Racing: Dunwoody opts not to appeal - under protest

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The Independent Online
Richard Dunwoody decided yesterday not appeal against his 30-day ban, but did venture several vitriolic thoughts on those who imposed it.

"I do feel the length of the ban was unjust when compared to similar incidents like Declan Murphy at Cheltenham, Peter Scudamore and Bruce Dowling and my own last year at Nottingham," he said. "I feel I have been made an example of and that one senior rider should be treated as any other senior rider.''

In sharp contrast to Wednesday, the champion jockey was more than happy to give a detailed account of the day at Uttoxeter two weeks ago when he came into contact twice with a horse ridden by Luke Harvey. In what appeared to be a rewriting of history, heblamed Harvey for the collisions that took place.

While Dunwoody plans a skiing holiday, there is also much to indicate the extent to which his championship, and financial, aspirations will be sent downhill by the ban for intentional interference. The champion may have convinced himself that the precipitation which yesterday forced the abandonment of his chosen meeting at Taunton would carry on to the Alps, but there was little signal for solace elsewhere.

Adrian Maguire, who had gone to Nottingham, made further nicks in Dunwoody's lead in the title race. Maguire's double took him to 96 - 16 behind his rival. Vinegar was later poured into the champion's wounds when he learned who would replace him on Chatam in the valuable Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock tomorrow. A chap called A Maguire.

Martin Pipe, Dunwoody's retaining trainer, has no allegiance but to winners it appears, and this appointment had William Hill leaping as Chatam was cut to 7-1 (from 14-1).

The same bookmakers reported support for Maguire for the title and he is now a 5-4 chance (from 6-4). Dunwoody is 4-7 from 1-2 and, apart from missing the ride on Chatam, will also be absent when Fortune And Fame contests Sunday's Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown. The gelding's trainer, Dermot Weld, has booked Mark Dwyer as a replacement.

Thirty-day bans may soon proliferate following a recommendation to the Jockey Club yesterday that horses should be banned for that period if found guilty of being non-triers. Such suspensions, already an option in Ireland, will be imposed when jockey andtrainer are found guilty of attempting to deceive the handicapper or set up a betting coup. This stringent measure is the latest component in a Jockey Club campaign that saw 17 convictions of trainers and jockeys last year. If the proposal is accepted at Portman Square's next main meeting, it will come into force on 1 March.

"It was noted that in Ireland the stewards of meetings have the power to impose suspensions on jockeys and prevent horses from running in races and it was agreed that if non-triers are to be reduced, the stewards of meetings in this country should have similar powers," Anthony Mildmay-White, the chairman of the Disciplinary Committee, said. "It is therefore proposed that stewards of meetings should have the power to impose suspensions on jockeys up to a maximum of 14 days and to suspend a horse from running for a maximum of 30 days.''

Instances of jockeys failing to ride out (down to even ninth or 10th place), interference or reckless riding can now be met with stiff penalties. In addition, bans now cover only days when racing is due to take place in Britain.

A small measure of compensation was the agreement to allow riders to shift short-term bans if they clash with Group One or Grade One events.

This, however, was not enough to placate Michael Caulfield, secretary of the Jockeys' Association. "It is a very curious package and incomplete," he said. "It's not the best piece of work by the Disciplinary Committee. It seems as though the jockeys willcarry the can for everything.''