UPDATE (12:10pm): Rodder has won her appeal and has been cleared of the six week suspension
Don’t expect the ongoing fight between Talia Rodder and Racing Victoria to go away any time soon with the Australian Jockey’s Association declaring it will use its full weight in support of the embattled apprentice.
For those late to the table Rodder was given a six week suspension for failing to take all reasonable and permissible measures to obtain the best possible placing for her mount Serene Tanie at Moonee Valley.
The apprentice took the horse to the front and engaged in a tough battle for the lead before dropping out on the straight.
They key facts to remember though are that the trainer Robbie Laing confirmed she rode to instructions and she is a 3kg claiming apprentice.
What has industry participants so worried is that should this ruling be upheld it would set a frightening precedent for inexperienced jockeys to be rubbed out based on a simple error of judgement.
“It just stands to reason. You look at any sport and they will always give young people the benefit of the doubt,” AJA chairman Ross Inglis said.
“It is very disappointing they would target any young apprentice in circumstances such as this. I don’t think it is appropriate when they have made an error in judgment.”
He says it would have been far more appropriate and beneficial for stewards to have coached her through her mistakes and explained how to handle a similar situation in the future.
“What I think should have happened, given she admitted it was an error of judgment, is that Talia should have been directed to sit down with the review committee and taken through what she did wrong and given some advice as to what she should have done,” he said.
Inglis points to this year’s Melbourne Cup with the best horses and the best riders as a clear example of why the Rodder penalty is ludicrous.
“It’s all very well if you go to the front and nothing else is challenging you then it’s easy to get the horse to come back under you, but sometimes that doesn’t work either,” he said.
“Jimmy Cassidy wanted Illo to come back under him in a Melbourne Cup, but it did not. Once a horse gets a full head of steam it is not easy to bring them back under you.”
Rodder will be represented by David Grace and Peter Jurkovsky at the appeal while Dayle Brown will act on behalf of the stewards.