Curragh chief McGrath - not showing Alpha Centauri's Marois win was intended
Curragh boss Derek McGrath has revealed the decision not to show Ireland’s top-rated Flat performer Alpha Centauri recording her fourth Group 1 success on the trot in last Sunday’s Prix Jacques le Marois was intentional.
The Curragh came in for heavy criticism from disgruntled patrons who missed Jessica Harrington's star storm home at Deauville, as McGrath took a decision not to show the race on the big screen for fear of upsetting the horses who were in the parade ring at the time.
The big screen at the Curragh currently overlooks the parade ring and pre parade ring but live pictures can upset horses in the enclosure, given the quality of the pictures on show, according to McGrath.
"The quality of the big screen in the parade ring is so good, we’ve found that when there are moving images on screen, it upsets the horses within the parade ring.
“The horses don’t like the moving images so we’ve found it to be much better to go with a blank screen when they’re in there. That’s why we shut it down when the horses are in the parade ring and we show the racing on all the other screens.
“It just happens that we don’t have many screens around the place outside but when we have the new development we will be in a much better position to show as much racing as people would like to see.”
He said: “We had to make a call on this and that’s the decision we made on the day. Could we have communicated this better? Yes, I think we could have. Some people didn’t get the message and there was some comment on the day.”
A similar situation could arise this Saturday with Irish trainers Jarlath Fahey, Joseph O'Brien and Willie Mullins set to be represented in the Ebor at York just ten minutes after the St Leger Trial at the Curragh.
McGrath added: "If we’re concerned about horses being in the parade ring, we won’t be showing the race, but if we have that gap, we will. If the horses are on the way to the start there would be no problem but we’ll have to take each race on its merits.”
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