Curatolo appeals against one-month suspension for Macau Derby ride

Update: Ryan Curatolo has appealed against the one-month suspension incurred for his ride on Royal Garden in the Macau Derby on Saturday.

French jockey Ryan Curatolo’s run-in with officialdom went from bad to worse after he was suspended for one month in another jurisdiction on Saturday - Macau.

Just one day earlier, the Kranji-based rider was rubbed out by Singapore Stewards for two meetings for careless riding aboard Countofmontecristo in the Group 1 Giovanni Racing Charity Bowl (1600m) on June 24. Given his regular visits to the Stewards’ inquiry room for such careless riding charges (that was his eighth offence since January), Stewards gave Curatolo a last warning that one more similar slip-up would lead to a harsher sentence from now on.

On application, Curatolo was allowed to serve his two-day ban after his Macau Derby hit-and-run mission to his former hunting ground on Saturday, but he again ran afoul of the law. It was not for careless riding this time, though, but for the more serious charge of not riding to the satisfaction of the Macau Jockey Club Stewards.

Riding Royal Garden in the Group 1 race over 1800m, Curatolo had the favourite Pearl Green (Manoel Nunes) in his sights and the only horse left to beat as they came with a storming run inside the last furlong, but as his mount started to drift out wide under pressure, he did not stop using his whip in his right hand. The Stanley Chin-trained galloper flew home but just missed out by a neck.

The Taipa Stewards took exception to Curatolo’s handling in the last 200m, arguing that his insufficient effort to keep Royal Garden in a straight line cost him the race.

The findings are as follows:



“The Stewards found Jockey R Curatolo the rider of 11 Royal Garden guilty of a breach of MJC Rule 132 (iii) for failing to ride to the satisfaction of the Stewards.

The particulars being that over the final 200 metres he made insufficient effort to keep his mount on a straight course and finished very wide on track, with his mount being beaten a neck and in doing so had cost his mount first placing.

Jockey R Curatolo’s licence to ride in races was suspended for a period of one calendar month, commencing from Monday, 6 August 2018 and expiring on Wednesday, 5 September 2018. He was advised of his Right of Appeal.”

As updated earlier, Curatolo has appealed.

Should the penalty stand, with the sentence reciprocated in Singapore in terms of similar number of calendar days, that latest faux pas will come as a major blow to Curatolo, who is currently ranked fifth on 31 winners, 15 off leader Vlad Duric on the Singapore jockeys’ premiership. With his ban on Countofmontecristo to be served until August 5, he will only be able to return to race-riding at the Kranji Friday meeting on September 7, meaning he will miss nine Kranji meetings.

The big-race meetings he will miss are the Group 3 Jumbo Jet Trophy (1400m) meeting on August 12 and the Group 3 Moonbeam Vase (1600m) meeting on September 2.