LEADING provincial jockey Dale Missen was yesterday rubbed out of racing for one year after he was found guilty of failing to let favourite Destars “run on its merits” in a race at the Gold Coast last month.
Racing Queensland stewards issued Missen with the most serious charge a jockey can face after two weeks of analysing the jockey’s riding style and various angles of the race.
A furious Missen last night said he had already engaged a lawyer and barrister to assist with an appeal, declaring there was no betting evidence to suggest he had anything to gain by the horse getting beaten.
Destars was a $2.60 favourite when he finished fourth in a Class 1 Handicap (1200m) on April 27.
Senior steward Norm Torpey, who was chairman of stewards at the Gold Coast meeting, said there were three aspects of the race where Missen had breached the rules of racing.
Stewards found Missen:
* Failed to move Destars into a three-wide position into clear running from a point passing the 600m until near the 500m.
* Failed to take a run between Tiger Print and Fine Gold near the 400m when there was an opportunity to do so.
* Failed to ride the horse with sufficient vigour from the 300m until near the 100m.
Torpey described the charge as a serious matter.
“Stewards formed a strong opinion that his actions over the final 600m were deliberate and conscious actions designed not to allow Destars to run on its merits,” he wrote in the steward’s report.
A shattered Missen was adamant stewards had no evidence to sustain the charge.
“I’m still shocked, to be honest,” he said.
“The betting records show there was nothing untoward in the race. There was no money on Betfair for the horse to get beat, there was no real moves for any other runner. The horse ran again on Saturday and had a similar run before finishing seventh out of eight horses.
“There was nothing for me to gain by the horse getting beat. I’ve been riding for 13 years and never had a charge like this brought against me.”
Torpey confirmed there were no unusual betting trends in the race.
Missen is regarded as one of Queensland’s most vigorous riders.
Destars appeared to drop out of the race at the top of the straight before he finished quickly to run fourth in the event.
Stewards also called trainer Les Kelly and owner Bill Xantos to give evidence at the hearing.
However stewards did not believe they had a case to answer.
“We asked them to attend the inquiry but did not believe they were party to a breach of the rules,” Torpey said.
Stewards disqualified Missen for 12 months.
Missen is awaiting a date for his appeal to be heard.