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Mike Pelling star witness for Grylls

Former top jockey Mike Pelling has proved a key witness in a hearing at which Bridget Grylls successfully appealed a lengthy suspension.

The decision brought to a close a long-running series of appeals from an incident at Doomben six months ago.

Queensland stewards suspended the now senior rider Grylls and fellow apprentice Josh Oliver after an inquiry into their rides on Ranked and Black Jag in the Open Hcp (2200m) at Doomben on September 10.

Both horses were a long way in front in the middle stages before fading badly in the straight.

Stewards believed the apprentices had set too fast a pace and breached the rule which covers giving their mounts every chance in a race.

Both pleaded not guilty and argued there was nothing wrong with the sectional times and their mounts had pulled up with injury problems.

Grylls and Oliver lost appeals to the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission’s independent assessor and took their cases to the next level at the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Last week Oliver was successful in his QCAT appeal and Grylls’s decision was handed down on Friday afternoon.

At the QCAT appeal, Grylls’ lawyer Matt Tutt called Pelling, a four-time Brisbane premiership winning jockey, as an expert witness.

Pelling said by the time the horses got to the back of the track it was too late for Grylls to ease and she was better staying where she was.

QCAT member Joanne Browne said she accepted Pelling’s evidence and after considering other testimony and watching the race video she did not believe the charge had been proved and set the conviction and sentence.

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