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Opinion.

Byline: Graham Cunningham

Rightly or wrongly, stewards and their secretaries nowadays treat a rider's refusal to put his whip down even when his mount is plainly drifting across a rival as careless rather than irresponsible riding.

As a consequence, the only way they could have reversed the placings in yesterday's Doncaster Cup was to rule that the interference had affected the result.

Alleluia's wayward passage looked dramatic-as did the way Richard Hughes snatched Rainbow High up as the pair came together-but the fact is the incident left the runner-up with a length to make up and a furlong to do it in.

Hughes tried hard, very hard, but as the pair passed the post he was still three-quarters of a length adrift.

In order to reverse placings, the stewards have to be "satisfied" in their own minds that the interference in question has affected the finishing order.

To suspect as much is not enough, and to feel that it may well have done will not wash, either. The guideline used is that they have to be satisified and, in Jockey Club speak, that means sure.

No-one is denying that Rainbow High lost valuable momentum when hampered, and no-one knows for certain whether he would have battled past with a clear run.

What can be said for certain is that he was making little impression close home.

Had he got within a head or maybe even a neck, he would have been a shoo-in to get the race, but as the gap was three-quarters of a length, the panel were always likely to give the benefit of the doubt to the winner.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 14, 2001
Words:271
Previous Article:Doncaster: Bollin provides perfect present for Easterby.
Next Article:Doncaster: Half Glance enters Classic picture with emphatic win.


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