Kidd slams handicapper over mark given to Rashaan
A furious Colin Kidd on Thursday declared his Betfair Hurdle mission with Rashaan over before it had even begun as he launched a stinging attack on BHA handicapper Phil Smith for the mark given to the five-year-old.
Rashaan holds an Irish hurdle rating of 139 and while Kidd admits he was prepared for a few pounds of a hike when he entered his stable star for the £155,000 Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on February 11, he was left "in a state of shock" when he learned the British handicapper allotted his horse a rating of 154 and handed him 11st 11lb.
Kidd said of the 15lb rise: “We are definitely not running in the race now. Phil Smith has crucified us and how he thinks we are deserving of over a stone more than our Irish mark is madness. He just pulled that figure out of the sky and it’s not fair.
“He’s also a stone higher than last year’s Champion Bumper winner [Ballyandy]. How is that fair?
“For example, here in Ireland he is rated 139 while Footpad is rated 147. However, Footpad is rated 149 now in England while we have gone up to 154. It just doesn’t make sense.”
A smart juvenile in the early part of last season, Rashaan then lost his way when he encountered heavier ground and was kept busy on the Flat and over hurdles by Kidd last summer.
He was last seen lining up for the four-runner Grade 2 WKD Hurdle at Down Royal in November as a 10-1 shot but he inflicted a shock defeat on the Gigginstown duo of Petit Mouchoir and Apple's Jade, both of whom have recorded Grade 1 wins since.
Kidd said: “Fair enough, he beat Petit Mouchoir and Apple’s Jade in Down Royal but he arrived there after a busy summer and was a 110 per cent fit and ready.
“The other two were having their first spins of the season and were bound to improve. I mean we aren’t Champion Hurdle class.”
As well as bypassing the Betfair Hurdle, Kidd said his Cheltenham dreams for Rashaan had also been shattered after the massive hike.
“Not only will we not run in the Betfair Hurdle but now we can’t even run him in the County Hurdle, which was our main plan after Down Royal," he said.
“If I had known he would have given us such a hike I would have entered him in the Champion Hurdle!”