Racing: Jockey is pulled up for drinking and riding

Pint-sized took on a whole new meaning at Redcar races yesterday when Keith Dalgleish became the first jockey to fail a breathalyser test since it was introduced two months ago.

Since 17 July, riders have been randomly tested on arrival at the track as part of a crackdown on drug and substance abuse. The jockeys' legal limit is 17 micrograms per 100 millilitres in breath, about half that for driving and in line with safety-sensitive jobs in other industries.

Dalgleish, who is regarded as one of the brightest talents among the coming generation of riders, took two tests yesterday and failed both.

If tales from an earlier, cavalier racing era are to be believed, taking a tincture or two to steady the nerves before going out to ride was the rule, not the exception. But until yesterday, no jockey had failed an alcohol test.

Dalgleish was stood down for the day by the stewards at Redcar for "safety reasons", missing four rides.

Dalgleish has ridden 56 winners this year and is in the top 20 in the jockeys' table.

Should a urine sample back up the breathalyser results, the young Scot will face disciplinary procedures and a possible riding ban of up to six months.

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