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Secret Gesture: controversially disqualified in the Beverley D Stakes

Secret Gesture: controversially disqualified in the Beverly D Stakes

  PICTURE: Four Footed Fotos  

Connections appeal Secret Gesture demotion

CONNECTIONS have lodged an appeal over last weekend's controversial disqualification of Secret Gesture who, it emerges, is likely to return to North America for her next race.

Trainer Ralph Beckett compared Irad Ortiz to a diving footballer after the US star's dramatic antics contributed to his five-year-old mare's demotion from first to third in the Grade 1 Beverly D Stakes at Arlington Park following apparent interference involving Stephanie's Kitten in the final strides.

At York on Friday, Ortiz expressed no regret for his actions, saying he "was just trying to do my job for my owner", but fresh eyes will now be asked to rule in what effectively amounts to a re-hearing of the case.

David Redvers, racing manager to Qatar Racing which shares ownership of Secret Gesture with Newsells Park Stud, said on Saturday: "The appeal has been lodged and we have told the hearing should be in the next 30 days. I think it can be done over the phone, but we have got a lawyer so it is all in hand.

"Secret Gesture has come out of the race fine and looking forward the last discussion was that she would be going to Woodbine for the Grade 1 EP Taylor Stakes next."

Qatar Racing were co-owners with the Sangster family of last October's winner of the $500,000 Toronto turf showpiece, the Charlie Hills-trained Just The Judge, who like Secret Gesture last Saturday was ridden by Jamie Spencer.

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