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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Six Months

Probably not the smartest thing to do, or response to Racing Victoria stewards’ decision suspending Aussie jockey Ben Smith (left) for breaking apprentice Nick Mehmet’s nose and cracking three teeth in the jock’s room at Hanging Rock on New Year’s Day: “Smith thumped the table and yelled: ‘Six months, are you serious? Jesus Christ, six months’.”

Still, I feel sorry for Smith who admits his career “is not going that great,” he had no previous confrontations of this sort, and Mehmet (below, who admits he provoked the argument further) and he have apparently made up. Plus, Mehmet is no stranger to these kinds of incidents; you may remember last summer Daniel Moor was suspended one week for calling him “a f*cking terrorist” in front of three stewards.

It also makes you wonder, are stewards Down Under too tough or are ours too lenient? Jeremy Rose gets six months whipping his mount across the that action equivalent to one jockey busting another’s nose off-track?


Ryan said...

I think a fine would've been more appropriate. I don't think its just to take away his ability to earn a living.

I've noticed that stewards here in the US vary greatly from track to track. I've seen horses taken down for the slightest things at Aqueduct. On the other hand, if you want the stewards to do anything at my home track of River Downs, you practically have to draw blood.

Valerie said...

I totally agree: a fine and/or a week, maybe, but six months?

What I do like about Australia, though, is they are completely transparent with their stewards' reports, which are incredibly detailed and thorough--and publically available (I have links to them on my page). I'd like to see that more here in the U.S. Not only is it more fair to horsemen, but also to bettors who shouldn't feel "out of the loop", so to speak, when horses are taken down, etc.

Anonymous said...

What would have been Rose's suspension/fine if his whipping incident occured in Australia? As Ryan stated the stewards decisions vary, IIRC Molina received only 30 days/$1000 for kicking his mount at Phil. Park in '07.