RWWA Stewards today concluded the adjourned inquiry into Jockey J. Claite’s riding of FIRE OF DENMARK in the straight in Race 7 the ozbet.com.au Handicap over 1200m run at Belmont on Wednesday, 10 June 2009.
Trainer Mr. S Bates was questioned and further evidence was taken from Jockey J. Claite.
Jockey Claite explained that FIRE OF DENMARK commenced to lay inwards from the 1000m and shifted ground inwards in the straight placing him at a disadvantage in that he was unable to ride the gelding out fully. He further advised that he was reluctant to use the whip on the gelding shortly after straightening due to his concern that it would shift ground quickly and he therefore rode it in a hands and heels manner. He further stated that the gelding continued to lay inwards and subsequently became blocked for a clear run when improving onto the heels of tiring runners passing the 200m and was then unable to secure a clear passage for the remainder of the race. He also advised that FIRE OF DENMARK returned with its tongue over the bit which contributed to it laying inwards.
Trainer Mr S. Bates advised that the gelding has displayed a tendency to lay inwards during previous race starts and in recent trackwork and for this reason he fitted an alternative form of lugging bit for the race. He further advised that the gelding may have resented this bit and that it was now his intention to experiment with an alternative type of racing bit in an attempt to improve its tractability. Also, the gelding received dental and chiropractic treatment following the race and that it would now race over increased distances in future.
Although Stewards accepted that FIRE OF DENMARK lay inwards throughout running, Jockey Claite was told that in the opinion of the Stewards, he had erred in not demonstrating a greater level of vigour in the early stages of the straight.
Trainer Mr S. Bates was advised that due to the gelding’s racing manner it would have to trial to the satisfaction of Stewards before racing again.
Chief Steward Thoroughbreds
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