The future of a talented young jockey is in doubt after he was accused of riding deliberately into two rivals to help his girlfriend win the same race.
Josh Cartwright pleaded guilty to reckless riding over the incident at South Australia’s Morphettville racetrack on Saturday and has been stood down with “immediate effect”.
About 200 metres from the finish, Cartwright, who was aboard the $51 outsider Senior Council, steered the horse at a sharp angle, seemingly in a bid to block two other horses chasing Murti, the race leader and favourite.
Murti, ridden by Cartwright’s Norwegian girlfriend Anna Jordsjo, went on to win the race by a half-length, while the blocked horses, Go The Journey and House of Wax finished fifth and seventh respectively, and Senior Council came in ninth.
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Trainer of Senior Council John Peacock told News Corp the incident was “shocking”.
“I didn’t know what was going on at the time but it is a shocking thing he has done,” he said. “When (Cartwright) got off the horse he said it just shied out and I just accepted what he said,” he said.
“I saw the replay on the way home from the races and my phone hasn’t stopped ringing.”
Originally from Victoria, the 22-year-old has been in South Australia pursuing riding opportunities.
“Cartwright has made a good impression in Adelaide and if he continues at his current rate of success then he should be able establish himself in the Victorian riding ranks,” according to racing.com.
South Australian trainer Michael Hickmott told racing.com Cartwright had been overwhelmed with the stresses of the job at the time.
“He is physically and mentally exhausted and the stress and pressure of everything just led him to have a massive brain fade,” Hickmott told Racing.com.
Cartwright has been stood down with “immediate effect” from all riding work, including track work, while the stewards consider his punishment.