One jockey, two horses as Beadman row heats up
Darren Beadman is involved in a high-profile dispute about his mount in the Group Two International Bowl at Sha Tin next month that could end up in front of Australian or Hong Kong stewards.
The expected confrontation between trainers Rick Hore-Lacy and the legendary Bart Cummings arose following a decision by Australia's richest man Kerry Packer and casino boss Lloyd Williams not to start former champion Mahogany in the event.
The Hore-Lacy galloper Spartacus and the Cummings-trained Catalan Opening were confirmed yesterday by the Hong Kong Jockey Club as Australia's representatives in the $6.5 million, 1,400-metre International Bowl.
'As far as I am concerned there is no argument,' Hore-Lacy said yesterday. 'Darren Beadman will be riding Spartacus.
'I spoke to Darren's manager, John Kerwick, weeks ago about him riding the horse in Hong Kong and the booking was confirmed.' Cummings counters swiftly by stating that he discussed the situation with Beadman as late as Thursday, and had no doubts he would be riding Catalan Opening - if the gelding was invited.
This was confirmed as late as Sunday morning by Cummings' racing manager, Bill Charles, who said: 'I have just spoken to Beadman and he said to me that he would definitely be riding Catalan Opening.
'We had known for two days that Mahogany would not be going and that Catalan Opening was in.
'Ultimately, it might have to be the Hong Kong stewards who decide because the race is in their jurisdiction.' Over the years, Beadman has had a very close association with Cummings and he rode Catalan Opening to victory for him in the Group One Chrysler Stakes over 1,600 metres at Flemington on November 8.
However, he has also been the regular rider for Spartacus.