Racing NSW Stewards Conclude Driefontein Inquiry

Racing NSW Stewards concluded an inquiry on Wednesday, 2 January 2013 – opened at Wyong Racecourse on Thursday, 20 December 2012 – into jockey Tommy Berry’s riding of Driefontein in the early stages of Race 4 (Magic Millions 3yo Stakes, 1200m).

On that day, evidence was taken from Tommy Berry, rider of Driefontein; and Mr Mark Newnham, representing trainer Mrs Gai Waterhouse. Evidence was also taken from starter Mr Bernie Evans and official veterinarian Ms Kristi Goldman.

During the adjournment, Stewards obtained and investigated information relative to wagering on the race with no integrity issues found.

Tommy Berry explained that he had been instructed to lead on Driefontein and after his mount began well, he was able to lead in accordance with his instructions shortly after the start.

When questioned as to the reason why he did not make more effort to hold the lead and prevent Cheers Rihanna from crossing him near the 800m, jockey Berry advised that he did not become aware that Cheers Rihanna had improved three-deep outside She’s a Stalker until that filly was well in advance of him and whilst he rode his mount along, Driefontein did not muster sufficient speed and was quickly crossed by Cheers Rihanna.

Jockey Berry added that once crossed, he immediately rode hard in an endeavour to come to Cheers Rihanna’s outside and race outside that filly, but Corey Brown, rider of She’s a Stalker, held him in a pocket and he was obliged to remain racing behind the leader.

Tommy Berry added that whilst he was then unable to improve into the race when he would have liked when clear near the 300m, Driefontein only took minimal ground off the winner She’s a Stalker.

Tommy Berry was advised by Stewards that he should have been more mindful of runners racing around him in the early stages and furthermore, when he became aware that Cheers Rihanna was improving around him, he should have made a greater endeavour to hold the lead.

Whilst Stewards did not deem jockey Berry’s ride culpable, under the Rules of Racing he was nonetheless advised that he must show more initiative and greater judgment in future.

Source : Racing NSW

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