Bill Flemming, who was working as the Clerk of Scales in Gowran park is the fourth generation of his family to be involved in Irish racing.
The job of the Clerk of Scales is to make sure that everything that you see in the race card is exactly as it is in real life. “My job is to make sure that everything on the race card is correct, I weigh the jockeys in and I weigh them out. I check its the right colours, the right rider and the right cloth,” said Mr Flemming.
These days everything in the weigh room is digitised but as yet they haven’t changed over to the metric system. Mr Flemming explained that they use extremely sensitive digital scales to weigh the jockeys in before the race. The jockey’s are allowed a leeway of 0.9lb above the stated weight before the race and when they are weighing back in after the race jockey’s have to be within 0.9lb of their pre-race weight. Mr Flemming said “as soon as they go over that 0.9lb they are disqualified,” said Mr Flemming.
The Clerk of Scales arrives at the track about two hours before the races began. Mr Flemming uses the time to make sure his equipment is set up and that the race card is in order. Each jockey is then weighed before and after every race to make sure that they are with in the guidelines set out by horse racing Ireland.