Careless tactics put early end to claimers' season

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 June, 2006, 12:00am

The season is over for apprentice jockeys Thomas Yeung Kai-tong and Jacky Tong Chi-kit. The pair were slapped with careless-riding bans yesterday at an inquiry called to unravel the goings-on in the seventh race at Happy Valley last Wednesday.

The race was marred by interference at several stages as the pace of the leaders chopped and changed, in particular on the turn out of the straight the first time. Both Tong (Grand Commands) and Yeung (Mr Cool) pleaded guilty to slowing the pace severely after crossing to share the lead.

Tong was banned for four days, keeping him out until the day after the season finale on July 2, while Yeung's ban of one day and a $20,000 fine will also see him sidelined until July 3 as he already has a three-day careless-riding suspension until June 29.

Stewards found that multiple runners suffered interference when the pace suddenly slowed.

Senior rider Anthony Delpech was also reprimanded for slowing the speed on Freebird near the 1,100-metres mark in an incident in which six of the 12 runners were checked. There were mitigating circumstance for Delpech, however. Freebird had been hanging and he was trying to nurse him around the turn.

The Licensing Committee yesterday decided riding licences for next season, but they will not be announced until today. It is believed Australian jockey Danny Nikolic has been granted one of the licences.