|After a day
already packed with controversary stewards have taken the rare step of upholding a protest
after the final race at Caulfield today.
apprentice Fabian Villella lodged a protest against the winner Star of Snippets for
alleged interference over the concluding 200 metres.
After a lengthy inquiry stewards upheld the objection and
switched the first two placings, thus elevating the original runner-up Oarsome Ruler to
the winner's place.
The stewards panel led by the state deputy Terry Sharp
listened to submissions and some questions from the connections of both Oarsome Ruler and
Star of Snippets before coming to their decision.
Villella said in the inquiry his horse was the victim of
Star of Snippets laying out over the conluding stages.
"I'd say the other horse (Star of Snippets) came out
at least three or three and a half horses," Villella said.
"Reece (Wheeler) continued to allow his horse to roll
out and forcing my horse to lose position when it had momentum," the young hoop
Chris Hyland, the son of Oarsome Ruler's trainer Pat, and a
part owner of the gelding, was nothing short of brilliant in the hearing.
Hyland reminded stewards that Wheeler had not ridden to the
Australian rules of racing.
"At no point did he choose to stop riding his horse
and straighten it," Hyland told stewards. "This is against the rules of
Hyland also brushed off one of the points made by Wheeler
at the inquiry.
"Reece said the horse was having its first run down
here coming from Queensland. That really doesn't matter its now here and has to race the
same as we do," Hyland added.
The excitement of Oarsome Ruler's connections in the
mounting yard after the announcement was broadcast over the loud speaker was unparalled.