Contentious rides, jockey suspensions and excuses for the beaten brigade – here are the stewards snippets for Saturday metropolitan racing around Australia


Darryl McLellan (Chalmers) pleaded guilty to a charge of careless riding following the running of race eight at Randwick. Approaching the 500m, McLellan permitted his mount Chalmers to shift in when insufficiently clear of Dio D’oro which was taken in across the running of Turnberry which had to be steadied. McLellan’s licence to ride in races was suspended for a period to commence on Monday January 21, at the expiration of a period of suspension he incurred at Cessnock on January 8, and to expire on Saturday February 2 on which day he may ride. 

Jason Maskiell (Call Me Handsome) pleaded guilty to a charge of careless riding in the eighth at Flemington. The careless riding being that near the 1000m he permitted his mount to shift in when not sufficiently clear of Cabeza De Vaca resulting in that gelding having to check to avoid the heels of Call Me Handsome. Maskiell had his licence to ride in races suspended for a total of ten meetings to commence midnight January 17 and to expire midnight January 26. (4 metro, 6 provincial). In assessing penalty, stewards were of the view that the incident qualified for the mid-range category of carelessness and took into account his guilty plea and excellent record.


Rides that had some punters up in arms.

Damien Oliver on Order Of Command (Flemington R7)

Sent out as a $2.30 favourite, Order Of Command settled back in the field (as he usually does) but was unable to quicken when Oliver asked him to improve at the 400m. He made some progress to the furlong marker before running into dead-ends over the final 100m. Although he was held-up late, he didn’t appear to be travelling like the winner at the time so the criticism of Oliver may have been a little unfair. Stewards questioned Oliver regarding the performance, with the jockey reporting that the gelding was a little disappointing up in class. A post-race veterinary examination failed to reveal any obvious abnormality other than a graze to the right fore knee.

Martin Seidel on Mr Money Bags (Flemington R8)

Seidl drifted back early on Mr Money Bags from the wide gate, eventually finding a position three-wide with cover in the last four. Seidl was on the back of the eventual winner Manolo Blahniq in the approach to the final bend but instead of edging out wide into the clear, Seidl decided to steer back towards the inside. As a result, the horse was held-up at various stages from the 400m to the 100m. Stewards noted that Mr Money Bags was inclined to hang in.

Linda Meech on Dusk Falls (Randwick R6) 
Meech enjoyed a big day at Randwick but her ride on $21 chance Dusk Falls in the sixth landed her in front of stewards. The Matthew Smith-trained gelding led and opened up a huge margin before dropping right back through the field to be beaten nearly 16L. Meech advised that as notified by the stewards her instructions were to lead and attempt to establish a break on the field, as connections considered it was one-paced at its last start and it may benefit from a genuine tempo. She said that in the early stages she was required to make use of Dusk Falls to comply with her instructions and after crossing Yuralla Boy near the 1800m, Dusk Falls raced keenly in the lead. She added that whilst she was aware, Dusk Falls had established a sizeable lead on the field in the middle stages, she indicated she had endeavoured to reduce the tempo, but her mount did not respond to her efforts to do so. She added in her view Dusk Falls would be better suited to being ridden more conservatively. A post-race veterinary examination revealed no abnormalities.


Miss Toorak Flyer (Gold Coast R2)
Miss Toorak Flyer was a hard-luck story in the second, flashing home from a long way back to finish 1.35L off the winner Mr Markou. McEvoy told stewards that his mount slipped at the start of the race and lost ground as a result. She also met with interference at the top of the straight.

Houtzen (Gold Coast R5)
A noted drifter in betting, the speedy Houtzen was under pressure a long way from home and knocked up to finish 10th. When questioned regarding the performance, jockey Jeff Lloyd stated that the mare jumped away awkwardly and did not initially show early speed. However, he was able to obtain a position outside the leader after going a short distance without over exerting the mare. He further stated that from the 600m the mare was off the bit and failed to respond and run on, and may not have appreciated today’s firm surface. A post-race veterinary examination revealed the mare to have a poor post race recovery. 

Cadogan (Gold Coast R9)
Brett Prebble was caught out three-wide without cover for basically the entire 1400m journey on Cadogan, so the horse’s effort to finish as close as he did (4th, beaten 1.3L) was full of merit. 

I’m Wesley (Flemington R7)
The Tasmanian visitor put little into his finish in race seven at Flemington and was subsequently found to be suffering from mild heat stress. 


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