Logan, Pegus suspended after Darwin’s Melbourne Cup Day meeting

Mark Pegus on Lake's Folly at Darwin
Mark Pegus is expected to return to Victoria after copping a two-week ban for careless riding during Darwin’s Melbourne Cup Day meeting. (Photo: Caroline Camilleri – Darwin Photography Professionals)

Sonja Logan and Mark Pegus will miss the Darwin Turf Club’s five-event program this weekend, with both jockeys suspended following the meeting at Fannie Bay on Melbourne Cup Day.

After guiding the Tayarn Halter-trained +110 favourite City Regal to victory in a 1300m open handicap, Logan was adjudged to have impeded the Phil Cole-trained Surreal Image at the 700m mark as the four-horse field exited the back straight and was handed a one-week ban for careless riding.

Sitting three deep and sharing the lead with Surreal Image, who was on the fence, and Gary Clarke’s Strategic Phil, City Regal edged a length clear at the 800m before Logan moved across to settle on the rails.

Stewards ruled that Logan was insufficiently clear of Surreal Image, who was crowded for room and had to be restrained by apprentice Emma Lines.

If there was interference, it was minimal, as Surreal Image — who finished 16 lengths adrift of City Regal in fourth place — appeared to be tiring.

Logan elected to lodge an appeal, but it was dismissed on Monday.

Darwin Race 2 replay – City Regal – J: Sonja Logan

Pegus was aboard the Peter Stennett-trained +200 favourite Just Strolling in an 1100m 0-70 race and ended up receiving a two-week ban and a $300 fine for careless riding after he allowed his mount to shift inwards at the 500m mark, thus flattening the Clarke-trained Bel’s Banner.

Sitting outside Niewand, who was on the rails, Just Strolling also had Rising Sphere and El Magnificence for company before Pegus eased off to allow his mount to settle on the fence.

Bel’s Banner, who was making ground along the rails, was cramped for room and subsequently checked before recovering to finish 2.4 lengths behind the winner, Mighty Murt, in fifth place.

Just Strolling was a further three lengths back in seventh place.

Darwin Race 5 replay – Mighty Murt – J: Paul Shiers

It is unlikely Pegus will be spotted in the NT until next year, as the Stawell-based jockey hinted prior to the Melbourne Cup Day meeting that he would more than likely return to Victoria.

Pegus — the 2007 Darwin Cup winner on the Michael Hickmott-trained General Market — arrived in May, and despite the occasional trip back to Victoria he still finished with 15 wins.

Logan — the reigning champion jockey in the Alice Springs premiership — is in a rich vein of form having sealed winning trebles in the Red Centre on November 4 and last Saturday.

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