The untenable stance held by Racing Victoria stewards concerning the Talia Rodder case has been unsurprisingly quashed by the Victorian Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board today.
The aged apprentice is clear to ride after the RAD board ruled her ride on Serene Tanie at Moonee Valley on November 19 was an error of judgment.
Stewards had found Rodder guilty of a breach of Australian Racing Rule AR135 (b), alleging the 28-year-old failed to give Serene Tanie the opportunity to obtain the best possible placing in the Corporate Interiors Handicap (1500m).
They handed her a six week penalty which Rodder immediately challenged with the support of the Victorian Jockey’s Association CEO Des O’Keefe, among others.
Rodder, according to stewards, failed to make sufficient effort to restrain her mount from 1100m to passing the 600m.
The race didn’t sit well with stewards.
Rodder went too quickly on the Robbie Laing-trained mare and thus set it up for a backmarker to win.
One came along called Maquina which was also trained by Laing.
At worse, Rodder’s ride could have been construed as team riding – setting the pace for Maquina.
But once stewards found insufficient evidence to suggest collusion by Laing and Rodder to benefit Maquina, – the charge against Rodder itself should have been dropped.
Today RAD board chairman Judge Russell Lewis and his panel ruled that the rule wasn’t there to punish 3kg apprentices for an error of judgment.
Lewis overturned the six-week penalty.
Serene Tanie went on to win her next start at Moonee Valley, last Friday, when strongly backed at long odds.