Stewards challenged as Doyle has doubts over careless riding ban
TALENTED English rider Brett Doyle was stood down for three days for careless riding yesterday and plans to appeal against the ban.
Doyle will be risking $5,000 for the appeal but clearly feels he has a case.
Doyle's appearance before the stewards followed an incident in the fourth race where he partnered Mr Brinker for Tony Cruz.
To delicately tread a middle course here, it is factual to state that Mr Brinker came sharply into contact with Golden Phoenix, ridden by Alan Munro.
It was an incident missed by most observers but not the stipes.
How times have changed, indeed.
Doyle said: 'Basically, if you are honest with yourself, you know when you have ridden carelessly and you cop it.
'But there are other times when things happen very quickly in a race and all you can do is to then react as quickly as you possibly can.' Further news will be awaited with interest.
Clerk of the course John Ridley's ears may have been burning on Tuesday morning but that was certainly not the case yesterday.
Trainers complained about the ultra-firm state of the track for Tuesday's trials on the grass and were prepared for more of the same yesterday.
But Ridley took action and watered extensively with the result that complaints about the 1,000-metre chute changed to thanks.
The penetrometer reading is all important and yesterday's was 2.67.
To those less than captivated by this particular piece of turf science, the higher the reading the more give in the ground.
Ridley, no mean hand with statistics, pointed out that on October 1, with rainfall prior to the meeting of 81.4 millimetres, the penetrometer reading was exactly the same as yesterday.
The deepest reading to date this season was 2.84 on September 18 after rainfall of 270.6 millimetres.
A bastion has fallen as the internationalisation of racing continues.
In an overdue move, the xenophobic Japanese will gradually open their Classic races to foreign contenders over the next four years.
The first major race to be open to foreign runners - all two of them - will be next year's Emperor's Cup, one of the most sought-after trophies in Japanese racing.
That will be followed by the Japan Derby and Kikkiasho in 2001, the Satsukisho in 2002, the Oaks in 2003 and, finally, the Okasho in 2004. All are Group One events.
The highly protective policy previously pursued by the Japan Racing Association was not appreciated worldwide and reflected little credit on the country's racing administrators.
Of course, it was a huge bonus for breeders of native blood that the major races were restricted.
But the few races in which foreign horses were permitted to compete - most notably the Japan Cup - whetted the appetite of the racing public for more.
The public wished to see the strongest racing, not the segregated.
And that, according to reports, was reflected in diminishing action at the betting windows.
From the Hong Kong perspective, it does open up some possibilities for a raid or two to Tokyo if the quality of our horse population continues to rise.
Our Australian friends appear to make no concessions to the borders within the British Isles and the Republic of Ireland when it comes to classifying the much-maligned Poms.
One of the country's more respected newspapers, The Age in Melbourne, wasn't exactly hot on race-reporting accuracy, either, when it came to the coverage of last week's Flemington spectacular.
They had English jockey Richard Hughes on Travelmate while also alluding to the Caulfield Cup of last year where English rider Ray Cochrane was suspended for a month for his efforts on Taufan's Melody.
English jockey David Harrison was frequently mentioned.
Hughes, of course, is Irish and rode Yavana's Pace, Harrison is Welsh and Cochrane is from Northern Ireland.
Not forgetting the infamous race call of 1993 when Vintage Crop was hailed for taking the Melbourne Cup back to England.
But if we happened to call a true blue Aussie a Kiwi . . .
THE FINAL SAY THE FINAL SAY Robin Parke You know when you have ridden carelessly and you cop it