Playing the correct anthem a tricky test

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 December, 2008, 12:00am

The CXHKIR again generated great atmosphere this year, both during the days leading up and on the track on race day, a feeling executive director of racing Bill Nader described as real 'world championship, Olympics' feel.

And one small but significant part of that Olympic feeling is the playing of the national anthem for the winning horse.

Olympians are clearly marked representatives of a particular nation, but racehorses, well that's a different matter.

A number of racegoers queried the playing of the South African anthem after Eagle Mountain's win. Sure, jockey Kevin Shea and trainer Mike de Kock are South Africans but the horse is British-bred, formerly trained in Ireland and is owned in Dubai, where he could be best-argued to be based.

When all is said and done the anthem of the owner is probably the right one, but then Doctor Dino is owned by Spaniards, but trained by an Englishman based in France and he got the French anthem.

Just as well Mourilyan didn't score an upset in the Vase - Irish-bred, ridden by an Englishman, trained by a South African and owned by the president of the Republic of Chechnya. Now that would have been a test.