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I’m not a stewards’ basher.

I think they do an excellent job in Australian racing but I think, like the bunker in Rugby League every now and then, they get it wrong.

And here’s one where they’ve erred, I believe.

Next Wednesday, leading Sydney jockey Sam Clipperton will face them for a please explain over a ride. And I don’t believe he has any case to answer.

Firstly, here is the official Press Release re the incident and I beseech you to take a minute and look at the replay of the race.

Have Your Say 🗣: Did stewards get the decision to charge Sam Clipperton wrong? – Comment below

“Racing NSW Stewards have issued a charge against jockey Sam Clipperton under AR129(2) for failing to take all reasonable and permissible measures to win or obtain the best possible place in the field on his mount Irish Songs, following his ride on the gelding in Race 3 on the Kensington Track on Saturday, 17 August 2019. The hearing of the charge is scheduled to be conducted at 9am on Wednesday, 4 September 2019 at the offices of Racing NSW.”


Firstly, the horse drew wide so Clipperton had to ease him early to find a spot and he did so at the back of a very hot tempo.

Keep in mind, the horse carried 5kg more than the boomed winner, Pandemic, so staying on the rails saving ground was the best option.

The race was run in 1.02.07 – which was a race record.

Clipperton stayed on the rails and rode his horse out hands and heels all the way to the wire. It ran 5th, making ground late with every stride.

But here’s the thing.

At no stage did he stop urging and asking his mount to extend. The horse, with the big weight came home in a stunning 33.79sec the last 600m. You cannot possibly expect restricted grade horses to finish any faster than that. Especially carrying 58kg.

Maybe the stewards wanted Sam to pull the stick and thrash the bejeez out of the horse.

Yet, if that’s the case, why are we and the rest of the world looking at reducing whip usage?

Clipperton did not pull the stick at any stage – why – well because the horse was at full gallop and running his heart out. No cuts with the cane would have made the horse finish any faster.

Remember his last 600m was in 33.79sec.

On the point of the home turn he was 2.8 lengths behind Pandemic, who is an unbeaten boom horse going places. At the finish he is 4.2 lengths behind him and carried, as mentioned, 5kg more.

But, we all have opinions and I’ve expressed mine. I invite you to look at the replay and you make comment below on what you think.

Did Sam Clipperton try on the horse or not?

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