Robert Winston put a serious dent in his jockeys' championship hopes yesterday when collecting a 28-day ban for dropping his hands at Carlisle.
The stewards inflicted the hefty suspension after finding Winston guilty of "losing a race he should have won" aboard Confide in the Border Construction Handicap. Alan Swinbank's runner was clear inside the final furlong and looked to have the race in safe-keeping until 25-1 shot Royal Indulgence came from last to first to score by a neck.
Winston, who will be sidelined from 30 June to 27 July, had looked round several times during the final furlong as well as checking his position on the big television screen on the inside of the course. He did not stop riding but his momentum from the saddle appeared to ease.
Stipendiary steward Phil Tuck said: "Robert was refreshingly honest at the inquiry and all credit to him for that. He said that if he had ridden as vigorously as he should have done, he would have won." Winston said: "I didn't want to be hard on him as he's going to run tomorrow [Thirsk 5.45 today] and on Friday."