Trainer Believes Banned Jockey Should Face Harsher Punishment

By: Sarah Fortnum
May 27th, 2011

Trainer Liam Birchley is trying to make sense of jockey Daniel Ganderton’s ride on his three-year-old filly Liesele at Scone on May 14.

Ganderton was observed holding Liesele up for a run at a number of stages in the 1,100 metre Coolmore Handicap.

The jockey faced seven different charges and was banned from riding for the remainder of the season.

Ganderton made no admissions of guilt to Birchley after the race.

“He said it was a good run and he had a little bit of trouble getting up the straight,” Birchley said.

The began to pull the horse backwards after she jumped well from the gates.

Birchley couldn’t understand why Ganderton was so far back in the field when she had surged so quickly to the lead.

“She was one of the first out that was the thing,” Birchley said.

“Not knowing the mare, she’s got a really good sprint, the more you hold her up the more she finishes.

“It just looked terrible.”

The trainer speculates that Ganderton hindered Liesele’s winning chances due to the fact that he couldn’t meet the weight restrictions.

“It’s only my opinion but I think he was overweight and didn’t want to weigh in,” Birchley said.

Birchley was at a loss as to why Ganderton would want to throw his career away.

“He’s terrific talent (but) he’s found himself on the wrong side of things,” he said.

The trainer feels the two month ban Ganderton received was not a harsh enough penalty.

“I think he got off a bit light myself,” Birchley said.

“Maybe I’m a bit biased.

“Sometimes they need to hit rock bottom before they wake up.”

Prior to receiving his ban, Ganderton was already talking about walking away from the sport.

“I have a few issues I need to clear up off the track,” Ganderton said last weekend.

“I want to get away from Sydney for at least a month.

“I don’t know if I’ll come back or whether I will ride again.

“I plan to go back home (to Tasmania) just to sort myself out.

“I want to get away from racing totally and just see whether I really want to be a jockey or whether it is time to pursue a different career.”

Liesele is due to run again in Race 1 at Doomben Racecourse tomorrow where she will be ridden by proven jockey Glen Colless.

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