Apprentice fined $2k for weighing in light

Apprentice Jye McNeil had a day of ups and downs at Sandown on Wednesday.

McNeil was fined $2000 after Tigidig Tigidig was first past the post in the Ladbrokes Cash In Handicap, only to be disqualified after weighing in 0.6kg under its declared weight.

However he finished the day on a better note, guiding Prix D’Or to victory in the Le Pine Funerals Handicap.

Racing Victoria stewards, headed by acting chairman Robert Cram, said the fine was hefty due to the repercussion.

Cram said stewards had to protect owners, trainers and punters as well as the image of racing.

In weighing out for his mount on Tigidig Tigidig, McNeil said he had two pieces of lead, each weighing 250g, in his hand.

Clerk of scales Hayley Addison said she remembered McNeil placing one piece of lead on a bench, after which McNeil weighed out correctly, before handing the saddle straight to Tigidig Tigidig’s trainer Vincent Maladdy.

McNeil told stewards he returned to the jockeys’ room, giving the two pieces of lead to fellow apprentice Ben Thompson, having borrowed it earlier in the day.

He was asked if the two pieces could have in fact weighed 500g, but was adamant they both weighed 250g.

“I believe I put both pieces of lead on the bench and returned them to Ben’s bag,” McNeil said.

Maladdy said he was vigilant in placing the saddle on his horses, adding he took note of the gear Tigidig Tigidig was to carry.

“I placed the saddle on the divider at horse stalls,” Maladdy said.

“I checked the lead in the lead bag. I like to put the lead towards the front of the horse so I checked that the amount of lead Jye said was there, was there.

“All the gear was on the horse.”

Jockeys used to be allowed to use the horse’s bridle to make up the weight shortfall but the rule was amended to allow a rider 0.5kg.

As McNeil weighed in 0.6kg under his declared weight, Tigidig Tigidig was disqualified and the race awarded to Foreign Affair.

Mark Zahra received an eight-meeting suspension in the final event after running second on Makeadane behind Prix D’Or.

The suspension starts after he rides at the Gold Coast on Saturday.

Earlier James Winks was suspended for seven meetings on a careless riding charge, which commences after Saturday and Damian Lane was fined $300 after missing his ride on Disseminate in the Cove Hotel Plate.


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