Bling’s R25 000 Fine For Gr1 Winner

Narrow margin will open the debate again

While Bless My Stars’ narrow victory in Saturday’s R1,25 million Wilgerbosdrift Gr1 SA Fillies Classic at Turffontein was his first hometown winner in a month, former national champion jockey Smanga ‘Bling’ Khumalo found himself on the wrong side of our much debated crop-use laws again.

Smanga Khumalo gets Bless My Stars home in Saturday’s Gr1 thriller (Pic – JC Photos)

Just two days after his return from a ten day suspension for failing to ride one of his mounts out in the Eastern Cape, and prejudicing his chances in the process, Khumalo was charged on Saturday with a contravention of Rule 58.10.2 (read with Guideline M on the use of the crop) in that he misused his crop by striking SA Fillies Classic winner Bless My Stars more than twelve times.

He signed an Admission of Guilt and a fine of R25 000 was imposed.

When assessing this penalty, the Board took into consideration the number of times the crop was used (13),  Khumalo’s recent record with regards to this Rule and Guideline, his finishing position and the status of the race.

Backers of the fancied Feather Boa, who got to within a head of Bless My Stars, may well feel aggrieved as jockey Richard Fourie rode within the rules.

Here’s the replay:

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