NSW stewards question McDougall over ride

Stewards have grilled apprentice jockey Blaike McDougall over his ride during a midweek Sydney race after it was beaten by a nose following an “alarming” betting drift.

Steward Ray Livingstone questioned McDougall’s vigour on Arise Augustus after he was beaten by the shortest measurable margin in a 1000m benchmark handicap on Wednesday.

In a post-race inquiry Livingstone asked why McDougall had failed to use the whip until the 100m mark or strike it further as it was swamped by Brenton Avdulla’s mount Agean Sea in the final stages of the race.

“I probably should have hit the horse a few more times,” McDougall said.

Deputy chief steward Philip Dingwall asked whether McDougall would have any problem with them going through his phone records.

He said they were “more than welcome” to examine them.

“I did not have any (phone) conversations,” McDougall said.


Arise Augustus went from $4.60 to $14 on the Betfair exchange, a drift which Livingston described as alarming.

“Were you out there doing the best to win the race?” Chief steward Marc Van Gestel said.

“Indeed,” McDougall replied.

McDougall said he had a poor record with overusing the whip in races which showed he had no problem with striking horses.

“My record speaks for itself. It is something I am trying to get out of doing,” McDougall said.

Arise Augustus’ trainer Terry Evans said he had no complaint with the ride.

The inquiry has been adjourned while Racing NSW’s integrity department investigates.

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