Knuckey cops three-week ban after Grace’s fall

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Apprentice Harry Grace is assisted from the ambulance.
Camera IconApprentice Harry Grace is assisted from the ambulance. Credit: Laurie Benson

Jockey Peter Knuckey has been handed a 21-day suspension after stewards completed an inquiry into the cause of a heavy fall in race two at Albany last Friday involving apprentice Harry Grace.

Grace was lucky to escape any serious injury and returned to riding on Sunday but on Monday the inquiry into the incident was heard.

Knuckey, Jade McNaught and Grace all gave evidence and as a result Knuckey pleaded guilty to a charge of careless riding.

He was suspended for a period of 21 days, backdated to last Friday December 13, and is due to complete the suspension on midnight January 13. Knuckey is free to ride the following day on the Perth Cup card at Ascot.

Grace crashed to the turf heavily after his horse Shape Shifter blundered from heels, as a result of Demeritise shifting outwards and bumping into McNaught’s mount Hail Caesar.

After getting medical attention Grace stood down for the remainder of his rides at the Albany meeting but was cleared to return to the saddle over the weekend.

“I am still a bit tender but I’m all good, nothing too serious to worry about,” he said.

“I got X-rays down in Perth and it’s just a bad sprained left ankle and that will heal in a couple of weeks.

“I got the all-clear to ride Saturday but the meeting (was abandoned).

“I rode on Sunday at Bunbury and was able to put up with the pain, so nothing too bad.

“It’s just racing and its bound to happen.”

Shape Shifter was sent out the $2.70 favourite for Grace and trainer Lindsey Smith, who combined to win the first race in Albany, before trouble struck around the 300m mark.

The three-year-old filly was second-last on the turn and Grace was dislodged in home straight as a result of the bump, falling heavily.

The apprentice has recently moved to WA for further riding opportunities.

Grace and Smith teamed up with Starauthoress to win the Hygain Tracktorque Maiden (1500m), settling just off the speed and then holding out the hard-charging Miss Pins in the straight.

It was Grace’s 11th winner in WA this season and fourth at provincial level.

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