Hurdler’s death mars Casterton Cup meeting

Krase crosses the finish line with a winning margin in the steeplechase at Casterton.
Krase crosses the finish line with a winning margin in the steeplechase at Casterton.

PROMISING first-season jumper Elms had to be euthanised after fracturing the right fore cannon bone while racing on the flat in a restricted hurdle at Casterton yesterday.

Racing Victoria said in a statement it was an unfortunate incident, which forced race-day officials to abandon the race in the best interests of horses and jockeys.

Champion jumps jockey Steven Pateman, who rode Elms, pulled the seven-year-old out of the race in the back straight on the first lap of the 3300-metre event. Jumps jockeys on the remaining three horses were instructed to pull their mounts up as they entered the back straight for the last time as the head vet Brian Stewart thought there was an unacceptable risk in the $20,000 race.

RV steward James Hitchcock, chairing the stewards panel, said the decision was made on the recommendation of RV chief veterinarian Stewart to abandon the race.

Hitchcock said Stewart, who was following the field, was with Elms after the gelding went amiss on the flat in the back straight.

“Elms was taken to the outside of the track, where it was inspected by Dr Stewart, who deemed it was an unacceptable risk for the field approaching and proceeding past the horse,” Hitchcock said. “Dr Stewart wasn’t satisfied that Elms was secure and that presented an unacceptable risk.”

Hitchcock said Stewart relayed his concerns to him by two-way radio and the decision was reaffirmed to call off the race.

The restricted hurdle was one of three jumps races at the Casterton Cup meeting. A maiden hurdle, the opening race on the program, went without incident.

The 3800-metre steeplechase, won by Patrick Payne’s jumper Krase, included more drama with Jooli Lad losing its rider. 

Later, honest four-year-old mare Bec Said No Credit kept the Darren Weir juggernaut rolling when she defeated Texan Warney and Gold Medals to take out the $25,000 Casterton Cup.

Top jockey Dean Yendall, who had the ride on the heavily-backed Bec Said No Credit, kicked her forward from the wide barrier before getting a sit off the pace in the 2000-metre race. 

The Mornington- trained Elusive King set a hectic pace, which enabled Yendall to rest Bec Said No Credit down the back straight. 

He allowed the mare to find clear ground at the top of the home straight as Gold Medals loomed as the likely winner. But under heavy riding, Yendall guided her home, with last year’s winner Texan Warney running home strongly for second.

Bec Said No Credit capped off a big weekend for Weir. He had five winners on Saturday. 

The win of Let’s Rock ‘N’ Roll at Morphettville was his 200th winner for the season.


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