Polanski wins Victoria Derby
Watch highlights from Derby Day's major races including Robbie Laing-trained Polanski's emphatic, three-length victory in the Victoria Derby.PT1M30S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2wt8o 620 349 November 2, 2013
Punters were left feeling sick after heavily backed favourite Polarmore was stopped in his tracks by erratic leader Blackboard Special as he looked like a potential winner at Rosehill on Saturday.
The $2.75 favourite loomed up at the 100-metre mark to challenge for the lead but Blackboard Special, ridden by apprentice Matthew McGuren, shifted sharply, halted Polarmore, which finished sixth.
''He was going to be fighting out the finish and obviously got stood on his head,'' Polarmore's jockey Tim Clark said. ''It stopped all his momentum and cost him a chance of being in the finish, that's for sure.''
One of a pair: Hidden Warrior, ridden by Nathan Berry, wins race four at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday. Photo: James Brickwood
McGuren was asked by stewards why he had his whip in his right hand despite the fact his mount was shifting abruptly to the left.
All he could say was: ''The further we went the worse it got.'' Blake Shinn, on Koroibete, said he, too, was hampered as he sat outside Polarmore as the widest runner.
The drama overshadowed a top ride by Nathan Berry, who took advantage of the carnage in front to sneak up the inside on Wouldnt It Be Nice and win by a long head from Koroibete.
Derby Day Racing at Flemington
Derby Day Flemington , Race 1 won by Paximadia ridden by Kerrin McEvoy Photo: Pat Scala
In an incident chief steward Ray Murrihy described as ''nasty'', McGuren was charged with careless riding and outed for five meetings.
When Glyn Schofield lodged a protest in the second race he was shocked to find it was he that the stewards were cranky with after he lost his appeal when Time For War beat his mount Double Happy by half a neck.
The top hoop argued that Double Happy was interfered with after Time For War, ridden by Damien Thornton, laid out badly in the straight.
''I moved up to join him and at that point he shifted out and continued,'' Schofield said. ''I was shifted across five horse widths and at the 75 metres he shifts again. I wasn't able to run straight and it hindered my horse's ability.''
Thornton pointed out that at no stage was there contact, despite what appeared to be a slight nudge at the 75m mark, nor did Schofield have to stop riding his horse, to which stewards agreed and dismissed the protest.
''We say there is a little bump at the 75m but we can't be satisfied it cost you the race,'' Murrihy said.
But when Murrihy asked Schofield to stay back after the protest to ask why he didn't ride his horse out in the final few strides, the hoop had a bemused look on his face.
''Why don't you push your horse out to the line?'' Murrihy asked.
''I don't believe I haven't,'' Schofield replied. ''All I've done is put the whip down.''
Murrihy hit back quickly, saying: ''You're doing nothing on him.''
Stewards let Schofield off with a warning.
Nathan Berry said Paul Perry has a top group of young horses as the two combined for a double at Rosehill on Saturday.
Berry piloted Wouldnt It Be Nice and Hidden Warrior to wins and said the Newcastle trainer would continue to strengthen this season.
''He's building a nice team of horses. He's just bought a horse from France and has a lot of nice two- year-olds,'' Berry said.
Glyn Schofield said Index Linked would have to start his races better if he's to be a force in higher grades after winning impressively in the 1800m fifth at Rosehill.
Index Linked was backed from $2.50 to $2.10 and punters would have had their hearts in their mouths when the Chris Waller-trained horse gave stablemate Done Nothin' Wrong six lengths head start on the home turn before gobbling him up and beating then The Offer by half a length.
''I was [worried about giving a big start] because he just flopped out of the gates and it's a trend he's getting, and once you get up into the better grade of races it will be a lot tougher, so we need to get him out of the barriers better,'' Schofield said.
Lightly raced mare White Sage continued her unbeaten run when she scored in the opening race for jockey Christian Reith, who said the mare would fill her owners' pockets.
''She's going to win a lot of races and the owners are going to make a lot of money off her,'' Reith said.
Reith had to give the four-year-old a little niggle at the 800m after he said she relaxed too well, but she was always a class above her rivals to record her third straight win.