Horses 4.9.2018 10:17 am

Broken nose, ban kicks off Murray’s campaign

Heavenly Blue - The grey, Heavenly Blue, got the better of the field in the SA Classic (Gr 1) at Turffontein Racecourse on Saturday, 1 April. It was a first Group 1 winner for jockey Callan Murray. Picture: Racing. It’s A Rush.

Heavenly Blue - The grey, Heavenly Blue, got the better of the field in the SA Classic (Gr 1) at Turffontein Racecourse on Saturday, 1 April. It was a first Group 1 winner for jockey Callan Murray. Picture: Racing. It’s A Rush.

Trainer gets permission to take blinkers off Happy Valley runner.

While his compatriot Grant van Niekerk got his Hong Kong stint off to a flying start with a double, jockey Callan Murray walked away from Sha Tin with a broken nose and a two-meeting suspension.

The South African got a bash on the nose from his mount Corre Rapido in Race 4 of the opening meeting of the season on Sunday.

He soldiered on through his engagements and only went for correctional surgery at the end of the day.

Despite the broken nose, Murray managed to land a second place in the seventh race, aboard Golden Dash, going down by just 0.50 lengths.

However, the stipendiary stewards weren’t impressed with the way he went about things and handed him a five-day suspension for “careless riding”.

Murray pleaded guilty to a charge and was suspended from riding in races for a period to expire on Monday, 17 September, the day on which he could resume race riding.

During the inquiry, however, Murray requested the Racing Stewards defer the commencement date of the suspension until after Tuesday, 11 September, a period during which two Hong Kong race meetings are scheduled to be staged.

Murray then informed the Racing Stewards he neglected to advise yesterday that he had accepted riding engagement at the Sha Tin race meeting on Sunday, 16 September.

As the Racing Stewards would have permitted Murray to fulfill this race riding engagement had they been made aware of the commitment when ruling on the period of suspension, the commencement date of the suspension would have been delayed so that Murray would have been able to fulfill the race riding engagement on 16 September.

It has therefore been decided that Murray’s period of suspension from riding in races is now to commence on Saturday, 22 September and expire on Thursday, 27 September on which day he may resume race riding.

Two Hong Kong race meetings will be held during the revised period of suspension which is consistent with the previous ruling.

The Hong Kong jockey Club stewards have interviewed trainer Richard Gibson regarding an application to remove the blinkers from All You Know in Race 5 at Happy Valley tomorrow.

All You Know was successful in his most recent start on 23 May when carrying blinkers and a hood.

Also interviewed was jockey Douglas Whyte who rode the horse when last successful and also rode it in a barrier trial on 29 August.

Gibson said that last season All You Know was relatively inexperienced and benefited from wearing blinkers.

He said this season All You Know is more mature and he no longer believes the blinkers are necessary for the horse to focus in its races.

He added that as All You Know is to race over 1650m in its resuming race this season, he felt that the continued use of the blinkers may result in the horse travelling too keenly and for this reason he removed the blinkers from the horse when it barrier trialed in the lead up to this race.

He said on that occasion All You Know barrier trialed well and was tractable throughout.

Whyte agreed with Gibson that he did not believe it was necessary for the blinkers to remain on horse if one takes into account the manner in which he finished off his most recent barrier trial.

Having regard to the submissions of Gibson and Whyte and after viewing the footage of the barrier trial conducted on 29 August, the stewards acceded to Gibson’s request for the blinkers to be re-moved from All You Know in this race.

The horse will continue to wear a hood as it has done in a number of previous starts.

– Hong Kong Jockey Club

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