Magic Millions winner Luke Tarrant out for month for whip infringements

By: Mark Mazzaglia
January 12th, 2015

Magic Millions 2yo Classic winning jockey Luke Tarrant has vowed to change his ways after being hit with a one month ban for excessive whip use at the Gold Coast last Saturday.

Jockey Luke Tarrant steers Le Chef to a comfortable win in the Magic Millions 2yo Classic at the Gold Coast.  Photo by Steve Hart.

Jockey Luke Tarrant steers Le Chef to a comfortable win in the Magic Millions 2yo Classic at the Gold Coast. Photo by Steve Hart.

Tarrant scored the biggest win of his career with a faultless ride on the Darryl Hansen trained Le Chef in the $2m Jeep Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m).

But Racing Queensland stewards found Tarrant guilty of using the whip in a forehand manner on Le Chef in excess of the permitted five times prior to the 100m mark and suspended him for three weeks, commencing on midnight January 30, 2015 until midnight February 6, 2015.

The young jockey was also suspended for another week for the same offence on Phelan Ready in the $328,000 Magic Millions Cup (1400m) with that being added on to his previous suspension, putting him on the sidelines until midnight February 14, 2015.

Tarrant, who is still an apprentice, is comfortably leading the Brisbane Jockey’s Premiership on forty-one wins, but a month out the saddle will give his closest rivals Jim Byrne (28 wins) and Tim Bell (27 wins) plenty of opportunities to close the gap.

But Tarrant is more worried about his riding style and vowed to work hard to exclude the bad habit of excessive whip usage from his future riding.

“It’s not the way my boss (Frank Phillips) taught me to ride and it’s clearly something I have to work on,” Tarrant told The Courier-Mail.

“I have done the wrong thing and have to accept the penalty. Obviously I don’t want to be spending any time on the sidelines, so I have to change.”

Tarrant has already put a chequered past behind him and showed that he is a talent of the future when he rode Queensland trained Rudy to victory in the Group 2 $175,000 Inglis Villiers (1600m) at Randwick on December 13.

Le Chef also gave Hansen his biggest pay cheque during his twenty-three years as a trainer and did a great job to have the Exceed And Excel gelding spot on for last Saturday’s 2yo Classic on a short preparation.

“This horse has had three runs in a short period and I had him in the paddock for four days,” Hansen said.

“I’ve told the owners I can’t wait to put him away in the paddock again as he’ll come back an even better three-year-old.

Hansen knew he had a serious Magic Million 2yo Classic contender when Le Chef won at his second race start by four and a half lengths in an 1100m Ipswich maiden on December 24 and then went on to win over 1200m in a Gold Coast 2yo Handicap on January 3.

Hansen then only had seven days to put the final touches on Le Chef ($16) but he responded by making it a hat trick of wins at the Gold Coast last Saturday by beating the Liam Birchley trained Pepperano ($31) and Single Gaze ($8.50).

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