Bookies divided over July objection

2014-07-07 00:00

THE dramatic ending to the R3,5 million Vodacom Durban July would have pleased most punters, but bookmakers are divided about the fairness of it all.

Legislate, a long-time favourite to win the race until last week when he was booted out by Louis the King, was declared the winner by race officials after an objection was lodged by his rider, Richards Fourie, against Wylie Hall, the first horse across the line, which had “interfered” with Legislate’s surge for the winning post.

Bookmakers polled by The Witness yesterday said that a win by Wylie Hall would have upset most punters because it was, among some bookies, ranked as the third biggest outsider.

There would have been, on balance, a lot more money wagered on Legislate to win, they said.

Isipingo Tattersall manager J.J. McKew said while some punters had undoubtedly made money on the race, those who he had spoken to were livid about the outcome and some had threatened to take the matter further with the race authorities.

Blaine Hamilton, owner of Ultimate Sport Bet in Durban, said, however, that after he had watched the race, he could see that an objection might be likely and he was happy about the decision.

“The rules are the rules,” he said.

Bookmaker Morris Vee said he did not agree with the decision.

“The rider raised the objection. An objection by a rider is usually a weak appeal, why leave it to the rider? The stipes [stipendiary stewards] had the cameras, why did they not see it happen?”

Vee said from his perspective, Legislate had in any case first interfered with Wylie Hall earlier on in the race and this did not seem to have been taken into account.

The sell-out race, watched by about 55 000 people, took place as many track-side celebrations and fashion competitions kept the crowd entertained.

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