Racing: Hanagan ban for hitting jockey

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The Independent Online

Paul Hanagan was yesterday suspended for seven days after striking fellow jockey Dean Mernagh with his whip at Beverley.

The incident happened after the finish to the first race. Hanagan finished fourth on Island Odyssey, a short-head behind Mernagh's mount Blushing Hilary, lashed out at Mernagh with his whip shortly after the winning post. The stewards interviewed the two jockeys and banned Hanagan from Saturday, 2 July, to Friday, 8 July.

"Having reviewed the incident and studied the evidence, it was quite apparent that Mr Hanagan struck Mr Mernagh with his whip," explained the stipendiary steward, Robert Earnshaw. "He was in breach of rule 153, which is improper riding. That carries a minimum suspension of seven days. It could have been worse."

Mernagh was later suspended for three days (2-4 July) after being found guilty of careless riding when going for a gap on Bond Boy in the fourth race.

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