Karis Teetan almost finished on the deck, Derek Leung Ka-chun was suspended over a separate incident and Zac Purton and Umberto Rispoli escaped with stern words after a sensational opening to the card at Sha Tin.
Purton was out in front and successful on the Danny Shum Chap-shing-trained debutant Golden Dash, on the way to a winning treble for the afternoon, but the bombs were going off behind him.
Leung (People’s Champion) came out under the neck of Ray’s Call at the 400m, spraying him to the centre of the track, while Refined Treasure (Teetan) engaged in a bumping duel with Hot Hot Pepper (Rispoli) for some time before a general tightening, when the winner moved out slightly, which saw Refined Treasure clip heels in restricted room and all but fall at the 200m.
By the time chief steward Kim Kelly had unravelled the mess, only Leung was suspended from the race but Teetan, Purton and Rispoli were all spoken to about the trouble.
That all distracted to some extent from a solid debut by Golden Dash, who Purton says is lazy and green but looks to have a future.
“He’s not your typical jump and run type for a straight 1,000m race,” he said. “He wasn’t brilliant out of the gate but, luckily, the horses either side split and allowed him to balance up and I could push him to a nice spot on the speed.
“He’s just so relaxed – when Best Runner dropped off, my bloke wanted to wait for it, then he had to fight off Noble Delight then he wanted to wait again, then I produced the whip and he was strong to the line. He’s got more there and I guess that’s a good trait, to only do what he is asked to do.”
Purton later added Compassion Star and a great ride to win on Garlic Yeah, both for Dennis Yip Chor-hong, while Kelly added suspensions for Nash Rawiller from race eight and Joao Moreira from race nine to ring up his own treble of sorts.
Some punters queried why there had been no protest on behalf of Ray’s Call (Vincent Ho Chak-yiu) against People’s Champion, considering the interference that led to Leung’s suspension and with just a neck between them at the finish. However, Kelly said the matter had been broached with Ho and left in his hands and the jockey did not wish to lodge any objection for the minor placing.