Chadwick proves he can mix it with best

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 March, 2011, 12:00am

As a means of responding to his one month's reasonable and permissible measures suspension, Matthew Chadwick's form in the saddle has said a whole lot.

As for the ban itself, well, we have written in the past about a reluctance to see this rule being used to punish erroneous rides - and Vilasol was a poor ride - because everyone turns in bad rides at times and not everyone gets time for them.

But what seems clear is the stewards are attempting to put in place a history, a body of evidence that a certain level of poor ride can and will be punished.

The reasonable and permissible measures rule had its roots in the difficulty, in the modern era, of punishing the non-trier. Let's face it, a non-trier is nothing more or less than an intentional bad ride but intent is almost impossible to prove.

No one is suggesting that Chadwick turned in anything but an honest set of mistakes, but punishing him this way was the stewards' way of assisting themselves in any future situation, as it was with Jeff Lloyd and Terry Wong Chi-wai last month. There will be a school of thought the ban has shaken Chadwick up and spurred him to ride four winners in the two meetings since the suspension last Tuesday, but it is more likely just Sod's Law in action - unconnected events that seem to be linked and make a much better story that way.

Chadwick himself gave no indication on Sunday anything about his approach had changed with the ban, but if it has and this is the result so much the better for him.

Almost all well-performed apprentices go through a period after entering the senior ranks when their ability, commitment and so on are questioned, and it is no secret that has been the case with Chadwick, despite a steady flow of winners.

What his Gold Cup win will do for Chadwick on his return from a month out though is give him the confidence of knowing he has arrived at the top level, and make him easier to sell to owners as a Group One rider in the future - instead of seeing him replaced on a horse like Beauty Flash in the past, despite having a great record on him.