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Victorian jockey suspended for 17 days
11 May 2017 | By Luke Sheehan - 
Jockey Katelyn Mallyon was suspended for 17 days in regards to her ride on Valediction at Moonee Valley on February 3.

The Victorian Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board hearing was a long time coming, more than three months after the race night in question, with the ride of Dean Holland aboard Barge And Charge in the same race dealt with via a three-week suspension on March 23.

But witness availability led to the delays, and even on Thursday it took the best part of three hours for the evidence, submission and deliberation on the charge being proven, before a penalty was handed down, to deal with Mallyon's charge under AR 135 (b).

Mallyon said the outcome was 'pretty disappointing', with the suspension to sideline her from midnight Saturday until midnight Tuesday, May 30, making her next free to ride beyond that at the Park meeting on Wednesday, May 31.

That leaves her free to take up her rides in the meantime at Park on Thursday (one ride), Geelong on Friday (three rides) and Morphettville on Saturday (five rides) - when she climbs aboard Lycurgus in the Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) for trainer Danny O'Brien.

In determining penalty, RAD Board chairman Judge John Bowman said the two cases of Holland and Mallyon were 'markedly different', with Holland's role in the speed duel between the two horses in the 3000m race deemed to be 'considerably greater'.

But also factored into the judgement was Mallyon's 'not guilty' plea, which hurt her chances of a discount when the charge was proven, while Holland could have been suspended for four weeks, whereas his guilty plea had earned him a 25 per cent discount.

Mallyon was called to give evidence on Thursday, along with Racing Victoria steward James Hitchcock.

Dr Cliff Pannam, QC - representing the RV stewards - cross-examined Hitchcock, determining that the stewards' main point of concern with Mallyon's ride was the section from the 1750m to the 1500m mark.

Pannam said it was the RV stewards' submission that Mallyon, when Holland's mount Barge And Charge once again contended for the lead having made an original challenge close to the post the first time around The Valley, 'rode the horse deliberately to keep him [Barge And Charge] from re-taking the lead'.

Earlier, Mallyon testified that she did back off the horse from the 1600m to the 1400m mark, insisting it 'had to be gradual to be in a rhythm', and adding: "He's not a car, you can't just stop him and start him again."

Mallyon said her instructions from trainer Gai Waterhouse were to be positive and comfortable on Valediction, and to keep the horse in rhythm.

The 23-year-old hoop was represented by Paul O'Sullivan, who also represented Holland in his case.

O'Sullivan submitted that, 'I wouldn't call it a normal 135 (b) case' and added: "This is a case where the jockey is being criticised for 250m of a 3000m race.

"She's not saying that she did nothing wrong, she said she could have done something earlier."

When Board member Geoff Ellis put to O'Sullivan the statement from Waterhouse that both jockeys 'lost their compasses', O'Sullivan replied: "We all make mistakes. If we did not, it would be a perfect world."

The Board, consisting of Bowman, Ellis and Stephen Curtain, took about 40 minutes to decide Mallyon's guilt in the case, before hearing submissions on penalty and landing on a 17-day sanction.

It is effectively a 21-meeting suspension factoring in the dual meetings on Thursdays and Fridays coming up, and also rules Mallyon out from Group 1 meetings in Adelaide (Goodwood) and Brisbane (Doomben Cup) on May 20, and again in Brisbane (Kingsford-Smith Cup) on May 27.

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