Stewards draw line in sand
STEWARDS have put jockeys on notice – take unnecessary risks at your peril.
Craig Williams (23), Ben Melham (12) and Regan Bayliss (seven) were outed for a total of 42 meetings for careless riding at Flemington on Saturday.
Chief steward Terry Bailey warned cavalier riding would not be tolerated after a robust inquiry involving Melham, who was suspended for his ride on Mighty Boss.
Melham, who might appeal, was irate after stewards blamed him for hampering Dwayne Dunn on Royal Symphony in the Pin & Win Plate.
Melham accused Dunn of putting both jockeys in danger after their mounts made contact approaching the 1200m mark of the 1400m race.
Dunn was upset and made his feelings plain to fellow riders as he returned to scale. And he didn’t mince his words at the subsequent inquiry.
“It was just rude and uncalled for,” Dunn said of Melham’s riding. “The outside horse moved in and bashed me and then did it again. I had to relinquish the spot.”
Melham disagreed. “Why is he (Dunn) allowed to come out to meet me but my horse can’t shift in at that point?” he asked stewards.
“He’s put himself in danger, put me in danger and I’m sitting here facing this charge. It’s dangerous him riding out.
“Someone had to give or I would have got chopped from horses on the outside.”
Stewards said Dunn had a right to hold his line.
Bayliss was suspended for his ride on Eclair Sunshine.
Williams will not appeal a ban that could result in him missing five Group 1 rides before he resumes on October 8.
He pleaded guilty to interference that led to Limestone and Damian Lane crashing heavily 100m from home in the Danehill Stakes. Both horse and rider were uninjured.