Punters demand lifetime ban for jockey as 'very concerning' race sparks fury and forces bosses to call for investigation | The Sun
PUNTERS are calling for a jockey to get a lifetime ban after this 'very concerning' race sparked fury and forced bosses to demand a full investigation.
A clip of the race has gone viral online after it showed jockey Sheldon Chickeness leading comfortably on King Witt, only to mysteriously drop back before rallying to finish second.
Watching the race from Assiniboia racecourse in Canada it looked like Chickeness and King Witt would run out easy winners in the maiden race on Wednesday night.
But turning for home the jockey, who kept looking over his shoulder entering the straight, slowed right down.
As others got into the contest, Chickeness – who has 295 career winners and more than £1.3million in earnings – then asked his mount for more and the horse powered home to finish a close second.
Footage of the race was immediately picked up and shared online, forcing racecourse bosses to demand an investigation into what exactly happened.
Racing supremo Darren Dunn called the incident 'very concerning' and said there had to be a full explanation.
Dunn, CEO of Manitoba Jockey Club, said: "The unusual nature of the stretch drive from race five has caused us to reach out and make this request.
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"When I watched the race in real time, my first reaction was that the jockey was pulling the horse up due to a potential injury.
"When the jockey re-engaged the horse after the balance of the field caught up and then began to aggressively ride the horse to the finish line, the sudden change was very concerning.
"Though in our opinion there would not have been any adjustment to the ultimate order of finish in the race, due to a lack of any interference with any other horses, that there was no enquiry posted by the stewards created great concern with the public from a perception standpoint.
"As such, we felt we needed to act and make this formal request."
Some punters could not believe what had happened, especially as it looked like the horse, who started second-favourite, had the race at his mercy.
While others claimed the horse simply felt uncomfortable leading and came back to the pack despite the rider's efforts.
One said: "This horse had literally never been in front before and the way that he pricked his ears turning into the lane before re-rallying just screams greenness to me.
"The jock certainly tried to get the lead back by the line."
While another said in response to a clip of the incident: "Maybe he thought the finish line was in the middle of the turn and the race was over. Lol."
One stunned racing fan said simply: "Wow! What the hell was that?!"
While another in response to the footage posted on Twitter: "Lifetime ban."
Track announcer Vic Stauffer said: "He [Chickeness] is either very bad at trying to win, or very bad at trying to lose."
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