Creator Chris Symons says the reaction to the fledgling Ride Guide service has surprised and disappointed him while Victoria’s owners body has issued a statement blasting the concept.
The reaction to his Ride Guide initiative has surprised jockey Chris Symons. Photo: Darryl Sherer
Symons and production company Unscriptd released a statement last Thursday hailing the new initiative of jockeys making videos giving their thoughts on their rides, which were shown exclusively on corporate bookmaker Ladbrokes last Saturday.
The plan drew significant negative comment on social media with many questioning the look of a relationship between jockeys and corporate bookmakers on integrity grounds.
Stewards in both Sydney and Melbourne voiced their concerns last Saturday, which has led to a series of meetings with the parties involved to discuss the issues surrounding the initiative.
Questions on the Ride Guide took up half of Symons’s weekly spot on RSN on Thursday morning during which the jockey attempted to clarify the current situation.
“What we are trying to create is a concept is a consistent platform for the punters,” Symons said.
“This industry is driven by wagering and we’re trying to promote this beleaguered industry moving forward into 2016/17 to keep up with other sports.
“Since it was launched last week, I’m really disappointed and surprised with the reaction we’ve received.”
Victoria’s Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners’ Association was the latest to comment on the debate with chairman Jonathan Munz labelling the Ride Guide as “very disappointing”.
“The jockeys have in the past moaned about lack of consultation from Racing Authorities on various issues but then they go and pull this stuff without consulting with owners, who generally support and try to work with them,” Munz said in a statement.
“TROA supports the position taken by the RVL Stewards in opposing this concept and I note that this is also the view of the Australian Trainers Association”.
“As the Stewards have noted, much of the information the jockeys are seeking to disclose and get an earn on belongs to and is sourced from owners and their trainers. The jockeys are getting information and riding horses in work as part of the process of contracting to owners and trainers to ride their horses in races.
“It is a major cheek to then try to sell that information and not even have the manners or common sense to discuss it with us first.”
Victorian Jockeys’ Association chief executive Des O’Keeffe said the organisation was “100 percent right behind Chris (Symons)” but more would be known after a meeting with Unscriptd executives on Thursday.