‘Rumble In The Turffontein Jungle’ – Both Horses Are Fine

Sequel to Thursday seventh race brawl

Star 3yo Main Defender emptied his manger this morning and is 100% sound, according to reports from the Tony Peter Stable, while trainer Roy Magner says that Melech has a slightly stiff shoulder and a swollen right eye, ‘but nothing that a few days off can’t sort out’.

These positive health reports after a harrowing incident in the final stages of the Betway Pinnacle Stakes at Turffontein on Thursday, will come as wonderful news for the connections of both horses and the racing public, who witnessed a character performance by the talented Melech, and also clearly have something of a soft spot for the year younger Main Defender – despite his running third at 6 to 10.

A look back in anger! Gavin Lerena’s body language on the winner tells the story (Pic – JC Photos)

The Stipes have opened an inquiry and reported that shortly before the finish line of the seventh race, eventual winner Melech (G Lerena) was bumped by Main Defender (C Habib), which shifted in away from the crop. As a consequence, Main Defender (C Habib) became severely unbalanced and lost momentum.

The Veterinary Surgeon examined Main Defender after the race and nothing untoward was detected.

Watch the replay here:

Gavin Lerena was clearly upset after the race, labelling Calvin Habib’s action as unnecessary and suggesting the bump was intentional.

Opinion has been varied, with a professional jockey suggesting to the Sporting Post that there are no rules as to when a jockey may change his crop, and that no rider in his right mind would intentionally create the dynamics for a potentially catastrophic in-race accident.

It is hoped that there will be a speedy resolution to the outcome of the inquiry – and once again the question begs, why could it not have been wrapped up on the afternoon, as is done in many overseas jurisdictions?

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