Racing: Stewards punish Spencer with a long ban

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The Independent Online

Jamie Spencer, who had 112 winners on the Flat last year, was yesterday banned from riding for 17 days by the Jockey Club disciplinary committee. The ban lasts from 11 to 25 January, on days when Flat racing takes place, with the four remaining days deferred until the start of July.

The hearing concerned a race at Lingfield Park on 12 December after which the track's stewards found Spencer, who had ridden Tarboush, guilty of interference. They referred the matter to the Jockey Club because the Irishman had already been suspended from riding for 18 days for interference offences within the previous 12 months.

The disciplinary committee considered evidence from Spencer and also viewed video recordings of the race.

Ray Cochrane, agent for the 21-year-old jockey, said later: "He knows himself it's a case of keeping his whip down and he has to be a bit more careful in these races. But he is one of our top professionals. He is only a young lad and he has got a long future in front of him."

Because of the threat of frost, the 10-race card scheduled for Wolverhampton tomorrow has been switched to the course's sister "all-weather" track at Southwell, with the first race at 11.20am.

Of the four turf meetings scheduled for tomorrow, Haydock was abandoned yesterday; officials at Sandown inspected their track at 4pm yesterday but decided to delay a decision until 9am today; while Uttoxeter and Musselburgh both inspect at 8.30am today.