Brenton Avdulla has been issued a stern warning from stewards before being cleared over his handling of Passage Of Time in the Starlight Stakes.

During a heated inquiry into Avdulla’s ride at Rosehill on Saturday, stewards questioned the top jockey’s lack of vigour over the final stages.

Passage of Time was sent out a $41 chance and finished fifth to Invictus Salute in the Listed sprint.

Avdulla excused himself from the inquiry on race day and left the stewards room before the matter was reconvened prior to the opening race at Randwick’s twilight program on Friday.

Avdulla apologised to stewards for his prior behaviour and said he was hot and exhausted.

“It was a hot day, I was racing all day. I apologise to anyone if I came in fired up,” Avdulla said on Friday.

“It was just one of those days, second last race. I was probably flat out racing to be honest.

“I was just a little bit upset and that’s why I excused myself.”

An examination of betting activity on the race showed no abnormalities and Birch said stewards considered a number of circumstances in determining not to lay charges against Avdulla.

He said video footage showed Passage Of Time had peaked on his run inside the final 100m, while the horse also clocked one of the fastest final 200 metre sectional times of the day.

“Had those surrounding circumstances not have been present, it’s likely that you’d be facing a charge for not taking all reasonable and permissible measures as the rider of that horse to ensure it obtained the best finishing place,” Birch told Avdulla.

“I just want to make sure you’re in no doubt about what we expect of top riders like yourself.

“We expect you to be at your best and the racing fans are also entitled to see that.”

Avdulla posted an early win at the Kensington track meeting, claiming the second race aboard Tulloch Lodge filly Tastebud.

He has five rides at Rosehill on Saturday including lightly-raced filly Zoumist for Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou.

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