Racing: Amateur hour ends in fiasco and a fatality

Nap: Secret Spring (Lingfield 3.30) NB: Krabloonik (Cheltenham 1.55)
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THE LEADING amateur rider Mark Bradburne was given a 10-day ban by the Ludlow stewards yesterday when found guilty of throwing away certain success by dropping his hands on Seabrook Lad, the favourite for the amateurs' chase.

Bradburne appeared to have the race in safe keeping but took things too easily yards from the line, allowing Angelo's Double to snatch victory.

The hapless jockey, who captured the Fegentri Amateur Riders' World Series title only last weekend, returned to heckling from a number of irate supporters of the 9-4 market leader and was called before the stewards to explain his riding.

The stewards' secretary, Rachel Tonks, said: "The stewards took the view that Bradburne's actions in dropping his hands cost him a winning chance as he was clear before he did so six strides from the winning post."

Seabrook Lad's trainer, Charlie Morlock, was furious about Bradburne's actions: "It wasn't bad luck it was bad judgement. The bloke dropped his hands - he should have got three months not 10 days."

Bradburne took the stewards' decision on the chin, saying: "I'm frustrated about the whole affair but that's a lesson learned as far as I'm concerned."

Anthony Evans was another amateur in trouble when he was found guilty of improper riding on Gutteridge, trained by his father David, who collapsed and died after finishing an exhausted last of six in the same race. Evans was banned for five days.

The stewards' secretary, Ashley Bealby, said: "Evans failed to pull up Gutteridge, who was exhausted when coming to a virtual standstill three fences from home, and jumped the last two fences on a horse who was clearly out on its feet and collapsed and died afterwards."

Ted Stanners maintained his 100 per cent record with a training licence when Mr Pipeman landed a gamble from 20-1 to 14-1 in the claiming hurdle. The trainer saddles Dawn Leader in the Tripleprint Gold Cup at Cheltenham tomorrow.

"That's two winners from two runners. Dawn Leader will be my third so it's a bit nerve-wracking, but all the horses are in good heart," Stanners said.