Pearce riles Durkan

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The Independent Online
Two top amateur riders, Lydia Pearce and John Durkan, exchanged angry words after a incident in the first race at Southwell yesterday. After the stewards had investigated, they banned Pearce for two days for careless riding.

She had steered Gold Blade, the 13-8 favourite, to an easy six-length win but the stewards found that after five furlongs of the 12-furlong amateurs' event Pearce had hampered Durkan's mount, Father Dan, who had in turn impeded Anthea Farrell's Comtec's Legend.

But later, Pearce's husband Jeff, the trainer of Gold Blade, did not seem in a conciliatory mood ."Lydia and John did get a bit close,'' he said. ''She probably went by him too fast and he got upset."

Durkan, however, was admant that one of them would have ended up on the floor had he not reined back his mount. ''The stewards saw fit to suspend her for two days, which says it all. Dangerous riding is dangerous riding,'' Durkan said.

The stewards allowed the placings to stand as it was deemed the interference had not affected the result. Both Father Dan and Comtec's Legend were unplaced.

n The Jockey Club is to hold two inquiries after horses trained by John White and Jeremy Glover have tested positive for flunixin, a prohibited substance. Take Two, trained by White, was found to contain the substance after a race at Stratford on 26 October last year, as was Glover's Croft Pool after running at Newmarket 12 days earlier.