Leopards, Spots, Vets, Boats and Witless Whiteley – The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same


05 October 2011

RACING Queensland stewards have today dropped a charge laid against top jockey Chris Whiteley after a running and handling inquiry involving Red Story at Mackay in August.

Stewards advised Whiteley that although they were concerned by aspects of his ride, veterinary evidence had convinced them that the charge could not be sustained.

Below is the RQ Stewards’ Report on the inquiry:

RACING Queensland stewards today concluded an inquiry into the running and handling of Red Story in race four at the Mackay Turf Club on August 16, 2011.

At an inquiry on September 16, 2011, after all available evidence was considered, rider Chris Whiteley was issued with a charge under AR135(b), which reads:

“The rider of every horse shall take all reasonable and permissible measures throughout the race to ensure that his horse is given full opportunity to win or to obtain the best possible position in the field.”

The specifics of the charge being that:

(1)  Near the 900m when an opportunity existed to take a position trailing the eventual winner Taormina one off the fence, he unnecessarily and unreasonably restrained Red Story.

(2) Between the 800m and 700m he failed to take advantage of an opportunity which was available to trail the eventual winner Taormina one off the fence where it was reasonable and permissible to do so, and instead he positioned Red Story in a three-wide position trailing Jazoom, which resulted in Red Story being forced to cover additional ground until entering the straight.

(3)  After losing his whip leaving the 250m, C. Whiteley then between the 200m and 50m rode Red Story in an unorthodox manner which, in the opinion of the stewards, resulted in Red Story becoming unbalanced and being detrimental to the gelding’s chances.

C. Whiteley pleaded not guilty to the charge and the matter was adjourned at his request to allow him to view veterinary reports trainer Lyle Rowe had carried out on Red Story prior to the gelding racing on August 16, 2011.

Today stewards considered a veterinary report from Dr Paul McCosker regarding a clinical examination carried out on Red Story on August 9, 2011.  This report stated that Red Story had some swelling over the medial aspect of the left-fore cannon area. The gelding was also found to have some inflammation of the suspensory ligament in this area.

Telephonic evidence was also taken from Dr McCosker at today’s hearing.

After considering all of the evidence, stewards informed Jockey Whiteley that they remained concerned with the manner in which he had ridden Red Story, particularly between the 900 metres and 700 metres when he failed to take advantage of a position that was available one off the fence trailing the eventual winner Taomarina. Stewards were also critical of the unorthodox manner of riding jockey C. Whiteley employed on Red Story between the 200 metres and the 50 metres. However, on the basis of the evidence provided by Dr McCosker, stewards could not be satisfied on the whole of the evidence that the charge could be sustained.

Stewards will now interview trainer Lyle Rowe regarding the veterinary evidence that was provided to the inquiry.


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