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Star Queensland apprentices lose appeals

Queensland apprentices Bridget Grylls and Josh Oliver have lost appeals against their one-month suspensions on handling charges relating to a race at Doomben..

Grylls had her suspension reduced to three weeks but Oliver’s penalty remained at four weeks.

They are expected to take their cases to the next level at the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Both apprentices have taken rides at Eagle Farm on Saturday but chief steward Allan Reardon says they will need stays of proceedings from QCAT before being allowed to ride.

In a written judgment, the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission’s independent assessor Kane Ashby found he was comfortably satisfied stewards had been correct in charging and suspending the pair.

He said while it was not suggested they had done anything deliberately wrong, the sport relied heavily on wagering and jockeys had a responsibility to punters and connections to give their mounts every chance.

Ashby found Grylls had been to some extent a victim of circumstances, thereby reducing her fault and her sentence by a week.

But he found Oliver should have restrained Black Jag at the 1600m to give him a “breather” after he worked hard early.

Queensland stewards suspended the pair after an inquiry into their rides on Black Jag (Oliver) and Ranked (Grylls) 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 had been nothing wrong with the sectional times and their mounts had pulled up with injury problems.

The suspensions were to begin on September 29 but both apprentices appealed and were granted stays.

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