Goodie Cops Backlash From Trainers

By: Ryan Clark
January 6th, 2012

Earlier in the week we reported comments made by Mick Goodie that the track ratings system required an overhaul.

He said the current number system was creating problems and that we should revert to simply using Fast, Good, Dead, Slow and Heavy.

This has stirred up plenty of trainers who say it’s overlooking the most important issue, that’s having the track right.

Mick Price says it’s not a case of what you call it, it’s a case of what it is.

“You can call it purple, blue, one, two, four, seven; the rating and how to describe the rating is not the problem,” he said.

“The issue is providing tracks with footing and give.

“If you go back to the old system, it doesn’t change one thing about how curators should prepare their tracks.

“If you water too close to a race meeting and it is slippery you’ve done the wrong thing. If the track is too hard, within what mother nature will let you do, you’ve done the wrong thing.

“We need footing and give – no-one wants the tracks too hard.

It was a thought process reflected by plenty of his colleagues with Robert Smerdon adding more to it.

He says track managers should be given a greater scope to produce tracks they deem acceptable rather than a general rule.

“If the right bloke is doing the job, he’ll get it right,” he said.

Lee Freedman took the side of Goodie in saying there was a problem with the 10 number system but said managers had to be accountable for the true condition on the surface.

“They just keep putting up Good all the time and it would be lightning fast,” Freedman said.

“And then they come up with this nonsense ‘we have to start with a Dead 4′ and after the first race they call it a Good 3.”

Danny O’Brien isn’t convinced though, he believes the 10 number system gives people a far greater insight and one that’s very much require.

“Imagine if the weather bureau simply said temperatures would either be 20, 25, 30 or 35 because they were sick of people arguing that they were told it was going to be 27 and only got to 25,” O’Brien said.

Ever the diplomat, Peter Moody refused to weight into the debate saying it was merely a storm in a teacup before giving a rap to his local track manager.

“I think our man at Caulfield (Jason Kerr) has got it right lately by leaving a mammoth mop of grass on the track and, even if it’s a Good 3, it has some protection for the horses,” he said.

The issue is expected to feature prominently when the Australian Trainers Association next meets.

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