In an unprecedented decision, the Philippine Racing Commission (Philracom) on Tuesday disqualified 49th Presidential Gold Cup winner Sky Shot, declaring the hard-finishing Nuclear Bomb the winner of the P10-million race ran 10 days ago while also slapping a one-year suspension on the board of stewards which worked the race.
Sky Shot, the Jonathan Hernandez-ridden filly who blocked Super Swerte’s path in the run for home, was relegated to a third place finish, stripped of a P6-million prize for her connections after the commission found Hernandez guilty of foul riding.
Hernandez got off with a written warning.
Instead, Nuclear Bomb will be declared the winner with Super Swerte, whose owner, Sandy Javier, and rider, JB Guce, filed separate protests, upgraded to a second place finish.
“It’s not wrong to correct what is wrong in the first place,” Philracom chair Reli de Leon told the Inquirer over the phone when asked of the delayed decision that deprived bettors who put their money on the long-shot Nuclear Bomb, a big payday.
De Leon praised the connections of Sky Shot for accepting the verdict “like true gentlemen” and promising not to appeal the decision.
Rommel Fernandez, Volter Pelipel and ex-crack jockey Rene Sare, the people who were on the board of stewards at Metro Turf last Dec. 12, were found “guilty of gross negligence amounting to dereliction of duty” by the Philracom and were thus suspended for one year.
The stewards did find jockey Ferdinand Raquel, who steered Sky Shot’s coupled entry Boss Emong, guilty of foul riding after that race and suspended him 156 days.
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