Jwala: fatally injured in a fall at Sha Tin on SundayPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
No riders blamed for 'catastrophic' Jwala fall
Hong Kong: Stewards have decided that no rider was to blame for the "catastrophic" coming together in the Hong Kong Sprint on Sunday that resulted in a fatal injury to British sprinter Jwala and her jockey Steve Drowne being hospitalised.
Drowne was catapulted into the turf at Sha Tin and sustained a broken left collarbone and punctured lung after Jwala clipped heels in front of the packed stands when squeezed for room in the closing stages of the Group 1 sprint.
Drowne was the last of seven jockeys to give evidence to stewards at the Hong Kong Jockey Club after having surgery on his collarbone earlier this week and the inquiry determined that blame could not be attributed to anyone involved.
A statement from the stewards said: "The stewards determined that this incident, while severe and with catastrophic consequences, did not eventuate as a result of careless, reckless or dangerous riding exhibited by an individual rider, rather the incident was caused by a considerable number of circumstances occurring in close proximity which ultimately resulted in Jwala falling. Accordingly, no further action was taken."
Multiple Hong Kong champion rider Douglas Whyte was expected to come in for criticism after manoeuvring Charles The Great across Jwala from the inside of the track as Lucky Nine edged in from the outside. However, stewards felt Whyte was entitled to make the run.
Kim Kelly, HKJC chief steward, told the South China Morning Post: "Inside the 200m, and at around the 150m, there was a clear run for Charles The Great, there wasn't acres of room, but there was room for a horse to progress into that run. In fact, had he not positioned Charles The Great to take a run like that in any given race the stewards would be entitled to ask why."