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RACING: Bradstock blast after Carruthers debacle
Mark Bradstock has called for changes following the Cheltenham debacle in which his stable star, Carruthers, was left at the start.
Bradstock, who trains the nine-year-old gelding at Letcombe Bassett, near Wantage, was fuming after his Hennessy Gold Cup hero took no part in the Ryman The Stationer Handicap Chase on Saturday.
Jockey Mattie Batchelor’s mount was at the back as the field funnelled out on to the track by the second-last fence.
But his pleas to starter Simon McNeill that he was not ready fell on deaf ears, and Carruthers stood still when the tapes went up.
Bradstock said: “I think the problem is that where they have moved the second-last fence it has caused the three-mile start to be a complete fiasco.
“Also one of the main issues, which I didn’t realise, is that the BHA (British Horseracing Authority) has instructed the starter to ignore the jockeys.
“That surely is potentially a real welfare issue. A horse could have been kicked, a saddle could have slipped or anything, and that I find mind-boggling.”
Bradstock felt Cheltenham should replace three-mile chases with races over three miles and one-furlong or two furlongs.
And he also called for the BHA to review their directive on starters not listening to pleas from jockeys.
Cheltenham held an inquiry into the incident and concluded that the race had been started properly.
Bradstock, meanwhile, hasn’t picked out a race yet for Carruthers to try again.