Racing: Jockeys in hot water after Exeter bungle

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The Independent Online

David Crosse and Tom O'Brien were banned for 10 days after taking the wrong course in the Devon Marathon Handicap at Exeter yesterday. Crosse was aboard Auburn Spirit and O'Brien was riding Limerick Leader in the four-mile event when they, along with Antony Evans on Jiver, bypassed the water jump on the second circuit. The fence had been dolled off the first time around, but it was in use for the second circuit.

The stipendiary steward Simon Cowley said: "It was dolled off in accordance with Jockey Club instructions - they are not allowed to jump the water as the first fence in a chase. The jockeys were all aware of this, it was clearly posted on the weighing room map so no-one should be in any doubt as to what they should do.

"Three horses appeared to go round it for no obvious reason so the stewards asked those jockeys to explain why they did that.

"In the case of Antony Evans, the stewards felt there was just a little bit of doubt as to whether he had taken the wrong course as misjudgement or whether he had in fact pulled up because he was always intending to. They gave him the benefit of the doubt."