'I am not your mate' – steward tells jockey as inquiry gets heated
Australians are renowned for having a relaxed attitude but there is a time and a place to adopt a more serious approach, something jockey Bobby El-Issa was reminded of during a heated stewards' inquiry at Doomben on Saturday.
El-Issa was putting forward his case for his ride Amanaat, favourite for the Listed Ascot Handicap, to be declared a non-runner after not receiving a fair start.
Barrier attendants appeared to have hold of Amanaat's head as the stalls opened. The horse, who appeared to bang his head on an adjoining stall, blew the start by six lengths and finished well down the field.
"I didn't ask for them," El-Issa said. "They screwed his head down. I yelled out but the field jumped."
At one stage during the inquiry, a fired-up El-Issa called chief steward Allan Reardon "mate".
"I am not your mate. I am the chairman of stewards," Reardon said.
Despite the humbling, El-Issa got the result he and favourite backers wanted as the stewards went on to declare Amanaat a non-runner.
That was not all there was to the matter, however, as trainer Ben Currie tweeted graphic images of Amanaat's bloodied jaw and said the horse would be sent for scans to determine the extent of the injury.
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