A Weighty Question of Integrity and Public Confidence


The NSW Stewards permitted Nash Rawiller to ride Perfect Impression a full kilogram overweight at 56kg in race 3 at Warwick Farm yesterday.

In the very same race the Stewards also allowed James McDonald to ride Pizzly a half kilogram over its handicap weight at 55.5kg.


Senior riders Josh Parr, Jay Ford, Keagan Latham and Andrew Banks were in the jockey room, as were the high-class apprentices Jean Van Overmeire, Louise Day and Samantha Clenton. Any one of them could have stepped up and ridden either horse at its correctly published weight.

Old timers say that a kilogram in weight equals a length and a half.

Although that long-held maxim is under challenge by modern form analysts, it’s innate truth is yet to be disproved and rendered obsolete, so applying it to the 3rd at Warwick Farm you’d have to say that if Pizzly and Perfect Impression – who finished 2nd beaten 0.8 lengths and 3rd beaten 1.3 lengths, respectively – had carried their allocated weights the race might have finished up in a triple dead heat.

So why did the Stewards allow two ultra-professional jockeys who monitor their weights to the milligram, in the same way that broke punters check their bank accounts for a couple of bucks to bet with, to accept rides they couldn’t make the weight for, and why did they give them the nod to saddle up on their mounts a kilo and a half kilo heavier than punters had assessed the form on?

How can anyone have confidence betting on race horses when they don’t know what weight they are going to carry? If the published handicaps mean nothing, then so does the whole integrity of the sport.

This was bullshit.

We horse bettors all deserve a whole lot better.


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