Jockey’s genius race-winning move sparks stewards’ enquiry and leaves punters scratching their heads


JOCKEY Connor Planas’s race-winning move at Sandown on Sunday was so brilliant that it sparked a stewards’ enquiry.

Planas was riding Good Earth and looked to have jumped the start in the Sunday Series Sprint after the pair flew out of the stalls.

“That was a race-winning move in the stalls”#ITVRacing | @Sandownpark | #SundaySeries

— ITV Racing (@itvracing) August 20, 2023

Good Earth clung on by a neck to hold off the well-backed favourite Lil Guff but the stewards’ klaxon was quickly heard after the race, throwing the result into doubt.

After a quick investigation, the stewards were satisfied of no wrongdoing, however, and the 8-1 shot kept the race.

The stewards report read: “The stewards were satisfied that it was not caused through a faulty action of the starting stalls. No further action was taken.”

Planas is an apprentice in his second season and he’s been turning heads, winning on 32 of his 212 rides.

He told ITV Racing: “We 100 per cent won that in the stalls, I’ve never sat on a horse who jumps so fast.

“He took a length and a half out of them from the start, travelled beautifully and picked up again close home.”

On still images it did look that Good Earth’s stall had opened before the others, but it wasn’t due to a malfunction.

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Planas simply anticipated the start and as the gates were triggered, the pair launched off the line and pushed the gates open slightly as a result.

Although most punters were left praising Planas’s fast thinking, there was discontent from many about the start.

Good Earth (stall 15) is fired out of the gate for an electric star

One punter said: ” He burst the stalls .. Sandown stewards bottled the void race.”

While another said: “He’s made the stall open, he can’t be allowed to keep this race.”

Favourite backers may feel slightly aggrieved, but you can’t always account for a stroke of genius from a rising star.


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