Champion jockey wins whip ban reduction
Golden Slipper-winning jockey Tommy Berry is free to ride at the $10 million Derby-Doncaster meeting after his two-week penalty for excessive whip use was reduced on appeal.
Berry was suspended until April 14 but lodged an appeal with the Racing NSW Appeals panel against the severity of his penalty.
The champion jockey succeeded in having his riding ban reduced by five days enabling him to return to the saddle for the Day 1 of The Championships at Royal Randwick on April 10.
However, his fine was increased from $5000 to $10,000 for the riding infringement.
Berry had been suspended after he was found to have used the whip on 12 occasions prior to the 100m mark (seven times more than is permitted) before his win on Mo'unga in the Rosehill Guineas.
Berry, who was represented by legal eagle Wayne Pasterfield at the appeal, misses the Tancred Stakes meeting on Saturday, but is relieved to be back in time for The Championships.
"It worked out well in the end,'' Berry said.
"With the Nathan Berry Medal (for the leading rider at The Championships) going over both days at Randwick (April 10 and 17) it was important to get back as it is something you can't win in one day.''
Due to the uncertainty of Berry's availability, he has lost a couple of significant rides for Randwick including boom sprinter Masked Crusader.
But Berry, who won the Golden Slipper on Stay Inside, is booked for rides in each of the four Group 1 races at Randwick - Olmedo ($3 million Doncaster Mile), Libertini ($2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes), Favreau ($2 million ATC Australian Derby) and King Of Sparta ($1 million ATC Inglis Sires).
His other big-race rides include Art Cadeau (Country Championships Final), Dadoozdart (Chairman's Handicap) and Flexible (Adrian Knox Stakes).
Nash Rawiller misses The Championships (April 10-17) after failing in his bid to have a month-long riding ban reduced on appeal.
Rawiller was hit with two careless riding charges at the Rosehill meeting last Saturday - Avilius in the George Ryder Stakes and Four Moves Ahead in the Golden Slipper.
Stewards ruled that his two suspensions could not be served concurrently which means Rawiller is out until the end April 29.
He did have one meeting shaved from his penalty and can now resume riding on April 27.
Rawiller won the Group 1 The Galaxy on the brilliant Eduardo at the Golden Slipper meeting and trainer Joe Pride has moved quickly to lock in Brenton Avdulla as Rawiller's replacement for the TJ Smith Stakes next week.
Leg Work out of Country Championships
Leg Work has suffered a soft tissue injury and is out of next week's $500,000 Country Championships Final at Royal Randwick.
Trainer Danny Williams advised Racing NSW stewards of Leg Work's injury setback which has forced the sprinter's withdrawal and provided an opportunity for the Joe Cleary-trained Girls Are Ready to get into the field for the Final.
Girls Are Ready had run fourth behind Art Cadeau, Leg Work and another Cleary sprinter, Rothenburg in the Country Championships Qualifier at Goulburn.
But Rothenburg had already secured his place in the Country Championships Final after his second placing in the Wild Card at Muswellbrook which meant Girls Are Ready was next in line to gain a start in the rich Randwick race.
In revised TAB Fixed Odds betting on the Country Championships Final, Art Cadeau is a firm $4 favourite ahead of Tara Jasmine at $7.
■ North Pacific will join the star-studded stallion roster at Newgate Farm after being retired to stud.
The brilliant Team Hawkes-trained colt has sustained a career-ending injury after showing glimpses of outstanding sprinting ability this season including his Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes win and his narrow loss to stablemate Ole Kirk in the Group 1 Golden Rode.
"Rated by outstanding judge John Hawkes as one of the best-looking yearlings he's ever seen at a sale, North Pacific had a huge engine to match his incredible good looks,'' Newgate's Henry Field said.
"While his racing career was prematurely cut short, he was a horse with legitimate Group 1 form and talent.''
Newgate is home to some of the nation's most exciting young stallions including Extreme Choice, sire of Golden Slipper winner Stay Inside, Capitalist, Deep Field, Flying Artie and Winning Rupert.
■ Keith Hill, a former leading Canterbury-based trainer, passed away earlier this week. He was 97.
Hill only ever had a small team in work when Canterbury was still used as a training centre but he prepared some smart gallopers including the handy mare, Only You.
Originally published as Champion jockey wins whip ban reduction