George Morris would approve.
Imagine losing your stirrup at a show. You’ve got to keep a straight face and fish around without the judge noticing. Now imagine you’re a jockey and you lose a stirrup at the start gate. You could try to pull up a racing fit Thoroughbred…or you could just try to hang on and pray for your life…
…or if you’re Turkish-born jockey Omer Ay, you could just shrug and go on to win the race.
Despite the fact that one stirrup fell off completely at the start gate, Omer Ay rode seven-year-old Barigan Boy to the biggest win of his career so far in the $35,000 Boag’s Draught Rating 86 Handicap (1400m) at the Morphettville track outside of Adelaide, Australia.
Barigan Boy’s trainer Grant Young thinks that in a roundabout way, losing a stirrup at the start gate may have given Bargian Boy and Ay an advantage.
“He got a soft lead because everyone thought he was in trouble. It probably worked out really good for the horse, they left him alone for a change,” he said.
At first there was a dispute over whether the lost stirrup would disqualify the pair for not making weight, but it turned out to still be within the 0.5 kg of weight variance allowed.
Wow. If that kind of amazing save–and win–doesn’t motivate you to work on your leg strength, I don’t know what will!