Racing Post Jon Lees and Paul Eacott Report "GOSDEN'S BLAST FOR NORTHERN"
"Gosden's blast for Northern" as published in the Racing Post 24.03.2008
JOHN GOSDEN on Sunday rounded on the owners of Yarmouth race-course for accusing trainers of singling out Monday's meeting as “an easy target, in order to make a point to the racing authorities”.
Gosden, instead, pointed out that trainers had specifically chosen Yarmouth's first meeting of the season to protest against Northern Racing's “consistent downgrading of racing at the track”.
Reacting to a statement issued to the Racing Post on Saturday (22.03.08) by Northern's group managing director Tony Kelly, Gosden said: “We trainers in Newmarket specifically picked on this meeting, and particularly one race, which we would all like to have run in.
“We did it particularly to Yarmouth and Northern Racing, not to the racing authorities, so Northern's statement is completely erroneous. “It is due to the fact that they have consistently downgraded the racing at Yarmouth until, quite frankly, all they deserve is horses rated 60 and below.”
Referring to Southwark Newsboy's walkover on Monday, Gosden said: “They thoroughly deserve a horse who has been last in both starts having a walkover in the maiden.” Of the nine Northern tracks, three are in the bottom seven places in the racecourses' prize-money table, with Yarmouth in 46th position, and although the total purse had fallen by almost £200,000 year-on-year to the period ending February 29, 2008, Gosden insisted he would continue to have runners at the track if they offer reasonable prizes.
“I think it's very important to say we've always liked and favoured Yarmouth,” he said. “It's always been a fantastic place. We run our best horses there. Last year, I ran Raven's Pass and Centennial. There were no maidens at Newmarket and, fortunately, Yarmouth had one.
“We'd go there every meeting if they put on reasonable races and prize-money, but it's been the policy of Northern Racing that their contribution to prize-money has been right at the bottom in the meritocracy table. Therefore, they can reap what they sow.
“Our action is clearly against them. They may well argue they have improved their executive contribution, but that is because they have come from zero.”
Referring to Monday's meeting, at which 34 horses have been declared to contest six races, Gosden added: “Yarmouth deserves the card it has got. It deserves to have Christine Dunnett with a bad horse getting a walkover. We don't take any pleasure in it. “Mr Kelly has tried to duck the issues and the blame – he wants to look in the mirror. Yarmouth's prize-money has always been close to insulting and we have just had enough of it.”
Gosden's Newmarket neighbour John Ryan has declared Lindbergh for the first race, with the proviso that the six-year-old runs “subject to staff availability”. The trainer on Sunday (23.03.08) confirmed it was his own way of joining the protest. “I'm not happy with the situation,” said Ryan, whose 23-strong string at Cadland House is just over 15 per cent the size of Gosden's Clarehaven team. “If they had put a meeting on somewhere else with this kind of prize-money, I don't think anybody would have minded much. “But it's diabolical ground already and it will be wrecked for no purpose. I hope everyone has opened their eyes up now, and like Chris Wall said, this thing needs to be addressed. “We've worked hard to attract new owners, and by continually cutting prize-money we're pulling the carpet from under them. It doesn't help anybody.”
Labels: Gosden's Blast for Northern