lodging an objection, as well as a new scheme to hold telephone enquiries.

At present five minutes is allowed for an objection to be lodged after the winner has weighed in, or the Judge has announced his decision, which ever is later. Only then can the Clerk of the Scales give the “All Right” signal.

It is proposed now that any jockey should object, or announce his intention to do so, when he weighs in. Having signalled his intention, a jockey will have five minutes to make up his mind. A RaceTech monitor will be sited in the Weighing Room to help jockeys and trainers review the race. It will show the same angles of the “incident” that the Stewards will have seen.

If no jockey objects at weigh in, or signals his intention of doing so, and the Stewards have not announced an enquiry which affects the result, the Clerk of the Scales may give the “All Right” signal straight away, so saving five minutes on that race.

In 1996 during the course of 7,271 races, there were only 23 objections. Therefore when five minutes is saved on all those races when there is not an objection, the overall benefit to betting turnover should be considerable.

The proposed procedures for holding enquiries, which may affect the result, over the telephone between the Stewards in their box on the racecourse and jockeys gathered in the enquiry room will also save a significant amount of time.

The enquiry will be conducted by the Stewards who will see the same films as the jockeys and can question them over the telephone. When the evidence has been taken, jockeys will leave to weigh out for the next race and the Stewards will deliberate and announce the result. Jockeys found in breach of the Rules will be informed and addressed in person by the Stewards after the next race.

Trials of both these new measures will begin at Southwell in February, and, if successful, the procedures will be extended to other all weather tracks. Subsequently turf courses may adopt all or some of the initiatives depending on their configuration.
The Jockey Club`s Director of Regulation, Malcolm Wallace, said today, “We have studied procedures used by other turf authorities and are trialling some of their proven methods, suitably amended, for use in this country. By increasing betting time, they will help both the punters and the betting industry, thus increasing the levy. Consequently racing as a whole will benefit.”