What started out a great day for star rider Brenton Avdulla at Rosehill yesterday, descended into chaos – and none of it appears to be his doing.
Firstly, his 10 out of 10 ride in race 1 on ROBODIRA (Husson-Don’t Blink) a first starter who carried blinkers and sat on the fence behind the leader until half way down the straight before angling into a small gap and charging late, was masterful. She’s gone for a spell and will come back for the Gr 1 Golden Slipper lead-ups next year.
But, later in the day, the Racing Stewards at Rosehill raised eyebrows over his handling of PASSAGE OF TIME (Northern Meteor-Crystal Gauntlet) who ran on nicely into 5th spot behind Invictus Salute in the Listed Starlight Stakes.
They questioned his judgement coming to the bend and his ‘lack of vigour’ down the home straight.
And this upset the hoop…with good reason. Because when Stewards do that, when they haul a rider in and say “we want to know why you weren’t strong on that horse late,” they are in effect saying…You didn’t try.
Those three words aggravate a jockey more than a teenager being told by their partner, “I love you.”
It’s a 100% verbal violation of their integrity. And Steward’s need to have a LOT of evidence to back it up. In this case, they appear not to have and Avdulla was completely in his rights to disagree with their claim and excuse himself from the grilling he was getting.
His blood was boiling and it wasn’t because of the 42 degree heat. The imputation by the Stewards was its flame.
The Stewards then put the enquiry back to a date to be determined, so we will hear more.
In the vey next race, Avdulla rode the favourite NEWS TALK (Uncle Mo-Wonderful News) into 2nd spot. He led on her and was entitled to hold his ground but when Betcha Flying was crawling over her back looking for a run, getting chopped out at the 100m mark, her rider Nash Rawiller had words with Avdulla as they crossed the line.
In this case, the Stewards rightly sided with Avdulla chastising Rawiller for going for a run with insufficient room.