The Appaller in Gawler – The Worst Protest Decision in the History of Racing


The finish of race 5 at Gawler was a close one, with only a bare nose in it.

Young 3 kilo claiming apprentice Lizzie Annells, rider of the runner up, fired in a protest against the winner, alleging that its senior jockey Claudia Lions allowed her horse to run in and interfere with Annells mount over the final 200 metres.

The Stewards dismissed the protest.

I never knew before that the whole Gawler panel was blind, but we all do now.

If there was ever a protest in the world that should have been upheld it was this one.

Let’s walk through it.


Coming around the home turn and straightening up, Annells horse is about one width off the fence, and Lions mount is about 3 to 4.

You can see it better on the head on.


Lizzie Annells mount then comes out slightly, but the kid stops riding and straightens it, bringing it back onto its line.


Then Claudia Lions mount comes across and smashes her.


To her credit, Claudia stops and straightens her horse.


But the damage is done.

Lizzie goes up in the air.

Not because she wants to catch her breath, but rather because if she didn’t she might have ended up implanted in the fence.


There’s your head to a neck check that you need to uphold a protest in which the affected horse only gets beaten a nose.

It’s Stewarding 101, and Steve Railton taught it to me when I was a 15-year-old kid doing work experience as a Steward with my Economics teacher Trevor Tindall’s dad Andy.

Protest upheld.

You didn’t even need the next bump, where after Lions has straightened her horse it runs in again, and takes her rival’s running.


You didn’t need it, but it would have made the verdict a certainty.

In any other State but South Australia.

You all know about the Thriller in Manila.

We now you’ve seen the Appaller in Gawler too.

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