Aussie Jockey Wins Appeal, May Ride Lonhro in Cox Plate

A Victoria Racing Club appeals' panel slapped a $20,754 fine Monday on "relieved" Australian jockey Darren Beadman, who described the action as a "fairytale."

The penalty – reportedly the largest ever imposed in Victorian racing – was welcomed by the rider because the board agreed to shorten his 14-day suspension for careless riding by 24 hours, allowing him to ride favored Lonhro in Saturday's Cox Plate (Aus-I) at Moonee Valley.

The appeals' board action came after Beadman made an impassioned plea to allow him to compete in the race, which he promised ailing owner Jack Ingham he would win. Ingham died in August, a few days after Beadman made his pledge.

"I'm totally relieved," Beadman told the Australian Associated Press. "Now there's a chance the fairytale will come to pass."

He told the board that Ingham had been the first owner to use him when he began his apprenticeship in 1982 and that he visited Ingham at the hospital in his final days.

"Lonhro was the apple of his eye," Beadman said. "I said to him `I'm going to try and win the Cox Plate for you.'"

Beadman was suspended after riding Lonhro to victory in the Yalumba Stakes (Aus-I) Oct. 11.