Jukes banned after blunder

Amateur rider Jamie Jukes was banned for a total of 12 days yesterday taking the wrong course on Bironi, an odds-on favourite at Ludlow. But the horse's trainer, Captain Tim Forster, fumed: "I'd take his licence away for six months - he's an experienced man who has ridden round here hundreds of times."

Bironi runs in the colours of Mrs Michael Wiggin, wife of the Ludlow chairman. Wiggin fumed: "You get the leading amateur to ride the horse and then he does that."

Jukes and his mount had jumped just one fence of the three-mile race before the jockey steered his mount away from the water jump in front of the grandstand and took the hurdle course, astonishing racegoers.

Realising his error, Jukes turned round and set off in pursuit of his four rivals. After much hard work the pair had joined the tail of the field, 10 lengths off the leader. But they were held in third place when the seven-year-old hit the last fence and fell.

A shaken Jukes said: "I didn't see the water jump and if you look at the film I was never going to jump it. Captain Forster rightly went absolutely berserk." But Milton Bradley, trainer of the 16-1 winner Opal's Tenspot, remarked: "I'm glad I got a jockey with brains!"

Jukes was banned for 10 days for taking the wrong course plus two days for using his whip in the forehand position down the gelding's neck on the run to the second last.

The rider added: "I would like to convey my sincerest apologies to everyone concerned," he said. "I walked the course beforehand and have ridden round here so many times, I can't tell you.''