Scales of justice
The vigorous discussion in your last issue on the subject of jockeys weighing in light reminded me of a story passed down in my family and said to be true.
My family lived in a small country town which had a race meeting once a year. Many of the townspeople used to take on the various functions necessary to make the day possible. A member of my family was the timekeeper and I still have the VRC stopwatch which had been given to him.
One year, perhaps 100 years ago, there was an event at the meeting where the favourite was an absolute certainty.
There were only three runners and another horse was equally certain to run second.
The bookmakers offered 5/1-on ($1.20) about the favourite and its connections did not fancy the odds.
They decided to back the second favourite. But they could not pull up their horse because he had a huge advantage over the other runners and they knew that there would be serious repercussions if he did not win.
Instead they arranged for the rider to throw away his weight bag at the back of the course.
The race was as everyone had expected. The favourite won easily and the next in the market ran second. The winner weighed in 10 pounds light … and the clerk of the scales held up his hand and declared correct weight.
He had taken the fives-on.