The Stewards today concluded their inquiry into H T Mo’s riding of PRECIOUS SWEETIE, particularly after the 600 Metres, in the Shek Lei Pui Handicap which was run at Happy Valley Racecourse on Wednesday, 7 October 2020. Further evidence was today taken from H T Mo. Evidence was also taken from Mr L Ho, the trainer of PRECIOUS SWEETIE. Mr Ho also represented the interests of the owners of PRECIOUS SWEETIE in this inquiry.
Mr Ho stated that both himself and the owners of PRECIOUS SWEETIE were particularly disappointed in the horse’s first up run this season over 1000 Metres where use was made of the horse in the early stages to utilize its inside barrier. He said after being ridden along in the early stages, PRECIOUS SWEETIE had disappointed with the manner in which it came under heavy pressure rounding the Home Turn and then did not finish off the race. He said, given the horse’s disappointing performance in that race, he elected to step it up in distance to 1200 Metres, which it had previously raced successfully over, and to remove the visor in the hope that PRECIOUS SWEETIE would perform better.
Mr Ho said that, in the presence of the owners, he instructed Jockey Mo to have the horse racing where it was comfortable but not to ride it along in the early stages anticipating that PRECIOUS SWEETIE, from barrier 6, would be able to obtain a position in about midfield. He said he also instructed Jockey Mo to position PRECIOUS SWEETIE on the rail in the early and middle stages in order to save ground and then to ride it out in the Straight and ensure that the horse finished off the race well. He said H T Mo reported to him after the race that the horse was unbalanced in its action rounding the Home Turn and apart from this section of the race, he was satisfied with Jockey Mo’s riding of PRECIOUS SWEETIE. He said, given that PRECIOUS SWEETIE finished off satisfactorily in this race, it would be his intention to have the horse ridden in a similar manner in its future starts.
After considering all the evidence, the Stewards advised Jockey Mo that whilst they elected not to proceed to issue a charge under the Rules of Racing, his riding of PRECIOUS SWEETIE from near the 500 Metres had caused them considerable concern. He was advised that, in the opinion of the Stewards, he should have shifted to the outside of EVERBRAVE sooner than he did and moreover, his riding style rounding the Home Turn and in the early part of the Straight was uncharacteristic which came under notice. H T Mo was severely reprimanded and told to ensure that he positions his mounts and then rides them out in such a manner so as to ensure that there is no room for query.
Mr Ho was advised that his evidence would be noted.