I am not here to argue the call was bad, or good. There's enough opinion out there on that (in my timeline, the call being a bad one beats the people who think it was good by a decent margin), but it's not the point.
Bettors have been arguing for years that the system for inquiries, judging and its consistency have been a pox on racing's house. Whether it's been suspect and completely inconsistent calls on herding, to lack of transparency, to the Kentucky Breeders Cup stewards watching a football game on one of their monitors, this lack of professionalism and seemingly arbitrary standards has been griped about.
Although the industry likes to say "it's just those HANA whiners" or a bunch of complainers who lost a bet, that would be wrong. People who are complaining have a right to complain, and most of what they want should've been a staple in this industry for a hundred years or more.
The way inquiries are handled is insulting; to everyone, from participants to horse owners, to bettors.
Although it's folly to compare everything by saying "look at Hong Kong" because it's one jurisdiction with only a couple of tracks and few racedays, well........ look at Hong Kong.
From the HK Racing Post:
“The Eliot Ness-like Kim Kelly and his team of racetrack law enforcers ruthlessly cross-examine the riders of good things beaten, or bad things ridden cold, and painstakingly investigate replays from myriad angles like it's the Zapruder film. The level of detail is welcome - and the incident reports are another example of "world's best practice" for the Jockey Club.”
In the US and Canada there's over ten billion bet on racing. Ten billion with a "b". The way that money is watched over by racing for its customer base would never be allowed in any other business.
How hard is it to set standards, how hard is it to establish some form of consistency, how difficult is it to do what Hong Kong does and explain it to bettors like they are what they are - someone with a huge stake in the outcome?
Monopolies like horse racing was for generations allowed it to stagnate on many levels. Because of that, we as customers hear: "that's the way we do things in racing", constantly, whenever any issue comes up. Well, the way racing does things - many, many things - are wrong and bad for its business.
An airline executive said something recently I found apropos, "customers don't expect you to be perfect, but they do expect you to fix things when they go wrong". Racing has had fifty or more years to establish a transparent, open, respectful and accurate system when it comes to inquiries. Like with most issues like this, customers got tired of waiting and headed for the exits. Who can blame them?
Related: Today's Update.