Racing has become a laughing stock in Britain. It is now offical. That can be the only explanation for the most horrific decision to ban Nicky McKay at Wolverhampton on Monday.
McKay, on 1-2 favourite Stars In Yor Eyes, was given a nightmare of a ride by the daughter Galileo. She wouldn't take any bend, losing an enormous amount of ground each time. She then repeated the feat hanging over to the stands rails on the run in.
John Gosden's filly held on to win by a nose. Mckay, quietly resurrecting his career, was rightly lauded for the ride. Then came the news that he was hit with a 10-day ban. He hit the filly 10 times (three over) and because it was his second offence at the higher level he got the 10 days.
Since the last spate of suspensions, the BHA had met with the PJA and it was agreed to introduce a policy of 'using discretion' concerning strikes. Amazingly, Simon Cowley, the stipendary steward on show at Wolverhampton, didn't even know the rules.
Cowley quoted that Nicky has gone two over (in fact it was three) after he after hitting Stars In Your Eyes 10 times and that the stewards had shown 'discretion' in letting McKay of one of the hits. Otherwise, amazingly, the ban would have been 14 days.
To add insult to injury, McKay also forfeited his prize money and his riding fee. Fortunately, the PJA has a strong man at the helm in Paul Struthers. I'm sure he is the right man for the job to sort out this mess