Jockey Michael Poy has been handed a two-month ban following this monumental brain fade at Kyneton.
Riding the Daryl Archard-trained Dente in the 2828m Benchmark 58, it became apparent Poy forgot that they were still on lap one when he loomed up in the straight for the first time and pulled the persuader while the der of the field trotted around in arrears .
Stream Over 50 Sports Live & On-Demand with Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
Co-trainer Rhys Archard told Punters.com.au: “We thought we had her spot on and we were confident coming in, so for something like that to happen – you just go, ‘S**t, that’s a new one’.
“From the outside it’s hard to comprehend (misjudging the laps), but brain fades do happen.”
He added that the jockey avoided a tongue-lashing from his father: “I think the old man was more stunned than anything … When he (Poy) got back to scale, everyone could tell he was pretty upset, so there was no need to bash the poor kid.”
Winning jockey Jack Hill said “it looked like Michael thought it was a 1200m race”.
“He was riding it along early,” he told racing.com.
Poy was later handed a two-month ban for the blunder.
Caller Matt Hill made mention of the stuff-up during the race when Poy was coming down the straight the first time.
Presenter Brent Zerafa said after the race that Poy “will feel pretty bad”.
“It does … happen every now and again,” Zerafa said.
In an ironic twist, Poy came out and won the following race on $5 chance Haystacks Calhoun.
Haystacks Calhoun’s winning trainer Danielle Chapman said she told Poy before the race that the “past was the past”, in relation to the incident in the race prior.
It was scenes reminiscent of jockey Rhys McLeod at Moonee Valley on a fateful night in 2002 when riding Mystic Outlaw.
In defense of McLeod and Poy, they are not the only ones to commit the cardinal sin for a jockey this century — the likes of Anthony Allen (Beaudesert, Catch Me Later, 2018), Rafi Firdhaus (Hokitika in NZ, Locally Sauced, 2017 ) and George Rooke (Wolverhampton in UK, Sophar Sogood, 2020) are just a few other instances in recent memory of a jockey going for home a lap early.
Poy, who famously rode Nature Strip to victory in both horse and rider’s first outing, has added his name to the infamous list.
It was a fateful turn of events that Poy was riding the horse in any case, as it was a pick-up ride from jockey Declan Bates who was unavailable on Monday.
Poy, who has ridden about 300 winners in his career, is the son of former champion jockey Michael Clarke who was a household name in racing as he was the stable rider for Lindsay Park for many years.