Blake Shinn has salvaged his ambitions of riding in the Melbourne spring carnival after convincing stewards to overturn a careless riding charge.
“I feel like crying,” Shinn said after stewards told him the charge would not be sustained.
The in-form jockey was asked to answer a charge stemming from the sixth race at Randwick on Wednesday when stewards found he allowed his mount Murphy’s Delight to shift in near the 500m when not clear of other runners.
During a sometimes fiery inquiry, Shinn said he felt acting chief steward Ray Livingstone had made his mind up before any evidence was given.
“I’ve come into this inquiry and I’ve been on the backfoot straight away because that’s what you as chief steward think I’ve done,” Shinn said.
Shinn was adamant he was not responsible for the interference and said some of the other riders involved in the incident had provided inconsistent evidence.
Stewards deliberated for some time before deciding not to press on with the charge.
A careless riding charge would have almost certainly ruled Shinn out of the Victoria Derby day meeting at Flemington, where his mounts include Kuro in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes, and the Melbourne Cup ride on Junoob.
“I firmly believe I wasn’t guilty. I tried to defend it as hard as I could and it’s very rewarding to know I can still be down there at Flemington to compete,” Shinn said.
Stewards cited inconsistent evidence from other jockeys and inconclusive video footage of the incident as reasons they did not sustain the charge.