Territory racing scene is in shock after Darwin's leading apprentice rider was banned from
riding for three months after attempting to "cheat" when weighing out on
Joel Hallam, who is leading the overall
premiership at Fannie Bay, was expected to be one of the leading hoops in the Darwin Cup
Carnival which hots up on Saturday when the NT Derby is run.
Hallam, a 17-year-old, was set to ride the expected
favourite Grey Desert, a last start Guineas winner, in the Derby on Saturday.
Stewards outed the talented hoop for an "improper
action" while weighing out for the second race of the day on Saturday afternoon.
Authorities noticed that Hallam was manipulating the scales
in an improper fashion so he could make the weight on his mount for the race, A Ess Eye.
This came after he had already been fined $100 after failing to use his full claim for the
Stewards had then allowed the jockey to ride the horse
after being fined as there was no suitable replacement as the horse's trainer requested
Hallam ride the galloper.
"Hallam was charged under AR 175 (a) with an improper
action," the steward's report noted.
"The improper action being that when he attempted to
weigh out to ride A Ess Eye that he placed his leg against the scales thereby affecting
the reading of the scales."
It is unsure whether Hallam will appeal with ban.
Stewards also fined a licenced track rider $200 for riding
track work with "a body protector which did not conform to the standards as
prescribed and which had been modified (AR87b, AR87d)."
Meanwhile, the Darwin Cup Carnival really hots up on
Saturday when the MGM Grand Darwin NT Derby (2000m) is run.
The $71,000 race has attracted 13 nominations including the
recent Guineas winner Grey Desert, the Tasmanian Derby winner Moonah Brooke, the Tulloch
Stakes placegetter My Tally and the recent winners Copper's Edge and Bellotto Boy.