Jockey Tegan Harrison almost falls from Few Are Chosen at Doomben

Tegan Harrison did well to stay on Few Are Chosen at Doomben.

Tegan Harrison did well to stay on Few Are Chosen at Doomben.

TEGAN Harrison’s spectacular effort to stay in the saddle of Few Are Chosen at Doomben yesterday has sparked renewed debate about the safety of the 1000m start at the venue.

With three horses crossing from outside, Few Are Chosen became the meat in the sandwich and dipped sharply, forcing Harrison’s left leg out of the iron and catapulting her to a near hand stand position.

Somehow she was able to hang on and the horse recovered to finish sixth.

At a subsequent inquiry a bitterly disappointed Damian Browne was suspended for eight meetings over the incident after pleading to stewards the interference was a result of both his horse wanting to hang in and pressure from the outside.

At a different inquiry, Grant Cooksley was outed for seven meetings over a separate incident in the same race.

Trainers and jockeys detest the 1000m start at Doomben because of the very short run to the first turn.

When the rail is out 10m, like yesterday, it exacerbates the problem, because there is only a 140m run to the first turn.

Chief steward Allan Reardon describes it as “a bad start” and said it has been a problem for many years.

Reardon said his panel may make a submission to Racing Queensland programmers about the future of the start.

“The problem we have at the moment with Eagle Farm being out of play is that it’s the only 1000m metropolitan start we have, which is essential for early season two-year-olds,” Reardon said.

Champion jockey Chris Munce said it was similar to the 1800m at Eagle Farm but because of the early pressure in 1000m races, it was harder to negate.

“Put it this way, you very rarely see horses come from wide gates to win at that start,” Munce said. “I know the winner has come from out there this time, but usually you have to have panels on them to do it.”

Story courtesy Nathan Exelby


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