A furious Bryce Stanaway says he scratched his horses from Sunday’s Pakenham meeting in protest against disrespectful treatment from the club’s chief executive.

A row erupted on Sunday when Stanaway withdrew three horses after an incident that started when he was unable to get a sandwich in the course’s owners and trainers’ lounge.

Stanaway appeared on RSN to put forward his side of the story on Monday morning, declaring it was the attitude of the Pakenham Racing Club’s chief executive Michael Hodge that prompted him to scratch his remaining runners.

“I went into the trainers’ room, not the winner’s room, and was expecting to have a coffee and a sandwich and a bit of relaxation before I had to go and saddle the next three (runners),” he said.

“There’s a poor woman there bringing out one plate of sandwiches to about 50 people and it was like vultures, all of the sandwiches were gone.

“I went politely, which is quite a shock for me, I’m actually starting to mellow out. I went and saw the CEO and I said, ‘for a trainer, there’s nothing left up there’ and all this.

“I’ve got witnesses, he went off his head at me and said, ‘scratch your horses and go home’. He actually told me to scratch my horses and go home.

“The final straw was the attitude of the CEO and the way he treated me. He did it in front of (jockey) Brian Higgins, a girl that works for me and two of my owners and he’s the one that asked me to scratch my horses and go home.”

Stanaway said the issue highlighted the difference between the treatment at racecourses of trainers and jockeys, who he said, “are fed like kings” despite having a lighter workload than the smaller trainers.

The Torquay-based trainer said he would do the same thing if he was treated the same way as he said he was at Pakenham on Sunday.

“I’d do it again. These clubs have got to show a little bit more respect for the people that work in the game,” Stanaway said.

Stanaway said the problem did not extend to all clubs with the likes of the Casterton, Bendigo and Sale clubs the best in Victoria for the treatment of trainers.


Brad Waters

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