Queensland's Own Welcome to the best coverage of racing in Queensland Queensland's Best
Horse Racing Only
www.horseracingonly.com.au Horse Racing Only logo
editor@horseracingonly.com.au
Home Racing Queensland National International Blogs Photo Gallery Links Contact Us

BROWNIE'S BLOG: UNDERSTANDING THAT RACING IS A DANGEROUS GAME OF INCHES & SPLIT-SECOND DECISIONS

By Damian Browne | Thursday, July 30, 2020

The fall at Rosehill on Saturday has prompted the usual ‘expert’ commentary on social media with many derisive remarks being directed at Hugh Bowman.

What Bowman did was unintentional. If you put it in football terms, you would be talking about somebody who has got a good tackling technique but he suddenly puts in a high tackle by accident. On this occasion it led to a terrible outcome but people need to take a step back and know that he hasn’t done it on purpose.

I’ve seen some of the posts on social media saying … he’s done it on purpose, he’s Hugh Bowman … he thinks he can get away with it … and the like. I can tell you it is not the mentality of any jockey to try to do something like that on purpose or to ever think he or she is above the rules and can ‘get away with it.’

It is very important to note that!

The fact is there would be no-one around feeling worse about what happened than Bowman. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t the first one up there on Saturday night to visit Andrew Atkins in hospital and, as I say, people need to know it was a pure, racing accident.

I think a lot of people expected Bowman to just throw his hands up and say, I’ve done the wrong thing … give to me what you need to give to me in terms of a penalty … but, there is a process in place to deal with this type of matter and it involves Bowman presenting his evidence … his defence, if you like … along with other jockeys, and then letting the stewards take it from there.

That doesn't mean that there won't be any consequences but Bowman had to be given the chance to formally explain his actions.

Remember too that this is a game of inches and split-second decisions.

I can recall another incident back in February which resulted in Glen Boss being suspended after he had all but knocked James McDonald’s mount down in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup.

In my blog at the time I wrote, ‘The Glen Boss riding incident on Cascadian in the Liverpool City Cup in which he tried to force his way out wider on the track and, in so doing, turned James McDonald’s mount Imaging sideways in a very scary and dangerous fashion, has been a big talking point.

‘It’s about as bad as I’ve seen. I watched it live and I thought to myself, did he just really do that? I had to go back and watch it again. I couldn’t believe it. I don’t think anybody could.

‘What a lot of people haven’t really taken notice of is that Bossy was very, very lucky that he had probably one of the most balanced riders in the world outside of him in James McDonald. I’m not trying to put anybody else down, but, if an inferior rider was involved, it could well have knocked them straight off the horse.’

That comment does not in any way reflect on Andrew Atkins riding ability. He had no chance at all of staying in the saddle in Saturday’s incident. It just emphasises how lucky we were not to see a catastrophic fall in the Liverpool City Cup.

The outcome might have been a lot more unfortunate on Saturday but I stand by my view that the Boss / McDonald incident was actually worse, purely because the contact there was initiated two or three times … whereas Bowman just had one go at it. If Bowman had been pushed back in, I don’t think he would have tried to do it again.

Like I said, when viewing the race or forming opinions, you have always got to remember it is a game of inches and split-second decisions.

Race falls of any description always make difficult viewing for spectators and can be traumatic for those directly involved … but, they have been and always will be part of the game.

In reviewing falls though, we just have to look at the facts of the matter instead of wasting energy by going out on some other tangent. That doesn’t mean opinions can’t be controversial but at least they should be based on some semblance of fact.

In conclusion, I want to wish Andrew Atkins everything of the best with his recovery. It is obviously going to take a while given the seriousness of his injuries.

There is no doubt that Atkins has had a shocking run with injuries, even before Saturday, but, on the other side of things, there are people who have had worse. He has got to try to look on the positive side … not least the fact that he is still young and hopefully will have the opportunity to come back bigger and stronger.

He seems to have a good attitude … that is if the photo from his hospital bed is anything to go by. Although, sometimes the best photos you can see are those photos from hospital when they have just filled you up with morphine and you can’t do anything but smile.

In all seriousness though, Andrew, do what you have to do and, rest assured, we all look forward to seeing you back in action in the future.
____________________________________________________________________

HRO COMMENTS

*Just hours after Damian Browne completed this blog, the news came through the Hugh Bowman had received a six-week suspension for his part in the fall at Rosehill on Saturday. Subsequent to that finding, Bowman released a statement of his own which you can view here on the right hand side of this page

Latest Racing News

THE PETLEY REPORT (AUGUST 1 TO AUGUST 4): STAGE 4 RESTRICTIONS BUT RACING ALLOWED TO CONTINUE
By Jack Petley | Tuesday, August 4, 2020
EAGLE FARM, AUGUST 1, 2020. DAVID FOWLER SELECTS ...
By David Fowler | Saturday, August 1, 2020
THE PETLEY REPORT: TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS ARE STILL UP IN THE AIR FOR OVERSEAS HORSES, TRAINERS & STAFF
By Jack Petley | Friday, July 31, 2020
PAT'S PICKS: EAGLE FARM, AUGUST 1, 2020
By Pat Campbell | Friday, July 31, 2020
WINNO'S WINNERS: GOLD COAST, AUGUST 1, 2020
By Darren Winningham | Friday, July 31, 2020

More racing news


Damian Browne
Damian Browne
Hugh Bowman
Hugh Bowman
STATEMENT FROM HUGH BOWMAN:

Firstly, I would like to wish Andrew Atkins a full and speedy recovery. I have spoken to Andrew to convey how sorry I was for the accident, and he was in good spirits after his operation which was very pleasing and reassuring to hear.

To Danny Williams and the connections of Hot ‘N’ Hazy, I would like to share my condolences. Having been involved in horses all of my life, I know how tragic the loss of a horse is for all concerned.

I would like to thank the stewards for affair hearing. Jockeys are required to make split second decisions under enormous pressure, and sometimes we make the wrong decision.

As a jockey with over 20 years of professional riding experience, I have always prided myself of riding competitively but also within the rules. All jockeys endeavour to give their mounts the best opportunity to win, whilst also ensuring the safety of their fellow jockeys and horses.

I will be making no further comments at this time, apart from again wishing Andrew a successful recovery and I look forward to seeing him back at the track soon.

Hugh Bowman
HRO photographs from Doomben and Eagle Farm race-meetings are now available for sale. NB to non-winning connections only.
Please direct all queries to photos@horseracingonly.com.au
Queensland's Own www.horseracingonly.com.au Queensland's Best