Munce praises stewards after Delpech's objection is overruled

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 June, 2006, 12:00am

Pugnacious Australian rider Chris Munce offered a spirited defence of the stewards' decision to overrule the objection by the rider of runner-up Arigato in the Albert Handicap (1,200 metres) yesterday.

Anthony Delpech (Arigato) said he would certainly have won the race in the stewards' room had it been run in his native South Africa.

'You can't interfere with a horse like that and keep the race in South Africa and I think it's a fairer system,' he said after stewards had tossed out his second-against-first objection for interference in the final 200m. However, Munce had no doubt the correct decision was made.

'I came from a three-wide line around Lucky Trio, cleared him and came in to two horses off the rail - which I'm entitled to do - and I believe I kept a straight line from there,' Munce said.

'Anthony Delpech was using his whip strongly in his right hand and that was making his horse lay out into mine.'

It also appeared that Munce, whose whip was also in his right hand, had struck Arigato over the nose with his whip on more than one occasion but the Australian dismissed that as a reason to uphold the objection.

'It's not an issue as it was accidental. Had I changed my whip action and hit him across the nose, then that would be different, but you can see I didn't change my action at any stage and he brought it on himself by laying out towards my whip,' Munce said.

In the final analysis, the stewards had to find in Munce's favour due to the half-length margin, anyway, as there was no strong evidence to suggest that Arigato would have got past Croissant.

The double for Munce yesterday took him to 48 wins for the season and within sight of the significant mark of 50, despite having missed almost 20 per cent of the season through suspension and injury.