No luck for Vintage Stock or Lady Sass in WA Oaks

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Red Publisher and jockey Jade McNaught claim race nine at Ascot after the WA Oaks, which was marred by the fall of Assetro and injury to her jockey Mitchell Pateman. Picture: Anita McInnes

THE Allan Mathews-trained Vintage Stock was clear of the tailenders in the WA Oaks when promising filly Assetro collapsed dislodging her jockey Mitchell Pateman onto the track at Ascot yesterday.

But Lady Sass, who is stabled at Gold Front in Gingin, struck the fallen runner near the 250m and became unbalanced and lost ground.

After the last race chief steward Brad Lewis told The Races WA an inquiry would be held into the fall once Pateman was well enough to give evidence, which he thought could be in a week to two weeks’ time.

It has since been reported that preliminary veterinary examinations indicate Assetro had a heart attack before she died.

On Sunday Pateman, who after the fall was taken by St John Ambulance to Royal Perth Hospital, tweeted that he had fractured his T12 vertebra.

The accident created a sombre mood at the track and delayed the trophy presentation for the connections of Dark Choice the winner of the 2019 WA Oaks (2400m).

Owner breeders Bob and Sandra Peters, trainers Grant and Alana Williams and jockey Chris Parnham have to varying degrees made the race their own in recent years.

For Vintage Stock her disappointing seventh in the race means she will go to the paddock for two months.

Mathews of Muchea said she had been set for the WA Oaks so her performance meant there was no point in pushing on where she would have to compete against the colts who were stronger.

He said her jockey Patrick Carbery had been happy with her before the race.

“She was in a good position and had every chance,’’ he said.

“But when I saw Paddy give her a dig up the ribs at about 600m I thought we might be in trouble.’’

The Dan Morton-trained Lady Sass, who was affected by Assetro’s fall, finished eighth.

In the final race of the day Red Publisher with jockey Jade McNaught on board just got his nose in front of Touch of Silver to claim victory.

It was Red Publisher’s first win since he won the Mandurah Cup in January last year.

Trainer Ashley Maley said the gelding was very honest but it had been a long time between drinks.

He said the seven-year-old would now go for a spell for a couple of months.