Stewards? decision final

By BRAD GREENSHIELDS

TENSION filled yesterday's Sawtell Cup when Kaaptive Idea was first past the post but connections failed to collect first prize.

In the last 50 meters, the Chris Whiteley ridden Internal Decision was flying down the outside only to be pipped on the post by a head.

Punters who had backed Kaaptive Idea were celebrating but the cheers were put on hold when the protest siren rang across the course.

The moment Whiteley dismounted he made a beeline for the steward and told him 'he wanted to have a talk about the last 50 metres'.

The tension was built even more when the hearing kept punters waiting and waiting for the final decision.

After what seemed an eternity, the announcement was made.

The result of the feature race had been decided by protest when it was upheld.

Whiteley was quick to point out that the correct decision had been made.

"Darren Jones (Kaaptive Idea's jockey) came from the middle of the track and I was about two off the outside fence," he said.

"He's come over at left angles and gave me a bump.

"It wasn't a brush either, it was a good significant bump.

"I'd just got on level terms when it happened."

The official winner's owner Steve Cook was unsure about the protest because he was watching the wrong horse.

"I had him mixed up and thought he was coming last," Cook said.

"I didn't have the best view of the race and I only caught him at the end.

Obviously the purse for being adjudged the winner is larger than the runner-up's but Cook had some misgivings about the victory.

"We're sorry to win it this way but we've had a rough trot lately so we'll take what we can."

The jockey had no such concerns though knowing that it's all part of the game.

"You win some and you lose some," Whitely offered.

"Fortunately enough for me though, I got the win this time."

Internal Decision has now won three times from five starts at Coffs Harbour and will be looking to add to that tally on Cup day when the seven year-old gelding will enter one of the two 1600 metre races.



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