A TRAINER has been fined by stewards for bringing his two children to the racecourse.
Punters reacted with fury as news of Matthew Brown’s punishment for taking his two kids, five and six, to the track on Sunday spread.
Brown, who is based in Cranbourne, Australia, said he had no option but to bring his children to work with him because he couldn’t get a babysitter.
The trainer was at Cranbourne for just one race.
He was fined just over £210 by stewards for ‘breaching Covid protocols’.
Racing fans slammed the ‘appalling, tone deaf’ stewards who dished out the fine.
The official statement said: “Trainer Matthew Brown was fined $400 (£211) for breaching the Racing Victoria Covid-19 protocols in that he had additional people with him on course.”
Brown, who is engaged to fiancee Luana, posted a photo of the ruling with his own message which read: “I will just leave this here. But I will write it how it should have been written.
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“‘Trainer Matthew Brown was fined $400 for having his 2 children (5yo and 6yo) with him at the races on a Sunday’.
“I guess with no babysitter for the seventh straight day, I was meant to leave them either alone at home, or out in the car in the car park.
“Shame on you Racing Victoria.”
Racing fans united in anger at the ‘absolutely disgraceful’ decision.
One said: “Appalling, tone deaf behaviour from stewards.”
Another commented: “Just beyond ridiculous.”
A fellow Facebook user wrote: “There is no way Matt that you are paying such a ridiculous fine, my God what is this world coming to.”
‘NEW LEVEL OF LOW’
One posted: “That’s bulls**t. As a dad of two kids Matthew, happy to throw in a few dollars to cover the fine.”
Another comment read: “What a f***ing joke this fine is. What should he do as a parent, leave them in the car, or at home? Obviously he had a very good reason to take them.”
A fellow racing fan wrote: “New level of low. This needs to be taken further, how ridiculous they have lost their mind?”
While another said: “That’s disgusting. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.”
Brown told racing.com: “Luana and I both work together and obviously with lockdown the kids haven’t been at school, they’ve had care for six days in a row and Sunday isn’t an easy day to find help.
“There was no babysitter available and we couldn’t drop them anywhere as you are not allowed to go into other people’s homes.
“We’re giving staff Sunday off. Myself and my partner do every afternoon and Sunday afternoon, managing staff and juggling the workload is difficult and the whole thing is disappointing.
‘NO OTHER CHOICE’
“Cranbourne was close to home and we had no other choice.
“We had no choice really to just go off to the races, and I could see them [stewards] eyeing me off.
“Sure enough they weren’t happy but I was more put out by them putting in the stewards’ report about bringing additional patrons, there’s nothing about them being my young kids.
“I explained the situation and said what do you want me to do with them, which they said, sort it out basically, that was their comments.
“I just said, ‘did you want me to leave them in car or home alone?’, and they just said we didn’t say that.
“What annoys me the most is that we’re all in struggling times, the kids are five and six, and the stewards’ report makes it sound like I’ve done something far worse.
“It’s hard enough to find time to spend with the kids at the moment.”
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