5th October 2014
For the record, I was absolutely delighted to win The Tattersalls Millions 2yo Trophy and not, at all, as described by David Milnes in this morning’s Racing Post. I was very happy indeed. Very happy with the horse, very happy with the jockey, and very happy to have scooped £280,331 for Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed.
I told David Milnes all that but, when pressed by him on what I thought of these high-value restricted races, I had to be honest and say that I think they are wrong, bad for racing, and that for racecourses to object to a cap on entry fees at 75% of a race’s value is despicable.
For him to ask me these questions in the aftermath of such a victory was, arguably, a piece of good journalism. But to report it in the way he did was appalling and, sadly, typical of the standards which the Racing Post seem to set these days. It would appear that he didn’t listen to much, if any, of what I said in reply. If he didn’t already know how these races work, how they are financed and the effect that they have on Pattern racing and the competitiveness of other races, then 10 minutes research wouldn’t have gone amiss. If he was going to take that angle, he should have made the effort to gather some facts and write a reasonably balanced piece.
Ironically, David Milnes had phoned me on Thursday to get a comment on Secret Brief and others and I told him that I was rather fed up with Racing Post journalists phoning for comments from trainers and connections to fill the paper rather than giving us their own opinions. I pointed out that, three days previously, I had sent two horses all the way to Bath, landed a double, passed 200 domestic winners for the fifth time, and didn’t get even the smallest mention in Rodney Masters’ post race report. Of the eight races that day, only four got any mention at all. Maybe Rodney Masters didn’t turn up until after the second and left after the sixth. It was typical of current Racing Post content. It seems they aren’t really interested in news.
I told David Milnes exactly what I thought of Racing Post policy on reporting and added that, with its current inaccuracy on data, it is making it a very poor paper indeed. He claimed to agree with me and did so again yesterday but maybe he secretly needed to try and get his own back. Thankfully, as is now typical, his report was pushed to page 24 after one page of ‘news’ on page 23 and 22 pages of tipping and comments from connections.