We saw Baylee Nothdurft pull Vega One up a few weeks ago at the Sunshine Coast, and so did Blind Freddie and his 103 year-old Uncle Wilbur.
To the shock of many, the QRIC Stewards saw it too, and slapped Nothdurft with three months in the bin, commencing some time in 2023 or 20424, at the expiration of the stay of proceedings when his appeal gets finally heard.
Some thought the penalty a bit light, and it probably was, but I’m guessing that the Stewards were concerned that if they went any higher, they might get dusted by the Internal Reviewer Kane Ashby.
After all, Ashby had been outed himself for 6 months for pulling one up as an apprentice, so he’d be bound to have a decent dose of sympathy for Baylee. He might even regard him as a brother in arms. So three it was, and three it is, and the kid may even get to retire before he serves it, who knows?
If nothing else though, Nothdurft’s suspension should have served as a warning sign that the Stewards, now that they had so much extra time on their hands thanks to the virus, were finally starting to watch races, and some of them replays even, and that if they rode a horse dead too obviously, there was a fair chance that they might get caught.
The problem is that right now the young jockeys have a whole of free time on their hands too, and are far too busy killing zombies or winning GP’s on the X-Box to see or hear any warning signs. So on the pull-ups go, and the only game in town is betting on whether the dead-un’s rider gets caught.
Transplanted Irish apprentice Chris Graham -he’s still a 3 kilo claimer at age 26 – he’d have to be Irish – is the latest pull-up merchant to feature on television screens across the nation.
Graham’s ride on Pushing Shapes in race 6 at Ascot is classic of the genre.
The comedy genre, that is.
Pushing Shapes in the horse in the yellow sitting last.
Watch the replay here.
The WA Stewards have called Chris Graham in.
They’ve called the trainer Daniel Pearce in too.
That wouldn’t happen in Queensland.