Warren Greatrex has come to the defence of jockey Dylan Kitts following a 14-day non-trier ban given by the stewards for his ride on Jet Of Dreams at Warwick. Greatrex argued that Kitts’ considerate handling of the problematic horse demonstrated the jockey’s maturity.
Although Jet Of Dreams finished as the runner-up in the 2m maiden hurdle, the stewards believed that the horse was not ridden with the intention of achieving the best possible position, as it finished six and a half lengths behind the odds-on winner, Soldierofthestorm.
During the race, Jet Of Dreams was ridden in midfield and steadily advanced to fourth position, showing signs of traveling well. Kitts did not exert pressure on the horse until the final furlong, where it finished strongly to secure second place, overtaking the 50-1 shot Rockette.
Greatrex explained that the ride may not have been a flashy, all-out effort, but it was necessary due to Jet Of Dreams’ breathing issues, which Kitts reported to the stewards. Additionally, the horse was experiencing soreness in its near-fore tendon, causing it to veer left. Given these circumstances, a more cautious approach was required, and a more forceful effort would not have improved the horse’s final position.
“If he’d been more vigorous, would he have run better? No'”
The trainer said: “They [the stewards] have to make a decision but I think the lad in the situation did ride him to finish in the best position with a horse that hasn’t been easy, has been keen, and hadn’t been finishing his races. He was trying to the best he could on that horse. They’re saying he should’ve got stuck into him but I disagree.
“Sometimes you have to give credit where it’s due and the young 7lb claimer has given the horse the best he ride he possibly could. Looking at the horse’s history, I was happy with how he’d ridden it.
“If he’d been more vigorous, would he have run better? No, but that’s their decision on the day. If he’d given it an all-action ride the horse would’ve fallen in a hole. In my opinion, he’s ridden that horse like a mature rider and he’s done what I’ve told him to do. He’s got to feel during that race what that horse is feeling to him. He felt he was hanging and was making a noise, which he’s done in the past.”
Greatrex praised Kitts as a talented jockey and acknowledged that he would accept the stewards’ decision gracefully. Kitts has achieved success by riding 11 winners, with the majority of them coming from Greatrex’s Lambourn yard.
“It’s a shame because he’s a very good rider going places, but we’ll move on,” Greatrex added. “I’ve been lucky and I think I’ve made two champions in Gavin Sheehan and Harry Bannister, while Caoilin Quinn was with me for a few years, but this kid is as good as them. He’s got a serious career ahead of him. If he keeps his head down he’s going to be good.”
Jet Of Dreams, who had raced just three days prior at Fontwell, started the race at odds of 6-1 after initially opening at 5-1.