Racing New South Wales stewards have been forced to step in and settle a dispute over who will ride Riva De Lago in tomorrow’s Listed $150,000 2012 Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton.
Apprentice jockey Josh Adams claims he was booked to ride the Con Karakatsanis-trained gelding but when acceptances were announced at 10am yesterday, it was Matthew Bennett’s name on the race card.
It is believed the dispute started between Karakatsanis and Adams after the jockey did not front to ride Riva De Lago in trackwork on Monday.
But Adams said he was only booked to ride the horse for tomorrow’s feature sprint and was unaware of any obligation to ride him in the lead-up.
“I wasn’t asked to do anything else, I wasn’t under the impression that there were any other gallops I was required for,” Adams said.
Karakatasanis said the decision to award the ride to Bennett was made after watching the horse in trackwork, suggesting he wanted a more experienced jockey in the saddle.
Adams has made an application to Racing New South Wales stewards to still earn the riding fee, which under Racing New South Wales rules he may be entitled to if it is confirmed he had the booking.
“The rules state that he could be entitled to the rider’s percentage, win, lose or draw,” Racing NSW deputy chief steward Marc Van Gestle said.
“But the matter will be heard at the inquiry and each case is dealt with on its merits.”
Riva De Lago is due to run from barrier two in the feature sprint, one barrier outside highly-rated stablemate Howmuchdoyouloveme.
Currently paying $6.50 at bookmaker.com.au, Riva De Lago is the fourth favourite behind Magic Cassius ($2.40), Howmuchdoyouloveme ($4.00) and River Lad ($6.00).
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