Lee Freedman may have retired but unfortunately for jockeys that ride for the powerful Victorian stable, the ‘Rough End of the Pineapple’ award hasn’t.
Each year Freedman racing give out the award to the jockey who produced the worst ride on one of their horses in the previous 12 months – and this year’s winner was Craig Williams.
A gracious yet embarrassed Williams accepted the ‘award’ from Anthony and Lee Freedman yesterday for his ride on Retsina in March.
Retsina was having her first start on the day that Williams produced some of his worst work.
The highly rated Redoute’s Choice filly finished fourth behind Golden Archer in the listed Ice Cream Stakes at Flemngton, however Williams was slammed for his ride, as the filly did not get into clear running room until well into the straight and when she started charging home the race was all but over.
“It was a very open year with a lot of contenders. But we felt that in the context of the race, it was a filly we had a high opinion of having her first start in a stakes race, that Craig deserved this year’s pineapple,” said newly christened head trainer Anthony Freedman.
“Nash Rawiller was leading at one stage for his ride on Smokin’ Joey in the AAMI Vase, but he got a reprieve after the horse proved to be disappointing. In fairness, a rider can wiped from the whiteboard if the horse doesn’t measure up to expectations.”
Despite claiming ‘the pineapple’ for his ride on the filly in her first start, Williams was not sacked by the Freedman’s, and got to ride the horse in her next race start, where she finished down the track behind Altar and Pane in the Glass. The filly has not been seen at the races since.
Williams now joins an exalted list of ‘pineapple’ winners which includes: Danny Nikolic, Aaron Spiteri, Mark Pegus, Vlad Duric and Noel Callow.
Williams will be looking to put the embarrassment of the ‘pineapple’ behind him when he heads to Caulfield on Saturday with a great card of rides.
Among Williams’ best chances are Testascana for Peter Moody in the Legacy Handicap, Time Matters in the PB Lawrence and Brazilian Pulse in the Cockram.
In other jockey news Victorian hoop Jake Noonan has been told that his comeback from a serious fall has been put on indefinite hold.
Jake Noonan was due to ride for his father Tony at Mornington, however chief steward Terry Bailey said he had been advised by RVL’s chief medical consultant that Noonan did not have medical clearance to resume riding.
Tony Noonan said his son had received clearance from his personal doctor, who has been treating him since the fall in May. Noonan snr also took exception to the fact that Jake had been allowed to ride in the trials earlier in the week.
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