Chadwick handed one-month ban
Leading jockey Matthew Chadwick became the latest victim of the stewards' crackdown on ill-judged riding when he was hit with a one-month ban over his ride on Vilasol at Happy Valley last week.
Jeff Lloyd and Terry Wong Chi-wai are currently on the suspended list over their handling of Supreme De Union and New Glory, respectively, at the Valley on January 19, and Chadwick will join them after March 3 to miss the rest of that month.
Like Lloyd and Wong, Chadwick was charged under clauses (2) and (5) of Rule 99, dealing with a rider's requirement to take all reasonable and permissible measures to give his mount the best chance to win or obtain the best possible placing.
He was banned for nine Hong Kong race days, will commence his suspension after next Wednesday and not be eligible to ride until April 4.
'[He] still has his right of appeal, so it is not appropriate for me to make comment,' chief steward Kim Kelly said. 'However, I can explain what we have said in the particulars of the charge - that, in the circumstances, we felt he didn't do enough on Vilasol to ride to what had been explicit instructions, or to give the horse a rest and a fair chance during the race.'
Chadwick pressed forward on Vilasol in the early stages of the Sha Tin Handicap but did not attempt to find cover, as he had been instructed to do by trainer Peter Ng Bik-kuen.
Stewards took evidence from the owners of Vilasol and from Ng, who said he had stressed to Chadwick that the gelding required cover to perform to his best, regardless of where he drew at the start. Ng said he reiterated those instructions in the parade yard prior to the race.
The charge against Chadwick was particularised as his failure to obtain cover between the start of the 1,800m race and the 1,500m, when he was wide and it was possible to drop in closer to the rail and with cover.
Stewards said Chadwick again ignored the chance to steady at the 1,000m and continued to push the horse forward and without cover, gaining the clear lead near the 600m. Vilasol then weakened out to 11th of the 12 runners.