Sydney Jockey Premiership Race Affected by Careless Riding Charge

Is thoroughbred racing rigged in the same fashion as the Ultimate Fighting Championship or American political elections?

We were all primed to sit back and watch the chase of the Sydney Jockeys Premiership as Hugh Bowman tried to chase down Brenton Avdulla as the clock on the 2016 – 2017 Australian Thoroughbred Racing Season wound down to zero.

Now, to our utter dismay, we learn that with seven meetings to go, Avdulla has been suspended for five meetings, two of those being metro meetings that will figure prominently in the close premiership race. Avdulla rode one winner yesterday, Torpenhow, in the final race of the day.

He was handed a red card for race four for careless riding on Chatuchak in race four. He will still be permitted to ride at Hawkesbury on Thursday and Warwick Farm on Saturday before starting his suspension, so he will be out of the picture for four of six remaining meetings.

Was Bowman just handed the premiership of a silver platter?

He rode three winners at Canterbury Racecourse on Wednesday, further closing the gap on Avdulla. He now trails by just 3.5 wins and given his record, it would be hard to imagine any scenario where he could not win at least four winners over the next seven meetings. It would be hard to imagine him not winning at least seven and 14 are well within his capacity.

His three wins on Wednesday came on Calculated for Chris Waller the other two were from Cudabeen and Steyne of the Peter and Paul Snowden operation.

Bowman has six races on his schedule for Warwick Farm, five for Waller and one for the Snowdens, so if he were not to win at least two, he could blame only himself, since the trainers for whom he is working do not field nags.

Avdulla has seven rides for the same day and he had better win them all lest he see his hard work all season, in which he has outstarted Bowman by a season’s worth of races for some jockeys, go for naught.

As for Bowman, it is doubtful he would admit to much jubilation over his early Christmas gift. In fact, winning the premiership in this fashion, rather than by staging a massive charge, might feel hollow.

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