The man in charge of Tuesday's controversial New Zealand Cup start has been replaced.
Long-time Canterbury harness racing starter Peter Lamb was informed by host club Addington he will no longer be their starter, with the role going to former assistant starter Ricky Donnelly.
The start of Tuesday's $540,000 Group 1 great race was widely criticised after the horses drawn wide were walking up to the start when the tapes were released while the horses drawn inside were standing still.
Punters were outraged by the unfairness, especially as hot favourite Copy That was the worst affected as he was so sluggish away from the ace draw he was never a chance after.
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Lamb, a former trainer, has had a sometimes troubled relationship with several key horse people, undoubtedly not helped by the fact he also works for the Racing Integrity Unit as an investigator and has worked on the long-running Operation Inca.
It appears Tuesday's starting debacle was the straw that broke the camel's back as the Australasian-wide outcry in the harness industry made Lamb's position untenable.
Whether he keeps his role as starter for the other clubs in Canterbury, who have the right to employ whoever they want from Harness Racing New Zealand's officially registered pool of starters, remains to be seen.
Lamb was informed he will no longer be Addington's starter before today's Ashburton meeting.
But no official statement was made by Addington officials until tonight so as not to unfairly impact his ability to perform his duties at the Ashburton meeting.