Many Filipino racegoers are familiar with Australian racecaller Peter Morrison who has visited the Philippines almost every year for the past twenty years to call the biggest races on the calendar. We regularly keep in touch through email. Yesterday he sent me this:
Subject: For anyone who will listen
Sent to me this morning, a valid comment from an American living in the Philippines: horses
From: (name withheld)
To: Peter Morrison
Hello, Mr. Peter. Have to complain to somebody that knows. I wish these horse track operators would train there (sic) gate personnel how to load horses in an expedient manner. I go nuts watching it take 4 to 5 mins to load 5 or 6 horses. Some horses stand in the gate for several minutes which increases risk of injury. Can you imagine a bunch of Olympic sprinters kept in the blocks for minutes. If I owned horses here I would not race without quick loading and dispatch like US, UK, Australia, and elsewhere…
This observation is very true. As we Filipinos know, loading is delayed to allow betting sales to increase. It seems that the longer the delay, the more time there is for procastinating bettors to hurry on with their wagers.
But this American in the Philippines has a very valid point. Delays in loading increases risk of injuries. In addition, practices like these will make sure that we never deserve the label “world-class” racing.
As Peter said, this is for “anyone who will listen”. Listen – and act.