Friday, 24 February 2012

A centrailsed panel for whip decisions?. Kieren's cheeky request in quest for title....................................

I must confess to liking Paul Bittar. The new chief executive of the BHA has achieved more in a few months than the Albert and Costello pairing of Jamie Stier and Tim Morris did in their entire tenure.

More importantly, the jockeys seem to trust him. Plenty has been said about the new whip ammendments which, for anybody that has been vacationing on the Moon, primarily means that going over the permitted number of strokes of seven on the flat and eight over jumps, won't automatically result in a ban.

A centralised panel to decipher whether a ban is warrented is currently being muted rather than it being the responsiblity of the stewards on duty at the track on the day. In principle I believe it's an excellent idea but it does beg two questions.

Will the decisions be made the same day and, if they are, how would they cope with a busy Bank Holiday Monday when there could be upwards of eight meetings?
Anybody doubting whether Kieren is serious about his ambition to win his seventh title this year will no doubt wonder whether his request to me on Friday was real or tongue-in-cheek.

Kieren is staying in Dubai until the middle of March but sent me a text to ask Richard Fahey whether he wanted him as his new stable jockey for this season? Was he serious? To be honest I'm not sure!!

Apparently, I upset ATR's Matt Chapman by stating an opinion (which I'm allowed since the last time I checked I wasn't living in Russia) that I don't think he is very good as a racecourse commentator. My statement was, according to Matt nasty. I would, therefore, like to say to Matt unreservedly that I don't give a .............

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