A TOP jockey is facing the sack after a racing manager threatened to ‘strangle him with my bare hands’.
The racing manager’s fury came after the jockey gave one of Australia’s best sprinters a questionable ride on his return to action.
GettyCraig Williams gave Giga Kick a questionable ride according to the owner[/caption]
Giga Kick developed into a star sprinter earlier this year, winning the Everest before adding two more Group 1 races to his CV.
He was sent off odds-on favourite to win his Group 2 return at Moonee Valley over the weekend, but things went totally wrong.
Giga Kick is usually held up for a late run but fell out of the stalls under Craig Williams.
His jockey made the bizarre decision to rush him up around the bend for home, forfeiting crucial ground and giving the eventual winner Imperatriz the perfect trail into the race.
Even when the Imperatriz zipped on by, Williams rode out Giga Kick in a desperate attempt to cling on for second.
Giga Kick could only manage third and owner Jonathan Munz’s racing manager Rod Douglas, who is trainer Clayton Douglas’s uncle, didn’t mince his words.
He said on Radio TAB: “I’d have strangled him with my bare hands, I’d have strangled him in the mounting yard. There’s no excuse for what he did.
“It wasn’t all about winning that race, he knows where we’re at with the horse.
“It just doesn’t make any sense to what he did. Inexcusable and we’ll see what plays out.
“He knew where we were at and that’s the bit that’s hard to cope with.”
Giga Kick is on the trail back to the Everest, with his Moonee Valley run a stepping stone to it, and Douglas’s fury seems to have been about the hard time Williams gave the horse.
He said: “He couldn’t sustain the run he was given, it was a ridiculous ride, he had no answer for why he did it so he might suffer the consequences.
“It’s up to Jonathan, he’ll make a decision in the next couple of days whether Craig retains the ride or he drags him off – it’s up to him, he owns the horse and makes the rules.”
If Munz does decide to give Williams the boot, he won’t be short of options to ride his star.
Douglas said “millions of jockeys have rung for the ride”, including Hong Kong ace Zac Purton and Aussie based stars Nash Rawiller and Mark Zahra.
Trainer Clayton Douglas was “devastated” with the ride according to his uncle, with plans now having to change.
He added: “It’s punched a bit of a hole in the horse after the run, he was first-up, he didn’t need to be having a gut-buster on a track that was like a road as well.
“He’s still got to recover from this run, so whether he runs in the Premiere now that this has punched a hole in him or he has a couple of trials and goes straight into the Everest, that’s the drama we’ve got with the horse now.”
Giga Kick remains the 7-2 favourite with bet365 for the Everest, but judging by Douglas’s comments, it might be best to look elsewhere.
Commercial content notice: Taking one of the bookmaker offers featured in this article may result in a payment to The Sun. 18+. T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org
Remember to gamble responsibly
A responsible gambler is someone who:
Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
Never chases their losses
Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org