Chachamaidee awarded Matron after inquiry
Report: Leopardstown, Saturday
Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes (Group 1) 1m, 3yo+ fillies and mares
CHACHAMAIDEE was promoted to first in the Matron after Duntle, who had narrowly beaten her in a thrilling finish, was demoted following a 20-minute stewards' inquiry.
Duntle held off the fast-charging Chachamaidee by a short head but an inquiry was called after Wayne Lordan, in going for a gap on Duntle, caused a chain reaction of interference two furlongs out that the stewards ruled had affected the result.
The Sir Henry Ceil-trained Chachamaidee was sent off at 11-2 and Duntle was 7-2. Emulous, the 11-4 favourite, was half a length behind in third with long-time leader Laugh Out Loud a game fourth.
Duntle was always going well but, in coming from the middle of the pack, Lordan had to look for racing room. In doing so, he bumped Alanza, who in turn caused Chachamaidee to swerve slightly off a true line.
The interference was not the most serious but, as Chachamaidee was beaten by such a slim margin and was in front a stride or two after the line, the stewards decided to reverse the result.
It was far from a clear-cut situation and the David Wachman-trained Duntle was backed at odds as low as 1.01 (1-100) on Betfair to keep the race in the stewards' inquiry. Those punters who thought Chachamaidee would get the verdict were matched at a high of 16 (15-1).
Some lucky punters got 150 (149-1) about Chachamaidee having struck their bets in the ‘to win the race’ market when a photo was called.
Tom Queally, who rode Chachamaidee, was convinced the stewards made the right call.
“I think it cost her and the margin of victory – a short head – shows that. She’s been knocking on the door lately and deserved to win here,” Queally said.
“It’s not the way you want to win a race. I intentionally pulled her clear to avoid all this scrimmaging and argy-bargy. It’s unfortunate when you go out of your way to get a clear run and something happens anyway.”
Laugh Out Loud was sent to the front early in the race, followed by the Aidan O'Brien-trained pair After and Maybe. Duntle and Emulous were next, while Chachamaidee was held up at the rear of the 11-runner field.
Chachamaidee made relentless progress on the outside all the way up the straight, but Queally was forced to check slightly when Duntle pushed Alanza out.
Queally quickly regained the momentum and was closing all the way. He could not quite overhaul Duntle, who also ran on strongly in a frantic finish, but in the end the result was decided by what had happened with two furlongs to go.
Wachman and Lordan were unavailable for comment but the rider received a two-day ban for careless riding.