Dr Desmond Morris says that when a racehorse loses a race the trainer and the jockey have to find fancy reasons as to why it happened other than the fact that the horse is not a fast runner in order to ensure that the horse’s owner retains the trainer and pays his monthly fee which is very high. A horse has to win an inordinate number of races in order to justify the amount it costs to look after and train them.
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Here are the 50 best excuses:
- swallowed it’s tongue;
- stepped in a rabbit-hole on the far side of the track;
- was hit by a flying divot;
- swallowed a flying divot;
- disliked the tight bends;
- was stung by an insect down at the start;
- was distracted by a television van;
- did not like the rain;
- had an abscess in his mouth;
- had a sore foot;
- did not want to go past the racecourse stables;
- suffered from a muscle spasm;
- did not like the high winds;
- was lazy or was not keen enough or was too keen;
- was bumped during the race;
- was kicked during the race;
- disliked the slow pace or disliked the fast pace;
- jumped too carefully or over-jumped;
- felt crowded in the large field of runners;
- missed the competition in the very small field of runners;
- did not act on the hard going/did not act on the soft going;
- hated the left-handed track or hated the right-handed track;
- was under-worked or was over-worked;
- would improve over a shorter distance or needs a longer distance;
- missed the start and then had too much to do;
- was stuck in the face of a rival jockey’s whip;
- was too inexperienced or too experienced;
- bolted on the way to the start or bolted at the off;
- was hemmed in and could not find a gap;
- travelled badly during the long journey to the racetrack;
- suffered from exhaust fumes inside the horsebox;
- had been upset by fireworks near the stables the night before;
- lost a plate;
- had come into season;
- hit the front too soon or needs to be a front runner;
- was off its feed;
- needed the run-out;
- should not be whipped or needs stronger handling;
- needs castrating;
- may have a low blood count.
- champion sire did not reach peak form until he was much older;
- saddle was slipping or was too tight and was pinching;
- girth-strap broke.
- thought there was another lap or thought there wasn’t another lap;
- mistakenly thought something was wrong and pulled the horse up;
- dropped his whip;
- mistook the last furlong post for the winning-posed and eased off;
- was kicked during the race.
- The handicapper had been too severe and the horse was carrying too much weight;
- The stable has a virus.
One apprentice jockey was asked to explain why he had ridden the horse so badly. He said that, “the governor told me in no circumstances was I to finish in the first six.”
Source: Sporting Life via Horsewatching by Dr Desmond Morris.
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