Stewards suspend Yeung for lying

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 November, 2009, 12:00am

Just six days after rewriting the record books at Happy Valley, star apprentice Keith Yeung Ming-lun was on the wrong end of a misconduct charge at Sha Tin this time.

Yeung was the first junior to ride a four-timer last week, but found himself with a four-day ban after lying to trainer Me Tsui Yu-sak during the week.

Stewards opened an inquiry into Yeung's ride on Mighty Sun when the Tsui-trained gelding finished a close second on the all-weather track on Wednesday night and quizzed him about why he had not used the whip at any stage.

Yeung told them he believed the horse had been giving his utmost in the race under strong hands and heels riding and did not require the whip.

The stewards panel ultimately agreed that his riding had not prejudiced Mighty Sun's winning chance, although Yeung was advised that it might have been preferable had he used his whip at some point.

Tsui advised the stewards he was happy with the apprentice's performance, however, the misconduct charge then arose from an exchange on Thursday morning at trackwork between Yeung and Tsui.

The trainer had asked Yeung if he had failed to use the whip on Mighty Sun because he had dropped it early in the race and Yeung, who recalled some strong criticism of his rides by Tsui last season, admitted he had chosen to agree with the suggestion rather than tell the truth and endure further tirades.

Yeung pleaded guilty to misconduct over the lie and was suspended for four meetings, with his penalty to commence this coming Thursday, and stewards reporting they believed Yeung had 'no ulterior motive' for his actions and was deeply contrite.

That was the tough end of the day for Yeung, while a win aboard Lucky Dragon for his boss, Almond Lee Yee-tat, was the highlight.

The nine-year-old was back in the winner's stall for the fifth time in his 62 starts - all of them over the Sha Tin 1,400m - and that will be that, according to his trainer.

'This old horse has really been struggling to go the early pace in his races this season. I put blinkers on him last time at Happy Valley and they helped a little bit, but again today he wasn't fast enough and he was lucky he found a very weak race. The owner has agreed to retire him after this,' Lee said.

From hero to villain

Keith Yeung (pictured with trainer Almond Lee) cops a heavy fine after the ride on Mighty Sun of (race days): 4