Alston to appeal again

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The Independent Online

Eric Alston is to appeal against the failure of the disciplinary committee of the Jockey Club to clear him completely at a first appeal against the decision of the Southwell stewards to fine him over the running and riding of Sheer Focus last month.

The trainer and the jockey Ted Durcan were found guilty under the "non-triers" rule and given a £1,500 fine and 10-day suspension respectively. At the appeal, Durcan was cleared of breaching that rule, but found guilty of "failing to take reasonable measures" to ensure the gelding was given the opportunity of obtaining the best placing.

His suspension was reduced to seven days, but the committee was not satisfied that Durcan's ride was a result of his failure to comply with Alston's instructions, and the judgement against the trainer was upheld, though the fine was cut to £1,000.

Alston said yesterday: "We were found not guilty under the non-triers' rule but they still found me guilty by association with Ted's ride – had I said I was not satisfied with the way he rode the horse, then I would have not been fined. I know I am in the right. I have done nothing wrong."

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