Racing: Spencer ban boosts Moore advantage

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The Independent Online

The mountain that Jamie Spencer must climb to retain his status as champion jockey was formally measured yesterday when the Horseracing Regulatory Authority confirmed the latest in a series of riding misdemeanours.

An incident of careless riding at Newmarket last week triggered an automatic 14-day ban because Spencer had already served 20 days of suspension for interference during the previous 12 months. Though he was given a further two days for the Newmarket infringement, three days are deferred until October.

Even so, his suspension - between July 28 and August 9 - embraces two of the showcase meetings of the summer, at Ascot next weekend and at Goodwood.

Spencer started the day a dozen winners behind Ryan Moore in the championship, and Coral now make him 6-1 to keep the crown, with Moore as short as 1-10. That may overstate their chances, however, as Moore can scarcely be expected to maintain the hectic pace he set last month.