Payne explains ride on Devotee
A lengthy inquiry into the running and riding of unplaced Devotee at Happy Valley recently ended yesterday, with explanations tendered by jockey Paddy Payne and trainer Ricky P. F. Yiu noted by the stipendiary stewards.
No further action was taken.
The inquiry was originally opened because Payne must be seen to ride in such a manner as to leave no room for doubt as to his efforts to enable his mount to obtain the best possible placing, according to the official report issued after the hearing.
It added: 'In the Stewards' opinion, reasonable doubt existed in his riding in the home straight. Having reviewed the video tapes of Devotee's previous runs and this race and having considered all the evidence, the Stewards noted the explanations and took no further action.' Payne had explained to the panel that Devotee hung in the home straight in the 1,650-metre Class Four race on March 18 which prevented him from riding the horse out fully.
He had also been instructed to settle the horse and ride him from behind, instructions which were confirmed by trainer Yiu who said he was satisfied with the riding under the circumstances that had arisen in the race.
Payne, riding under retainer to trainer David Hill, had an appeal against a nine-day suspension under Rule 131 (ii) overturned earlier this month. The appeal board decision carried the addendum that the Australian jockey must leave no room for doubt as to his efforts to obtain the best possible placing in future.
Payne, who sees Gold Cup action today on Supreme Bases, said: 'You don't like having to attend inquiries like this but it happens. As I said, the horse hung and it placed me at a real disadvantage. He did not really respond and only went fairly to the line.
'Now I'm hoping that I can do something in the Gold Cup tomorrow. Supreme Bases is a nice young horse but this is a tough one. But there's still improvement there and he might go closer than some people think.'