Lightly-framed filly Lucha Libre defied her size to muscle her way to victory at Randwick on Saturday at just her second start.
The three-year-old’s jockey Craig Williams had to survive a protest from Jim Cassidy, the rider of runner-up Levi’s Choice, who alleged he had been pushed out near the line in the Listed South Pacific (1400m).
Williams said he was entitled to move out to better ground and did not believe the horses had touched although they were very close.
“I’m allowed to move out and I have never taken him off course,” Williams said.
“Jim Cassidy has ridden his horse out all the way up the straight.
Winning trainer Anthony Cummings said he did not believe the second placegetter was impeded in any way.
“Jimmy started behind us and stayed behind us,” he said.
“We played no part in where he finished.”
The margin was just a short half-head but stewards agreed with the Lucha Libre camp and dismissed the objection.
“We accept she does shift out but we don’t believe there was interference,” chief steward Ray Murrihy said.
Cummings said he was unlikely to press ahead to Brisbane with Lucha Libra who won a Wyong maiden just last month.
“She is a very lightly-framed filly,” he said.
“I think she will be much better as a four-year-old up over a distance.
“She is by Pins who I haven’t had a lot to do with but I might in the future.
“And she is out of a Grosvenor mare and gives every indication she will stay.”
Conditions at Randwick were tough with the track rated a heavy (10).
“The wet was a concern, we didn’t know how she would handle it but now we know,” Cummings said.
Race favourite Sea Lord ($2.90) laboured in the conditions and beat just one runner home.