The Stewards have opened and convened an inquiry into the running and handling of $9 shot Vega One at the Sunshine Coast yesterday.
So they bloody should have too.
What sort of steer was that by Brisbane’s number one jockey Baylee Nothdurft?
Vega One is always ridden from behind when running in races of less than six furlongs, so going back early wasn’t the problem. And the horse carried 62 kilos, so Nothdurft cuddling him wasn’t either.
The problem was this.
At the top of the straight a run opened up for Vega One to begin inch up into.
Nothdurft didn’t take it.
Fair enough, he was too far off the gap for it to be a good thing, and it would probably close.
It did too, but then the inside passage opened up.
Baylee decided to go out.
He looked like a genius for a second, because a run through the middle suddenly appeared, and with the inside still on if he wanted it, suddenly the kid looked like a genius, which in most races on most days he is.
Vega One is a good horse, that’s why he was carrying topweight.
Good horses want to run down the leader of the pack.
He wanted to go through the gap.
His rider didn’t though.
Instead of pushing up and through, Nothdurft went up in the irons and back.
It was like he’d been checked off an invisible horse.
Didn’t matter though.
Even with its rider up in the air swinging on it so hard that he let Ringos a Rockstar cross in front of him, Vega One was still going fast enough to come up near alongside the two outside him, and was ready to slide through and go swish.
Nothdurft too a hard right turn, back to the inside of Ringo.
We are getting near the final 100 now, but Vega’s still traveling well enough to win.
The horse one off is tiring.
There’s enough room between it and the one in the checked armbands and cap to drive a truck.
There’s room enough to muscle Ringo off and shoot the outside gap too.
There still is.
Both runs are there for the taking.
Does Brisbane’s number one rider take them?
Look, look, even seventy metres out the inside gap’s there?
Why doesn’t Baylee shoot it?
That’s what the Stewards will be trying to find out.