Jockey pleads guilty to improper conduct
Jockey Shaun McGruddy has come under scrutiny after vision of him allegedly kicking a horse behind the barrier stalls before race 3 at Percy Spencer Racecourse on Sunday was broadcast on the Sky Racing coverage on television.
McGruddy, who has won multiple Great Southern jockeys’ premierships teaming with leading Albany trainer Steve Wolfe, was fresh off a feature race double at Ascot on Saturday when the incident occurred as runners were loaded into the barriers at the 1100m start.
Aboard the Wolfe-trained Texan Blitz, McGruddy jumped off when the three-year-old maiden became fractious and shifted towards a barrier attendant and the inside running rail.
In the vision below McGruddy jumps to the ground before appearing to kick the horse as it backs towards him and the rail.
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Texan Blitz was eventually loaded and came out to run second in the Alan McGuinniss Memorial Maiden (1100m) behind Classic Jack.
An inquiry was opened by stewards following the race where McGruddy pleaded guilty to a charge of improper conduct towards his mount when behind the barriers before the start of the race.
Stewards have adjourned this inquiry to consider the matter of penalty. Jockey Peta Edwards suffered a dislocated shoulder in the same race, falling from Vicious Vilma at the 400m mark when the horse blundered from heels and fell.
Edwards was taken to hospital for observation and was released soon after with stewards also adjourning an inquiry into the incident.
McGruddy booted home a winner on the seven-race card, with new Wolfe acquisition Wild Fusion taking out race 5 by a length.
Wolfe finished with a winning double after smart three-year-old Triggerfish made it two straight victories this campaign.
Albany rider Casey Hunter notched a winning double on her home turf after guiding Prince Friar to victory for her father and local trainer Paul Hunter, and earlier taking out race 3 on the Roy Rogers-trained Classic Jack.
Rogers also had two winners for the day after Tango Ora held on by a nose over Arrum Boy in a thrilling photo finish to race 4.
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