Stewards Won’t Let Go Of Rodder Saga

By: Ryan Clark
December 15th, 2011

Talia Rodder may not be out of the woods yet with Racing Victoria stewards seemingly determined to drag out this case as long as possible.

Despite being torn apart in the media for levelling the charge in the first place RV look set to reopen the wounds and kick start the whole drama all over again.

Rodder was cleared by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board last week and her six-week penalty was thrown out.

It all arose over a ride on Serene Tanie at Moonee Valley on November 19 where she was accused of going too hard up front.

Enter chief steward Terry Bailey who is back in the country after a holiday and he seems hell bent on jumping straight into some controversy.

He says stewards are going over the charge and appeal with a fine tooth comb and should he find any shred of doubt he’ll move forward with the full support of Racing Victoria.

“We’re not going over it for no reason,” Bailey said.

“We don’t like to abuse the system and don’t do it very often.”

To his credit that’s true, in his 25 year career only three times has RV appealed a decision.

“One was an improper riding charge in Queensland, one was a merits charge (in NSW) and another was in harness, involving a drive of Brian Gath’s in a Terang Cup.

“We successfully appealed all three.”

It can’t help but be questioned though whether this is simply a matter of restoring some shattered ego in the RVL ranks.

The tribunal that upheld the appeal ripped apart the stewards involved and accused them of implying team riding was involved.

The judge questioned why Jake Noonan, on Saint Angers, wasn’t also called into question given he also chose to engage in the battle for the lead.

Bailey defended their decision to only charge Rodder.

“We did (probe Noonan) and we were satisfied with his explanation. He saw no merit in easing behind a horse that had done so much work (Serene Tanie) and have it collapse into him,” he said.

He said the fact Rodder is a 3kg claiming apprentice was no excuse.

“When you are licensed to ride in town there are certain expectations,” he said.

He says they also take a level of satisfaction out of the fact Serene Tanie went on to win its next two starts.

“The professionals (punters) knew – they backed it in from 20-1 to 10-1 and it won,” Bailey said.

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