Maujean Ride – Fortune Says NHRA Got It Right

'They are lucky I am not a Stipe'

The Chase Maujean guilty verdict for his widely publicised winning ride on the Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained Puerto Manzano at Turffontein on 26 September has evoked mixed opinion, and some fairly controversial reaction, from some of his top former colleagues and racing fans.

Maujean was fined R60 000 for a ride that was ruled by an NHRA Inquiry Board not to be to the standard expected of a competent and professional jockey.

He got the Argentinian-bred first-timer up to dead-heat with his more experienced and very fancied stablemate, Thumbs Up.

Straightshooting Andrew Fortune – seen with his son Aldo Domeyer (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

Former South African Champion jockey Andrew Fortune was one of our former riders to suggest that the racing regulator got this one right, and even indicated that the trainer warranted a sanction.

‘The only question you have to ask – was he trying his best to win? Not at all – in my opinion. I would have got time for that – but they don’t treat everybody the same. Do you all really believe he would have got away with that ride in Hong Kong? Don’t think so – he is lucky I’m not a Stipe – Johan would have got a ‘bollocking’ as well! Have a look between the 400m to 200m – a very poor effort from a so called professional jockey.’

Also posting on our Facebook page, Bronson Nassiff didn’t agree with Fortune, asking –‘so a R60 000 fine is the right decision for winning the race?’

He then compared Maujean’s action  to a top Cape jockey, who ‘sits stone cold last on a 5/10 every week and wants to let it go at the 300m and gets beat he gets a pat on the back…’

Nassif also published an item (see below) which he indicated was the pre-race report, in defence of trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren, who clearly rated the first-timer and said he ‘was ready’.

In the report he said that Gavin Lerena changed his mind about riding the horse.

Veteran Cape Champion Karl Neisius commented that he has seen countless jockeys who should have changed their stick and didn’t.

‘They missed a place/ win! A very steep penalty’, the retired veteran added.

Recently retired top Cape rider Glen Hatt wrote on the SP comments platform that after watching the rerun of the race and reading the NHRA report as published by Sporting Post, he had to differ with their reading of the race.

‘Firstly, Puerto Manzano was always making up ground under the urgings of his jockey, so I struggle see how there reference to the whip and when he changed hands made such a difference. They say “clearly responded” but PM was always responding!

Secondly, I see no pause where it materially affected the horses forward momentum , if anything he was keeping this’ first timer’ perfectly balanced in the race to the line.

Most jockeys, myself included, would change our whip hands to try get the best out the horse which I feel Chase was clearly trying to do.

In the Stipes report they refer to “clearly responded” in the first particular and then refer to it again in the second particular which clearly shows that there emphasis is on this section of the race.

With all due respect to Chase. he is not a F Dettori or C Soumillion that has the ability to change whips in a split second!’

Another Cape jockey and now PE trainer Juan Nel said: ‘Absolute joke. For winning a race and receiving that. Somebody lost their marbles.’

Hilton ‘Tex’ Davie

Former jockey, trainer and SAJA riding master Hilton Davie said that ‘those are the decisions being made by officials who quite frankly are not horsemen in any sense of the word.’

His one-time colleague Eric Fordred backed him up and added: ‘so bloody ridiculous, the horse was obviously running on at his best, otherwise he could not have dead-heated, that’s why more ex Jockeys and Trainers should be Stipes!’

‘Can’t judge on a replay’ – so says Mark Truter, pictured here on the right, with his former colleague and top jockey, Paddy Mcgivern

Former jockey and farrier Mark Truter added to the weight of sentiment and suggested ‘let them ride a horse before making a decision. You can never make a judgment on a replay.’

The suggestion by Messrs Davie, Fordred and Truter that the adjudicators of Maujean’s guilt have never even sat on a horse is an ongoing thread of concern in correspondence from many of our readers.

Would we really prefer pen-pushers, who have never flown, to judge a pilot’s negligence? Or non medical professionals to sit in judgement on a  medical malpractice suit? It raises the question whether we shouldn’t have more of our top jockeys sitting on these panels

The last word goes to Leonie Dillon Ermacora, wife of the late KZN legend Peter Dillon:

‘Reminds me of a horse Peter rode called Sweet On Me. Was wet and the horse ran a dismal race.Was fancied.Next time out on hard turf Bertie Hayden and the owner took a bet at 20 to 1. The horse won. Peter got 3 months FOR WINNING saying he rode completely different instructions to first run. Bertie Hayden got an R80 k fine for giving different instructions. Peter appealed – I made him, as he was not guilty and he won the case. Poor Bertie still had to pay the fine.To me that was a travesty.Wet going first time – horse did not enjoy it. So I feel winning a race and being penalized is ridiculous!’

These comments were obtained from the Sporting Post Facebook page.

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