Mondayitis strikes Sandown as jockeys head north for rescheduled Day One of The Championships   Leave a comment

Mondayitis strikes Sandown as jockeys head north for rescheduled Day One of The Championships

Empty house: Randwick is virtually empty after terrible rain forced officials to call off

Empty house: Randwick is virtually empty after terrible rain forced officials to call off the meeting. Source: News Corp Australia

VICTORIAN trainers were scrambling to find replacement jockeys for Monday’s Sandown meeting following the postponement of Saturday’s Randwick meeting.

Jockeys Damien Oliver, Craig Williams, Nick Hall, Glen Boss, Dwayne Dunn, Chad Schofield and Vlad Duric were set to ride at Randwick and return for Monday’s Sandown meeting.

However the dismal Sydney weather caused the Australian Turf Club to postpone Day One of The Championships until Monday.

Racing Victoria stewards immediately allowed the jockeys a release from their Melbourne rides to return to Sydney to fulfil their major race engagements.

That, however, left a lot of trainers with the task of finding replacement riders for Sandown’s nine-race card.

Horses return to their stables after the Randwick meeting was abandoned.

Horses return to their stables after the Randwick meeting was abandoned. Source: News Corp Australia

Clearly they were unable to gain the quality jockeys to replace those heading back interstate, while other leading local riders already had been engaged by other trainers.

Oliver and Williams had six rides each at Sandown; Dunn four, Hall three, Schofield and Duric two apiece and Boss one.

“We obviously gave the jockeys the option to return to ride in the Group 1 races in Sydney,” said acting chief steward Rob Cramm.

“Trainers here simply have to look for replacement riders.”

Robert Smerdon had to find three replacement riders and Matt Ellerton and Simon Zahra two, while other affected trainers included Darren Weir, Colin Little, Greg Eurell, Ken Keys, Brendan McCarthy and Henry Dwyer.

A punter makes his way home after discovering the meeting has been cancelled. Picture: Sa

A punter makes his way home after discovering the meeting has been cancelled. Picture: Sam Ruttyn Source: News Corp Australia

Jockeys Association chief executive Des O’Keeffe said Victoria was lucky because of the programming over the weekend.

While there were meetings at Kerang, Tatura and Warracknabeal alongside Caulfield in Victoria on Saturday, and major meetings involving the Stawell Cup and Mornington on Sunday, Sandown is the only scheduled meeting in Victoria on Monday.

“That is the saviour,” he said. “While it is disappointing that the boys will be off to Sydney, it opens the door for other jockeys to get rides at a city meeting,” O’Keeffe said.

O’Keeffe said that Jack Hill, who was injured in a race fall at Donald a fortnight ago, was showing increasingly pleasing signs of recovery after being in a protracted coma.

“He ate up on Friday night and was sitting up yesterday morning and we expect it will be a long period of recovery, but full recovery nonetheless.”

Damien Oliver at Randwick trackwork during the week. Picture: Mark Evans

Damien Oliver at Randwick trackwork during the week. Picture: Mark Evans Source: News Corp Australia

Originally published as Mondayitis strikes Sandown

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Posted April 5, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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