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Apprentice bails from horse in bizarre Caymanas Park finish

Published:Sunday | June 23, 2019 | 12:48 AMAinsley Walters - Sunday Gleaner Writer

Kiaman McGregor aboard SIR KEL.
Kiaman McGregor aboard SIR KEL.

APPRENTICE Kiaman McGregor denied himself a three-timer on yesterday’s 10-race card in bizarre circumstances, bailing off ABOGADO near the winning post in the sixth race at three furlongs straight.

After opening his account in the fourth race astride speedy 2-1 chance, DEE DANGER, at five furlongs straight, the three-kilo claiming apprentice returned aboard 9-5 favourite ABOGADO in the sixth event, perfectly drawn on the stands’ side.

ABOGADO set off in front in the quick dash but kept shying from his shadow, spooking McGregor, who afterwards explained to the stewards that he anticipated the seven-year-old gelding jumping the rail, which led to him to jettison his mount within four strides of the winning post.

A lengthy stewards’ enquiry and replays, showing McGregor airborne before ABOGADO reached the winning post, resulted in the gelding’s number being taken down, disqualified, and placed last for not completing the race with the rider aboard.

The event was awarded to second-past-the-post AQUILO, a 9-1 outsider, apprentice Roger Hewitt’s first winnner of the year.

The decision sparked lengthy debates about whether McGregor was still astride when ABOGADO crossed the line. However, trainer Gregory Forsyth said that after reviewing the race, he concurred with the stewards’, who were roundly criticised for not declaring a false start in the previous event.

“He was not on the horse. He jumped off before the winning post. He told the stewards he thought the horse was going to run into the rail,” said Forsyth.

McGregor, who started the day eighth in the jockeys’ standings on 18 winners, later took his tally to 20, joining veteran Shane Ellis in sixth spot, with victory astride 11-1 upsetter, UNCLE VINNIE, in the ninth race, an overnight allowance at seven and a half furlongs, upstaging 6-5 favourite, MY ELLE BELLE.

UNCLE VINNIE sat in the cat bird’s seat, third behind CAPTUREMYSHIP and MADAM SECRETARY, staying on strongly against the inner rail to hit the front a furlong out and repelling MY ELLE BELLE’s late run.

Meanwhile, leading rider apprentice Christopher Mamdeen moved to 51 winners with a two-timer, booting home INSTAGRAM in the third and RISING BOP in the seventh, going 11 clear of fellow apprentice, Reyan Lewis, who returns off a two-day suspension for Saturday’s meet, which will feature the Jamaica Derby.