Racing: Smith appeal rejected

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An appeal against a 30-day ban imposed on Ardent Scout was thrown out by the Jockey Club yesterday. The disciplinary panel also upheld a fine of £800 for the horse's trainer, Sue Smith, and a 10-day suspension for jockey Dominic Elsworth.

The 11-year-old gelding was banned from running after finishing fourth in the Rocom Handicap Chase at Wetherby last month.

The local stewards decided Ardent Scout had been tenderly ridden until after the last fence and that Smith was in breach of a rule which states that a trainer must make sure a jockey has the necessary instructions to ensure a horse runs on its merits. Elsworth's offence governs a jockey taking all reasonable measures to obtain the best possible placing.

The horse, having his first run since breaking a fetlock joint at Haydock last March and running over a trip short of his best, became detached from the main body of runners before staying on to finish just over four lengths behind the winner, Turgeonev. The panel were of the view that greater effort should have been asked of Ardent Scout earlier in the race.