Stewards reveal how controversial Cox Plate call was made

1 month ago 21
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Racing Victoria stewards have been forced to reveal details of the confidential discussion that resulted in a Cox Plate protest being dismissed on Saturday.

Irish raider State Of Rest won the $5 million weight-for-age classic by beating Anamoe by a short head in what was a thrilling sprint to the post at Moonee Valley.

But the official result took almost half an hour to be confirmed after Anamoe's jockey Craig Williams launched a protest against the winning rider, John Allen.

State of Rest had shifted off its line and bumped Anamoe in the final 200 metres, and many observers believed the latter would have won if not for that interference.

Racing Victoria's chief steward Robert Cram on Sunday spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald to clear up how the final decision was reached to dismiss the Williams protest.

Reports had claimed the five-person panel had been split on whether to uphold it or not.

"It was not a tight split on this occasion," he said. "It was a generous majority. What has been said in some reports that it was a split vote is not accurate. It's false, in fact.

John Allen riding State Of Rest defeats Craig Williams riding Anamoe in the Cox Plate. (Getty)

"It was a very tight call," Cram said.

"The stewards aren't shying away from that at all. It was a very close call. The stewards considered the evidence for some time, viewed all the video angles several times and ultimately each steward alone made their decision and a vote was taken.

"The outcome was to dismiss the objection.

"It was a brush. We thought it was only that."

Legendary jockey Jim Cassidy - who famously won the 1998 Cox Plate aboard Might And Power - believes the protest should have been upheld.

"If I was Craig Williams, I'd be disappointed," Cassidy told the Herald.

"The rule book says you must stop riding if you shift ground and every runner is entitled to their rightful running.

"In my opinion, the second horse was taken off its true running. I thought it may have been upheld."

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