Warrnambool's Lindsey Smith was hoping for a fairytale ending when he gave champion jockey Damien Oliver his second last ride in a Group One race but the astute trainer had a nightmare watch at Ascot in Perth.
Smith saddled up Triple Missile in Saturday's $1.5 million Group One Winterbottom Stakes with Oliver on-board as the curtain comes down on his incredible riding career in Perth on December 16.
Smith, who formerly trained in Perth before relocating to Warrnambool just over four years ago, said it was a horrid watch as Triple Missile knuckled over as the gates opened before being flattened at the 800-metre mark in the time-honoured sprint over 1200 metres.
"It was all over for us at the start," Smith told The Standard.
"Horses can't knuckle over at the start and expect to win big Group One races. It's just really disappointing to see what happened.
"I was just pleased Ollie was alright. I would say a lesser experienced jockey would have ended up on the deck.
"Full congratulations to Ollie for staying in the saddle and then we got knocked out of the race near the 800-metre mark.
Stewards suspended top Perth jockey William Pike for 22 days on a careless riding charge as a result of the interference near the 800 metre mark.
"I thought after knuckling over at the start we might still run into the placings but then to get poleaxed at the 800 metre-mark - we were just knocked out of the race," Smith said.
"The whole thing was just so disappointing but that's racing. I was just glad that Ollie came back safe and sound."
Oliver has his final Group One ride on Zoumon in the $1.5 million Northerly Stakes at Ascot this Saturday before hanging up his saddle in a fortnight.