Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mott tries to savour controversial Derby win

Mott tries to savour controversial Derby win

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Country House jockey Flavien Prat celebrates after his mount is declared the Kentucky Derby winner in the wake of the disqualification of Maximum Security (AFP Photo/JAMIE SQUIRE)

Mott tries to savour controversial Derby win

Trainer Bill Mott was still feeling his way through complicated emotions on Sunday, a day after his Country House won the Kentucky Derby when first-past-the-post Maximum Security was disqualified.

The sensational outcome – a first in the 145-year history of the Kentucky Derby – promises to rumble on throughout US flat-racing’s Triple Crown season, with Maximum Security owner Gary West refusing to rule out an appeal.

“I feel terrible that I have to apologise for winning,” Mott – who claimed his first Derby victory – said as Country House was paraded for photographers at Churchill Downs on Sunday morning.

Maximum Security, with Luis Saez in the irons, swept across the finish line 1 1/2 lengths in front of 65-1 longshot Country House.

But Maximum Security had briefly veered from the rail as the field turned for home and after an agonising 20-minute stewards’ inquiry was judged to have impeded other horses and dropped to 17th in the 19-horse field.

Questions lingered over why the stewards didn’t immediately indicate an inquiry was underway, instead waiting for objections from Country House jockey Flavien Prat and the rider of Long Range Toddy, Jon Court.

Others wondered why the stewards never answered questions from the press about the decision, instead delivering only a prepared statement.

Gary and Mary West had already been handed the winner’s garland of roses when the inquiry gathered steam, finally having to hand them back.

Gary West told the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper in a text message that he felt the stewards were “forcing” him to challenge the ruling by refusing to show him the video they used until next Thursday.

West indicated to the Union-Tribune that he would consider taking his case to the Kentucky state racing commission and federal court.

Marc Guilfoil, executive director of Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, told the Louisville Courier-Journal that he thought the decision would stand up to any challenge.

War of Will had to be checked hard to avoid a collision with Maximum Security on the sloppy Churchill Downs track, and stewards found that Long Range Toddy and Bodexpress were also affected.

In 1968, Dancer’s Image was disqualified as the Kentucky Derby winner over a failed drug test, with Forward’s Pass inheriting the win in a decision that led to years of legal battles.

“I don’t even want to think about that,” Mott said. “They’ll be talking about this at the next Kentucky Derby, and the one after that and probably 10 Kentucky Derbys,” he said.


  • Kingdom’s domestic milk still cannot compete with imports

    Price competition and a lack of confidence by consumers are the main reasons the dairy market cannot compete with imports, said domestic milk producers. The large displays of imported fresh milk at the Kingdom’s supermarkets present a cumbersome obstacle for local producers, they said.

  • ‘Pesticide-laden cucumbers’ kill two, poison 150 in Banteay Meanchey

    At least two youths have died and 243 others are being treated for vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, dizziness and muscle weakness after they ate cucumbers suspected to consist of pesticides. The incident happened on Saturday, said Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Ath Khem. He told The

  • Three dead, 13 injured in collapse at Siem Reap pagoda

    At least three people were killed and more than 10 others injured on Monday after a dining hall under construction collapsed at Prasat Kokchak pagoda in Kokchak commune, Siem Reap province. Provincial police chief Tith Narong said Military Police, soldiers and local volunteers had successfully recovered 16

  • China Unicom enters Cambodia

    China Unicom, the country’s largest telecoms operator, has expanded into Cambodia to build optical telecommunication pathways in the Kingdom as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Hong Kong-listed company officially opened its China Unicom (Cambodia) subsidiary on Monday to become the

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97

  • PP-SHV Expressway on track for completion in early 2023

    The construction of the $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, which broke ground at the end of March, is on track to be completed by early 2023, Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya said on Monday. The 190km high-speed highway linking the capital to the