By mid-2013 the Barbadian public should know just what really happened with racehorse Apostle on March 7, 2009 during the prestigious Sandy Lane-sponsored Barbados Gold Cup at the Garrison Savannah.
Lawyers for owners Sir Charles Williams and Elias Haloute were at the Supreme Court today where a number of procedural matters for the case were dealt with. Sir Charles was also at court this morning.
A spokesperson for Sir Charles said today’s hearing concerned matters related to “discovery and disclosure”. He said the facts which they produced would assert what they knew transpired on the day and they would seek remedy for the appropriate parties.
“The matter will be opened to public hearing so all Barbadians will be privy to the evidence produced,” he said.
A judge to hear the matter is still to be determined.
Three years ago Apostle, the major favourite in the field, did not leave the starting gates in the $220,750 race which eventually won by 4-1 shot Daylight Express. Only 10 of the 12 horses contested the event.
In addition to Apostle, which was in post position No.3, Compton Fields, in post position No.1, also remained in the starting gates when the rest of the field made off.
The race had a price tag of $110,000 for the winning owner.
At the time a photograph of Apostle while still in the starting blocks was widely publicised in newspapers and via the internet.
“. . . It is becoming apparent that the horse did not refuse to race. It may turn out to be that he was not allowed to race, therefore the need for further inquiries by the stewards into the matter,” Haloute said then.
At the time the Barbados Turf Club also launched its own investigation. The groom who worked Apostle’s gate was later “fined and warned off”. That ended his association with all horse-racing under the aegis of the BTC.
The Anderson Trotman-ridden five-year-old gelding had not only been tipped to win the event, but if successful, would have been Haloute and Sir Charles’ first Sandy Lane Gold Cup triumph. Trotman had won the event in 2005 on Feet on Flames.
What particularly peeved shocked fans and bettors at the Garrison Savannah that day was that Apostle, the 2007 Barbados Derby winner, had previously beaten eight of the horses in the Gold Cup field earlier in the racing season.
Haloute expressed his sympathy to the fans then and told them to take comfort in the knowledge that “Apostle did not let anybody down”. (WG)