English jockey Jason Watson has had a mixed start to his summer in Victoria, notching a winner at his first ride at Mornington and incurring two careless riding suspensions in the process.
A Group One-winning rider who was champion British apprentice in 2018, Watson is on a short-term stint with Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Danny O’Brien and had two rides for the stable at Mornington on Wednesday.
Watson guided the O’Brien-trained Button Express to a 3-1/2-length win in a 1000m maiden but stewards later hit him with two careless riding charges for inwards shifts early in the race.
His eight and 10-meeting penalties will be served concurrently and he will be free to return for the Flemington meeting on Saturday week.
Stewards took into account Watson’s guilty pleas, international record and that it was his first ride in Australia.
At Flemington on Wednesday, apprentice Mitchell Aitken and jockey Dean Yendall were suspended for breaching the whip rules in the final race both using the whip 10 times before the 100m, five times more than allowed.
Aitken narrowly won the race on Heavenly Emperor and was suspended for eight meetings while Yendall on runner-up Ruby Skye was outed for six.