The West

Connections stunned after Plate protest upheld
Patrick Carbery on Cool Trade, left, finishes a close second to Trading Day in the WA Day Plate at Belmont Park, before winning the race on protest. Picture: Hollands Photographics

Connections of Trading Day are moving forward despite their disbelief about losing Saturday's WA Day Plate (1300m) at Belmont Park on protest to Cool Trade.

Racing and Wagering WA stewards were again in the spotlight when they upheld a protest from Cool Trade's jockey, Patrick Carbery, against Trading Day.

Cool Trade ran a long-neck second, but was forced wide when Trading Day shifted out at the 300m and bumped into her.

Stewards determined apprentice Luke Dittman failed to straighten Trading Day when he continued to shift ground and the interference was greater than the final margin.

The decision sparked outrage from social and interstate media, with Sky Racing commentator Ron Dufficy labelling the result a total embarrassment.

The mood on track post-race was a mix of anger and disbelief.

Trading Day's trainer Kevin Temple said connections were still coming to terms with the result yesterday.

"Everyone's still a bit upset, but the decision is final," Temple said. "I didn't think it would be upheld.

"My inexperience and the jockey's inexperience in protests probably didn't help. It's unfortunate, but you've got to live by the decision. There are plenty more wins in store for the horse."

Chief steward Brad Lewis disagreed with widespread opinion that the protest should have been dismissed because Trading Day was holding Cool Trade at the post.

Cool Trade levelled up with Trading Day near the 200m before the latter kicked back.

"The incident happened a long way before the line," a defiant Lewis said. "When you shift out that much, you leave yourself open to something like this.

"The quality of Luke Dittman's riding was poor and we told him that. It is a requirement in the rules of racing that he should have straightened his horse.

"Patrick Carbery was entitled to stay in his line. They probably got out about 10 horses wide - it's a significant shift."

In another twist, Dittman escaped suspension when stewards reprimanded him for careless riding.

"He had already been penalised by losing the race on protest and he has a very good record," Lewis said.

RWWA stewards have come under fire for upholding protests in recent times.

The most recent was in the Grandstand Cup at Ascot in March, when Amorino was promoted to victory over Mr Utopia.

The West Australian

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