Woodworth has appeal thrown out, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Woodworth has appeal thrown out

Stewards reduce suspension to four months for unsatisfactory handling of Silver Dragon

Jockey Benny Woodworth has failed in his appeal against a conviction for not riding the Jason Ong-trained Silver Dragon to the satisfaction of the stewards in Race 1 at Kranji on May 25.

The Singapore Turf Club panel’s hearing of the appeal was concluded on July 10.

After considering all the evidence, together with submissions from Woodworth, Ong and the chief stipendiary steward, they dismissed the appeal.

However, the panel reduced the suspension from six months to four months – from June 2 to Oct 1, both dates inclusive.Hisdeposit was forfeited.

Woodworth may still see action on Oct 5, though, if he can secure rides on Kranji’s final day of racing.

It was on May 29 that the stewards concluded an inquiry into his riding of Silver Dragon.

After taking evidence from both jockey and trainer, stewards charged Woodworth with the particulars being that from the 350m until the 250m, he failed to ride with sufficient vigour and determination to improve Silver Dragon into a run between Ben Wade (Amirul Ismadi) and Cheval Magnifique (Bernardo Pinheiro).

This resulted in him being disappointed for a run between these horses near the 250m, and then being held up until passing the 100m.

Stewards also took exception to his handling inside the final 100m, when he failed to shift Silver Dragon into clear running to the inside of Cheval Magnifique when there was an opportunity to do so.

The $58 chance finished sixth in the Class 5 Polytrack 1,200m race won by Red Maned (Simon Kok).

When deciding on the penalty, the stewards took into account the nature of the charge, his record, his personal circumstances and submissions from Woodworth that he had then been engaged to ride at Kranji on June 1.

Woodworth was originally suspended for six months from June 2 to Dec 1, both dates inclusive, and was advised of his right of appeal, which he thereafter duly exercised on May 30.

The 50-year-old Malaysian jockey contested the decision of the stewards as well as the penalty imposed on him, and also applied for a stay of sentence, which was subsequently denied by the panel of stewards on May 31.

Not among the jockeys who commanded the best books of rides at Kranji in recent years, both in terms of quantity and quality, Woodworth still managed to eke out seven winners for a mid-table spot in 2024. Four of them came for trainer James Peters and the PSM Racing Stable.

Without the sentence reduction, he would have already ridden his last race at Kranji but, with him now cleared to ride on Oct 2, he has one last chance to pad up his score and say a proper goodbye at Singapore racing’s farewell on Oct 5.