There was outcry amongst racing fans last week after quirky racehorse Mad Moose was banned from the track.
The naughty chestnut, who is trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, was banned for being reluctant and refusing to race one too many times.
He has refused to start 4 times since October 2012 — including at the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals.
The 10-year-old’s final race turned out to be the Grade One Tingle Creek at Sandown in December, in which he did start, but didn’t make it over any fences — pulling himself up before the 1st.
He was banned by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) last Thursday (9 January).
“The matter was referred to the Authority by the Sandown stewards because the gelding had refused to race, been reluctant to race or tailed itself off, in both flat and jump races, on 6 further occasions in the previous 14 months,” said the BHA.
“Having considered the evidence, including that from Twiston-Davies, the Panel declare that with immediate effect no further entries would be accepted for Mad Moose.”
The horse even got Nigel in trouble with the BHA last November, after the trainer chased after him waving a belt to try and get him to start at Cheltenham. Nigel’s unauthorised “encouragement” landed him with a £140 fine.
Despite his quirks Mad Moose won 7 races — 3 hurdles, 3 chases and 1 on the Flat. He finished 2nd to Sprinter Sacre in a Grade One at Cheltenham, and second to Mount Athos in a Group 3 at Chester.
In an effort to sort out his quirks, Mad Moose had even been sent to trainer Gary Witheford, who is famous for dealing with difficult horses.
Gary tweeted: “Sad to hear Mad Moose is banned on the Flat. I understand the jump ban but Nigel and myself have had him jumping out of the stalls at Lingfield faster than the 2-year-olds either side of him in a recent practice session. I think he could’ve been ok with a few more sessions”.
Mad Moose has a large following on Twitter — with fans calling to “Let the Moose loose”.
Owners Middleham Park Racing are as yet undecided on Mad Moose’s future, but H&H’s spies have seen him out hunting and report back: “It’s safe to say he ran in snatches…”