Handy Apprentices Whip Violations and 2018 Pegasus World Cup

Here is a smattering or thoroughbred racing news as the month of January drags on, as nothing major is going on, so far as Australian thoroughbred racing is concerned.

A young apprentice name Stephanie Thornton is garnering attention as she continues to make the most of summer racing in Melbourne on her path to gaining a senior license and some notice from the top trainers.

She won Sunday’s Annette Daymon Handicap, and then rode Matthew Ellerton and Simon Zahra’s Nasdex for a double at the meeting with a win in the Jodie Taylor Handicap. Nasdex has won twice from three jumps with Thornton riding and Thornton now has 13 metropolitan wins alongside her name.

Another promising apprentice, Beau Mertens, lost his seat in a nasty looking fall at Caulfield, but he seems to have come out of it with nothing other than a sore left knee. Mertens did not have to go to hospital. His horse, Orient Line, was not nearly so fortunate, suffering a catastrophic injury that necessitated the horse being put down.

Craig Williams ran afoul of Caulfield stewards for a breach of the whip rules and was handed a six-meeting suspension. He plans to appeal, even though he pled guilty to exceeding the limit six time ahead of the 100 m mark in the Maree Madden-Melder Handicap.

One or two, perhaps, but six? Williams may need some remedial counting instruction. Apprentice jockey Liam Riordan drew the same suspension for over-cropping Snitzelwood.

Over in the U.S., there are three slots still available for The Pegasus World Cup, with approximately three weeks until the jump. The nine confirmed are Gun Runner, Collected, Stellar Wind, Seeking The Soul, West Coast, Gunnevera, Giant Expectations, Toast Of New York and War Story.

Four others under consideration include Sharp Azteca, Fear The Cowboy, Giuseppe The Great and Game Over.

It is simply a question of finding a few billionaires who do not mind squandering a million dollars for a slot and there are more than a few who stand to reap far more than that amount of the recently enacted “tax reform” that will bolster the coffers to the tunes of far more than a million dollars.

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