Take a bloody look at this will you?
The horse in the death seat is the $1.20 favorite for the race.
It is about to go past the leader and win by half the length of the straight.
All its driver – the vastly experienced Gavin Lang, one of Australia’s top reinsmen – needs to do is steer it around the corner and it’s a matter of go and get in the queue.
Lang has no reason to get close to the horse on the inside as they round the turn. He has it well and truly beaten, and nothing is coming from behind. Lang could steer his horse to the outside fence if he wanted to and it would still win by half a dozen lengths, but if you watch the video closely you will see that he leans to his left and steers it expertly alright. Straight up and into the horse inside so that they lock wheels.
This is what you should do when you lock wheels.
Ease back to separate the wheels and steer off from the other horse, just like the driver of the horse in the yellow did at Globe Derby a couple of weeks ago.
The difference between that driver and Gavin Lang is that he was trying to win the race.
Lang is trying to lose.
This is what he does.
See that long white leg?
That is Gavin Lang’s.
Lang will for sure and certain try to tell the stewards that he was attempting to push the other horse off so as to disengage the sulkies.
He will be lying.
What Lang is really doing is hooking his foot up and under the bar of the sulky of the other horse so that the pair can’t disengage.
He is actually holding the other horse back to him so there is no chance that it can get away from him and set his wheel free.
Lang is cheating.
He wants the $1.20 shot he is driving to lose.
This continues all the way down the straight until there is only about 30 metre to go and the race is lost, and it is only then that Lang takes his foot out of his rival’s sulky and steers his horse away.
It is one of the most blatant acts of cheating that you could ever hope to see, and the audacity of Lang in pulling a trick like this on a $1.20 shot is breathtaking.
Lang knows full well that under the rules he cannot take his foot out of the sulky under any circumstances other than to operate the foot control on his horses gear.
Obviously he has breached that rule.
There can be no question whatsover about that.
But Gavin Lang has broken a whole lot more rules than simply that one, namely these:
These are about the most serious offences that a driver can commit on a racetrack short of actually jumping out of the cart and doing a reverse pike with a double twist.
The stewards should hurl the whole damn book at Lang, and thrown him out of the harness racing game forever.
This is Victoria though where anything goes and Integrity Commissioners turn a blind eye to blatant cheating because
(a) they know nothing about the sport and therefore can’t spot a swifty even when it is staring them smack bang in the face, and
(b) they are too busy pursuing their own personal agendas to bother actually doing the job that they are over-paid handsomely for
so who knows what might happen, or what might not.
Strangely, given that the race was run three days ago, the stewards report is yet to be published. It will make for very interesting reading.
Don’t you worry about that.
Gavin Lang should though.