UNCLE STEVE shifted out at the start and bumped DRAGON GENERAL.
LOBO’S LEGEND began very awkwardly and shifted out abruptly on jumping, resulting in MORETHANLUCKY being hampered. From a wide barrier, LOBO’S LEGEND was then shifted across behind runners.
In the early part of the Straight, DRAGON GENERAL got its head on the side and lay in.
Passing the 300 Metres, UNCLE STEVE, which was giving ground, was momentarily steadied away from the heels of DRAGON GENERAL which shifted to the outside of STAR PERFORMANCE to continue improving.
Passing the 150 Metres, DRAGON GENERAL and STAR SHINE raced tight and near the 125 Metres made contact. Passing the 100 Metres, DRAGON GENERAL was bumped and taken in by STAR SHINE (C Y Ho) which shifted in under pressure. C Y Ho will be advised to ensure that he stops riding and straightens his mounts in similar circumstances. When DRAGON GENERAL was taken in, STAR PERFORMANCE was momentarily eased away from that horse’s heels near the 75 Metres.
When questioned regarding his riding of JOYFUL UNION, particularly in the Home Straight, B Shinn stated that he was asked to ride the horse quietly as it was attempting the 1400 Metres of today’s race for the first time in Hong Kong. He said JOYFUL UNION was slow to begin and then settled at the rear of the field. He said he was able to shift to the inside of RACING FIGHTER after the 1100 Metres and the horse travelled fairly. He said as JOYFUL UNION was not travelling as well as he anticipated, he commenced to shift the horse out rounding the Home Turn as he felt that it may finish off the race best if brought to the outside of runners. He said for this reason he shifted out from behind RACING FIGHTER rounding the Home Turn to follow DRAGON GENERAL through. He said after the 400 Metres he attempted to shift out further to follow STAR SHINE, however, JOYFUL UNION got its head on the side, commenced to lay in and was reluctant to shift out. He said he continued to try and shift JOYFUL UNION out, however, the horse was proving difficult to ride as it was laying in. He said he shifted out from behind STAR SHINE after the 300 Metres when UNCLE STEVE gave ground in advance of JOYFUL UNION, however, that horse quickened better than JOYFUL UNION which he felt did not appear to be comfortable on the track surface. He said he commenced to ride JOYFUL UNION out vigorously after the 200 Metres, however, the horse lay in badly and was difficult to ride. He added he attempted to change his whip into his right hand, however, due to the manner in which the horse was laying in, this proved awkward and therefore he commenced to use the whip in the left hand after the 100 Metres. He said when he did this, JOYFUL UNION again got its head on the side and lay in towards STAR PERFORMANCE. He said due to JOYFUL UNION’s racing manners in the Straight, he was not able to properly test that horse, however, he rode it out to the best of his ability in the circumstances. After considering Jockey Shinn’s explanation and after viewing some of JOYFUL UNION’s previous races when the horse had been reported to have laid in in the Straight, the Stewards took no further action other than to advise Jockey Shinn that he must make every endeavour to ride his mounts out to the best of his ability even in difficult circumstances.
When questioned regarding the disappointing performance of UNCLE STEVE, K Teetan stated although the horse was left racing in a three wide position without cover after the 800 Metres, it travelled only satisfactorily in the middle stages and then after being placed under pressure rounding the Home Turn did not respond to his riding and gave ground noticeably from the 300 Metres. He said he was not able to offer any explanation for the disappointing performance as he felt that the fact that UNCLE STEVE raced three wide and without cover after the 800 Metres did not provide sufficient reason for the manner in which the horse gave ground so abruptly. A veterinary inspection of UNCLE STEVE immediately following the race did not show any significant findings, however, the horse was unable to be scoped due to being fractious. The performance of UNCLE STEVE, a last start winner and which finished at the rear of the field, was considered unacceptable. Before being allowed to race again, UNCLE STEVE will be required to perform to the satisfaction of the Stewards in a barrier trial and be subjected to an official veterinary examination.
The Stewards opened an inquiry into H T Mo’s riding of RACING FIGHTER. After taking evidence from Jockey Mo and Mr C H Yip, the trainer of that horse, the Stewards adjourned the inquiry until a date to be fixed.
A veterinary inspection of RACING FIGHTER immediately following the race did not show any significant findings.
A veterinary inspection of MORETHANLUCKY immediately following the race did not show any significant findings, however, the horse was unable to be scoped due to being fractious.
DRAGON GENERAL and HAPPY FUN were sent for sampling.
<20/2/2020 "RACING FIGHTER" INQUIRY>
The Stewards today concluded their inquiry into H T Mo’s riding of RACING FIGHTER in the Citi Mortgage Services Handicap which was run at Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday, 16 February 2020. Further evidence was today taken from Jockey Mo and from Mr C H Yip, the trainer of RACING FIGHTER. Evidence was also taken from Dr Sonny M M Li, manager of the CAAF Syndicate, owner of RACING FIGHTER. It was established that Dr Li was present in the Parade Ring when the instructions were given by Mr Yip to Jockey Mo as to how RACING FIGHTER should be ridden in this race.
H T Mo was charged with having breached Hong Kong Rule of Racing 99 (2) and (6) in that as the rider of RACING FIGHTER in the stated race, he failed to take all reasonable and permissible measures throughout the race to ensure RACING FIGHTER was given a full opportunity to win or to obtain the best possible placing in the field.
The particulars of the charge being:-
1. That after the 350 Metres he did fail to direct RACING FIGHTER to the inside of GRACEANDMERCY when there was clear running available to the inside of that horse when it was both reasonable and permissible for him to have done so.
2. That between approximately the 325 Metres and the 275 Metres he did restrain RACING FIGHTER behind GRACEANDMERCY and remain racing behind that horse when at all relevant times there was clear running to the inside of GRACEANDMERCY to improve into.
3. That by riding RACING FIGHTER as he did between approximately the 325 Metres and the 275 Metres he did fail to take all reasonable and permissible measures on that horse to ensure that RACING FIGHTER was given a full opportunity to win or to obtain the best possible placing in the field.
Jockey Mo pleaded guilty to the charge. After having considered the matter, the Stewards determined that the appropriate penalty was for Jockey Mo’s licence to ride in races to be suspended for a period to commence on Wednesday, 18 March 2020 and to expire on Monday, 13 April 2020 on which day he may resume riding. During that period, there are eight (8) racemeetings scheduled to be conducted in Hong Kong.
In reaching the decision to defer the commencement date of this period of suspension until 18 March 2020, the Stewards were mindful that it was not available for Jockey Mo to include several upcoming racemeetings in any period of suspension due to the Club’s requirement for him to ride at those racemeetings because of the number of jockeys available to ride on those days. The Stewards had previously made similar rulings in these circumstances in respect of matters involving a jockey being suspended from riding in races.
The evidence tendered by Mr Yip and Dr Li was accepted.