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Protest dismissed by barest margin

Stewards have deliberated for more than 10 minutes before dismissing a protest at Eagle Farm, saying it was a close call.

Robbie Fradd, who rode $2.50 favourite Mark My Word to second in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Maiden Plate (1300m).at Eagle Farm on Wednesday fired in a protest against Jim Byrne on the winner Tempete Rogue ($6).

The margin between the pair was a long head.

Panel chairman Martn Knibbs said the decision to dismiss the protest was by the “barest of margins”.

Fradd told the inquiry Mark My Word had moved up to the leaders in the final 200m and his mount came together with Tempete Rouge, who was leading.

“Tempete Rouge has then moved out into me and it cost me the win,” Fradd said.

However, Byrne argued that Mark My Word made the first contact when he had clipped his horse’s hindquarters which forced his horse to run out.

“When a horse clips another horse’s hindquarter there is only one way to go and that is to the left” Byrne said.

Knibbs said stewards obviously felt it was close.

“You can see from the length of time we have deliberated that it was very close,” he said.

“But in the end after considering all the evidence and taking into account the margin we dismiss the protest.”

Apprentice Cassie Schmidt continued her run with trainer Barry Baldwin with a double on Motion Granted ($6) and Confronting ($5) at the meeting.

Schmidt has had 11 rides for Baldwin this season and ridden six winners.

“Cassie is very experienced apprentice and she still has a claim which is an advantage,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin’s disappointment at missing a barrier trial with Motion Granted was replaced with a smile when the gelding won the Class 2 (1000m).

“I was going to run him in a trial but it was washed out. I decided to run him in today’s race instead. As it turned out this was a $13,000 first prize barrier trial,” Baldwin said.

Mackay trainer Olivia Cairns’ decision to bring Khadija as a travelling mate for her top sprinter Sporting Page also proved a winner.

Khadija ($11) won the Maiden Plate (2200m) by three lengths.

“Sporting Page needs a travelling companion for the trip from Mackay and Khadija has shown she can stay in benchmark races in Rockhampton,” Cairns said.

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