Jockey Paul Hamblin (right) clears the final hurdle on Hornets’ Nest in the Lafferty Hurdle at Warrnambool in 2017. Picture: Getty Images
Jockey Paul Hamblin (right) clears the final hurdle on Hornets’ Nest in the Lafferty Hurdle at Warrnambool in 2017. Picture: Getty Images

‘That’s it, I’m out’: Trainer quits after copping charge

IRATE Warrnambool trainer James McNamara has quit racing after Racing Victoria stewards issued a charge against him in regards to the tactics used on his horse Hornets' Nest.

McNamara and jumps jockey Paul Hamblin were issued with charges regarding Hornets' Nest's fourth placing at Casterton on June 29.

"That's it, I'm out," McNamara said. "I'm 100 per cent innocent and so is Paul. We had to sit through a three hour inquiry where the stewards talked garbage and then they've charged us.

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"I've been in the game for 18 years and never had a charge issued against me and now I've got to face this while repeat offenders get a slap on the wrist. I don't want to be associated with an industry which can go down this road."

McNamara said he didn't have to face the charges because he knew he was innocent.

"I've now got four horses in work at my Koroit property and I was planning to take my team to nine," he said. "I spent $80,000 last year on a treadmill so I'm not sure what I'll do with that now but I don't want a thing to do with the industry."

Jockey Paul Hamblin was also charged. Picture: Greg Irvine
Jockey Paul Hamblin was also charged. Picture: Greg Irvine

Hamblin was charged with not giving Hornets' Nest every chance in the race, in particular in relation to his tactics between the 1200m and the 800m, where he didn't improve his position to maintain contact with the field.

He was also charged with not riding his mount with sufficient vigour between the 800m and the last hurdle.

Stewards allege McNamara's pre-race instructions contributed to the breach.

McNamara pointed out Hornets' Nest was in the Benchmark 120 at Casterton because he couldn't find a suitable race for him and had to carry 74kg.

"He also hadn't run for 12 months over the jumps, so he had a big task," he said.

McNamara retired Hornets' Nest, who won two country Cups and a Lafferty Hurdle, after his next start. He said Hornets' Nest was now the family pet on their Koroit property.

News Corp Australia


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