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Kickback danger for unwary snappers

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Ruby Walsh with Zaidpour. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

Ruby Walsh with Zaidpour. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

Ruby Walsh with Zaidpour. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

THE entries for the Irish Champion Hurdle meeting were revealed during the week and with big horses running such as Hurricane Fly and co there is sure to be a huge interest in the meeting.

* With such attention, however, there is one negative – that one of these days someone is going to suffer an injury in the parade ring of an Irish racecourse.

* Big horses attract more interest and thus more photographers, which is all a positive thing for the sport. However, some of the casual race-going photographers can be a bit ignorant to the danger of a horse kicking out.

* As well as the danger, there is also the fact that at times, owners are crowded out by the scrum of photographers who will surround the winning jockey as he dismounts and debriefs the winning trainer and usually the owner will struggle his way through to hear what is being said.

* Despite the fact that Leopardstown have a plastic rail around the winners' enclosure which is supposed to help keep photographers at a safe distance away from the horses, it certainly isn't proving to be a deterrent.

* At one stage, after winning on Zaidpour over Christmas, Ruby Walsh was seen getting the photographers on the far side of the rail ... now that is hardly his job.

* But Zaidpour is a horse that could kick out and while Walsh and Willie Mullins know that, some photographers clearly don't.

* I fear if racecourses don't act quickly, there will be an embarrassing incident sooner rather than later.


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