IT’S been an eventful old week in the world of horse racing.

Take a look at our latest instalment of Hotpots and Howlers, where we pick out the good, the bad and the downright ugly from the last seven days.

Roger Varian (right) has an exciting filly on his hands
PA:Press Association

Hotpots

Farzeen. Remember the name.

Roger Varian’s filly produced an electric performance in a fillies’ novice stakes at Kempton on Wednesday, obliterating her rivals by six lengths under a penalty.

Visually, it was extremely impressive. She was quite keen early but quickened in the style of a future Group performer and looks every inch a class act.

The black and white silks of Helena Springfield have an Oaks winner this season in Anapurna, and judged on Farzeen’s victory, they could have another future Group 1 winner on their hands.

He may not yet have rediscovered his former glories, but at least Accidental Agent showed he’s still got a bit of fire in his belly.

Last year’s Queen Anne winner has found life tough at the top level but dropped in class he demonstrated what he’s capable of at Salisbury, beaten a nose in the Group 3 Sovereign Stakes.

Yes, it was a performance some way from his best but he was giving weight away and didn’t get a run at a crucial stage.

Hopefully he can continue to improve for his admirable connections.

Tom Marquand is a champion jockey in waiting.

Richard Hannon’s number one is improving with every ride and you only have to watch his effort on Aplomb at Leicester last Sunday to realise he’s got oodles of talent.

He knows how to get them rolling better than anyone and it won’t be long before he’s threatening those at the top of the table.

Howlers

Facts, facts, facts.

The BHA could certainly take a few tips from Thomas Gradgrind, Charles Dickens’ methodical superintendent in the novel Hard Times.

What’s so hard about educating the public on the whip?

Anyone you speak to outside the insular world of racing looks at a whip and sees the administering of pain.

This is old ground, we all know this. But what remains totally baffling is the total lack of attempt by the BHA to educate.

Infomercials, promoted videos on Twitter and Youtube, press conferences, demonstrations, marketing campaigns, spokesmen on big race-days are all obvious and credible ways of solving the perception problem.

Nick Rust said earlier this week harsher penalties could be brought in for jockeys exceeding the ‘seven strike’ limit – another measure that simply panders to the anti-whip brigade – and that’s before he came out with the extraordinary line: ’98 percent of people have never seen a horse in the flesh’.

If that’s the case, Nick, then why do we need to do anything about the whip? Those who’ve never seen a horse aren’t going to know how a whip works.

Education is key.


Racing Twitter had another meltdown this week, with an article in the Racing and Football Outlook causing a stir.

The piece in question asked whether honorifics – calling your boss ‘Mr or Sir’ – should be done away with.

Unsurprisingly, there was the usual glut of insults and unreasonable responses.

Racing needs to take itself less seriously on social media as Twitter can often be a most unsavoury place.