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Earlier this week we were full of praise when the Stewards upheld a protest, despite the fav being relegated for a $31 chance.

The response from readers was on point too – no-one spoke through their pocket and everyone made reasoned evaluations based on the footage provided.

Well, this time it may be different.

At Kembla yesterday I think the Stewards got it wrong by NOT upholding a protest.

It hadn’t in the second race when both Joe Pride’s horses ran 1st and 2nd.

You watch the footage, and as you do, keep in mind that the Steward’s primary mandate is two-fold – 1) did the horse who caused interference stop the other horse from finishing in front of it, 2) would the momentum of the interfered horse carried it past the culprit had the interference not occurred?

I think on both counts the answer was yes. The Stewards ruled on both counts…no.

Have Your Say 🗣: did stewards get this protest wrong? Comment below

Watch 📺 👇

The second horse, EL COHETE (Super Easy-Lycme) was coming home so hard he surely grabs the winner had the winner run straight. It would have been tight but he was absolutely powering late.

The winner STARGIRL (Choisir-Jasminka) was gritty but she definitely moves off her running line into his path just when the runner-up was chiming in.

Here’s the official report and Steward’s reasoning – “El Cohete – Blundered shortly after the start and was shifted behind runners in the early stages from a wide barrier. Stewards considered a protest lodged by R. Hutchings, rider of the 2nd placed El Cohete, against the winner Stargirl (S. Clipperton), alleging interference near the 50m. After viewing the official patrol films and taking evidence from all parties, whilst acknowledging that El Cohete was commencing to close the race off strongly and that near the 50m was eased when Stargirl shifted out under pressure and then was shifted back to the inside of that runner to continue into clear running, bearing in mind the proximity of the interference to the winning post and the margin of a length, the Stewards could not be comfortably satisfied that had this interference not occurred El Cohete would have beaten Stargirl and the protest was therefore dismissed. At a subsequent inquiry Sam Clipperton was reprimanded.

So the interference was such that the winning rider was reprimanded. But because it was a length margin, they couldn’t see the runner-up finishing ahead.

The decision will divide viewers.

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