The Melbourne Cup may have given us our most exciting finish of 2011 but there’s every chance the 2011 Railway Stakes provided the most controversial.
Kerrin McEvoy celebrated victory in the Group 1 after crossing the line first on the Roger James trained He’s Remarkable.
It was to be taken away from him though after a mammoth stewards inquiry found in favour of the second placed Luckygray with the placings reversed.
Luckygray struck interference at the 600m mark but the debate raged as to which horse caused the interference and how much momentum was lost.
McEvoy is plainly disgruntled with the ruling and has brought into question the evidence stewards had available to even make a decision.
“The footage they had was very ordinary, you couldn’t just say it was all me,” he said.
“They haven’t got the stewards’ tower in the right position to provide the proper footage that you need.”
It’s a feeling that’s been portrayed by plenty of punters across various media outlets this morning and one that James spoke about yesterday.
“I always thought to change a result it’s got to be a black and white decision,” he said.
“Nowhere in the film they showed us could they prove that with the camera angles they had.”
The more straight forward critics have attacked West Australian stewards for being blatantly bias in favour of their local horses although James himself stopped short of that.
“I would like to think it’s not a hometown decision but more rather a questionable one,” he said.
The problems for McEvoy though don’t simply end with the Railway defeat, he’s also been slugged with a huge 28 day suspension.
“It’s quite disappointing, obviously I’ve been happy with the way things have been going and it is annoying to be on the sidelines when you are in top form,” he said.
He says while the loss of prize money, loss of a Group 1 and loss of future rides all hurt, so too does the fact connections also missed out.
“I just feel for Roger James and his owner who have a colt that won a Group One and lost it in the stewards room,” McEvoy said.
“It is all about being out there riding for connections and riding these expensive horses that are trying to make stud careers.
“There is a lot bigger picture than just the Group One itself, these horses need to win $1 million races to give them a career after racing.”