Furious trainers have blasted organisers after jockeys were made to race their horses through torrential downpour, thick fog and ‘no visibility’.
The conditions at Mudgee, in NSW’s central-west, were so bad that the commentator was unable to call the majority of the race because he couldn’t even see the horses.
‘Months of training and planning went into today and they allow horses to go around with no visibility and flood like conditions. Disgraceful,’ tweeted Peter Elder, the owner of a horse that finished in seventh place.
Cosmologist, the Dean Mirfin-trained gelding, made an unexpected addition to Randwick’s Country Championship after winning it’s qualifying heat on a track shrouded in fog in Mudgee (pictured)
Despite the miserable racing conditions, rank outsider Cosmologist went straight to the front while his jockey Eleanor Webster-Hawes was unable to see the other runners because of driving rain.
‘I couldn’t see anything,’ Webster-Hawes told Sky Thoroughbred Racing.
Cosmologist’s trainer Dean Mirfin could hardly contain his excitement.
‘It’s unbelievable,’ he said.
‘When Cosmologist emerged from the gloom I thought it can’t be, but it is.
‘This is by miles my biggest win.’
Despite the miserable racing conditions, Cosmologist went straight to the front while his jockey Eleanor Webster-Hawes was unable to see the other runners because of driving rain
Mirfin took the gamble to start Cosmologist, who was an emergency in the $150,000 race, when there were four scratchings.
The weather was so bad that Grant Buckley, a jockey riding Noel’s Gift, said he had to take off his goggles and stick to the fence, using the rail as a guide.
‘All I could see was the fence to guide me around,’ Buckley said.
‘I’ve never ridden in conditions that bad.’
The weather was so bad that Grant Buckley, a jockey riding Noel’s Gift, said he had to take off his goggles and stick to the fence, using the rail as a guide
Race caller Col Hodges couldn’t see the horses until the final 250 metres and the last horse home finished almost 50 lengths from the winner.
‘I can’t give you any idea, I can’t even pick the horses up where they are on the track now,’ Hodges said.
‘I’ll try and pick them up in the home straight again. Nothing is in view whatsoever because the course is completely enveloped in white.’
Cosmologist had also been entered for another race on the program.
On Saturday, Danny Williams trained the trifecta in the heat at Goulburn with the first two, Kopi Luwak and Pumpkin Pie, automatically in the final.