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Ryan Wiggins has become the horse racing version of Chris Gayle after the popular hoop’s ride on Feltre in the Magic Millions Trophy (1800m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday.

The Group l winning rider steered the five year old gelding, in my opinion, a treat. What has got Wiggins in the headlines was the final couple of strides where he seemingly stopped riding and gave a salute, thinking he had won the race. Ever since then, he has been hounded on social media, with some branding him a “cheat” while others are saying he should be banned for months and fined $10,000.

I’ll put my hand up. I was critical of him not riding the horse out, but then again, I don’t sit on 500kg horse at 60km/h to earn a crust. Wiggins says it was an honest mistake and that the comments from social media outlets won’t change the way he goes about his business.

“Mate, I honestly thought I won,” He told Justhorseracing.

“The angle on TV is very bad and it can be quite deceptive.”

“Going the early crow was a little embarrassing, but I believe the fine was fair from the stewards as the result wouldn’t have changed regardless.”

The Stewards fined him $1000 and believed the result wouldn’t have differed had he rode it right out to the line.

Stewards thought Tinto, though tiring, would have held on. Instead of criticising, we should be heaping praise, because looking back at the replay, for a horse that was having it’s first go beyond a mile, he rode the horse to perfection and could not have ridden it any better.

“I don’t let the stuff on social media worry me too much,” The jockey said.

“People love talking trash; anything for a good story.”

While Wiggins is in the bad books of most punters, he has remained in the good books of the people that matter most regarding Feltre.

“The owners were fine with the way I rode the horse,” He said.

“They have assured me I will keep the ride on the horse in the future, which I’m grateful for.”

Here are my final thoughts on the matter. Yes, he got it wrong. Every jockey will get it wrong at some stage of their career. Everybody will make a mistake at some point in their life. But you just roll in the punches and move on, which is what Ryan will do on Wednesday at Ipswich and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t steer a winner.

 

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