Horse owner angered by jockey David Walker
The TAB can take some of the blame, along with jockey David Walker, for the betting scandal which has rocked the racing industry, says the man whose horse was allegedly pulled up.
Trentham's Eddie Carson, who owns and trains Watch Your Man, the horse Walker rode but bet against at Awapuni on August 16, said he was very upset.
Carson has used the jockey for at least 15 years.
But Carson is also filthy at the TAB for offering what he says is a ''stupid bet''.
Carson said when he was interviewed by Racing Integrity Unit investigators a few days ago about Walker's ride on his horse, he was asked if he knew what a head-to-head bet was.
Carson had never heard of the fixed odds option, offered by the TAB's bookmakers, where two horses are matched against each other and punters collect if their choice beats the other home, regardless of where they finish.
Jockeys should be encouraged to win races and shouldn't be able to win money by finishing at the other end of the field, Carson said.
Carson and Walker were an almost unbeateable team in the early 2000s when his star galloper Irish Rover was on top in a career that earned $537,000, Walker riding him in all 17 of his wins between 2001 and 2005.
That's why Carson said he trusted Walker and accepted his explanation after the ride on Watch Your Man at Awapuni.
''I hardly ever bet. I might have backed Irish Rover four or five times at the most but I backed my horse that day. I had him bang on and was very confident he would win.''
Carson said he was surprised almost as soon as the horses came out of the gates.
While the horse had been erratic in his early racing days the five-year-old had long since mended his ways.
''I was very disappointed in the ride but when he came over to me after the race and said he couldn't ride the horse out because he had cramp in his hands, I took him at his word.
''And when I was called into the room [inquiry room] I gave him the benefit of the doubt and told them the same. I stood up for him. I didn't want to see the stewards wrongly crucify him.''
Carson told the stewards he had given Walker no riding instructions - he saw it as almost an insult to do that to a senior jockey.
Carson, who had Danny Boy engaged in the very next race, said he quizzed Walker on how he was going to be able to ride again with his cramp.
''He said he'd be all right and he'd take some fluid or something like that.''
Carson said he was still defending Walker when he went to see his horse being hosed down after the race.
''But the more I thought about it, the more my mind started to work like a tin of maggots.''
The RIU is now investigating other rides by Walker to see if there is any evidence of anything else suspicious and Carson said, while he knows it's unfair to cast further doubts on Walker, it had made him think.
Carson said in 44 years in racing he'd never backed anyone else's horse.
If you're thinking you want to get on Watch Your Man next start, he's down to race at Otaki on Thursday.