A strange thing happened last Saturday at Goodwood.
I criticised a top rider - yes, I know people will point out that me criticising anyone is unusual - but beyond that, that rider came forward, answered specific questions about the incident intelligently, with humility and accepted that he was at fault.
The jockey in question was James Doyle, who made an error on Captain Cat, the favourite for the Group 2 Celebration Mile, televised live on Channel 4 and Racing UK.
Doyle, who is celebrating his first anniversary as Prince Khalid Abdullah’s retained rider this very week, is 26 and represents the new generation of potential superstars in the saddle.
Therefore it was refreshing to see a young man with the responsibility and stature that Doyle has already acquired, deal with criticism in such a mature manner.
The contrast between that attitude and the recent comments made by Kieren Fallon in response to criticism by ATR’s Matt Chapman is marked.
Fallon was angered by Chapman’s analysis of his ride on Bwindi at Southwell and said “When you are slagged off by individuals who have no experience of what they are talking about, that really angers me.’
In the past even AP McCoy has been moved to trot out the “How many winners has she ridden?” line in retaliation to an opinion expressed by RUK’s Lydia Hislop.
Personally I feel the sentiments of both champions do not need addressing as I am crediting anyone who reads this blog with the intelligence to know how feeble the “you can’t have an opinion unless you have done it yourself’ argument is.
Fallon will be 50 next year, McCoy turned 40 in May and maybe these two greats of the game simply originated from an era where the right to criticise or have an opinion belonged solely to the man who paid the bills or, at a push, a weighing room colleague.
Doyle’s response to last Saturday’s Captain Cat ride offers hope that perhaps one day that attitude might be a thing of the past.
I for one will be cheering on the man who will be wearing his boss’ green, pink and white silks in the St Leger as Doyle bids to land his first British Classic aboard Snow Sky in just over two weeks time.
With his Great Voltiguer conqueror Postponed rested for the remainder of the season and out of the way, Snow Sky has an excellent chance of winning on Town Moor.
Take the Cumani creature out of the York contest and the son of Nayef has beaten a fair field of 3 year-old colts by a long, long way and as the saying goes, he ran through the line on the Knavesmire, suggesting that the additional two and half furlongs to travel in the Leger will be within reach.
Kingston Hill would be a huge obstacle should he turn up, but there are still options for his next port of call and he could well miss the final Classic of the season, so I have had an ante-post bet on Snow Sky at 6.6/1 on Betfair.
But it's only my opinion.
Rishi is a sports broadcaster who has covered some of the greatest events across many sports including the last three Olympic Games in Athens, Beijing and London for the BBC. He has also presented or reported on golf, snooker, cricket, eventing plus many more and in the last few years I have covered the Ryder Cup, US Masters, The Open, The Cricket World Cup, Snooker World Championship and Eventing at Badminton and Burleigh.
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