In the realm of the justice system of a land, it'll probably mirror the proceedings of a small-claims court because of the "industry-type" raceday for "entry-level" horses.

But try telling that to Te Awamutu trainer Richard Sherwin and jockey Jonathon Parkes after they left the judiciary committee room at the Hylton Smith Stand of the Hawke's Bay Racecourse in Hastings yesterday.

"The owner, Dato Yap, is one of the biggest owners in the country and he's not very happy with the result because the horse has been penalised, the punter has been penalised and so has the owner," Sherwin said, after Parkes and Absolutely Sacred were disqualified despite winning race six.

"He's going to reconsider his involvement with New Zealand Racing," the 67-year-old said of Yap, a Malayasian businessman and racing enthusiast who is the majority shareholder in Raffles Farm, reportedly nestled in the heart of thoroughbred country on the Cambridge "golden mile" adjacent to Chequers Stud and across the road from Trelawney.


Yap is a relative newcomer to the New Zealand breeding scene and Raffles Farm is named after the famous Singapore hotel from the colonial era.

Sherwin had spoken with Yap and the owner of Sacred Falls was ropeable.

"He's [Parkes] moved out to take a gap that's closed and the other horse [Darby Shaw with rider Michael Dee] has fallen to the ground and he's been disqualified."

On arriving at the winners' parking lot in front of the main grandstand, Sherwin said a forlorn Parkes had confirmed there had been some interference with his Australian-bred 4-year-old gelding.

"I think they both went for the one gap and he hadn't seen the horse behind him," Sherwin explained.

It was the first start for Absolutely Sacred who he had taken under his wings to sort out for the owners.

"He had a breathing problem. He's come to me because he couldn't stand a stable environment.

"He's done his job and come through all right with it."

As far as Sherwin was concerned, the combo had beaten the rest of the field "fair and square and now they are going to take it off him".

"Rules are rules but they [judiciary] only see one side."