Social media abuzz as jockey Muzi Yeni accepts 14-day ban
Rider of fancied July runner Got The Greenlight divides opinion on his punishment
Jockey Muzi Yeni, who has accepted a 14-day ban after an incident in the Premier's Champion Stakes on May 1, finds himself the centre of comment on social media with posts both for and against the rider.
At the time of writing there were 27 posts regarding his ban on the Sporting Post website.
In the National Horseracing Authority inquiry into the Premier’s Challenge, Yeni was charged that “as the rider of Got The Greenlight, he failed to ensure that he did not cause interference to Barahin, Johnny Hero and Second Base when he shifted in at approximately the 1,600m mark”.
Second Base had to check to avoid the heels of Yeni’s mount. The gelding’s rider Gavin Lerena lodged an objection against the winner but this was overruled by the stipendiary board. They determined that Second Base had sufficient time to overhaul Got The Greenlight.
Here are a few posts on the Sporting Post website:
• “Although he does cause interference from time to time, he does try on every horse he rides. That’s what we ask for from any jock.”
• “Muzi does seem to be involved in careless and dangerous situations. Remember he tried to pull Lyle Hewitson off his mount at Greyville. He was then involved in an incident with Piere Strydom a few months ago. He needs to remember that he is supposed to be a role model for other young apprentices and up-and-coming jockeys. I believe he deserves to be suspended for a long period of time.”
• “It's a witch-hunt against Muzi — no way was it [the interference] intentional. It was in a very congested race situation. Leave Muzi alone, honest jock.”
• “Muzi is a repeat offender and progressive action should be meted out to him. He endangers the lives of so many jockeys and horses and sooner or later a fatal accident is going to take place. Through his reckless and thoughtless actions, he needs reschooling.”
• “Well done, you outdone and outsmart them. Days off will make you stronger.”
• “Explain this to me, please. Yeni was suspended for 14 days, but the objection on the day was overruled. Not that I’m a fan of how he rides, it just doesn’t make sense. Surely the result should be overturned.”
• “Got The Greenlight was not for the catching even without that incident happening. Second Base takes ages to get any momentum in the straight. Got The Greenlight’s turn of foot at the 200m won the race. Muzi even geared down.”
Social media in racing in the UK has come under the spotlight with regular abuse of jockeys prompting the Professional Jockeys Association to join a four-day sportswide boycott of social media.
Association CEO Paul Struthers, PJA said: “When football announced its boycott and that other sports were going to follow suit, we were keen to join because of the level of abuse jockeys receive on a daily basis. I feel the abuse has got worse on social media in the past 12 months and it’s not good enough what these firms are doing to try and stop it.”
Yeni, who will miss next Sunday’s WSB 1900 at HollywoodbetsGreyville, has ridden more than a century of winners this season and has won five races on Paul Matchett’s star filly War Of Athena. But the suspension will just be a bad memory if he wins the Vodacom Durban July on the ruling favourite Got The Greenlight.
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