Apprentice Taylor Marshall didn't feel his lead bag and packing go, but Tim Clark, who was following him, was waiting for it to fly before Oxford Poet finished fifth and was later disqualified in the third race at Rosehill on Saturday.
Marshall weighed in three kilograms light after, firstly, his lead bag flew off at the 800-metre mark then a one-kilogram piece of packing fell off 600m from home as the saddle on Oxford Poet slipped forward.
The damage appeared to be done at barrier rise when Oxford Poet scrambled out before driving to the lead in the 1500m event.
"Just when I was came across and he came back under me I felt [the saddle] go," Marshall said. "I didn't feel the lead bag or packing go. It is gear I have used on the horse before, so I don't know what happened, apart from the saddle going [forward]."
When gear started to fly off Oxford Poet it was obviously what would happen when he returned to scale. Stewards disqualified Oxford Poet from his fifth position behind Dowdstown Charlie.
"We can not find anyone at fault for it, the saddle shifted and there was nothing holding the gear, but we have to disqualify [Oxford Poet]," acting chairman of stewards Marc Van Gestel said after taking evidence from Marshall and trainer Kim Waugh.
The two-kilo lead bag flew in the air at the 800m and Clark, following on Amazon, wasn't surprised.
"I could see the saddle was so far forward that nothing was holding it down," Clark said. "I was waiting for it and thought I might have to duck and weave. You don't want that hitting you. Fortunately, it went to the inside of the rail because the last thing I want is a two-kilo lead bag whacking me in the face."
Oxford Poet weakened out to finish fifth as Dowdstown Charlie broke through, much to the relief of jockey Jeff Lloyd. The David Payne-trained three-year-old had been badly held up in the straight a week earlier when second, but Lloyd still had to work hard to get the win on Saturday. “He hangs in and doesn’t make it easy for you,” Lloyd said. “He should have won last time, we all know, but he was still trying to throw it away today.”
Dowdstown Charlie sprinted clear in the final 200m and held on to beat a late-closing Vite Loni by a neck, after the latter was backed in from $51 to $21 and only got clear late.
WITH MATT JONES
The story Neither rhyme nor reason for Poet's gear failure at Rosehill first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.