In late breaking news on Monday afternoon leading Brisbane jockey Larry Cassidy was suspended for 3 months at a reconvened enquiry by Racing Queensland Stewards over his handling of beaten favourite Trump at Doomben on Saturday September 17.
Stewards alleged Cassidy failed to improve his position early in the race, saying he unnecessarily restrained Trump, which resulted in the horse being caught three-wide.
Cassidy defended his actions saying he was trying to make sure Trump was relaxed and he was unable to get back in after two horses kicked up inside him.
Starting $1.70 favourite Trump finished third to the Robert Heathcote-trained stablemate Bevico Girl in a 1615m race.
The original stewards extract from race day read:
An inquiry has been opened into the running and handling of TRUMP. After taking initial evidence from jockey L. Cassidy and trainer Mr R. Heathcote, the inquiry was adjourned to a time and date to be fixed. A post-race veterinary examination of TRUMP failed to reveal any significant abnormalities.
It is unsure at time of writing if Cassidy appealed the decision.
Racing Queensland are yet to release a report.
UPDATE Racing Queensland have released the following report:
RACING QUEENSLAND STEWARDS REPORT
DEAGON OFFICES – SEPTEMBER 26, 2011
Racing Queensland Limited (RQL) stewards yesterday concluded an inquiry, opened on Saturday, September 17, 2011, into the running and handling of the racehorse Trump, which competed in race two at Doomben on the aforementioned date.
At the hearing today further evidence was taken from the rider of Trump, jockey Larry Cassidy, trainer Mr R. Heathcote, licensed stablehand to Mr Heathcote, Mr R. Ciobo, part-owner of Trump Mr S. Hedge and betting supervisor Mr W. Flynn.
After having considered the evidence stewards issued a charge against jockey Cassidy 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 place in the field.
The specifics of the charge being:
(a) That from leaving the 1500 metres until near the 1300 metres when an opportunity existed to allow Trump to improve forward to a position one off the fence outside of Craiglea Hussy, and in circumstances when two competitors namely All The Torque and Black Jag were progressing to the outside of Trump, jockey Cassidy unnecessarily and unreasonably restrained Trump and allowed All The Torque and Black Jag to cross the running of Trump which resulted in Trump being disadvantaged by virtue of having to race three wide without cover.
(b) That after restraining Trump for approximately 150 metres in the back straight which resulted in Trump being positioned some five lengths from the lead near the 1000 metres and when Trump was traveling strongly under restraint when the pace was only moderate, jockey Cassidy unnecessarily and unreasonably restrained Trump between the 1000 metres and a point approaching the 800 metres which resulted in Trump being positioned some five lengths from the lead and three wide without cover near the 800 metres having in the stewards view expended energy due to continuous restraint from jockey Cassidy.
(c) Jockey Cassidy’s riding of Trump did, in the stewards view, deny Trump its full opportunity to win or to obtain the best possible place in the field.
Jockey Cassidy pleaded not guilty to the charge.
After stewards had an opportunity to consider further submissions from jockey Cassidy, stewards informed him that they believed an opportunity existed to take a position one off the fence outside a Craiglea Hussy in the early stages. It was evident to the stewards that the rider of Atlantis Gem did not indicate contesting that position and it was also evident that Trump had begun cleanly and was holding an advantage over Atlantis Gem running down to the first turn. Jockey Cassidy’s decision to restrain Trump and allow All The Torque and Black Jag to cross Trump was considered to be unreasonable in all the circumstances.
In respect to jockey Cassidy’s riding in the back straight stewards concluded that jockey Cassidy’s continuous restraint of Trump between the 1000 metres and the 800 metres was unreasonable in the circumstances, particularly when the pace of the race was moderate and when a specific instruction was issued by Mr Heathcote to have the horse traveling where it was comfortable.
On this basis stewards found jockey Cassidy guilty of the charge.
After having considered jockey Cassidy’s brief submissions in respect of penalty, stewards informed him that consideration had been given to issuing a merits charge under AR135(a), however stewards were not satisfied that there was sufficient evidence to prove such a serious offence.
Stewards did view this matter very seriously and believed jockey Cassidy’s degree of culpability to be high. The racing and in particular the betting fraternity are entitled to expect that any rider, in particular a senior and experienced rider will handle any mount to the best of his or her ability on every occasion.
Stewards believed the consequential effects of the breach to be significant bearing in mind that Trump carried significant public expectation evidenced by the strong financial support for the horse and were conscious of the fact that the breach occurred at a metropolitan Saturday meeting which attracts substantial public interest.
In all the circumstances stewards believed the appropriate penalty be that jockey Cassidy’s licence to ride in races be suspended for a period of three months to commence at midnight October 5, 2011 and to expire at midnight January 5, 2012.
At the conclusion of the inquiry Mr R. Heathcote was thanked for his cooperation and forthright evidence throughout the hearing and advised that there was absolutely no evidence to suggest any malpractice on his behalf.