By Hans Ebert

There might be many things holding horse racing back, but hypocrisy should not be one of them.

Then desperately trying to hide this hypocrisy, makes things worse when revealed and one is forced to eat humble pie and their original offending tweet.

This is exactly what happened to Melbourne’s sports and racing channel RSN’s Michael Felgate yesterday, below, a good host of the programme Racing Pulse who has always done the best with who and what he has to work.

Often, it might seem a thankless gig. Let’s face it, horse racing is hardly overrun with the most charismatic executives and personalities. But one works with what’s out there. And then there are those days when, especially social media, has one caught at the slips after a rash shot when the ball should have been left alone. It’s a Yeezy Moment.

After being one of the first to tweet that Hugh Bowman would not be riding $1.65 favourite Avilius in The Australian Cup, ol’ Blue Eyes added a critique of the jockey’s ride on Osborne Bull. It was a personal opinion and Twitter, especially, is a playground for everyone having an opinion.

Of course, with Twitter being Twitter, following Felgate’s late breaking news tweet, on came the usual tsunami of pro and negative comments and “likes” and retweets from many serial twitterers and armchair experts on horse racing from the land Down Under.

Of course amongst these were the now familiar names who seize these moments to try and manipulate everything so that it becomes all about them and the travails they’ve had to endure for almost a decade with still no signs of closure. The handwringing has continued for so long that their arms must be suffering from shingles. Still, it continues…despite its irrevelance.

Hugh Bowman posting a message asking for privacy and to please respect whatever he and his family were going through, quelled the onslaught of second guessing and really really bad spelling.

As for Michael Felgate, when slapped with this dose of reality bites from Hugh Bowman, came an embarrassing U-turn. It was damage control. It was also cringeworthy with a soupçon of something of almost religious proportions. I heard thunder. And waves. Lotsa waves.

Michael Felgate climbed to the top of Mount Twit and asked for peace in The Valley Of The Twitter Trolls. How everyone should respect Hugh Bowman’s decision. How the rider was dealing with something personal yada yada yada. One almost expected Michael Felgate to feed the forty thousand and turn water into wine.

That earlier tweet from him which pointed fingers at Hugh Bowman’s ride in the Newmarket? Deleted. Quickly deleted. Not.A.Word.About.It.

Finally came ANOTHER tweet from the Man Who Had Fallen From Twitter Grace.

Yes, he had deleted his original tweet. Maybe he had jumped the gun? But the damage had been done. A number of zits had been popped and hypocrisy revealed. Not only the transparent hypocrisy of Michael Felgate, who by now was furiously back pedalling.

Where were those hand wringers who just could not help themselves but wade in with their thoughts? Nowhere.

Where was the hand wringing against Michael Felgate and his poorly judged piece of social media “journalism”?

After all, as an employee of RSN, isn’t he meant to report only the facts? A professional unlike the rest of the rabble who tweet about rides and how good, bad and ugly they were and let anger spillover until memories of Kathy Bates in “Misery” feed one’s head with Grace Slick screaming in the background?

This is why and where those who believe they’re fighting the good fight for the little people have lost the support of those who have decided what is fact from fiction. How all this rage against the corporate machine now has a new theme song: Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper bursting into “Shallow”.

Nothing is ever solved on Twitter. And way too often, horse racing and Twitter (and social media) make strange bedfellows. It’s bad for the image of horse racing and those who support it in the real world and fight to create a better product.

To those shown some of this vitriol- like sponsors and those wondering if they should dip their toe into what might be a fun pastime- it’s not only a turn off.

It tars those trying to turn horse racing into something more than it’s been for almost three decades with the same brush.

The result: No Big Picture. Just something old, full of angry birds and really really fugly.

#MichaelFelgate #Avilius #Twitter #HughBowman #horseracing #OsborneBull #RSN #racingmedia