Top Brisbane jockey Jim Byrne will appeal a careless riding suspension incurred at Eagle Farm yesterday in a bid to keep his slim premiership hopes alive.
Byrne was quietly confident that he could fight out the Brisbane jockey’s title heading into yesterday’s meeting but left the course without a winner and a seven meeting suspension.
The top jockey sits on forty-nine and a half wins in third spot, six and a half wins behind premiership favourite Michael Cahill who increased his lead with a winning double.
Cahill saluted on the Danny Bougoure trained Heart Stealer in the XXXX Gold Class 1 Plate (2234m) and scored on Voodoo Blue Magic for Les Ross in the Gallopers $1 Membership Class 3 Handicap (1300m).
Tim Bell is sitting in second position on fifty-three wins and also failed to ride a winner on Wednesday but is still an outside chance with four meetings to the end of the season.
But Byrne will try desperately to fight the suspension after stewards found him guilty of causing interference, claiming his mount Secret Process shifted in shortly after the start of the Brisbane Marriott Hotel Maiden Plate causing interference with Whatalovelyday, Colour Me Pretty and Rage Within all suffering.
Byrne argued that the interference was not entirely his fault but chief steward Daniel Aurisch didn’t agree.
“Your record is good for someone who rides so often. But we find you guilty of the charge,” Aurisch said.
Even though Byrne had not been suspended since November last year, he was still handed a seven meeting stretch to begin on July 25.
Byrne has been in fine form of late and collected several feature race wins towards the end of the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
The Tony Gollan trained Alma’s Fury provided Byrne with a winning double by taking out the Listed $175,000 City Of Ipswich Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich and the Listed $175,000 Reed Property Group Glasshouse Handicap (1400m) at the Sunshine Coast.
He also won the Listed $100,000 Sky Racing Gai Waterhouse Classic (1350m) at Ipswich on Jazz Song for Melbourne trainer Mick Price and saluted on Iggi Pop for John Sargent in the Group 2 $300,000 Croser Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm.
If Byrne can get his suspension overturned on appeal, he has a slim chance of overhauling Cahill and Bell and will keep the chase going hard with eight rides at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Byrne’s rides are: Race 1, Bradbury Chocolate, Race 2, Denwood, Race 3, Yeagar, Race 4, Casino Card, Race 5, Under The Hat, Race 6, Joint Initiative, Race 7, Theft, Race 8, L’Entrecote.