10 Feb 1999 Pre-2014 Releases

Tongue Straps to be Declared Overnight

Published: 10 February 1999

A target date of the beginning of April has been set for the introduction of overnight declarations for tongue straps.

In the meantime every trainer intending to tie a horse’s tongue down for a race must continue to declare that intention to the declarations clerk on the day of racing. Announcements will then be made both on the racecourse and in betting shops to convey this information to the on and off course betting public.

Malcolm Wallace, Director of Regulation, said: “Tongue straps have become progressively more popular and, as the results at the close of the year showed, many horses do show improved form following their application. With this in mind, it was agreed that such information could, and should, be made available to the betting public in advance.

“We are currently waiting for the necessary computer work to be completed, as soon as it is trainers will be informed that they should declare tongue straps at the overnight declaration stage.

“The betting public should be aware that, unlike blinkers, it will not always be apparent whether or not a horse is wearing a tongue strap. In the past they have sometimes come loose or unfastened. Consequently, a trainer must state on the day of racing if a horse is to be withdrawn should the tongue strap come off before the start of the race. Furthermore, in the event of the tongue strap unfastening during the race, the trainer must straightaway report this to the racecourse stewards.”

The National Trainers’ Federation has co-operated fully with the Jockey Club on this initiative. Grant Harris, General Manager of the NTF added: “Our members are keen to support this initiative which is clearly in the public interest.”

Notes For Editors:

1. Due to the fact that tongue straps have not previously been officially published or announced, the first time that a trainer declares a horse with a tongue strap at the overnight stage it will appear in the press and racecard as though the tongue strap is being applied for the “first time”, even if the horse has previously had it’s tongue tied down in a race.