Canberra Times

Print this article | Close this window

Rising Canberra jockey Patrick Scorse calls out online trolls ahead of Black Opal

Eamonn Tiernan

Published: March 8 2018 - 7:30PM

Rising Canberra jockey Patrick Scorse has taken aim at online trolls as the teenager prepares for his first Black Opal Stakes day.

The apprentice has labelled trolls "disgraceful" in the wake of his colleague Liam Riordan being abused online following a ride at Moonee Valley two weeks ago.

The abuser sent a letter of apology to Victorian Jockeys' Association acknowledging his social media post was 'appalling and certainly something I regret'. But Scorse said the damage had been done.

Scorse, 19, emphasised his fellow apprentice Riordan, nor any rider, deserved to be abused no matter the circumstances.

"I think it's quite disgraceful to get up any jockey, to publicly attack them on social media is pathetic," Scorse said.

"We're are making split second decisions, not only trying to ride your horse but other horses in the race, and you can't know what others are thinking or going to do.

"If you misjudge something or if someone else takes a run you were going to take, then it's bad luck you've got to take route A, B, C or D.

"It's especially bad going after an apprentice who hasn't been doing it 25 years. It's disgraceful and if a jockey replies they can actually be fined.

"We just have to cop it on the chin and read about how terrible we are, which I think is pretty unfair."

Scorse was the victim of online abuse after a tough ride in January and said it was time to stamp it out once and for all.

"I rode the favourite in the Moruya Cup, a horse called Director who came in with very nice form," Scorse said.

"He jumped well but drew wide and over the mile there it's quite a tricky run, the horse got stuck three wide and nothing could be done.

"I finished that day come back to four messages on Facebook and two on Twitter that were quite abusive and from people who have never rode a race in their life.

"It gets you down a bit, I know their opinion shouldn't be taken seriously because they're not out there doing it, but it's hard because they say some pretty hurtful things."

Scorse said jockeys were human too and that mental strength played a huge role in becoming a successful jockey.

"It's a funny thing in an industry where you're trying to promote your image and stay as humble as you can but out on the track you need some confidence and cockiness," Scorse said.

"You need to be direct and confident in what you're doing to pull off a good ride from a tricky sport or a bad gate... you need to think you've got this in the bag and feel good about your racing."

Scorse is preparing to ride on his first Black Opal Stakes day where he'll guide Barb Joseph-filly Havelka in the the Riharna Thomson Bracelet (1200 metres) on Sunday.

Scorse, 19, has been superb in his first full season racing professionally and leads the ACT Apprentice Jockeys premiership by seven wins.

The young hoop is second, only behind Matt Cahill, amongst the senior riders thanks to seven wins and 15 placings at Thoroughbred Park in his debut season.

"In my first year I've had a bit of success in my own track and I always love riding at Canberra and the boss always throws me on a few good ones," Scorse said.

"It'll be my first Black Opal and it's pretty tough to get a ride on the big day when all the Sydney boys are down, but I'm on one I've ridden in the past and she went well that day.

"That was her first start and she'd had another since then and come on really well, I think she'll be there in the finish, she's quite a nice a filly."

This story was found at: