Racing: Pipe cleared by Jockey Club

Martin Pipe last night won his delayed appeal against a penalty imposed after one of his horses was judged not to have run on its merits. The 11-times champion jump trainer overturned a £2,000 fine imposed on him last month after the Cheltenham stewards ruled that Magnus had not been ridden to obtain the best possible placing in the Coral Eurobet Cup.

Martin Pipe last night won his delayed appeal against a penalty imposed after one of his horses was judged not to have run on its merits. The 11-times champion jump trainer overturned a £2,000 fine imposed on him last month after the Cheltenham stewards ruled that Magnus had not been ridden to obtain the best possible placing in the Coral Eurobet Cup.

Magnus's jockey, Barry Geraghty, also had a 12-day ban for his riding of the gelding quashed. In addition, Magnus himself, hitherto most famous as the most expensive jumper bought at public auction after fetching £340,000 to join Pipe from France last autumn, had a 40-day suspension lifted.

Pipe took the case to the Jockey Club disciplinary committee as he was adamant he was innocent of any wrong-doing when Magnus trailed in 25th of 26 finishers at Cheltenham, in a race won by stable-companion Ilnamar.

After a hearing at which Pipe was legally represented and which went on from 2.30pm until 7.30pm, the committee found in his favour, revoking the punishments handed out at Cheltenham.

Neither Pipe, who emerged stony-faced from the inquiry, nor Geraghty, whose illness caused the appeal hearing to be put back from its original date of 28 March until yesterday, would make any comment other than saying: "Justice has been done."

John Maxse, a Jockey Club spokesman, said: "The evidence presented at the appeal persuaded the committee that Magnus had broken blood vessels to a degree where his performance had been impaired."

* There is no racing in Britain today due to the funeral of the Queen Mother. Racing resumes tomorrow at Warwick, Lingfield and Chepstow.

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