Pinheiro out 2 months for Mr Malek ride
Amazing Breeze: Akmazani advised to ride his mounts so as to leave no room for query
Two rides came under probe on Wednesday, with only Bernardo Pinheiro coming off on the wrong end of it.
After an inquiry, the Singapore Turf Club stewards handed the Brazilian jockey a two-month suspension for failing to ride Mr Malek with sufficient vigour and determination in the home straight of Race 11 on Sept 24.
It was the Class 1 race (1,600m) billed as a prelude to the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (1,800m) on Oct 15 and Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup (2,000m) on Nov 19.
In the other inquiry, apprentice jockey Akmazani Mazuki was let off the hook over his handling of Amazing Breeze in Race 10, a Class 3 race over 1,200m.
In Pinheiro’s case, the stage of the race that was of concern to the stewards was from the top of the home straight to the finishing line.
After jumping from barrier No. 2, Mr Malek was parked in midfield on the rails, while eventual winner Senor Don led at an even tempo.
When the sectionals increased from the 600m mark, Mr Malek suddenly lost his spot to find himself at the rear as the backmarkers swooped around him.
At the point of the turn around the 550m, when Hard Too Think, the horse he tracked throughout, quickened up, Mr Malek did not follow suit. Neither was he angled out in search of galloping room.
Into the home straight, while other riders were busy jostling for the best runs in the last 400m, Pinheiro stuck to the shortest way home by keeping Mr Malek on the same path along the rails.
Inside the last 300m, he rode mostly hands and heels, but the stewards took exception to the perceived lack of purpose. They then found him guilty of not riding to their satisfaction.
Pinheiro’s suspension begins from Monday, right after Sunday’s meeting, in which he is booked for nine rides. It ends on Dec 2.
Unless he appeals – which he had not done by press time – and gets a stay of execution, he will be ruled out for his last remaining four Kranji meetings.
His five-month licence expires on Oct 31. He then moves to Dubai for the upcoming season.
The suspension comes as a blemish to his hitherto handy record.
In 100 rides, he has booted home 12 winners. He was also a hit across the Causeway on non-Singapore race days.
As for Akmazani, Jerome Tan, his master and trainer of Amazing Breeze, gave evidence that Amazing Breeze can be difficult to ride and can tend to miss the start, which he did.
He added that he had advised Akmazani that should Amazing Breeze be slowly away, he should not pressure the gelding in the early stages, as he was inclined to overrace when ridden hard early.
The stewards accepted his explanation. They also took into consideration that Amazing Breeze had rejoined the field approaching the home turn.
Akmazani explained that he allowed Amazing Breeze to balance up after straightening before placing the gelding under full pressure passing the 300m.
While no charges were levelled, the Malaysian rider was advised to ride his mounts so as to leave no room for query.