Neil Callan's double spoiled by another ban
Irish jockey notches a two-timer, but things turn sour when he is given a three-day suspension for a careless ride aboard Furio
Neil Callan racked up another pleasing double on the racecourse in concert with Ricky Yiu Poon-fai on Saturday but then added an unwanted double he didn't want in the stewards' room.
Yiu and Callan combined in a race-to-race double as Furio and Graceful Kingdom took races five and six and it was the ride on the former that brought up the jockey's second careless charge for the week.
Callan was hit with a three-day suspension at Happy Valley on Wednesday, and found himself on the end of another three days and a $30,000 fine after crossing from a wide draw to lead on Furio rounding the first turn.
He needn't have bothered crossing had he consulted the horse, who was very keen to head back out from the inside rail to the very outside of the track once they turned into the straight.
"After watching a couple of the early races, it actually was my intention to head to the middle of the track when we straightened but Furio took the whole thing further than I did," Callan said.
"Then I just let him keep on going because I didn't want to interrupt his momentum and it's the C track so it isn't that far. He is one-paced, but he is getting stronger.
"The other day he came to win it and didn't finish off the race - this time, he ran the 1,400m right out."
Yiu said there was merit to the victory even if the going might have been better out wider, since Furio was the only one able to do it on the day.
"There were a few other horses that tried to go out there during the day but none of them got into the finish, so it can't have been much better," he said.
If Furio's win looked the signal for jockeys to start charging to the outside fence willy nilly, Graceful Kingdom's win 30 minutes later was the cold shower everyone needed as he sat against the inside rail for most of the race and stayed near there in the straight.
"I was a bit worried about the deteriorating ground with him," admitted Callan. "Two runs ago, I rode him on it and he didn't give me any kick. He had been better last time but that going hadn't been as slow. Still, maybe he's getting more used to it and getting stronger and it didn't bother him."
Graceful Kingdom's progress hasn't been spectacular but it has been steady and Yiu expects that to continue.
"I believe he is better than a Class Four horse. He has improved stepping up to the mile and it won't surprise me if he can run a little bit further than that in the future," he said.
Callan will ride until Sunday May 25 before starting his consecutive bans which will keep him sidelined then until June 16.